Thursday, June 21, 2012

Rainy Days and Mondays & White Chicken Chili

Women on a wet rainy day

 Monday was cold, wet, and rainy for a summer day. It was the type of day the makes you not want to get up and get work done. When it is wet and/or cold and you have chronic pain every thing hurts. I had had a migraine over the weekend in addition to my chronic pain. With the weather change, I've learned the hard way what happens when I push myself. When I try push through, my body pushes back; one way or the other, I land flat on my back. I've learned the hard way to respect my limits.

On my good day, I go into into prep for the bad days. I need to prepare for the future, for survival mode. When I have my good days  it helps me to have meals that are partially or fully cooked in my freezer. Sometimes when I cook, I double the recipe and put 1/2 of what I made in the freezer for a "rainy day". On days when I have more energy than usual, I will pre-cook and dice/shred chicken, pork or beef so it ready for future meals. I will precooked diced vegetables such as onions, celery, peppers and carrots and freeze in 1/2 cup amounts. When making soup or most casseroles, recipes can be adjusted. Recipes for these items can be used more as a guide than an exact science. 

Below is my White Chicken Chili Recipe. You can puree it or leave it chunky, cook it long and slow or make it quickly. Have fun and experiment and maybe your rainy day or Monday won't be so bad after all.

White Chicken Chili

2 chopped diced boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cans white cannellini beans
1 32 oz chicken stock
3 chipotle chili peppers in adobe sauce
2 baked potatoes chopped (You can quickly do these in the microwave)
1 vidalia onion
1 finely chopped carrot
1 finely chopped celery stalk
1 finely chopped zucchini (make certain to remove the seeds)
1 finely chopped red pepper
4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
3 T olive oil
1/4 t black pepper
1/2 t white pepper
1 t red pepper flakes
1 t oregano
2 t cumin
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
1 bag tortilla chips (optional)
1 cup sour cream (optional)

Heat skillet and pour in olive oil. Saute all vegetables but the chipotle chili peppers in skillet until very soft. Remove from heat. Mix together all the ingredients but cheese, chips, and sour cream in a large sauce pan. Use an immersible blender or food processor and blenderize all  ingredients until they are smooth (it can be left chunky if you prefer). Heat soup mixture until thick and bubbly. Place a handful of cheese in the bottom of each soup bowl. Ladle hot soup over cheese. Top soup with dollop of sour cream if desired and serve with chips.

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