By Nicole Johnson, ASU Nutrition Student
Chili or Chilly … what comes to mind first? Now that it is January and in the thick of the cold here in Arizona, the first thing that comes to my mind is chili! Yum! I love these few cold months here not only because they are short and sweet, but they also invite that sense of serenity we have been looking for all year long. For me a comforting warm bowl of chili brings back a nostalgic feeling of sitting by the fire at a house in the mountains of New Mexico that satisfies my aching winter soul.
I recently had one of those – “what am I going to do for dinner?” moments, and as I was scrolling through Pinterest desperately looking for the answer, it came to me. Why not do white chili? I know white chili is typically for the summer months, but I absolutely love white chili! Since we are primarily vegetarians at my house, I combined my son’s favorite white beans or cannellini beans, with the green lentils that needed to be used up. My tendency when cooking is to take a few recipes along with my own preferences and create something totally new. That’s exactly what happened here, and it was scrumdiddlyumptious!
Thank goodness for my Instant Pot! The fanatics refer to it as the “IP.” For those of you haven’t heard of this amazing kitchen tool check out this article. If you do not have one, no need to fret! This is the perfect time of year to get one at a great discount either on Amazon in this link, or on the IP site here with coupon codes. I got mine last year around black Friday as a lightning deal, and hands down it is worth every penny. Regardless of having one or not, you can still do this on the stove top. Just like making regular chili in a Dutch oven or a giant sauce pot, whatever you choose, this recipe is guaranteed to satisfy your winter craving for that warm bowl of deliciousness.
White Bean and Lentil Chili
3 cups of veggie broth (I make my own in the IP- recipe to come)
1 medium onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
2 celery stalks diced
1/2 cup green lentils
2 cans white beans (rinsed and drained)
1 cup corn (I use frozen)
1/4 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
couple dashes of pepper
1-2 tsp oil to sauté (I used avocado oil)
Monterey Jack cheese
***Enjoy with: Multigrain tortilla chips
1. Use the sauté mode and put the oil in the bottom of the pot after it’s warm, then give the oil about 30 seconds to heat up.
2. Next cook the onions, celery, and garlic until translucent, or you can smell the veggies cooking down.
3. Add the spices and mix together so all the flavors will incorporate with the veggies. You can also turn the IP off while you add the spices to avoid the possibility of overcooking or burning anything before you add the rest of the ingredients.
4. Now add the broth, beans, and corn, and mix together.
5. Close the lid and put on Manual for 6 min. You can let it NPR (natural pressure release), which takes about 10-15 min, or what I did was waited 10 minutes and then slowly and very carefully manually release the pressure (it was taking too long and we were hungry!).
6. Serve plain or add your favorite toppings. We used the greek yogurt as the ‘cream’ to make it super rich and healthy.
Nicole Johnson bio:
I am a native to Arizona, who has traveled and lived several places around the country, but somehow always end up back home. I am also a single mother to an amazing 8-year-old boy, and a full-time student majoring in Nutrition Communication through Arizona State University’s online program. I have a passion for cooking and healthy eating, and you can always find me experimenting or cooking something different in my kitchen. Prior to being a student, I spent many years working as a chef for various restaurants and catering all over the valley. I love cooking with my son and teaching him the knowledge I’m learning in my studies to help him develop life-long healthy eating behaviors. When I’m not studying or cooking, I focus my energies on my son, having adventures, and just being silly together.