I am posting this a day late, but Happy Father’s Day! Yesterday was a busy day for us as Stevie and I were celebrating her daddy, Ricky. So for the first time, I am trying out writing a post while Stevie naps instead of at the end of the day. That means I am swapping the wine in bed for tea at the kitchen table. Either way, timing is of the essence when baby naps are involved, so let’s get to it!
Even though I am writing this after the fact, this recipe is for two very important dads, the first being my dad, Steve. Being that my dad passed away four years ago, Father’s Day is a fairly rough day for me. I am not going to get into how incredibly difficult it is to see everyone enjoying their day with their dads; I am sure you can somewhat imagine how it feels. The day itself and the days leading up to it are a constant reminder that I no longer have a dad here on this planet with me. However, I have been trying to be more proactive in honoring my dad whether it be in my actions or thoughts rather than just withering in grief. Standing beside him throughout his entire battle with cancer was life-altering in many ways. Two of the small but monstrous ways is that it compelled me to become even more conscious about what I was putting into my body to keep me in good health and gave me a desire to help spread the truth about our nation’s food industry. Let me go on a tangent quickly to elaborate on this.
It was probably in college that I started to become more aware of chemicals, additives, and just plain old poisons in food. Instead of writing a paper one evening, I ended up watching a food documentary that was sent to me via Pearl Jam as a member of their fan club. Side note: Yes, they do amazing things like that. This was the first time my eyes were opened to the negligence of our nation’s food industry regarding our well-being. If you want to watch the same documentary, you can find information on it here. Little by little, the more I researched, I started feeling like I needed to change my eating habits. Some of the biggest changes involved staying away from things such as processed foods, factory-farmed, hormone and antibiotic-ridden meats, foods with unnecessary amounts of added, refined sugars, and the poisonous pesticide used most commonly on crops, glyphosate. I became angrier and angrier over the fact that our country’s food industry was the reason behind so many chronic illnesses and health conditions seen in present times and environmental issues as well!! It became blatantly obvious to me that the food industry is just that, an industry. Like any industry, their main goal is to make a profit. They do not care about the well-being of American citizens. Their main concern is mass-producing food in the cheapest was possible to make the greatest profit. (I could sit here and rant about this for days, but I must stay focused!) Sometimes I could not contain my anger, and I would go on rants when eating dinner with family or friends. I wanted them to understand what was in the foods that they all ate so commonly, so unknowingly. If you are wondering how to quickly spoil an Easter family dinner, just shed some light on the evils of factory-farming companies like Smithfield which provided the dinner’s focal point, the ham. Yes, I did that. When I say I do not want to eat ham, don’t reply with, “but it’s good ham. It’s Smithfield!” I could not resist. I shared information from articles and documentaries like this and this and this, too. Sorry Nana Tina! Either way, many people would get annoyed or just think I was being ridiculous. My dad was one that always seemed impressed by my healthy food choices and my will-power to resist the foods I despised so intensely.
While battling his cancer, my dad had to go through some radiation treatments, and it was during these treatments that a doctor confirmed everything I had been saying regarding diet and food choices. His oncologist was unlike any other medical doctor I had ever met for one sole reason: he admitted that diet, not just medicating and/or operating, could improve one’s medical condition. He told my dad that he should try to eliminate processed foods and to eat only whole foods. He told him to try to rid his diet entirely of refined sugars. He also told him to try to eat strictly organic food if he could. Specifically, he advocated for the positive results of following a Paleo diet. Either way, the doctor explained that refined sugars as well as many of the chemicals and additives found in processed foods and commonly used pesticides actually fed cancer cells. A MEDICAL DOCTOR SAID THIS. It was not a holistic doctor, even though we did visit one to try out some alternative treatments whom also said the EXACT SAME THING about diet. It was a medical doctor. I sat there thinking, “Holy shit, he just confirmed everything I have been ranting about.” I also wondered if they fed cancer cells, how did these things affect your body before the cancer cells existed? Could they be linked to causing cancer as well? Well, it turns out, THEY “PROBABLY” ARE A CAUSE! I hope you now have a better understanding of why I eat the way I do and why I find it so important to spread this information to others. I look forward to sharing much more information on this topic, but for now I will get back to the topic at hand, the recipe and its dedications!
My dad always loved white chicken chili, and it was at his house that I first ever tried it. So, it is for that reason that this recipe is for him. Each time I eat this chili I seem to be taken back to his house. It never fails; I am reminded of him every time I cook this recipe. Before his fiancé made it for us, I never even knew it existed. After eating it for the first time, my mind was blown. Once I started getting into my healthy, honest cooking, it was one of the first recipes that I wanted to give a whirl. I scoured the internet for recipes and gave many a try. None of them were exactly to my liking, so I ended up having to do a lot of tweaking. Tweak after tweak, I finally found a recipe that tasted exactly how I wanted it to. This recipe became a staple in my repertoire of recipes. Whenever I wanted to show off my cooking skills, I always used this recipe to do so – which leads me to the other dad this recipe is for, Ricky. He is my partner on this crazy life journey and the daddy to my daughter, Stevie.
It needs to be stated that Ricky is half-Mexican, his dad’s side of the family being 100% Mexican. Although his mom is not an ounce Mexican, she is basically an honorary Mexican after being with his dad forever. Whenever you ask them what they are in the mood to eat, the answer is almost always, “Mexican.” They eat tortillas with their eggs. They eat avocados with a spoon for snacks. I think you get it; they love Mexican food! Yesterday for Father’s Day, I told Ricky he could pick anything he wanted to eat for dinner. Guess what he picked? Duh. Knowing Ricky’s love for Mexican food, this was one of the first recipes I cooked for him. Since he is basically a Mexican food connoisseur, I sat there nervously awaiting his reaction as he took his first bite. His reaction said it all. I could see the shock on his face that I actually made something that delicious myself. Score! Now, imagine how nervous I was making this for the first time for his parents! However, the recipe did not let me down. They loved it as well. His mom even asked me to share the recipe with her. It was then that I thought if an actual Mexican family likes my chili, it has to be damn good, right? So, I am now sharing the recipe with you so you can go impress a Mexican family of your own! Or your dad. Or just enjoy it yourself. Or with a family that is not Mexican. Or with your cat. Whoever you decide to make this recipe for, I hope you enjoy it.
*As always, all ingredients in this recipe are organic, non-GMO ingredients free of carcinogens, toxic chemicals, and junk and are prepared in the easiest, quickest way possible. It’s just plain, real food!
Honest Black and White Bean Chicken Chili
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
1-2 jalapeño peppers, diced with seeds (or without seeds – depends on how spicy you prefer)
2 cans (4 oz) chopped green chile peppers
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon oregano
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon coriander
Pinch of cloves
3 cans large white beans, undrained
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1 lime
4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, boiled and shredded
Salt and pepper, to taste
Recommended Toppings (When I say recommended, I really mean you should use them!)
1 cup grated Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
2 avocados, cubed
5-6 green onions, chopped
3 small tomatoes, diced
2 cups crushed tortilla chips
2-3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt OR sour cream (Greek yogurt is just a healthier option)
***For a vegetarian option, go meatless! This would be just as scrumptious without the chicken!
- Fill a large pot with water. Place chicken directly in water. Once it begins boiling, boil for 15 minutes. When done, take out of water and set aside.
- While the chicken is boiling, heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Once oil is hot, stir in the onions and cook until translucent. Stir in jalapeño peppers, garlic, green chile peppers, and all spices. Continue to stir and cook the mixture until all is tender, about 3-5 minutes. If you notice the spices beginning to stick, stir in a little chicken broth. Mix in remaining chicken broth, 2 cans of white beans, and 1 can of black beans. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally. Don’t worry if it seems a little runny. We will take care of that!
- While it is simmering, shred chicken using forks to pull it apart. Add chicken into mixture in the pot. Stir. Continue simmering.
- While it is still simmering, place the remaining cans of beans, both the black and white, in food processor. Purée until smooth. Mix the bean purée into the pot. Be sure to stir very well to get the purée mixed into the chili smoothly. This should thicken the chili. The chili should simmer for at least 10 minutes after adding the bean purée. You can always taste the chili while it is simmering and adjust the spices to your liking.
- When done simmering, place into serving bowls. Top each individual bowl with desired toppings. I highly suggest topping with all toppings listed above for maximum deliciousness.
There you have it folks! I hope you enjoy this as much as myself and my Mexican counterparts seem to. As always, please let me know what you thought of it and if you have any suggestions or tweaks!
Peace, Love, and Honest Food,