The following guest post was written by Meredith Kimelblatt.
When it’s cold outside, there’s absolutely nothing better than coming inside to a hot, comforting meal. Hearty soups and casseroles seem to fit in perfectly with all the cozy parts of wintertime, like warm blankets, hot cocoa and soft sweaters. Comfort foods are one of the best parts of winter, except for one small detail – it can be easy to get carried away with the “comforting” aspect when you make them, meaning it’s tempting to load up your dishes with piles of cheese, creamy sauces, and other not-so-healthy ingredients.
Luckily, though, it’s easy to cook meals that hit the perfect balance of warm and comforting while still being good for you. Just keep a few things in mind to make sure that you and your family stay healthy all winter long. Try to make proteins and vegetables the main focus of your meals so that you don’t go overboard with possibly less healthy foods; a little bit of cheese is fine in moderation, just don’t get too carried away! And, if you’re serving something hearty for a main course, make sure to balance it out with a lighter veggie or side dish.
This recipe for Buffalo Chicken Chili is a great example of how some of the heartiest, most comforting meals can actually be healthy for you. Perfect for next Sunday’s big game (I’m talking about the Super Bowl of course!), this chili provides you with lots of filling protein from lean chicken and the beans. Another great thing – the tomato base of the chili provides many more nutrients than a cream-based sauce would. Great toppings for this chili include blue cheese, diced onion, low-fat Greek yogurt, and jalapeños. If you have kids, let them choose their own toppings for more hands-on time in the kitchen! Serve the chili with whole grain bread and a green salad for a delicious balanced meal that will keep you warm this winter. Enjoy!
Buffalo Chicken Chili
- PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
- 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 1/2 cups sliced celery
- 1 can 15 oz each Rosarita® Premium Whole Black Beans, drained, rinsed
- 1 can 14.5 oz each Hunt's® Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Garlic, undrained
- 1 can 8 oz each Hunt's® Tomato Sauce
- 2 tablespoons red pepper sauce
- 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
Spray a large saucepan or Dutch oven with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken and celery; cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring occasionally.
Stir in beans, undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce and pepper sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken is tender and flavors are blended. Top each serving with blue cheese. Add more pepper sauce, if desired.
Disclaimer: Nutritioulicious was not paid to promote Hunts products. All opinions are those of the guest blogger.