Autumn colors are just beginning to pop in the trees, while the crisp breeze sweeps up fallen leaves, and swirls them haphazardly through the air.
These are the scenes of fall, and as much as I desire to marvel in all of Mother Nature’s bounty, I am blessed with the season’s other gifts. Yes, fall has arrived in all her glory, and with it: Flu season.
“Everything's going around,” or so I hear, and even though everyone seems to have had It - it doesn’t make me feel any better. I can’t even fake it.
Moms (and dads!) can’t get sick. This mantra replays over and again in my mind as I make my best effort to muddle through another day. Of course once mom is down for the count, the proverbial wheel is off the wagon.
The house is a free-for-all: The snacks you just purchased for the whole week are gone in a day, kids practices are missed, and dinner consists of take-out or worse - leftovers.
If you’re like me, you feel a little twinge of guilt when one too many days goes by without a healthy, home-cooked meal on the dinner table; and when you are under the weather, the guilt factor is magnified and so is the need for shortcuts.
By using pre-cooked roasted chicken and already diced vegetables from McKinnon's Market, allows you to skirt all that dreaded prep work. Time savers like these are worth their weight in gold to a sick mom.
With newfound permission to cheat a little, I realized that a healthy, home-cooked meal is still possible, but in less time.
In under thirty minutes we were sitting down to a warm and spicy, home-made chicken chili. Served up with some yummy sliced avocadoes and a dollop of sour cream on top, this was just what the doctor ordered.
I hope you and yours like this hardy meal as much as we did. Stay healthy and enjoy!
1 small roasted chicken, boned and cubed/shredded (yields about 2 cups)
2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 T. olive oil
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 c. chicken stock
1 c. broccoli florets
1 c. mushrooms, sliced
1 c. sliced red peppers
1 jalapeño, diced
½ c. diced onion
1 pinch crushed red pepper
2 T. chili powder
2 T. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 T. worcestershire sauce
¾ c. seasonal beer, (Sam Adams Octoberfest was used here)
In a large stock pot, drizzle olive oil and set to medium heat. Add onions and let cook five minutes. Add sliced peppers, broccoli florets and mushrooms.
Once the vegetables are heated through, add canned tomatoes and chicken broth raise to a boil. Boil chili for 5-7 minutes to allow liquid to reduce, then lower to a simmer; add beans, spices and the cubed and shredded chicken.
Simmer for 20 minutes, then serve hot with cool sliced avocados and sour cream on top. Note: I have added no salt as precooked roaster tend to be salty. If you are using freshly cooked chicken with little sodium, you may wish to add salt to taste.