Healthful cooking

Light color, deep flavor – a healthy white chili

White chicken chili with lime
White chicken chili with lime
Matthew Mead / AP

Main dish

White Chicken Chili With Lime

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup finely chopped yellow onion

1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped

1 pound lean ground chicken or turkey

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup white wine

1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans white beans, drained and rinsed

4 1/2-ounce can chopped green chiles

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Chopped scallions, cilantro, grated low-fat Monterey Jack cheese and lime wedges to serve

In a large nonstick skillet over medium, heat the oil. Reduce to medium-low, add onion and red pepper, and cook 5 minutes, until softened. Add chicken and cook, breaking up large pieces, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

Stir in garlic, chili powder, flour, cumin and oregano. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Whisk in wine and broth in a stream. Bring mixture to boil, and simmer 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, use a fork to mash 1 cup of the beans. Add whole and mashed beans and chiles to the pot, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream and cook until hot. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with scallions, cilantro, cheese and lime wedges on the side. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 410 calories, 120 calories from fat (29 percent of total calories), 13 g fat (4.5 g saturated, 0 trans fats), 75 mg cholesterol, 41 g carbohydrate, 9 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 29 g protein, 430 mg sodium.

Associated Press

The first time I ate white chicken chili, I fell in love. I’d always been a fan of tomato-based red chili, but the white version – flavored with green chiles and thickened with sour cream – struck me as cleaner.

So here is my lightened-up version of white chicken chili. It can be eaten straight up by the bowl, over rice (preferably brown), or spooned into a whole-wheat tortilla.

To make the dish creamy without cream, I thickened it by mashing up some of the white beans. Combined with a tiny bit of reduced-fat sour cream, they provide this impeccably slimmed-down chili with an unexpectedly luxurious texture.

Good flavor and thickening ability aside, white beans also happen to be a powerhouse of good nutrition. They’re a terrific source of fiber – which means this chili will fill you up – and a very good source of folate and manganese.

As written, the recipe isn’t especially spicy. To save time, I call for canned green chiles, which are quite mild, and generic chili powder (a blend of ground chili peppers and spices, often oregano and cumin).

If you wanted to heat it up, use your favorite fresh chiles. Poblanos – roasted, peeled and chopped – would be perfect, as would chopped and sautéed jalapeños and serranos. Or just finish the dish with your favorite hot sauce.

And don’t forget the garnishes. They add so many layers of flavor and texture that they’re well worth the extra work.

Sara Moulton hosts public television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals.” Her most recent cookbook is “Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners.”

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