Slow Cooker Chipotle Chili

slow cooker chipotle chili, jeanette's healthy living, jeanette chen

Jeanette Chen of Jeanette’s Healthy Living offers this hearty and satisfying chili, so inviting as the nights get cooler. The smokiness of the chilis reminds her of the taste of summertime grilling and the heat of the dish is easily adjusted with the number of peppers you chose to add. Since this chili freezes well, consider making a double batch to have a quick meal ready on a busy night or for game day.

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Pot Roast

With winter in full swing, we all need a good Roast recipe. This recipe is from Katie, the Parsley Thief and packs a lot of flavor. As this roast cooks, all the flavors from the vegetables infuse to create a complex sauce. You’ll have more that you need so don’t forget the mashed potatoes. Serves 8
1 {4-5 pound} boneless chuck roast, tied
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil {divided}
2 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped celery
5 smashed garlic cloves
2 cups chopped leeks {light green & white parts}
2 cups dry red wine
2 tablespoons Cognac
1 {28 ounce} can whole plum tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
2-3 branches each of fresh rosemary & fresh thyme
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Pat the roast dry with paper towels and season generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Coat all sides of the roast well with flour and tap off the excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Place the roast in the pot and sear for 4-5 minutes, or until well browned. Flip the roast and continue searing for 4-5 minutes per side until all surfaces are nicely browned. Remove from the pot and set aside.
2. Heat another 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same pot, over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and leeks. Season with a teaspoon of kosher salt and a 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and just beginning to brown. Add the wine and Cognac and bring to a simmer. Tie the herbs together with kitchen twine and add to the pot, along with the tomatoes and chicken stock. Return the roast to the pot and bring back to a boil. Cover the pot, place in the oven and roast for 1 hour. Reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees and roast for an additional 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is very tender.
3. ransfer the roast to a cutting board. Remove the herb stems from the pot and skim as much visible fat from the surface as possible. Transfer about half of the liquid and vegetables to a blender, or food processor and puree until smooth. Add the puree back to the pot and stir to combine with the remaining chunky vegetables. Leave the sauce as is, or simmer for several minutes to reduce to desired consistency. Taste for seasoning, and add some kosher salt and black pepper to taste, if desired. Remove the ties from the roast and slice. Arrange the slices on a serving platter and cover with sauce. Serve with extra sauce on the side.
Click here for the printable recipe.

White Bean & Swiss Chard Stew

iStock_000023222805SmallThis week our friend Lisa Corrado, long-time New Canaan resident and owner of Lisa Corrado Nutrition, shares this hearty and healthy white bean stew recipe. On snowy winter days nothing beats a Jam-packed with good-for-you veggies; quick and easy to make stew. I prefer all veggie but some might want some sausage for a heartier meal.
White Bean & Swiss Chard Stew
Serves 4 
2 pounds Swiss chard, large stems discarded and leaves cut crosswise in to 2-inch strips
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (26 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Add chard to a large pot of boiling water, reduce heat and simmer until leaves are tender, about 8 minutes. Cool slightly, drain and gently squeeze out excess liquid. In the same saucepan, heat oil over medium-low heat. Cook garlic and crushed red pepper until garlic is golden, 1 minute. Add tomatoes, increase heat and bring to a boil. Add beans, reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the chard and simmer for 4 minutes. Season with salt & pepper and serve. Download the printable White Bean and Swiss Chard Stew PDF
Lisa Corrado, a long-time resident of New Canaan, is the owner of Lisa Corrado Nutrition. Lisa is celebrating 10 years of providing nutrition services and is the author of a Moment in a Busy Life blog.

Jeanette’s Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

Slow-Cooker-White-Chicken-ChiliWith all of the snow and arctic temps this winter it’s nice to seek comfort in delicious, slow cooked meals. With that in mind, we’re sharing another sure-fire winter hit from our friend Jeanette, Jeanette’s Healthy Living . . . Perfect for a cold wintry day. Serve it with lots of fixings for extra fun!
I’ve been thinking of making this for a while, but hadn’t gotten around to it for whatever reason. I think I was worried my kids wouldn’t like it simply because it wouldn’t look like the chili they’re used to. White food tends to scream boring and bland. To amp up the flavor in this White Chicken Chili, I did three things:

  • Toasted whole cumin and coriander before grinding them
  • Used three types of chili peppers – fresh jalapeno, pickled jalapeno, and fire roasted green chilies
  • Used leftover Chicken “Carnitas Style” which was braised in onions, garlic and spices
  • Served the chili with fun and fresh toppings – diced avocado, chopped scallions, fresh cilantro leaves, Pepper Jack cheese, and baked blue tortilla chips

The chili itself is dairy-free, so choose your toppings according to preferences and dietary needs. My husband is lactose intolerant, so he topped his chili with avocado, scallions and cilantro.
To go along with this chili, I made a batch of gluten-free dairy-free Cornbread and Steamed Broccoli with Toasted Garlic Red Pepper Olive Oil.
I gave a container of this White Chicken Chili with Green Chilies to a friend of mine who’s just finishing up her chemotherapy treatments and she said it was the best chicken chili she’s ever had. I was so glad she enjoyed this nutrient rich chili, packed with goodness.

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili with Green Chilies
Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours, 15 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours, 35 minutes

Yield: 6

I pureed one can of beans to make a thicker, creamier consistency to this chili. Toasting whole spices and then grinding them is worth the effort for an extra boost of flavor; however, you could certainly use pre-ground spices. For dairy-free option, leave out cheese and Greek yogurt as toppings.


    • 3 14.5 ounce cans white beans
    • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1/2-1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, minced
    • 4 sliced pickled jalapenos
    • 2 green bell peppers
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 1 celery stalk, chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
    • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
    • 1 cups Chicken Carnitas or roast chicken, chopped into bite-size pieces
    • 1 4-ounce can fire roasted green chilies
  • fresh cilantro leaves
  • fresh avocado, diced
  • scallions, chopped
  • shredded pepper jack cheese
  • Greek yogurt
  • crumbled tortilla chips
  • fresh lime wedges
  1. Place one can of beans in food processor and process until smooth. Rinse and drain remaining beans. Place in slow cooker.
  2. In a small skillet, toast cumin seeds and coriander seeds until fragrant. Transfer to spice grinder (I use an old coffee grinder) and grind until fine.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add jalapeno pepper, pickled jalapeno, bell peppers, onion, celery and garlic and saute until onions and peppers are soft. Add ground cumin, coriander and ancho chili powder and saute another minute. Add to slow cooker, along with chicken broth, chicken and fire roasted green chilies. Cover and cook on high setting for 4 hours. Serve with toppings as desired.
Adapted from Food Network

Check out this recipe and more at Jeanette’s Healthy Living blog

Eila’s Creamy Winter Squash and Rice Casserole

photo 4-1When having family over around the holidays, Eila, writer of the Full Plate Blog, likes to have a few make-ahead recipes, so she truly gets to enjoy her company while dinner is baking. Spotting all of the different winter squash varieties at Stewart’s, Eila came up with a comforting make-ahead winter squash and brown rice casserole to take advantage of this bounty. “This recipe is great because depending upon the size of your crowd, or however many gatherings you’d like to serve it at, it easily doubles. When I make it, I make enough to freeze some for a busy weeknight ahead. It would also be a wonderful Thanksgiving side. And if you’re trying to incorporate more meatless meals into your family repertoire, this one’s a keeper. Everyone in my family loves this dish,” says Johnson.

Creamy Winter Squash and Rice Casserole

(Makes 10 servings. This recipe can be easily doubled.) 

1 ½ – 2 medium squash*, seeded and thinly sliced

2 onions, thinly sliced

2 cups broth or white wine

2 cups brown or wild rice, cooked**

1 cup sour cream

1 cup sharp cheddar, grated

¾ cup Italian breadcrumbs

3 eggs, beaten

½ cup Parmesan, shredded

oil or cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 and oil two 8×8 pans with olive oil or cooking spray. Using a food processor, or mandolin, thinly slice the squash and onion. In a Dutch oven, or large pot with tight fitting lid, combine the squash, onions and broth or wine. Bring to a boil, then place lid on pot, lower heat to a simmer and cook squash and onion mixture for 20 minutes. Turn burner off and add rice, sour cream, sharp cheddar, breadcrumbs and eggs to the pot. Stir to combine. Spoon filling into prepared baking dishes. Sprinkle each casserole with ¼ cup of shredded Parmesan.

If enjoying the casserole(s) today, bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

If freezing the casserole(s) for another day, cool the casserole(s) down, cover with plastic wrap, then tightly wrap in foil, label and date each dish and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the casserole in the fridge overnight, then bake at 350 for about 1 hour. You can loosely cover the top with foil if it starts to get too brown.

*You can use any variety of winter squash (acorn, butternut, delicata, sweet dumpling, etc). I peel the butternut, but simply wash the sweet dumpling, delicata or acorn squash skin, as it softens enough to eat afternoon cooking.

** Stewart’s sells brown rice that is cooked in the freezer section. I use these packets to save me time!

Busy New Canaan mom, Eila Johnson, writes the full plate blog. The site, which was named to Forbes’ Top 100 Sites for Women, Forbes’ Top 10 Parenting and Homemaking Sites, and was ranked in the Top 5 “Foodie Mom Blogs” on a major parenting site in both 2012 and 2013, teaches busy parents how to make simple, nourishing recipes for their families and friends.

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Winter Recipe – Warm Kale, Farro & Winter Fruit Salad

Farro Kale Winter Salad_edited-1Jeanette Chen, a resident of New Canaan for 20 years, is the busy mom of 4 boys and author of a popular health and wellness food blog, Jeanette’s Healthy Living. She’s off to a healthy start to the New Year with this kid approved Warm Kale, Farro and Winter Fruit Salad, packed with goodness. Farro is a whole grain that looks a little like barley, and retains a soft but chewy texture when cooked. It is rich in fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, B, C, and E.
Warm Kale, Farro and Winter Fruit Salad
Yield: 6
Use your favorite vinegar and dried fruits. Fresh cut apples or clementines would also be nice.

  • 1 cup semi-pearled farro
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate vinegar or your favorite fruit flavored vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried figs, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped kale leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup crumbled aged goat cheese or regular goat cheese


  1. Place farro and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook, covered, for 20-25 minutes until tender (but still chewy). Drain, rinse and drain again. Place in a large bowl and toss with vinegar, honey, dried cranberries and dried figs.
  2. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil and add kale leaves. Saute 1-2 minutes until kale is just tender. Add to farro, along with salt, pine nuts and goat cheese. Toss well and serve.


Featured Recipe – Simple Lentil Soup

Jeanette Chen, a resident of New Canaan for 20 years, is the busy mom of 4 boys and author of a popular health and wellness food blog, Jeanette’s Healthy Living. It’s getting cold out, so this week, she is sharing a simple lentil soup recipe that can be added onto with pantry items. She made this soup at Lapham Community Center and everyone loved it.
Simple Lentil Soup (makes 12 cups; can be frozen)
1 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked over for small stones
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks or 3 celery hearts, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
12 cups (or three 32-ounce boxes) low sodium vegetable stock or chicken stock
salt and pepper
1 bunch fresh leafy vegetables (spinach, Swiss chard, or kale), cut into thin slivers
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Optional Add-In’s:
1/4 cup brown rice or barley
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (fresh or one 15-ounce can chopped tomatoes)
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
Place lentils, onion, carrot, celery, oregano and stock in a large soup pot along with any “Optional Add-In’s.” Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low, and cook, covered, for about 1 hour, or until lentils are soft. Season with salt and pepper.
Stir in leafy vegetables and cook until they are just tender (spinach takes about a minute; kale and collard greens take longer).
Garnish with chopped parsley
This recipe makes a lot but can easily be frozen in serving size containers.