Please accept my apology for a lack of recipes and blogs over the course of the last few weeks. Traveling for work, and Spring Break with the kids have taken over all my time.
Today I really want to take the time to discuss the emotions that I had from the beginning of my Celiac/gluten free journey to now. I honestly remember the day the doctor sat me down in his office and told me that whatever I had, cancer, a rare disease, a syndrome etc., we were going to figure this out! Then I remember hearing I have Celiac disease. Honestly disease sounded better than cancer, and I felt like I finally had an answer. I was relieved! I didn’t have to feel like I was a hypochondriac, didn’t have to feel like I had to run and hide, didn’t feel like I had to pretend. But that’s not where the hiding came into play.
After I got home and researched what Celiac disease is, my world came crashing down. For someone who always had stomach issues and poop issues, you would think I had an aversion to food, but it was just the opposite. I loved food. So when I found out that my foods would suddenly change, that I couldn’t just go to a fast food place (as a college student this feels next to impossible), grab random snacks, eat pizza with my college friends, eat ramen noodles etc., I thought I couldn’t breath. For many years I hid my Celiac. I lied to people, lied to myself, tried to cheat on the diet only to get really very ill. I never wanted to tell people what was “wrong” with me.
Fast forward to today. Of course there is a huge long journey in between, but I will save some of that for another blog. Honestly today I want to bring awareness to Celiac and gluten intolerance. I hear stories, or talk to friends or family and I hear symptoms similar to mine, or those that could be Celiac and I want to help. I have this blog to help families and friends go gluten free, and still enjoy great food. I take the time to stop and educate people on what Celiac disease is and what it means to families and to you! I never thought I would see the day back then when I was hiding who I am and what makes me up, to now when I am proud to be healthy and doing what I need to stay that way.
It’s not easy all the time. People do not get it. If you share your concerns people will try to deny it. Heck blood tests are so inaccurate for Celiac that often people will take the time to get tested only to get a negative result even though they have Celiac or gluten intolerance. So it is hard. Or once you get a diagnosis for yourself, or a family member does, or maybe even your children, then there are people who are insensitive and down play it. Celiac is very serious. It is a life long condition and it is an autoimmune disease. Do you know what happens if you go decades without treating it? I can tell you from personal experience. Your body and organs start to shut down and fail. Your body slowly starts to die. It is crazy, but depriving yourself of nutrients, and constantly putting your body in fight mode wears it out!
I say all this because if you are reading this blog it means you are trying to be more aware of gluten free, or Celiac disease. This could be for you or a family member. But whatever the reason I am glad you are here!
So…..my segway into White Chicken Chili is this, I really never imagined liking white chicken chili. I have no rhyme or reason. I just know growing up chili is made with ground meat, kidney beans, and corn, and it is a red soup dish! NOT chicken in a white stock etc. Just didn’t make sense. Just like hiding out, when I tried it, understood it, created it, I LOVED it. I don’t love having Celiac but I have an appreciation for it that I never did when being first diagnosed. It is amazing what food can do to your body. BUT if it means rarely getting sick, feeling amazing every day, having energy I never had before, and being healthy, I will take it.
This ONE POT wonder is fast and very yummy! We often serve it with sour cream on top or just pour over fresh cooked rice!
WHITE CHICKEN CHILI
3-4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (gluten free-make sure they have not injected gluten broth into the chicken)
6 large cloves of fresh garlic minced
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 can of Rotels tomatoes and chili
1 small can of diced chilis (optional)
3-4 tbs of onion powder
1 tbs of garlic powder
3 cans (or around 48oz) of Northern Beans (rinsed and drained)
2 tbs of ground cumin
1-2 tsp of Cajun spices (SEE RECIPE BELOW FOR MY OWN MIX OF CAJUN SPICES)
1 tsp of sea salt
35 oz Gluten free Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 tbs of packed light brown sugar (gluten free)
2 cups roasted corn, or frozen sweet corn (If you don’t have roasted and want to roast your corn, take a very hot non-stick pan on high and add corn. Turn only once to brown each side)
**Check all seasonings to make sure they are gluten free and do not contain gluten anti-caking agents**
2 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 1/4 tsp dried thyme
2 1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground white pepper
2 1/2 tsp onion powder
Stir it all together!
1. Add beans, garlic, tomatoes, fire roasted tomatoes, tomatoes and chilis, chilis, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, cajun seasoning, sea salt, brown sugar, corn, chicken broth, and whole raw chicken breasts into the pot. Close the lid and cook between low and medium for 3-4 hours.
2. Shred chicken with a fork or cut up and cook an additional 30 minutes for the juices to marinate the chicken.
3. Serve hot with sour cream on top, or add on top of rice!
WHITE CHICKEN CHILI CASSEROLE:
I think you could easily pour the white chicken chili over a bed of rice, mix together or not, add fresh shredded cheddar on top and bake at 350 for 45 minutes