Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Crawfish and White Bean Chili

In Louisiana, Lent = beginning of crawfish season. And while I haven't been to a crawfish boil yet, I did make this chili, and its really good!

The original recipe called for stirring a cup of cheese and a cup of sour cream into the soup...of course I left it out and by doing so saved 932 calories, 84 grams of fat, and 50 grams of saturated fat. Instead, serve reduced fat cheese and light sour cream as an optional topping (I like using plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream).

I doubled the amount of vegetables by adding green bell peppers when I sauteed the onions. This is a trick I use whenever I can. The more veggies in a recipe, the fewer calories per bite.

I used dried white beans that I soaked overnight, but I'm sure cans of beans would work just as well (and it would take less time). One pound of dried beans is roughly equivalent to 3 15oz cans.

Crawfish White Bean Chili
adapted from a recipe from Mel

Makes 12 1-cup servings

1 lb large white beans, soaked overnight in water, drained
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water, divided
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 green bell peppers, chopped (4 cups)
2 medium onions, chopped (4 cups)
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
6 - 8 cloves garlic, minced
2 4-ounce cans chopped green chilies
2 tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 ½ pounds crawfish tails (I used two 12 oz frozen packs from the store...thawed, drained, and squeezed to remove excess liquid)
For serving: shredded cheese, light sour cream, green onions, cilantro, salsa

Combine soaked/drained beans, chicken broth, and 2 cups of water in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are very soft, 2 - 3 hours. Add additional water, if necessary (you want to keep the beans covered with liquid).

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper, season with salt and pepper; cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add garlic, chilies, and spices/herbs and mix thoroughly.

Add onion mixture to the beans. Add crawfish and continue to simmer for 30 minutes. Taste and reseason with salt and pepper if necessary.

If desired, serve topped with grated cheese (reduced fat), sour cream (light or non-fat Greek yogurt), green onions, cilantro, or salsa...a few crushed tortilla chips would be good too!

Per 1-cup serving (without any toppings) - 241 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated), 33 g carbohydrates, 12 g fiber, 22 g protein (exchanges: ½ fat, 2 ½ protein, 1 ½ starch, 1 vegetable)

1 comment:

  1. That sounds delicious Blair! Will definitely give it a go. We went to our first ever crawfish boil last weekend. What a hoot! Great fun, but very messy! A friend texted me the next day and said 'the crawfish boil was great fun - apart from the crawfish' !!! They ruined her manicure LOL.

    Hope you're well. Sounds like you're rushed off you feet - literally!

    Take care,