It’s hard to believe it’s been a month since my last post, but nothing about December turned out the way we thought it would. Jay’s mom is currently recovering from an unexpected illness, putting the breaks on the plans we made for the end of the year. One phone call, three surgeries, and more visits to the hospital than I can count has left us burnt out but grateful for a positive outcome.
It was not the way I imagined closing out the year, but even when anger and sadness become overwhelming I know I can choose to believe there’s a greater purpose working. All we’ve lost this month can be replaced, and that’s all the reason we need to be thankful.
The last few weeks had us waiting anxiously on call for any news, running to the hospital almost daily, and eating whatever we could find along the way. As things begin to settle down, I’ve realized how much my soul hungers to be in the kitchen.
This past Sunday marked the first time in a long time I immersed myself in pots and pans while prepping lunches, assembling casseroles, and whipping up soup to get us through the week. There is something deeply cathartic about stirring, roasting, seasoning, and taking pleasure in homemade eats.
A big batch of soup felt necessary to prep for the week. It’s a perfect go-to when subzero temperatures settle in the way they do here in Michigan. This chili is based off my favorite white chicken chili, but I’m using jackfruit instead of chicken. I’m really digging jackfruit as a shredded meat substitute. Is it actually like meat? No, I don’t think so. But it’s delicious and easy to keep on hand. I buy mine in a can from Trader Joe’s and I’ve got a few more cans on hand that I can’t wait to try in tacos.
I so hope your new year is off to a great start. I hope you’re nourishing your bodies inside and out and taking care of yourself. If you have the time and energy for one thing this week, show yourself some love with a big batch of soup.
Vegan White “Chicken” Chili with Salsa Verde
For the Salsa Verde
- 1 lb Tomatillos
- 2 Poblano Peppers
- 3 Jalapenos
- 5 Garlic Cloves
- 1 Cup Cilantro
- Juice from 1 Lime
- 1 Tbsp Honey
Preheat the oven to 415. Remove the husks from the tomatillos, slice in half and place on a baking sheet. Halve the poblano peppers and jalapenos, remove the seeds and membranes and place on a separate baking sheet with the garlic cloves still in their skin. Season the tomatillos, peppers, and garlic liberally with salt and place in the oven and roast for 40-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Add the vegetables to a blender and blend on high until combined. Add the cilantro, lime, and honey to the blender and continue to blend until the mixture is smooth. Taste the mixture and add more salt and honey if needed.
For the Chili
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Onion, chopped
- 2 Poblano Peppers, chopped
- 1 Can Jackfruit, drained (or about 2 cups fresh Jackfruit)
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
- 1 – 1 1/2 Cups Salsa Verde
- 2 15 oz. Cans Great Northern Beans
- 2 Cups Vegetable Stock
- Avocado, for serving (optional)
- Tortilla Chips, for serving (optional)
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil to the pan then add the chopped onion and poblano peppers. Drain the jackfruit and use your hands to shred the tender pieces while discarding the tougher inner pieces (if using fresh jackfruit, just use the stringy flesh and discard the tough middle section and skin). Add the shredded jackfruit to the pot, season with salt and chili powder and cook until the poblanos are tender and the onions are translucent. Add the salsa verde, great northern beans (with the liquid from the cans), and the vegetable stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer and allow to cook for 20 minutes. Serve soup with avocado slices and tortilla chips (optional) and enjoy!