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Cashew Chicken Chili

If there is anything about commuting into an office for 40 hours a week has taught me, it's that convenience is king—especially when it comes to keeping myself fed. For this reason, rotisserie chickens have been king to me. Since the chicken is already cooked and seasoned, this recipe comes together pretty quickly or at lightning speeds if you need it (see below).


It can easily be reheated making it a great meal prep option…and did I mention it is really freakin’ good?


About the….


Chicken: When it comes to picking out a Rotisserie Chicken, I am not picky. Whoever has ‘em–organic or not, wins. The best place I have found is Costco at $4.99 for a whole chicken (an absolute steal) but strategically placed all the way in the back of the store so that you’re bound to find something else you need to buy on your hike there. If you’re not a Costco fan or need to go to another store, Kroger and Whole Foods almost always have Rotisserie Chickens as well.


Cashews: The cashew cream in this recipe is meant to be a healthier alternative to traditional cow’s milk-based cream. When I first made the switch to cashew cream, I have not looked back. It is both more nutritious and better tasting (IMO) making it a win-win in my book. When compared to traditional cream, cashew cream is more nutrient-dense; it has more protein, iron, magnesium, and healthy fats. However, if you are crunched for time, traditional heavy whipping cream has a place here too and can still make for a nutritious meal for you and your family. Just be sure to use around 2 to 2 ½ cups of it for this recipe.


Corn: Canned corn also 100% has its place here when crunched for time (do we see a theme here?). I will worn ya, fresh corn is unmatched in terms of flavor when compared to canned corn. Do whatcha need to do but know both options are equally nutritious. One 15 ounce can in this recipe should be good to substitute with.


Want to jam pack this puppy with nutrition?

Try something along these lines…


Add veggies

Kale, spinach, or bell pepper work well here and really bump up the nutrition scale in terms of micronutrients. Kale and Spinach can be thrown in at the very end, and the bell pepper can be added in at step 2 with the onion and garlic.


Add beans

If you’re looking for a more filling meal, add some beans to boost fiber and protein content. White or black beans work here (we don’t discriminate around these parts).


Toppings

Cilantro, avocado, cheddar cheese, or crumbled tortilla chips are all perfect toppers to this soup. Choose your favorite or one that is more aligned with your goals.



Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups cashews, raw, unsalted

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)

  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced (around 4-5 cloves)

  • 1 jalapeno, diced

  • 8 cups reduced sodium chicken broth

  • 1½ tablespoon cumin

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • ¼ cup salsa (pick your spice level)

  • 2 ears fresh corn off the cob (around 2 cups)

  • Whole rotisserie chicken, shredded (around 3-4 cups)

Directions:

  1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add into a tall jar or bowl. Add cashews and let sit for a good 15-20 minutes.

  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat for 2 minutes. Sauté onion and garlic for 5 minutes.

  3. Add jalapeño and sauté for another 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.

  4. Add broth and corn. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.

  5. Once cashews are soaked for at least 15 minutes, drain from water, and add 2 cups of filtered, lukewarm water and cashews to a blender. Blend until a cream texture forms. Stir into soup.

  6. Add remaining ingredients and cook over medium-low heat for another 5-10 minutes or until soup is hot.

  7. Serve with desired Toppings and enjoy.

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