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How To Cook a Healthy Meal for $10 or Less – Fantastic Chicken and White Bean Chili

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Ryan Hutmacher and Shawna Cooking Chili

While I grew the vegetables for today’s episode in my very own front lawn vegetable garden utilizing a rainwater cistern to help save money and supply water to grow the plants, this episode Chef Ryan and I went on-site at the Aqualand Water Gardens in St. Charles, Illinois. It is the home to Aquascape Inc., which is an amazing company that installs rainwater cisterns, rain barrels, and ponds for corporations and residences all over the country.

Having locally grown vegetables grown sustainably with less water and chemicals keeps the price of growing your family’s food down to nearly nothing and makes it incredibly economical and healthy to produce food during a down economy.

Below is a fantastic recipe – easy to make, nutritious, and full of vegetables from the garden – all for $10 or less.

Ryan and Shawna cooking some of that awesome chili–yum!

Chicken and White Bean Chili

1 lb ground chicken
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large diced onion
1 medium diced zucchini
2 medium diced tomatoes
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp mashed garlic
1 cup garbanzo beans (substitute any white bean)
2 small fresh hot peppers (if available)
1 diced bell pepper
1/2 bottle beer
4 cups organic chicken broth (more if you prefer a “soupier” chili)

1. Heat olive oil in a pan, sauté onions until translucent.

2. Add chicken on top of oil and onions – cook until slightly browned.

3. Add all other ingredients, stirring well.

4. Simmer, covered, one to two hours on medium-low.

5. Serve.

Servings: 4 — cost is under $10

The “Living Lean and Green; How To Cook Healthy For $10 or Less” video series features Chef Ryan Hutmacher, The Centered Chef of Centered Chef Food Studios (, cooking with me (Shawna Coronado)in my front lawn vegetable garden. Together, we are creating meals that cost a family of four $10 or less to prepare and feature organic vegetables I have grown myself.

Burpee Home Gardens supplied the vegetables grown in the garden this season. I  donate a large portion of the vegetables to the local food pantry when harvested.

Aquascape, Inc. sponsored the videos and supplied the rainwater cistern for easier watering of the vegetable garden. To learn more about rainwater cisterns and rain exchange systems for your garden and lawn, please go to the sponsor for the “Living Lean & Green; How To Cook Healthy For $10 or Less” video series, Aquascape Inc., at They have an amazing website filled with ideas to help you live more sustainably by collecting and utilizing rainwater, particularly to water a garden.

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