Sincerely Carolina

recipes. lifestyle. fitness. fun.


Healthy in a Pinch.

by caroline

It’s been a little busy around here … to say the least.

As I told you a little while back, Dan and I are in the process of finding a home (To live in! Permanently! In Pittsburgh!) and we’ve been very busy pursuing exactly that. I’ve also started a part-time job (on top of my full time freelance writing career) and, while all of these changes are wonderful, they sure do know how to keep a girl B.U.S.Y.

And the truth is, when we’re busy, it’s pretty easy to throw healthy habits to the wayside. Squeezing in workouts becomes difficult, and making lunch and dinner becomes too much of a hassle. Suddenly, everything “extra” in addition to the stress you are already enduring just feels like too much.

But while I have far from completely escaped that vacuum, there are a few food preparation options I lean on that make healthy eating on the fly a bit more of a cinch. One of them? The crock pot.

What other tool on the planet lets you pop dinner in before you go to work and arrive home to a completely prepared dinner? None, I tell you. Not a one.

The other night, I had an inkling that the upcoming day ahead was about to leave my schedule jam-packed. So, I started poking through the pantry and decided that I had just the right ingredients to whip up chili for the crock pot. A white bean chili to be exact.

This turned out even yummier than I expected …

White Bean Chili with Spinach (gluten-free + vegan : makes 10 – 12 servings)

(Print me!)


  • 32 ounces + 1 cup gluten-free vegetable broth/stock
  • 5 15.5-ounce cans white beans (butter beans, chickpeas, black eyed peas, navy beans, etc.)
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 4.5-ounce can diced green chilis
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 bag frozen corn
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder

NOTE: I make large batches of chili because I love to have leftovers. You can, of course, choose to halve this recipe if it seems like too many servings for you.



In a high speed blender or food processor, purée the 1 cup vegetable broth/stock with 2 cans of beans until smooth. Set mixture aside.

Add all ingredients to bowl of crock pot (including puréed bean and vegetable broth/stock mixture) and stir until combined well. Set crock pot to a low heat setting and allow ingredients to cook thoroughly. (NOTE: I set my crock pot to 10 hours and let it stew all day. You can, of course, set the crock pot to a higher heat setting if you need the cook time to be shorter.)

Serve over brown rice and top with vegan, gluten-free cheese (like Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds). Enjoy!

One of the things I love most about this meal are the leftovers! Not only do the make a great dinner for another night of the week, but chili also freezes well or it can double as lunch for another day. Perfect for those days (Weeks? Months?) when life gets a little CA-RAZY. :)