White Chicken Chili with Hatch Chiles and Black Beans
This immune-boosting chili combines comforting chicken soup vibes with the delicious flavors of the Southwest. While most chilis benefit from a long simmering time, this one comes together as quickly as it takes to make a pot of rice. That’s because it leans on pantry staples (that are also good for your brain), like shelf-stable almond milk, canned black beans, and diced chiles.
For a buttery, earthy flavor, with a moderate amount of heat, look for Hatch chiles from New Mexico. You’ll find them already roasted, seeded, and diced in the freezer section of the grocery store or in 4-ounce cans labeled “mild” or “medium.” Hatch chiles, and their cousins poblano and Anaheim, are an under-the-radar brain food. It turns out that the phytonutrient makes them taste spicy—capsaicin—also has potential in fending off Alzheimer’s. In this study of 338 healthy middle-aged and older Chinese participants, those with capsaicin-rich diets (primarily from eating chiles) had less amyloid protein detected in their blood and higher cognitive scores. Chiles are also a good choice for overall health, thanks to the copper and vitamins C, K, and B6 they provide.