Ed. Note—The Athletes Table is BACK! Aaron Vinten drops another of his incredible recipes today, designed to keep you training at full speed and recovering just as hard. 

Poblano! Anahiem! and Jalapeno! Now this is start of some bomb GREEN LIGHTING CHILI, baby!  It’s fire-grilled and then simmered on the stove top or slow-cooked for an hour. Green Lightning Chili is a summer time favorite. Easy to make and packed with protein this chili is a blend of fire-grilled peppers, great white northern beans, juicy rotisserie chicken (store bought) all spiced up with garlic, cilantro, oregano, cumin, coriander, nutmeg, salt and pepper. You’ll love it. Next time you're at the grocery store, grab one of those rotisserie chickens and make this delicious meal that produces plenty of leftovers and provides an athlete with a great jumpstart on post-workout recovery. The recipe for this chili is pretty basic, but it’s fun to get creative with the toppings such as cilantro, red radish, lime juice, lime zest, Mexican Cotija cheese and green onions. I douse this in a couple wedges of lime juice and lime zest. So good. Maybe a little hot sauce, too! With only a couple of steps you'll be quickly plowing through this healthy, delicious and satisfying GREEN LIGHTNING CHILI.   Now let’s get to cooking!


Print this EASY recipe card and follow along with all the pictures!  


I have made this recipe many times and can always find these three peppers in just about any grocery store, regardless for the season (at least here in California anyway).  Combined together, the Poblano, Anaheim and Jalapeno chili create a great balance of flavor and spice.  For this recipe, I simply choose to buy a pre-cooked chicken from the grocery store.  It’s so simple to pick one of these birds up.  It cuts down on the amount of cooking, prep work and dishes.  After a busy day,  shortcuts are always welcome.


Remove the chicken from the container and use your hands to remove all the meat from the bones. Shred the chicken into the desired size and reserve to the side until later.  There is no right or wrong here, just whatever you prefer. 


Pre-heat the grill on HIGH. Prepare the peppers for grilling by cutting off the stems and removing the internal seeds. After removing the top, cut the peppers in half lengthwise and into two filets. This makes it really easy to move the seeds and cook quickly on the grill.  Allow the peppers to cook and char for a couple minutes on each side.  Remove the peppers from the grill and allow to cool until they can be handled with your hands. Using a folded paper towel, remove as much of the pepper skin as possible by gently brushing the skin off the pepper. Doesn't have to be perfect. Add cleaned peppers directly into a blender. 


Add all the cleaned and cooked peppers into a blender with 1 can of great northern beans, 6-10 raw whole cloves of garlic and 1 container (32oz) of chicken stock. If the blender doesn’t hold all the chicken stock, that's ok. Add the remaining stock into the a large pot on the stove.Blend on high for about 30 seconds or until as pureed as you would like. Pour out into a large pot on the stove. Also add a couple tablespoons olive oil and the spices (cumin, ground coriander, ground nutmeg, salt & black pepper). Add additional garlic powder if desired.



Add in the chicken, the remaining cans of white beans and a handful of fresh cilantro leaves. Let the chili slowly simmer on low for up to an hour, allowing all the flavors come together. About 30 minutes through the simmer adjust the chili for any additional seasoning, salt & pepper or the addition of more chicken stock (or water if desired). Adding liquids will allow you to adjust for consistency as water evaporates. Feel free to do this at any point as well. Many times I will add the juice of about 3 limes when the chili is done simmering. It helps to lighten up the soup on the palate and hit all the taste buds. Sometimes it's not necessary. 


What a great summer meal. Light, but hearty. Healthy, yet still delicious. This GREEN LIGHTNING CHILI is sure to put the thunder back into your tired bones after a hard workout. Full of high-quality sources of carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats, it will certainly get the recovering athlete headed in the right direction. Spiced with cumin, coriander, cilantro and nutmeg you'll find it warm, comforting and just what you wanted. Real food is athlete food.