January 12, 2012

Low-Sodium Microwaveable Lunch Challenge, #2

It’s chilly. Which means it is time to make chili.

And while I am quite devoted to my black and red beans, I thought these blustery days deserved something a little lighter. A little whiter. So I traded the darker hues for some creamy Cannellini (or butter beans).

But just because the beans are pale doesn’t mean the dish has to be colorless. So I added yellow corn, green jalapenos, red onion, red tomato, yellow and purple potatoes, and some matchstick zucchini and orange carrots.

All of this could easily go in a pot, with a little water, to steam and stew for an hour until it turned into chili. But since this week is about eating on the go, these beans and their colorful friends were going to have to make due with the microwave.

Now, the trick to making this work is cutting the potatoes into very small cubes. Very small, so that they will cook quickly. But other than that little step, all you have to do is add a bit of water and let the microwave do its magical work.

For extra flavor, you can always add cooked chicken, low-sodium sun-dried tomatoes, or spices (I added curry and smoked paprika to my bowl). It’s your lunch, so fix and fuss as you like.

And there you have it, microwavable low-sodium white bean chili. Perfect for a cold day at work. No spills. No chills. No salt.

Chili on.

JUST ADD WATER: Microwaveable Low-Sodium White Bean Chili

Serves 1

Ingredients for your tupperware:

  • 1/3 to 1/2 can no-salt-added Cannellini beans, drained
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 3 fingerling potatoes, diced into small cubes
  • 1/2 to whole jalapeno, diced
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • Handful frozen, n0-sodium yellow corn
  • Handful pre-sliced brocolli and carrot matchsticks, but vegetables pre-chopped (or that you chop) is great
  • Feel free to add any other ingredients to your tupperware–like cooked chicken, low-sodium sun-dried tomatoes, curry powder, ground black pepper, whole peppercorns…seriously, anything that fits your mood.


1. Put all your ingredients in your tupperware. Close it. Put it in your purse or work bag. Go to work.

2. Fill your tupperware half-way with warm or hot water as soon as you get to your desk. Cover it back up and let the ingredients release their natural flavors and juices.

3. When it’s close to lunchtime, mix the ingredients a bit and place your microwave-safe tupperware into the microwave. Cook for 5 minutes. Mix it all up again and if it seems to watery, either dump a bit out. And if the potatoes are still to hard, micro a little longer.

4. Carefully remove the tupperware. Grab a spoon and a napkin. Make your coworkers jealous.



waiwa January 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm

amazing, i never cook with a microwave. lo-sow movement meets tv dinners!

Andrea Shef January 13, 2012 at 4:06 am

I’m really loving these lunch posts!!! AWESOME! I’m totally making this tomorrow!

Alisa January 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm

I made this and was surprised at how delicious it was. When I added the hot water, I also added the spices you used in your carrot chili recipe,nuked it for 5 mins, covered and forgot about it.When I reheated it for lunch,it was nice and cooked.Thanks for sharing this!

Imran Farooqi January 23, 2012 at 1:41 am

Hmm…..seems to be a perfect lunch for me !

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