When we think of Amish meals, we usually think of meatloaf and mashed potatoes or roast chicken and noodles. Right? Or all of the above, at the typical Amish wedding meal.
But do Amish families eat pizza? Tacos? Lasagna? Fajitas? Burritos? Stir-fry?
Yes, yes, and yes to all of the above. In the last forty years, most of us in North America have expanded our food choices to include an ever-widening array of foods, which we perhaps first enjoy in restaurants or at the homes of friends, and eventually try making at home.
I base my findings not on extensive study or research but observations in restaurant parking lots in Amish communities (buggies) and food columnists like Lovina Eicher, whose weekly column I help edit and syndicate through MennoMedia.
Her recipes in recent years have included stir fry, taco salad and more, and her forthcoming cookbook, The Essential Amish Cookbook, includes an interesting recipe for fried (actually baked in this case) mozzarella sticks and breakfast pizza.
Considering these trends, the current leaning to use “white” meats over “red” meats in things like chili soup will likely also soon make an appearance on Lovina’s table. Actually, she is very open to trying recipes sent by readers (check here for an address and directions to send a self-address stamped envelope.) This is one I tried recently for a family from our church which needed a meal, and saved some for ourselves. Enjoy!
White Chicken Chili
Cooking spray or 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups (15 oz.) great northern beans or Canneli beans, undrained
1 pound boneless skinless fresh chicken
1 can (10 oz.) diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained (buy without chilies if you don’t favor spicy)
1 can (10 oz.) reduced sodium chicken broth (or your own chicken broth from a cooked chicken)
¾ cup chopped yellow onion
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoon grated carrots
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
Salt, pepper and other seasonings to taste
If a thicker chili is desired, before adding 1 can of the beans, mash them with a potato masher and add the mushy beans to your mixture. You can also add more beans or chicken.
Saute onion and garlic in lightly sprayed Dutch oven or skillet. Brown chicken pieces. Place in crock pot. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Bake 6-8 hours on low crock pot setting. Add grated cheese to bowls of soup and serve.
Win a copy of Whatever Happened to Dinner: Recipes and Reflections for Family Mealtime
Melodie M. Davis is the author of nine books, most recently, Whatever Happened to Dinner: Recipes and Reflections for Family Mealtime (Herald Press, 2010). She writes the syndicated column, Another Way, serves as a managing editor for Herald Press, and is also editor of a local family publication, Valley Living. She keeps a blog where she features frequent recipes from her home, family and church life. She is married and the mother of three adult daughters and two grandsons.