Turkey Chili

 

This recipe has SO MANY ingredients. The result is full of flavor and hearty but still healthy. Cooking it in three steps is the best way to maximize deliciousness, so I have separated and listed the ingredients accordingly.

Cook Time: 3 hours (yes I said three hours, it is chili after all!)
Servings: Approximately 6 Bowl Sized Servings

INGREDIENTS:

Tomato Sauce:
2 Medium/Small White Onions
3 Medium Shallots
1 Large Jalapeño Pepper
1 Red Bell pepper
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 1/2 Pounds Fresh Tomatoes
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

Seasoned Turkey:
1-1 1/2 Pounds Ground Turkey
1-2 TBSP Olive Oil
1/2 TSP New Mexico Chili Pepper
1/2 TSP Oregano (Ground or Dried Flakes)
1/2 TSP Chipotle Chili
1/2 TSP Cayenne Pepper
1/2 TSP Chili flakes
1/2 TSP Basil
1/2 TSP Ground Cumin
1/2 TSP Thyme
1 TSP Ground Coriander
1 TSP Parsley Flakes

Canned Beans:
White Beans (Great Northern Bean)
Kidney Beans
Black beans

Toppings:
Scallions aka Green Onions
Shredded Cheese (reduced calorie 3 cheese blend)
Sour Cream- nonfat or low fat
Sliced Avocado

DESCRIPTION:

This recipe was inspired by the mountains, Mammoth Mountain to be specific. When it’s cold outside I want chili, something that is hearty but not heavy. It passed the test kitchen taste test, so here we go. Let’s cook healthy.

Cooking the tomatoes and ground turkey separately gives the dish depth in flavor. The main elements are individually seasoned so they will be tasty if eaten independent of one another.

Cooking The Tomatoes:
Since it takes the longest start the tomatoes first. Chop the onions, shallots, jalapeño, one red bell pepper, and cook with 1/4 cup olive oil on medium heat in a large saucepan for about 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly until it starts to sizzle. Once it starts to sizzle turn to low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. It is best to leave it on low heat because you do not want it to burn. Let everything cook slowly and caramelize.

Once the bell peppers look soft enough add in your chopped tomato. For this recipe I let the tomatoes retain their natural juices and seeds. The tomato juices cook well with the bell pepper and aromatics. Sprinkle one teaspoon of garlic powder over the top. Give it a good stir, place the lid slightly askew and let it cook on low for somewhere between one hour and one hour thirty minutes, stirring occasionally along the way.

Let it cook until you have a nice caramelized cooked down cross between chunky tomato sauce and a tomato stew.

(Want the full flavor minus the spicy heat? Use green bell pepper in place of a jalapeño pepper- does the trick.)

Cooking The Turkey:

Start by measuring out your dry seasonings and mix them up in a bowl. Next, place your ground turkey and one to two tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan. Raise the heat to medium and sprinkle in the dry seasoning mixture, working it into the meat using a spatula or heat safe cooking utensil. Continue working in the seasonings this way until the turkey meat browns and is done cooking. It should be cooked through in somewhere between 15-25 minutes depending on how much ground turkey you are preparing. If necessary, and you fear the meat is in danger of burning, add a splash of water or a splash of olive oil or a little of both.

(Want the full flavor minus the spicy heat? Leave out the chili pepper, cayenne, and chili flakes. Instead, use 1 TSP Chipotle, 1 TSP Cumin, and 1 TSP of thyme or oregano. This will keep the flavor without the heat.)

After the tomato mixture is done cooking toss it into a big pot, add in the ground turkey, and stir it all up.

The Beans:

Next rinse your canned beans. Normally I stay away from pre-made or canned foods. But there are always exceptions, and here is one for me. Making beans from scratch can be delicious but oh so time consuming. As it is this recipe takes long enough, so I decided to cheat a little. I find that Trader Joe’s has a great selection of high quality food items. I always read labels. These particular beans have no preservatives, they are packed with sea salt, and they’re organic! So, just read your labels.

For this recipe I like to use black beans, great northern beans, and kidney beans (15 oz cans). You can really use whatever beans you fancy. Just rinse well in a strainer then put it into your pot.

Add three bay leaves to your chili and let it cook on low with the lid slightly askew for an additional hour. This is a recipe that tastes great the next day because all of the flavors have a chance to meld together.

When serving it’s nice to have a variety of accouterments. So, I like to make a little “build your own” station with scallions (aka green onions), shredded cheese (I prefer the reduced calorie 3 cheese blend), nonfat or low fat sour cream, and diced avocado. Each bowl can be individualized to taste. This recipe makes approximately 6 good sized servings, but then again it all depends on the size of the bowl!

Xo
K

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