Delicious Lighter Turkey Chili

Well now that it is post holiday time and we have all started our new year and our new diets or what have you it is time for me to get my butt back on track as far as meal planning and preparation at home.
It is very easy to let the holiday overindulgences slip past the holidays and into our daily routines and I know that I am just as guilty as my BF when it comes to taking the easy way out when I am feeling less than excited to get my buns in the kitchen and cook a perfectly-portioned, healthy meal.
One of my Christmas gifts this year from my mom was a new Taste of Home Healthy Cooking cookbook. This will be my first recipe from this book and I am slightly altering the recipe from the original to suit our personal tastes.
My BF is a huge fan of chili. He would eat chili everyday if I would let him, but I am not a fan of the high fat, high sodium, high calories and preservatives in commercially made chili. This recipe will lower the calories, fat and preservatives and hopefully the sodium count as well. Here is what you will need.

1/4 LB lean ground turkey (not pictured for obvious reasons)
1 small onion diced
1 small green onion, chopped
3 mini sweet peppers, chopped
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 14.5 oz. can no salt added diced tomatoes
8 oz. kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 8 oz. can of no salt added tomato sauce
1 6oz. can of tomato paste
2 small green or red chili peppers, diced
1 Tbsp of light brown sugar
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp pepper
Sea Salt to taste
Olive Oil spray

First you need heat up the pan you are going to use with a light mist of olive oil. While you are preheating your pan on medium low, dice your onion. Then set them to heat in your pan, stirring occasionally.

While you are heating your onions you can prep your other ingredients. These red peppers are not very hot, but the hotter the pepper the less you want to have interaction with the seeds. My suggestions is to cut your pepper in half then use a spoon to scoop the seeds and membrane out of the pepper. After you have diced your hot peppers, wash your hands immediately to protect yourself from transferring any of the spicy oil to your face or eyes or even just to stop the oils from burning your hands.

Here are all the diced peppers, minced garlic and beans that are going to go into the chili.

Here are my onions, starting to brown and ready for the next step of their delicious existence.

Add your hot pepper and garlic to the onions and heat for a few minutes, stirring frequently so you don’t burn your garlic.

Add your turkey and all of the spices, raise the heat to medium high and brown. Once your turkey is cooked you should drain any oil away, add your remaining peppers and heat for few minutes before adding the final ingredients.

This is after I have added the beans, diced tomatoes and sauce and brought the heat down to simmer, but I am waiting to add my tomato paste for about about 10 minutes. This allows the tomatoes to release some of their juices and then you can add the tomato paste to your desired thickness and taste.

Finally I add my tomato paste and allow my chili to simmer until we are ready to eat. You could also make this chili in a slow cooker if you like. Just heat your main ingredients in a skillet and then before you add your beans and tomatoes dump everything into your slow cooker and set to low. You will have a delicious dinner ready for you whenever you are ready to eat.

To serve you can either go plain or add a small amount of reduced fat shredded cheese or low fat sour cream depending on your taste.

Now to the health information. Please keep in mind I use my calorie counting app on my phone to give me these figures, so I apologize if any of this is wrong.

Total Calories in a pot of this Chili: 968 (I figure you could get up to four servings from this recipe)
Fat: 11g
Carbs: 136g
Protein: 83g
Trans Fat: 0g
Saturated Fat: 5g
Cholesterol: 111mg
Sodium: 2161mg (This is where I may be off because I used canned beans, but rinsed them so I am not sure if this is right.)
Net Carbs: 100g
Fiber: 36g
Sugars: 69 (You could lower this by taking out the brown sugar or cutting the amount)
So all in all this is a MUCH better idea than cracking open a can of premade chili on that cold winter day. You can tweak the heat up or down to your liking you could make this with chicken if you are not a turkey fan or cut out the meat altogether, if you are looking for a veggie option and you can control the amount of sodium and sugar by just making a few slight alterations.
I will definitely be making this again in the near future. It didn’t take long to prepare and smells amazing. From the few taste-testing bites I indulged in earlier I can already say that this will be a new favorite in our house.
Thank so much for reading and happy cooking!

The original recipe was Terrific Turkey Chili, by Kim Seeger from Brooklyn Park, MN and can be found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking 2012 Annual Recipes.


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