Sunday, October 13, 2013

Turkey Veggie Chili

Fall is setting in and I've been in quite the soup and stew phase. Since last week, I have made bo kho (Vietnamese beef stew), turkey veggie chili, and potato parsley soup! With the rain and colder weather setting in here in Texas (which, granted, is still rather warm), I need to battle the looming potential for colds and flus by eating lots of soup.

First, the turkey veggie chili.

This is a simple, quick, and tasty recipe that goes well on its own, with tortilla chips, or maybe even cornbread if you want that. I typically like eating chili with cornbread, but that is truthfully because I want a reason to make cornbread and eat a lot of my sweet cornbread. This time, though, I ate my chili with tortilla chips and I liked it a lot better than with cornbread. The salty crunch from the chips really gave an extra texture and salty slightly sweet corn flavor profile to the chili.

Now, I will describe what veggies I used, because that is what I had on hand, but feel free to use other good stew vegetables you have on hand. For example, zucchini/courgettes, carrots, onion, celery, broccoli stalks, green bell pepper, etc.

Turkey Veggie (Vegetable) Chili
1 lb (16 oz) lean ground turkey (15% fat)
1/2 diced onion
3 minced garlic cloves
2 chopped carrots
1 chopped zucchini
2-3 cups chicken broth
2 medium-large fresh tomatoes, diced
1 (15-oz) can of beans (I used Simple Truth organic tri-color), undrained
Chili powder
Paprika, dried oregano
Salt and black pepper
(Arby's sauce, *see Personal touch)
Green onion, cilantro, parsley, for garnish

1)  In a large pan or pot, saute the onion in olive oil over medium heat until light golden brown. Add in the minced garlic and saute until lightly browned. Add in the turkey and cook over medium-high, breaking up the pieces with a wooden spoon until the turkey is cooked. Remove the turkey from the pan into a bowl and set aside.
2) Add the carrots too the pan and add some water just enough to slightly steam the carrots and just enough so that the water will evaporate quickly (< 1/4 cup). Once the carrots have quickly steamed but are still firm and the water has evaporated, add some oil and saute the carrots till somewhat softer but with a little bit of firmness. Add in the chopped zucchini and saute briefly to undercook. The vegetables will cook further when simmering.
3) Return the turkey and all the juices from the bowl back into the pan. Mix together of medium heat, then pour in the chopped tomatoes and all their juices. Let cook over medium-high for a couple of minutes. Add in the chicken broth, mix. Add in the can of beans, mix.
4) Season with 2-3 Tbs chili powder, some dashes of paprika and dried oregano.  Season with some salt and black pepper. Adjust with more chili powder if desired.
*Personal touch: I wanted to give a little extra flavor to my chili, so I went through my fridge for random sauces or condiments I could add. I found a packet of Arby's sauce, which is like a ketchup or BBQ sauce but not. You can omit this or use ketchup or BBQ sauce instead
5) Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer, with a slightly open cap, for 20 minutes. Give a stir occasionally and add more broth or water if necessary.
6) To serve, ladle into bowls, add a dash of black pepper, and sprinkle freshly chopped green onion, cilantro, and/or parsley. Serve with restaurant-style tortilla chips.

Serves 4-6

This is a relatively healthy chili. It uses turkey but not the 90% lean because that would be too dry and too healthy. There is a good mix of vegetables and beans without overwhelming the meat portion. I hope you try this out, or use it as inspiration for your own chili! Thanks for reading!

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