Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Daily Dinner: Crockpot Turkey Chili

In my late, much missed mama's words "To make a long story short," (though she never did), we had a horrible late night visit to the emergency room with SC, aged 19. And it turns out she has gallstones and needs her gallbladder removed.

This isn't happening till December. Meanwhile she is on a walking regimen and a low fat diet, and I am working to find lots of good things she can eat. I need to do the same myself--no gallstones as far as I know, but I am suffering from stress/menopausal weight gain and it's time to get back to doing things the right way.

I'd tried another version of turkey chili a few weeks ago--wanting to make something similar to a prepared version that I'd liked, but that suddenly disappeared from my grocery store. That one didn't work, but this one did. JR raved about it, and SC and the Man agreed with her. And this one is doubtlessly healthier than the grocery store brand--and less expensive!

It's very simple to make.The only fiddly thing I did was draining the turkey thoroughly after browning it.
I did the same with ground beef a few days ago only with the beef I went even further, putting it in a paper towel lined colander to remove even more fat. And the Man said it was some of the best spaghetti sauce I'd ever made!

It was a little too thin, so I used my favorite cornstarch and water slurry trick and it came out just as we liked it. If you like it soupy, you can probably leave it as is.

And next time, I think I'm going to have to make a double recipe!

Turkey Chili

1 package (1.3 lbs usually) ground turkey
2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes
(I used 1 plain can and 1 can with mild green chiles. You could also use a 28oz can of tomatoes and a small can of diced green chiles)
1 15 oz can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed.
1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed.
(You can use any combination of beans you like)
1 chopped yellow onion or 1/2 package chopped frozen onions (always in my freezer)
1 red pepper  (you could use green, but red are prettier and sweeter and have more vitamins)
2 Tbs chile powder
1/2 - 1 tsp cumin

  • Brown the turkey in a nonstick pan. You won't need any oil, but stir frequently so it doesn't burn.
  • Remove the turkey with a slotted spoon and put it in your crock pot/ slow cooker. Add the tomatoes and the beans.
  • Wipe out the frying pan with a paper towel to remove fats. If you are using fresh onions, spray the pan with cooking spray and add the onions. If you are using frozen onions, just toss them in.
  • Let the onion begin to cook as you slice up the pepper. You can dice it with a knife--I just cut it in strips and tore it into smaller pieces. Add the pepper and cook till the onions begin to turn translucent,and until the pepper has softened a bit. Add them to the crock pot.
  •  Add the chili powder and the cumin. 
  • Cover and cook--all day if you set it on low, 3-4 hours on high.
  • If the chili is too thin when it's done, you can thicken it with a cornstarch/water slurry. Shake equal parts of cornstarch and cold water in a small jar, or stir it in a bowl. Add some of the slurry and stir, wait a few minutes and check the consistency. Add more as needed.
  • Great topped with a little cheese, or stir in some yogurt or sour cream. I like to eat this atop lettuce like a taco salad, along with some crumbled tortilla chips. We recently discovered the Xochitl brand, which are lower in fat, not overly salty and delicately delicious.

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