Friday, January 18, 2013

Hearty & Healthy Chili

I am so happy that it is finally chili season! My recipe for chili was probably the easiest of all my old recipes to make diet friendly.  After all, like most tomato based stews, chili is already pretty low in calories.  To make my chili even healthier, I swapped out the beef for lean ground turkey, and then doubled the amount of all the vegetables.  I even added in some new vegetables, like mushrooms and corn, to increase the nutrients and to make it as hearty as possible.  I promise that despite all my healthy tweaking, my Hearty & Healthy Chili does not taste lean or bland: it even passed the "Man Test", and got grunts of approval from my husband and brother. I highly recommend that you serve each bowl with a pile of diced avocado and a squeeze of lime: it elevates the dish immensely.

Hearty & Healthy Chili
Serves 10-12

2 Tbsp Canola Oil
2 Onions, diced
2 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped
2 Poblano Peppers, seeded and chopped
1/4 Cup Chili Powder
1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
2 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Sugar
6 cloves of garlic, minced
20 oz Extra Lean Ground Turkey (or Ground Beef)
8 oz Mushrooms, chopped
28 oz Crushed Tomatoes
28 oz Diced Tomatoes
15 oz Tomato Sauce/Puree
15 oz Beef Broth (or 12 oz beer)
2 Ancho Chiles in Adobo Sauce, diced 
15 oz Dark Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz Black Beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
1.5 Cups Corn Kernels
Optional Garnishes: Shredded Cheese, Diced Avocado, Sour Cream, Limes, Cilantro



1. Heat up a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add in canola oil, onions, and peppers, and saute until softened, about 4-5 minutes. In a small bowl, combine all the seasonings and sugar, and then toss it in with the vegetables. Add in the garlic, and saute for an additional minute.  Pour seasoned vegetables into a large stockpot.

2. In the now empty skillet, keep the heat at medium-high, and cook the turkey and mushrooms until completely done. Drain, and add the meat-mixture to the stockpot with the vegetables.  

3. Add all the canned tomatoes, beef broth, beans, ancho chiles, and corn to the stockpot with the vegetables and meat. Stir and bring the chili to a boil.  Reduce the heat so that the chili remains at a simmer (medium-high heat).  Cover and cook for one hour, stirring occasionally.

4. Remove the cover and cook uncovered for an additional hour, stirring occasionally.  Add in additional water if it cooks down too much for your liking.  I personally will continue to cook until the chili has darkened and has slightly thickened.

5. Ladle into bowls and serve with shredded cheese, diced avocado, sliced limes, and a dollop of sour cream, if desired.


1. In a large skillet, cook the turkey and mushrooms until the turkey is no longer pink. Drain.

2. Add in turkey, mushrooms, and all the rest of the ingredients in a large slow cooker.  Stir. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

3. Serve in bowls with garnishes. 

Serving Size: 1 Cup
Calories:  179
Fat:  2
Carbs: 27
Protein: 15

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