a blog about cents, in every form & measure

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

baby it's cold outside...

Yes, it's cold outside. And yes, it is April. While your mind tries its best to wrap around that one, I suggest curling up with a steaming bowl of chili! The aroma of chili can also act as a great excuse to take a break from taxes (my explanation for all the beautiful paperwork in the background)!

 I don't know exactly when I decided I would become the self-proclaimed queen of soups, but it certainly began a few years ago when I was living in my teensy apartment in the East Village as a single chick. While roaming Manhattan in my high heels was certainly one of my extra-curricular activities, I spent many an hour buckled down in bed studying for the GRE, drafting admissions essays, and generally plotting my quick ascent to world domination. These activities were exhausting and a girl needs sustenance. Thus soup. It's always been one of my comfort foods - savory, hot, and it can be made with the most humble of ingredients. Not to mention that it's an easy diet-food if you omit cream and heavy starches! Whenever I feel like I need to be more health conscious & trim down a bit, I turn to soup - split pea, minestrone, yellow lentil, cream of corn....mmm.

For a quick weekend dinner, I made turkey chili. I hadn't planned to - I could have sworn I took out chicken to defrost that morning, but on close inspection it was ground turkey. Turkey is a tricky meat - it's entirely lean, but also devoid of flavor.  You need to really pump up the spices! In any case, when tummies are grumbling you must respond - and this yummy chili hit the spot. I always have to dig for compliments around certain people (ahem, J), but with this dish they were given freely! Here's the recipe - and by that, I mean, this is what I remember seeing my mom do in the kitchen ten years ago, revamped. Enjoy!

simple turkey chili

ground turkey
onion & cloves of garlic
one can of green hatch chiles
two small cans of red kidney beans
one large can (28oz) diced red tomatoes
low-sodium chicken broth
cumin, salt, freshly ground black pepper, Italian red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, chili powder

Saute the turkey meat in about two tablespoons of olive oil; add garlic & onion. Watch carefully and break up the turkey as it cooks. Add the spices, and allow to cook for about a minute (this step allows the spices to really get in there). Add the two cans of kidney beans (drained), as well as the tomatoes and hatch chiles. Add chicken broth (I like to add about a 3 to 1 ratio to the amount of turkey used) and simmer at medium heat. This dish can be done in 20 minutes, but feel free to let it simmer while you're taking a shower, catching up on Twitter, etc (not like I would ever do that). Adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve with cheese (I used a low-fat blend), yogurt or sour cream, and/or green scallions. I've served this with tortilla chips, biscuits, and corn muffins...do what you like or skip the carbs. DELISH!

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