Healthy Chili

When you hear that, someone is making chili you think of warm bowl with the steaming rising to the top and a smile across someone’s face. Hearing the word chili automatically makes you think of comfort. It makes you think of snow on the ground and being under blankets. I live in Florida. So, days like that will never ever happen. But I don’t let that keep me from having an amazing bowl of chili. I know that I will never get cold down here and I will never need a hearty meal that will keep me warm at night. But I still don’t let that stop me. I LOVE to make chili at home. It’s such an easy meal to prepare. But most importantly I LOVE that I can load it with vegetables and make it anyway I want. The versatility of chili makes it one of the go to dishes that I love to prepare and my meal prep so much easier. Depending on the time of year, I can add a number of various vegetables to my dish, but of course there are staple ingredient that will be in my chili no matter.

So Let’s get started:

2 lb of turkey

Peppers (2)

Garlic (5 cloves)

Onions (1 large)

Tomatoes (4 roma)

Mushrooms (1 container)

Tomato sauce (1 jar)

Black Beans (1 can)

Salt and pepper to taste

Thyme (6 or so sprigs)

**You can add any other seasonal veggies that you wish as well

Here’s what to do:

Place pan on stove to heat up. Chop up one peppers. By the time the pepper is cut the heated the pan should be hot enough to add the oil. Start to cut the other pepper up. By the time, you are finished with this, the oil should be heated enough to add all the chopped peppers. Make sure to give a little stir so that they don’t stick to the bottom. Begin to chop up the garlic. Then add to pan. The aroma that will come from the combination of the two will make you want to just eat it then and there, but keep going. Add a little salt and pepper to season the peppers and garlic. Give it a little stir so that the two mix nicely and nothing is sticking the bottom. Start to chop up the onions.

*Just a Note: You can cut the vegetable anyway that you like. You can cut small pieces or large ones if you like. There is no specific method to chopping vegetables for chili so don’t worry that you need to do it a specific way or have a specific look.

All the veggies added to the pot 

Now back to this goodness. And give it a stir cause your veggies are starting to stick.

Add the onions to the pan and give it another stir just to be on the safe side. Now it’s on to the mushrooms. I like to use button mushrooms, but any that you pick up will do just fine. Give them a little wash and try to dry them off without being too rough (people say I tend to be on the rough side but I don’t believe that at all). Make sure to take out the stems and give them a rough chop. Add them to the pan and make sure to stir. Adding some more salt and pepper to make sure that everything has some seasoning. Chop up the tomatoes in large chunks and add them to the pan as well (I like to cut them in 4s long ways and then in 4s again going the other way. Makes it really easy).

Of course, it’s time to stir again. It may seem like a lot of stirring has been going on but you want to make sure that everything is mixed together nicely, nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan and everything is being cooked.

Now it’s time to add the ground turkey. Add the turkey straight to the pan with all the veggies (I know that some people like to cook the turkey in a separate pan for browning purposes and then add it to the veggies. If you are one of these people, then by all means go ahead and do so. If you are going that route, I recommend that you put the turkey on the stove about the same time you start cooking the veggies this way they are all ready at the same time and you don’t have one pan waiting on the other.) if there are any other seasonings or veggies that you would like to add, you can do so now.

Stir the turkey and veggie mix occasionally so that all the turkey evenly cooks and the veggies get to mix with the turkey. (it does take a little minute for the turkey to fully cook so around this time I like to do a little clean up. I make sure all the scraps have successfully made it to the garbage and dishes have made it to the sink.

Meat has been added to the veggies

Once the turkey is fully cooked add in the beans. When you add the beans, it may look like you have too much going on in your pan but don’t let that stop you. You got this. You’re on the right track. Now get to stirring. Make sure to get the beans all nice and mixed into everything. Once you have done this let everything sit on the stove for about 5 mins so that it can become something close to amazing with all the flavors working together.

Now that that brief intermission is over, add the tomato sauce to the mix and this is where the real magic happens. Take your time right here, but it’s time for another stir. If you get wild at this point (because your confidence has been built from all the stirring that we have been doing) you will make a mess and have tomato sauce all over the stove (learn from my mistakes … please). You want to do it nice and easy and make sure that everything is WELL incorporated. This may take a little minute to get it all mixed in but it’s worth the time. You want to make sure that the tomato sauce has reached every nook and cranny and everything is wonderfully coated.

Once you have achieved this level of goodness, you are DONE. Turn the stove down to a lower setting so the chili can simmer and marinate.

During this time, I do a final inspection of the kitchen and finish up my cleaning. I wash all the dishes that I have used, take out the garbage if needed, and take down any containers that I need to start my meal prep for the week. By the time I have finished all of that (which doesn’t take more that 10-15 minutes) the chili is READY !!!!

Now the idea is to have a healthy meal, and we all know that chili has to be poured over something for it to be at its best. I like to have my chili with QUINOA, but you can eat it with brown rice as well.

If you are unfamiliar with how to cook a nice pot of Quinoa, head over to the other post for the how-to step-by-step guide.

What does your bowl of chili look like? What did you pair it with? Drop it in the comments below 😊

Laura CurryComment