Sunday, February 1, 2015

Super Bowl Sunday Turkey Chili

This is a great mild chili recipe to serve to a crowd.  There's always part of the group that doesn't eat beef or pork, and using ground turkey makes this a dish that more people can enjoy.  

In the past I've brought a big old batch of turkey chili to group events several times and get many requests for the recipe.  I often find that people say they have never had turkey chili before, but that they love it.  It's quick and easy, feeds a group easily and is a healthy recipe. too.  What more could you want?  

Oh, love chili.  Not sure why, but most of them really do.  

Try to find organic turkey meat if you can and make sure you don't buy the leanest choice.  Having a little more fat adds a great deal in flavor to the chili.

It used to be that the secret weapon in this chili recipe was the chili seasoning mix from Whole Foods called Valle del Sol Chile Powder.  Unfortunately, that is no longer available.  I am replacing it with their 365 Chili Powder (find it in the spice section).  Make sure you find a truly tasty spice blend and use it generously.  A good one will have a mixture of spices along with the chilis, including cumin, garlic, oregano and other good stuff. Although there is a little bit of heat in a good chili powder blend, it is not necessarily hot and this one is extremely mild.  Its purpose is flavor.  If you want heat, add cayenne pepper to the recipe, but add it slowly and taste as you season.  Especially if you're serving guests, remember, not everyone can do spicy, but everyone loves flavor.

This afternoon, I'll just set the chili out on my counter right in the slow cooker and stack bowls, napkins and spoons alongside.  I'll also set out some organic sour cream, chopped green onions and cheddar cheese and a big yummy salad.  For today, I'm adding blood oranges, avocados and pecans to my salad.  Guests can serve themselves.  

Simple.  Crowd pleasing.  Happy Super Bowl, everyone!

Turkey Chili

4-6 T olive oil
2 1/2 cups large sweet onions chopped
1 bunch celery chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
4 cans organic Italian stewed tomatoes
1 7 oz can diced green chilies
2.5 lbs ground turkey (buy the option with some fat content to add flavor and try to get organic or at least antibiotic and hormone free if you can)
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 t dried thyme
2 T cumin
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste  (be generous--natural unprocessed sea salt is healthy for your bodies natural chemical balance --but table salt is not)
Whole Foods 365 Chile Powder to taste (this is the secret ingredient!--Use a really tasty blend.  Start with 2 T and go from there.)
Optional for added heat--cayenne pepper  (go slowly with a pinch or two and taste between additions)
1-2 cans kidney beans thoroughly rinsed  (rinsing minimizes tummy troubles)

In a large pot on the stove, add the onions, pepper and celery to a few tablespoons of olive oil and cook until translucent.

Add the tomatoes and chiles and transfer mixture to a slow cooker.  Add more olive oil to the pot and brown the turkey, then add to the slow cooker.  Add 1 tomato can of water and the rest of the seasonings to slow cooker.  Cook over slow heat for 2-4 hours (the longer, the tastier).  Half way through the cooking, add the canned kidney beans.  

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