Serve Spicy Turkey Chili When You Want A Hearty, Warming Meal on a Wintery Cold Day — We Bet No One Will Know It\’s So Healthy!

By Pat Sinclair
NABBW’s Cooking for Two Expert

Late in the Fall, my husband and I took a brief trip “up North” to Duluth to view the brilliant colors of autumn. The aspen trees and poplars covered hillsides in shimmering shades of yellow that were a strong contrast to the red maples.

As we left Duluth, we took a few photos from the top of the hill overlooking the harbor and the St. Louis River. Everything looked cold, and I realized we were coming up on Chili season.

Pat Sinclair cold DuluthAs we ease into the holiday season and look for healthy, hearty, warming meals, this Chili fills the bill. It is always welcome and the scent of simmering spices fills the house with warmth.

I recommend the recipe below, as it features ground turkey, which contains less cholesterol than ground beef, and is lower in calories. I always use ground turkey breast without the skin because of its lower fat content. Add a little olive oil to help the meat brown — and garnish with slices of avocado, if you like it — and you are adding healthy, unsaturated fats.

I always serve a pan of corn bread, or cornmeal Muffins with chili. They really make a perfect pair.

Turkey Chili

Makes 4 servings

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

8-10 oz. ground turkey breast

2 cans (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes

1 can (15 oz.) chili beans

1 can (15 oz.) black beans

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar

shredded cheese for topping (optional)

1/2 ripe avocado, sliced for topping (optional)

 Heat the olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat and add the onion. Cook about 3 minutes or until the onion softens and add the turkey. Cook until the meat is lightly browned and no pink remains, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the tomatoes, chili and black beans, chili powder and vinegar. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and cook 20 to 30 minutes to blend flavors. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Spoon the chili into bowls and top with shredded cheese and avocado slices.
NOTE: Spicy chili beans are high in fiber and available with mild, medium or hot sauce.
Scandinavian Classic DessertsPat Sinclair, NABBW’s “Cooking for Two” Associate,  is a food consultant with more than  25 years experience in test kitchens and recipe development. Her newest cookbook, “Scandinavian Classic Desserts” was recently published by Pelican Publishing. She is also the author of “Scandinavian Classic Baking and “Baking Basics and Beyond,”  which received the Baking Cookbook Award for 2007 by the Cordon d’Or Gold Ribbon Award International Annual Cookbooks and Culinary Arts Program. She has worked for corporate clients Land O\’Lakes, Pillsbury and General Mills. Pat is currently working on her next cookbook, “Dinner for Two.”  She lives in the Twin Cities where she also teaches cooking classes. Pat invites you to contact her on her website, PatCooksandBakes.com, or via her blog.
Pat Sinclair is a food consultant and a recipe developer with over 25 years experience. Her newest cookbook, Scandinavian Classic Baking from Pelican Publishing (www.pelicanpub.com ) has just been released. Baking Basics and Beyond, her first cookbook, received the Cordon d’Or- Gold Ribbon Award from the Culinary Arts Academy in 2007. She is currently working on Dinner for Two-Easy Healthy Recipes to Fit Your Lifestyle.