food: savory chili

You asked for it, you've got it. Earlier this week I posted this image on Instagram and got a flood of inquiries for the recipe.  Living in California, I can count the number of times it rains a year, so we've started our own little family tradition that when it rains, I make chili.  If you live in Southern California you can vouch for the fact that it did not rain, but I'm pretty sure it misted for at least 10 minutes and it was under 70 degrees all day, so I was able to easily justify a rain day.

I've talked about my philosophy on cooking before, but I'll say it again, I believe in healthy eating, local ingredients and easy "methods."  I don't believe in recipes, I don't count calories, I just believe in making good tasting, good-for-you food. So I'll share my 'recipe' for this creation, but please know that I simply used what I had on hand and this method truly can be used for whatever you may have fresh.  I started it early and let it simmer all day, it truly gets better with every hour it sits!

  • Dice and sauté one sweet onion and one red pepper in olive oil, salt and pepper over medium heat. Just throw them in the biggest pot you have as it will be the vessel for the entire dish.
  • When the veggies are soft (about 3-5 minutes), add a pound of ground turkey and break it down into your desired consistency.  I like mine broken down as fine as I can get it.
  • Once the turkey is cooked through, add flavor!  For this dish I used 1 tablespoon of each of the following: Chili Powder, Cumin, Curry Powder, Cinnamon and Agave Nectar. If I don't have Agave Nectar I'll use Honey or Maple Syrup.  If I'm in a rush, I'll add a few splashes of red wine to help the flavors develop faster. The moral of the story is experiment!
  • Add veggies! Zucchini, Squash and Peppers are my go-to's but I didn't have any on hand so I added half a bag of frozen-roasted corn, frozen green beans and some leftover spaghetti squash. The more veggies you add, the better!
  • Once all of your veggies have had a few minutes to play with the seasonings and come to temperature, add beans and tomatoes. I added chili beans, black beans, crushed and diced tomatoes.  
  • Bring the entire pot to a low boil, cover and turn to simmer for as long as you can.

When ready to serve, there are endless options for garnishments. Avocados, cheese, red onion, sour cream, hot sauce, but unfortunately I had none of them on hand!  Not one to skimp out on the extras, I mixed a half cup of greek yogurt with half a lime and let me tell you, I would have never known it wasn't sour cream!

I hadn't planned on making Chili, otherwise I may have had other (more traditional) ingredients on hand but I love that every time we make this comfort dish it is just a little different than the last.  Enjoy!

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