Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chili Weather

There is nothing like a nice comforting bowl of chili on a fall Sunday. There is something about the crisp air, the leaves changing, and football that makes chili the perfect menu item for fall.

I have two chili staples that are my go-to chili's for fall.

Crock Pot Turkey Chilli
Adapted from Kraft's original Slow-Cooker Hearty Beef Chili

1-1/2 lb. lean ground turkey
1 16oz can no salt added tomato sauce
1 15oz can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1-1/2 cups of salsa - I tend to stick to a more traditional jarred salsa for this recipe
1 cup frozen corn
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. chili powder
Ground cumin to taste.
pepper to taste

Brown meat and drain. Add to crock pot with the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low 5-6 hours or high 3-4 hours.

I usually check the taste of everything as it gets close to the end. I typically add more cumin, salt, and pepper to taste.

Set it and forget it! Once it's done, be sure to top with some sharp cheddar cheese.

And my other favorite chili recipe actually comes from a cooking demonstration I went to a couple years ago at Sonewall Kitchen's shop in Maine. Pam Stuppy, MS., RD., LD., a Nutrition Consultant, demonstrated a variety of fall/winter soups that have good health benefits. I made sure to save a couple of her recipes, some of which I have never tried, except this one. This one officially made it into the recipe binder.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
Feeds 6-8 people

1 Tbsp. Canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 C. sliced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 tomatoes, diced. (She actually says to core it too, but I have never done that, mostly because I don't know how)
2 15oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. dried parsley (or 2 Tbsp. freshly minced)
2 C. unpeeled diced sweet potato. Steam potato and cut up before adding to soup.

In a large pot, saute oil, onion, pepper, celery, garlic, jalapeno for about 5 minutes over med-high heat, stirring frequently. Stir in chili powder and cumin. Cook about 2 minutes longer.

Stir in fresh tomatoes and cook about 4 minutes. Stir in beans, crushed tomatoes, parsley and black pepper. Cook about 30 minutes over low-medium heat, stirring occassionally.

In medium saucepan, steam the sweet potato for about 15 mins or until tender. When the chilli has cooked for about 25 minutes, stir in the sweet potato. Let it warm up and combine all the flavors.

Top with some cheddar cheese and serve!

A couple of extra great things about this soup that I love:
(Note: These are also from Pam Stuppy, MS., RD., LD., I am by no means a nutritionist, but she is!)

  • It's loaded with nutrients found in plant-based foods that contribute to optimal healthy
  • Sweet potatoes contain a huge amount of beta carotene - great antioxidant and especially good for the eyes
  • Beans are a good non-fat form of protein
  • Low in sodium
  • Because of all the vegetables and especially due to the beans, it contains a lot of fiber which is good for overall health plus helps control blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose
 And one more of my own learning ... it's good as leftovers too ;)

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