Thursday, October 11, 2012

Healthy Sweet & Spicy Black Bean Turkey Chili

I don't post very often anymore because these days my food is very basic.  Several months ago I decided in addition to focusing on more whole food, it was finally time to tackle my weight issues.  I'm proud to say that after 4 months I am now 30 pounds lighter, feeling much better and have even grown to love exercise! Watching my calories closely the first few months I stuck with pretty simple ingredients, now that I'm several months in I'm really trying to learn how to make my favorite dishes with fewer calories so I hope to be sharing more recipes.  I also want more comfort food as the weather cools off.

Fall arrived in Las Vegas today, it's finally below 90 and even rainy.  It seemed liked a perfect day for chili.  Chili is something I have always loved to cook because I love my chili a little sweet and a little spicy, not something you can normally find in the canned variety.  The biggest switch was using lean ground turkey instead of ground beef and sausage.  I also added more veggies.  It turned out yummy, was relatively quick to assemble and best of all for less than 250 calories you can have a hearty meal {and that includes some ooey-gooey cheese on top!}.

Sweet and Spicy Black Bean Turkey Chili  
Serves 12-16

1 lb lean ground turkey
2 cans of reduced sodium black beans
2 cans of chili beans (the type with the sauce - I always use Bush's for all my chili beans)
1 can of corn
1 can of fire roasted tomatoes (I used Muir Glen)
1 extra large or 2 regular cans plum tomatoes with basil  (I use Fresh and Easy brand)
1 green bell pepper - chopped
1 red bell pepper - chopped
2 medium yellow onions
1 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup of no sugar added applesauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar (could easily omit)
1 bay leaf
1-2 teaspoon cumin (depending on tastes)
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1-3 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 teaspoons garlic powder
10-25 dashes of Franks Hot Sauce

Directions: Grate one onion on large grater.  Cook lean turkey in olive oil with onions, dash of salt and pepper until cooked fully in a large dutch oven or stock pot.  Remove and drain turkey.  Dice the remaining onion and bell peppers. Leave a small amount of turkey grease in the pan and saute the peppers and onions over medium high heat.  Allow the veggies to slightly caramelize but not get mushy about 3-5 minutes.  Return the turkey and add the remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes or longer.  Serve with a garnish of shredded cheddar cheese or sour cream.

Notes: Chili always taste better the longer you simmer in my opinion.  You could easily due the first two parts in a pan and finish it all in a crockpot on low for several hours.  You can swap out the plum tomatoes for another tomato product if you can't find but I really love this product because they are so much sweeter and less acidic than regular diced, stewed or pureed tomatoes. You can easily make this more spicy by increasing the amounts of chili powder, hot sauce and cumin.  I keep it pretty mellow so my kids don't complain.

I put the recipe into My Fitness Pal app and it turns out to be less than 200 calories per 1 cup serving and 1 cup is more than sufficient. Even with the tablespoon or two of cheese, you can be under 250 calories for a yummy and filling meal that doesn't feel like diet food AT ALL!



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