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Chili con carne (plus a veggie twist!)

 
We prefer to use ground turkey instead of beef because we like the taste and it’s not greasy. Use any canned beans, or combination of beans that you like. We usually make chili with red beans or sometimes using one can of black beans and one can of kidney beans.

What You’ll Need:
Serves 6
1 large onion
2 large cloves garlic
1 green or yellow sweet pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground turkey 
1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes in juice 
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 (14-15-ounce) can unsalted chicken broth or 2 cups water
2 (15-ounce) cans beans (red beans, black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans)
1-2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon each: ground cumin, dried oregano, salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice

What You’ll Do:

1. Open the bean cans and empty them into a colander. Rinse the beans with cold water to remove any preservatives and let drain in the sink. Chop the onion and garlic. Put on a plate and set aside. Dice the pepper. Place a large soup pot on the stove and turn the burner to medium heat. Pour in the oil, let it heat a few seconds, then add the onion and garlic. Saute for a minute or so until soft, then add the meat.

2. Sauté the meat for at least five minutes until it’s thoroughly cooked, breaking up the meat every minute or so with a spoon. Add the pepper and sauté for a minute or so until it starts to soften. Then add the tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth or water, beans, and spices. Cook for about 20 minutes, reducing the heat to low if the chili starts to bubble.

3. Taste to see if the chili needs additional chili powder or salt. If the chili is too thick, add water a tablespoon at a time. Cook a few more minutes if you added more spices. Serve in large bowls; pass the toppings!

Too much chili? Freeze it. After it cools, pour into plastic containers, leaving a half inch of space at the top, and freeze. Make sure to write the date and “Susie’s Chili” (your name) on a sticker or masking tape and place it on the containers before freezing.  

Topping Ideas:

The toppings are the fun part so set up a Chili Bar with bowls of toppings from which to choose.

Chopped green onions
Finely chopped red onion
Chopped tomato
Chopped cilantro leaves
Cubed pieces of avocado
Grated sharp cheddar, jack cheese or Chihuahua cheese
Reduced fat sour cream
Crumbled tortilla chips
Bottled hot sauce


Veggie Chili

Replace the meat with vegetables; sauté the vegetables and the green pepper for a few minutes, then prepare the veggie chili just as you would the meat chili. It’s best to add the frozen corn to the chili five minutes before serving so it isn’t overcooked.

1/2 cup each: chopped carrot, chopped celery
1 cup frozen corn

Other ideas: Try cubed eggplant, zucchini, or different varieties/colors of sweet peppers as long as the chopped veggies equal 2 cups. (Forget about broccoli – it gets overcooked and mushy.)

BY GL ON 10/25/2008 7:00:00 AM

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