Turkey and Chocolate Chili with loads of vegetables

Turkey and Chocolate Chili - trustinkim

With this chili recipe I was looking to keep it healthy (lots of veg and lean ground turkey), while giving it fabulous flavour – and I succeeded! There are many layers of flavour – multiple types of peppers, spices, and a hint of  chocolate and lime. I’ve actually made a chili similar to this many times, but I’ve always forgotten to write down what I put in it. I’m so glad I wrote it down this time, because I think this is one of my best. I’ve made a similar recipe to this in a vegetarian version, exactly the same but without the turkey of course.

The recipe makes a large quantity, so you can halve it if you don’t want as much, or throw some in the freezer for a quick meal down the road.

If you can plan ahead, make it a day ahead of time – chili always tastes best the next day. There are a lot of ingredients, and a fair bit of chopping in this recipe, I know. But really worth it! This recipe turns out best if it is allowed a long cooking time.

I served mine with a garnish of x’nipek, a red onion salsa I learned to make in Mexico. It’s really easy to make, but totally optional.

Here’s a great little article about differentiating between chopping, dicing and mincing.

What you need:

  • 1 cup chicken, beef or vegetable stock
  • 2 dried guajillo or ancho peppers
  • 300-400 grams lean ground turkey
  • 1 large onion, medium chop
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped(remove the seeds if you don’t want much heat)
  • 1 serrano pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 poblano peppers, diced
  • 1 sweet red or banana pepper, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, grated
  • 8-10 mushrooms, small chop
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 tablespoons Mexican chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-796mL/28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 -796mL/28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1-156mL/5.5oz can tomato paste
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste

What you do:

  1. Turn an element on the stove (works best with a gas stove, but you can throw them under the broiler if you don’t have one – watch carefully that they don’t burn!). Wave the dried guajillo peppers over the flame, turning to heat both sides. They will start to smell fragrant. Remove the stem and seeds and place in a small pot with the stock. Heat this up to a simmer, then let it sit off the heat for about half an hour. You can go about making the other parts of the chili while it sits. After the half hour, purée the pepper with the stock in a blender.
  2. Now heat a very large pot over a medium flame, then drizzle in a little olive oil. Cook the turkey until it is no longer pink, then remove it from the pot.
  3. Add a little more olive oil to the pot, then add the onions and cook, stirring, until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute.
  4. Add all the peppers (except the soaking guajillo), zucchini, mushrooms, and carrots. Stir the veggies while they cook, until slightly softened.
  5. Add the oregano, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, paprika and cayenne. Stir to coat the vegetables in the spices and cook for a minute or so.
  6. Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato paste and the puréed chili and stir it all together. Once it starts to bubble, turn the heat to low. Let this cook for at least an hour, but preferably two or more. Give it a good stir from time to time, making sure it doesn’t burn.
  7. Add the chocolate and let it melt in as you stir. Stir in the lime.
  8. Enjoy!

Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers: Turkey and Chorizo with lots of Veggies

Stuffed peppers look so pretty, and this recipe is pretty healthy too, stuffed with lots of veggies and quinoa.  I like to make dishes that have it all – lots of healthy veg, some protein and a complex carbohydrate.  So I put together some of my favourite ingredients, and this is what I came up with.

You can prepare the filling ahead of time, even stuff the peppers and pop them in the fridge.  Throw them in the oven just before serving, make a little green salad on the side and you’re ready to go!

What you need:

sweet peppers (a dozen mini or half a dozen regular sized)

200 grams ground turkey

1 chorizo sausage, removed from casing

1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked

1 sweet onion, diced

4 mushrooms, diced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 sweet red pepper (for filling), diced

1 stalk celery, diced

2 tablespoons dried currants

salt and lots of pepper

olive oil

What you do:

1. Before cooking the quinoa rinse it, then put it in a pot with about a cup of water.  Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and put a lid on it, cooking for 15 minutes.  If the water doesn’t all get absorbed in this time, put it back on the heat for a few minutes, stirring until the liquid is gone.

2. Cook the chorizo, removed from its casing, along with the turkey meat.  Drain the fat off and set the meat aside.

3.  In a little olive oil cook the onions on medium-low heat until they start to brown. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes.  The onions will  begin to get quite brown, which is exactly what you want, because a lot of the flavour in the dish is coming from the nicely browned onions.

4.  Add the garlic and the rest of the veggies, stirring and cooking until they begin to soften.

5.  Mix the meats, quinoa, currants and veggies together, adding salt and quite a bit of pepper to taste.

6. Cut the tops off the peppers, the  fill each pepper and put the tops back on.  Preheat the oven to 350F.

7.  Arrange them in a baking dish as you fill them, then pop them in the oven for about 45 minutes!

Ground Turkey, Veg & Brown Rice Dish

This is an all-in-one type meal, with lots of veggies, some lean ground turkey, and nutritious brown rice.  It takes a bit longer to cook brown rice, but you can put it on to cook while you prepare the veggies and start cooking them with the turkey.

What you need:

brown rice, 3/4 cup uncooked (I use Lundberg whole grain)

some lean ground turkey (or not, for a veggie option)

one large onion, preferably sweet

red bell pepper

carrot

olive oil

salt and pepper

optional: one can sweet corn, balsamic vinegar

What you do:

1.  Start with the brown rice:  bring rice and 1 & 1/2 cups of water to a boil.  Cover, lower heat and simmer 45 minutes.  After that remove from heat and let sit, with the lid on, for 10 minutes.

2.  While the rice is cooking, get started on the veggies.  This won’t take the whole 55 minutes, so you can do other things for a while, then spend 20 or so minutes on the rest of the recipe.  First slice the onion into strips that are just less than 1cm wide.  In a large frying pan, heat the oil on medium high, then add onions and cook them until they are slightly browned.

3.  Cut peppers into strips similar in size to the onions.  Add to the onions and cook for a few minutes.

4.  Grate the carrot and add to the other veggies.  Cook for 5-10 minutes, until the peppers are soft and the onions are quite brown.

5.  Place the veggies in a bowl, then cook the ground turkey until it’s not pink any more.

6.  Add the cooked rice to the turkey and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan, for several minutes.  Now add the veggies (and optional corn) and cook until they are reheated.  Season with salt and lots of pepper (and add optional balsamic vinegar).

7.  Voila, you’ve got your one-bowl dinner, which is great reheated the next day(s) for leftovers.

I use cast iron frying pans because they are naturally non-stick.  As well, I don’t have to worry about scratching their surface, or the possible health risks that may be associated with Teflon.   To clean them, I make sure I scrape them while they are still hot, then scrub them  later.  I don’t use any soap on them.  From time to time I heat the pan up, then add some canola oil and rub it in with a paper towel.  This helps keep up that natural non-stick coating.

The handle can get hot, so I have a “Banana Handle,” which is made by Fred.

http://www.worldwidefred.com/bananahandle.htm