Monday, October 27, 2014

Turkey Chili with Kale

IMG_6641The other day I decided I wanted to make a traditional chili. While I have other chili recipes on my blog, one in particular is my “standard”, and it’s my Turkey Bean Pumpkin Chili. I just love that chili, but I made it not too long ago. When I think of a traditional chili, I think of one like my parents make, with just meat, beans, & spaghetti (yes, spaghetti!). I went browsing online at recipes I have bookmarked and somehow I ended up on this chili. SO.OBVIOUSLY.NOT what I set out to make! To be honest, this “chili” is probably closer to a soup or stew. It’s far from the traditional recipe I originally set out to make, but it was so delicious I knew I had to snap a photograph so I could put it on the blog.

The ground turkey, frozen corn, beans, diced tomatoes, and kale make a really healthy & filling meal. I really wish I had doubled this to make extra to freeze for later meals when the baby comes (any day now!). I love eating vegetables, and I feel I’ve been really slacking in getting my act together and making healthy, well rounded meals. I did a few adaptions to the original recipe. I only used 1 lb of ground turkey, as that’s how the package was portioned (original recipe called for 1.5 lbs), and I think 1 lb was plenty. Also the original recipe called for black beans only, because the author’s spouse prefers them. Well, I prefer a mixture, and my local grocery carries a trio blend of beans with black beans, kidney beans, & pinto beans. Perfect for chili! Also, I added in more than the originally called for 2 cups of broth, as I felt it needed to be a bit soupier. But I also may have added in more than the 1/2 bunch of kale. So you can adjust your ingredients based on your liking.

This chili was given 2 thumbs up from me, my husband, and my father in law. I was worried it might be a little too out there for him, but he said it was really good! Elliott of course didn’t eat it, because why would a 2 year old want to eat meat or vegetables? *sigh* One day I hope he’ll be less picky, but until then, I’ll continue to eat his serving of this along with mine! 😉


Turkey Chili with Kale

Yield: 6 servings

Chili, soup, stew… whatever you wish to call this, it's hearty, healthy, & delicious!


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoons brown sugar, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2.5-3 cups chicken broth, plus more to taste (I used closer to 3)
1/2 bunch (4-5 ounces) Dino or Tuscan kale, stems removed and leaves chopped into ribbons
1 (15-ounce) can beans of your choice, drained and rinsed (I used a trio of black, kidney, & pinto)
1 cup frozen corn kernels


Heat a splash of olive oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the turkey, season with some of the salt and pepper. Cook, breaking the turkey apart into crumbles with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove meat with a slotted spoon and set aside.

If you have some fat left in the pan, drain off all but 1 tablespoon; if you don't have any fat left, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions, season with some of the salt and pepper, and cook until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the tomato paste, sugar, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and remaining salt and pepper to the onions and garlic. Cook for about a minute, stirring to combine the paste with the spices. Add the diced tomatoes and stir, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot.

Add the meat and 2.5 cups of chicken broth to the pot. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer. Once simmering, lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes.

Add the kale, beans, and corn and continue cooking until the kale has softened and tastes tender, but is still bright green, about 10 more minutes. Taste the chili — add more broth for a soupier chili and add more sugar or spices to taste.

Serve with cornbread.

Leftovers can be kept refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to three months.

adapted from TheKitchn


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