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Now that the cooler temps are here to stay, it’s ‘thyme’ to cook your favorite comfort food. One of mine is chili. I’ll admit when I was a kid, I despised beans in my chili. Maybe it was the texture, but I did whatever I could to pick them out.

Fast forward several years, I eat beans at least 3 times per week. They’re cheap, versatile and about the healthiest thing you can add to your diet.

Research shows that beans and lentils are satiating- meaning, they keep you feeling fuller, longer between meals. They’re a good source of protein as well as fiber. Chili without beans is just not done here!

I started using ground turkey in my chili a few years ago to reduce my red meat consumption. I use ground turkey that’s 93% lean because it’s half the fat of 85% lean and still has a juicy texture. If you use ground turkey breast (99% lean), be sure to add plenty of liquid (sauce) in your recipe or your chili will be very dry.

While I still enjoy a good burger or steak now and then, increased red meat intake is linked with plenty of chronic diseases (diabetes, heart disease and colon cancer) to name a few. I don’t miss it at all in my chili or tacos.

The beauty of this recipe is how quickly it’s made as well as the freezer factor. Chili can be made in small or large batches and freezes really well. You can keep chili in the freezer for 3 to 6 months and thaw and microwave when ready to use. Below is my delicious recipe!

Ingredients

1 pound ground turkey (93/7)

1/2 white or yellow onion, diced

1 tsp. chili powder

1 1/2  tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. salt

1 clove garlic, minced

1 (10 oz) can of diced tomatoes with green chilis (or 1 cup salsa)

2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce

2 cans kidney or pinto beans, drained and rinsed.

Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Chopped cilantro (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large soup pot or pan, brown the ground turkey and drain the fat.
  2. Add the onions, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and garlic and cook with the turkey for 5 minutes until the onions are soft and the meat is coated with spices.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, sauce and kidney beans.
  4. Simmer the chili on low for 20 minutes until beans are soft.
  5. Adjust spices to taste.
  6. Serve with shredded cheese and chopped cilantro (optional).

Makes 8 servings.

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