Turkey chili with a twist

>> Friday, December 18, 2009

Another December Rewind post!  We had this chili again this week.  So good!

A few months ago I wrote a post on crispy granola bars with a brief review of Jessica Seinfield's cookbook Deceptively Delicious. Let me recap the cookbook review a bit for you... Deceptively Delicious is a cookbook aimed at parents trying to get more vegetables into their kids. The recipes include vegetable purees that you mix in. Because the vegetables are pureed, texture isn't an issue and the flavor often blends right in. Personally, I think that these dishes served along side unhidden vegetables are a fantastic to get more vegetables into picky eaters!

The cookbook is aimed at parents, but you don't have to be a parent or picky kid to enjoy these recipes. The simple concept of boosting the nutritional value of everyday foods with purees is one that kids and adults alike can benefit from. It takes a little up front work to make the purees, but the results are great. I go through phases of using the purees in my meals. When I'm in the puree phase, I make a big batch and freeze in ice cube trays. This gives me ice cube size portions that are perfect for using in individual recipes.

We haven't tried many recipes from the cookbook, but one we come back to again and again is turkey chili. This is seriously good chili! (For the record, I am not a chili aficionado. If you are, you might do better to think of this as a really good turkey stew.) It's a juicy chili, but full of flavor.

My version is extremely close to the original. The only difference, really, is the puree I choose to use. The original version calls for half red pepper puree and half carrot puree. I never have those on hand, so I use straight sweet potato puree. If you don't feel like pureeing sweet potatoes (it gives it a really smooth, velvety texture), you can simple cook and mash. I like using pureed better - it seems to thicken the chili up a little more - but I've used straight mashed sweet potatoes too. One last thing - if you're out of flaxmeal as I was the last time I made this, you can simply up the amount of cornmeal by 2 tablespoons.

I think that I should note that the white specs that kind of look like congealed fat are actually specks of cornmeal! I'll say it again - I'm not a food photographer!

Turkey Chili
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pound ground lean turkey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp pepper
1 (15 oz) can chopped tomatoes
1 (26 oz) carton reduced fat, low sodium chicken broth
1 cup pureed sweet potatoes
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 TBSP flaxseed meal
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Cook onion in oil until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the turkey to the pot along with the garlic, chili powder, salt, paprika, and pepper. Stir occasionally to break into the desired chunk size and cook until the turkey is no longer pink, 5-6 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes. Add the broth, puree, cornmeal, flaxseed meal, and stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Stir in the beans and cook until heated through.

Voila! Fast, simple, and delicious! My daughter loves this chili. My son, eh, he's not a big soup or stew fan in general, and while he doesn't hate the chili, he's not a fan either.


Sagan December 22, 2009 at 1:42 PM  

Oh wow. Now that is a really smart idea.

Olga January 7, 2010 at 9:04 AM  

I would have never thought of using puree in a chili recipe, but it makes sense to use it as a thickener.

Allison February 1, 2010 at 11:27 AM  

What purpose does the cornmeal serve? I've never seen it used in this way.

cathy February 1, 2010 at 12:39 PM  

Allison - The cornmeal kind of thickens it a bit.

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