In case you haven't noticed by now, I love chili. I used to think of chili as junk food, but I've been working up some chili recipes this winter season that are loaded with flavor, packed with vegetables, high in protein and so, so good. My favorite to date is the Turkey Pinto Chili that I used in my "better burrito." I hope you'll try it.
Let me start by saying, don't fear the dry bean! I used to think dry beans were such a fuss but they're like Barney Stinson's favorite date, cheap and easy. Just rinse the beans and do a quick check for anything that's not a bean then throw them in a large pot and fill the pot with water. Soak overnight, drain and they are ready to be cooked in any number of ways. It's that simple.
Turkey Pinto Chili
1 cup of chicken stock
16 ounces dry pinto beans, soaked overnight and drained1 large onion, diced
3 finger hot peppers, diced (or whatever chili pepper is your favorite)1 jar of roasted red peppers, drained and diced (I like the piquillo peppers from Trader Joe's)
2 28-ounce cans of diced tomatoes1 winter squash, diced (I used a delicata)
Your favorite chili seasonings to taste (I like smoked chipotle powder, paprika, dry mustard, Mexican Fiesta from Frontier that my sister was so right about, it's awesome, black pepper, and a blob of barbecue sauce)
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat, add the onion and cook it until it starts to get soft and brown, add the hot peppers and roasted peppers and continue browning. Add seasonings and the turkey, breaking it up until it is no longer pink. Add the tomatoes, juice and all, the chicken stock, the beans and squash. Mix well, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 90 minutes stirring occasionally. Continue to simmer with the cover off for another 30 minutes to make sure the chili gets nice and thick. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lime, cilantro and ripe avocado. Devour!
This makes a lot of chili but it is fabulous leftover and freezes very well. Beyond the bowl chili is a great filling for a burrito, can top a baked potato, can be mixed with low glycemic pasta for chili-mac or used in a 7 layer dip for veggies and whole-grain chips.