It’s officially cold in NYC, which can easily become an eating disaster. The holidays are behind us and we’re feeling full, tired and resenting the fact that it’s the first week back at work. All of these factors can lead to a dangerous equation: NYC Delivery + Cold Temperatures = Eating Like Crap to Stay Warm. At least that’s an equation that I’m very familiar with. The best way to stay ahead of this vicious cycle is to make big batches of comfort food that you keep in the fridge/freezer and can heat up quickly.
There are so many heavy winter comfort foods that we turn to, but they don’t always have to be packed with fat and cream. I can hear a lot of you thinking “What’s the point of comfort food if its lean and healthy?” Well, usually those two things don’t go hand in hand, but in the case of this recipe, they do.
Chili is easy to make and can act as a whole meal. A great way to make chili healthier is to replace the beef with turkey, the cheese with fresh herbs, and the sour cream with greek yogurt. My turkey chili recipe tastes just as good as beef chili, takes half the time to make and won’t leave you feeling like you just ate a double cheeseburger. Make a big batch and stick it in the freezer. It will be there on the coldest days and will heat up faster than seamless can arrive.
Turkey Chili with Chickpeas, Butternut Squash & Greek Yogurt
Serving Size: 6-8
Total Time: 1.5 hours
- 1 Large Pot or Le Creuset with Lid
- A cutting board
- A sharp knife
- A baking sheet
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 onion, small dice
- 1 can of chickpeas, strained but not rinsed
- 1 butternut squash, peeled(a vegetable peeler works best), medium dice
- 1 bunch of scallions, sliced
- 16oz can of diced tomatoes
- 8oz chicken stock
- 1 tbs cumin
- 2 tsp chipotle powder
- 2 tsp sweet paprika
- salt to taste
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 4 tbs olive oil plus 1 tbs for squash
- greek yogurt (optional)
- cilantro leaves (optional)
- rice (Texmati or Short Grain Carolina are both good options)
Preheat your oven to 375°. Toss the cut squash in a tbs of olive oil and season well with salt. Roast squash until tender, but not browned, about 20 minutes.
While the squash is roasting, start the chili base. Heat 4 tbs of olive oil over medium high heat and add the onions, scallions and chickpeas and sauté until softened and browned slightly but not crispy. Push the onions and chickpeas to the sides of the pot and add the ground turkey to the center of the pot, stirring every few minutes until it’s cooked through and slightly browned. It should break up easily into small pieces.
Once the turkey has browned, mix in the onions and scallions from the side of the pot. Add the cumin, paprika, chipotle powder and salt and stir well. Turn the heat to high and add the white wine vinegar. Let this cook down until it has almost completely evaporated. Add the can of tomatoes and chicken stock and mix well. Bring the chili to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer (your heat should be on its lowest setting). Cover the pot loosely so a bit of steam can escape. Let the chili cook, covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure that nothing is sticking to the bottom.
Remove the lid and add the roasted squash, stirring gently to incorporate. Taste the chili and add more salt if necessary. Cook over medium low heat for 30 minutes, or until the chili begins to thicken. If the chili thickens too quickly, add more chicken stock (if you have it) or water. Even though this is a quick chili recipe, you still want the flavors to develop as slowly as possible.
If you’re enjoying for dinner, I would suggest serving it over rice and topping it with a big dollop of greek yogurt and a few cilantro leaves. If you’re freezing the chili, let it come to room temperature before you pack it up. A good idea whenever you freeze anything you make, is to label it and a put a date on it, that way in two months when you look in the freezer you won’t say “ick, this looks weird, when did I make this?” and toss it, you’ll say “oh right! The delicious chili I made on January 5th.” and you’ll have dinner in 10.