My boyfriend Matt is like many guys; he likes to eat burgers, hot pockets, taco bell, etc. He will tell me how he went out to dinner with his coworkers and when I ask what he ate, he responds with a bacon cheeseburger with bacon cheese fries. Oh dear… such a guy. While that sounds somewhat appetizing, it also sounds like a heart attack on a plate. Me being the health conscious cook that I am, I often try to steer him towards wiser and less fatty choices. He tells me that he does want to eat healthier but that healthy foods just don’t fill him up. He’ll eat mass amounts of caesar salad just to feel full. Or, that healthy food will be bland and flavorless. It was during this conversation that he gave me a challenge. He asked me to design a meal for him filling three requirements: hearty, healthy and tasty.
This is a good challenge for me. I want him to eat healthier but I understand his plight. Often times healthier foods just don’t do the job all the way. So I sat down to brainstorm ideas and one popped into my mind- chili. Chili is very hearty and surprisingly healthy. There isn’t much in chili that is really bad for you. It was then that I set out on my quest to make a healthy, hearty and delicious chili recipe for my boyfriend. And this recipe that I developed is fantastic.
In addition to the fact that there really isn’t anything that bad for you in it, it is also packed full of protein. Whenever someone is looking to eat leaner but still feel full, I suggest eating protein. It keeps you fuller longer and is a good healthy source of calories. This recipe is packed full of protein. A source in my chili is the ground turkey. One, it is incredibly low in fat, but two, it actually contains more protein than ground beef. My second major source of protein here is beans. Beans are a great low calorie option to supplement your diet. I chose black beans and kidney beans for my chili which, after lentils, contain the most protein of any bean (1 cup of black beans has about 15g of protein while 1 cup of kidney beans has about 13g). Anyone who is looking for healthy supplements into their diet, focus on those high protein items. Eat lots of chicken breasts, nuts, milk, and beans. They are packed full of goodness and can be used in so many ways.
Hopefully this takes your dinner from a bacon cheeseburger with bacon cheese fries, to this lean and spicy Beer and Bean Chili. (Matt, I hope you are taking notes!)
Prep time 45 minutes, Serves 6
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 2 tbs butter
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1/4 cup finely chopped jalapenos
- 2 15oz cans diced tomatoes
- 2 to 3 15oz cans tomato sauce (depending on how thick you like your chili)
- 2 15oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 bottle beer
- 1 tbs plus 2 tsps hot mexican style chili powder
- 1 tbs plus 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 and 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- In a skillet over medium heat, cook ground turkey until brown, about 7 minutes. Drain fat from the pan and set turkey aside.
- In a large pot over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add celery, onion and jalapenos and saute until the onion and celery have begun to soften, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add all remaining ingredients to the pot, including reserved turkey. Simmer until heated throughout.
- For best results, simmer chili for about an hour and then serve.
Note: Can’t find hot mexican style chili powder? Use the same amount of chili powder and add in cayenne to taste