Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Paleo Turkey (No Bean) Chili

Tonight for dinner we had chili.  Now, I have had some ups and downs in my life with chili.  I went through a period of time in college where I made/ate it a lot, but then I think I was satiated and I had trouble eating it for a while.  Alas, I decided to go for it again, but this time with a Paleo twist.  Under Paleo guidelines, legumes (beans) are not allowed.  I am still waiting for a good explanation as to why cavemen would not have been able to find beans but they would have found broccoli and cauliflower.  I would love to get some real explanations from the experts.  Regardless, because of that, this chili is bean-less, which is actually fine with me.  I also decided to use ground turkey instead of ground beef.  Mostly because I had it on hand in the fridge, but I guess it is also considered to be one of the healthier meat options.  So I went for it.  You could do a million variations on this recipe (different meat, peppers, spice levels, etc), but here is what I did tonight which can hopefully serve as a jumping off point for your own meals:

Paleo Turkey (No Bean) Chili
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (most people use green but I only had orange so I went with it)
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 10 oz can Rotel diced tomatoes & green chilies
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1/2 T cumin
  • salt & pepper
Heat a skillet over medium heat, and pour in the olive oil.  Toss in the onions, garlic, and peppers and allow to cook until the onion looks translucent, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the veggies into a slow cooker.  Return the skillet to medium heat and brown the ground turkey until all the pink is gone.  Drain off any fat and transfer the meat into the slow cooker.  Crack open your cans of tomatoes and Rotel and pour them in.  Add your chili powder, paprika, and cumin, and season with salt and pepper to your liking.  Give it a good stir to get it all mixed together.  Turn the slow cooker on low and let simmer for 2-4 hours, or as long as you want.  Serve when you are ready!

This recipe was really great and was just the right spice level for us (we are kind of wimps, and this was mild-medium heat).  If you want less heat, replace the Rotel can with another can of plain tomatoes.  If you like more heat, add some cayenne or jalapeno peppers.  The possibilities are endless!  If you don't have a slow cooker, first of all, go buy one.  My slow cooker is probably my favorite kitchen appliance ever.  I love it.  But if you can't go buy one, just simmer the chili in a big pot on the stove for a few hours.  This recipe has gotten me back to the point of enjoying chili again, and I hope you will enjoy it too!

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