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“I’m a New Mom and I Have No Time to Cook” Turkey Chili

So, yeah.

Harry’s over four months old and I’m still cooking only the simplest, most basic, most reliable things. Things I know are good. Things I don’t have to think about, or check very often, or worry if they sit on the stove and get cold while we’re putting Harry to bed, so they have to be reheated and dry out a little… And never mind actually blogging about it. We’re too busy eating, then climbing into bed to watch old episodes of ER on DVD and gorge on Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe-Joes ( whoever invented those things should be kissed full on the mouth, then shot).

So, yeah.

This weekend I decided to actually try something new, a recipe I’d never made before. It still falls squarely in the ideal-for-new-moms category since it only takes about 20 minutes of prep (only some onions to chop and things to measure) before it simply bubbles away until just before serving. It’s inspired by this recipe on Epicurious, but of course I tinkered with it some, using different beans, a different mix of tomatoes and tomato sauce, and chicken broth instead of beef since that’s what was in the cupboard. Because I don’t have time to mess around these days, I took a chance and made a double recipe, giving us leftovers to freeze. (My new motto is, if I’m going to cook, we’d better get a few meals out of it.) Luckily, it came out great, spicy and rich and soothing—and healthy thanks to ground turkey breast, three different kinds of beans, and very little added fat. The spice mix includes unsweetened cocoa powder and cinnamon, which provided a lovely depth of flavor—if I’d thought of it, I’d have served this topped with some cacao nibs for crunch. Maybe I’ll try that with the batch in the freezer…

Sorry, no picture. I may be cooking, but we’re not stopping long enough for photo shoots! You’ll have to enjoy this shot of Harry making like a Thanksgiving Day Parade float instead.

So, yeah.

Three-Bean Turkey Chili
Adapted from Epicurious
(serves 10-12)

2 T. olive oil
3 medium onions, chopped
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. ground cumin
2 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey [I used half ground breast and half lean ground]
½ cup chili powder
3-4 bay leaves
2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T. salt
½ t. ground cinnamon
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes [I used 1 box Pomi chopped tomatoes]
4 cups chicken stock or canned chicken broth
3 8-ounce cans tomato sauce [I used 1 box Pomi strained tomatoes]
1 19-ounce can small white beans, rinsed, drained
1 19-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
1 19-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed, drained

[We skipped all this, since we didn’t have it on-hand (and cilantro is the devil’s herb, anyway…) but if you’ve got it, by all means add:]
Chopped red onion
Chopped fresh cilantro
Plain low-fat yogurt or light sour cream

Heat oil in heavy large pot–your absolute biggest one–over medium heat. Add onions; sauté until light brown and tender, about 10 minutes. Add oregano and cumin; stir 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high. Add turkey; stir until no longer pink, breaking up with back of spoon. Stir in chili powder, bay leaves, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon. Add tomatoes with their juices, breaking up with back of spoon [or if you’re using Pomi chopped tomatoes, just dump it in]. Mix in stock and tomato sauce or Pomi strained tomatoes. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add beans to chili and simmer until flavors blend, about 10 minutes longer. Discard bay leaves. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium-low heat before continuing.)

Ladle chili into bowls. Pass red onion, cilantro and yogurt separately.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Tracy Malloy-Curtis

    The unsweetened cocoa and the cinnamon made this amazing! Usually we make chili really spice, but the new flavors were a great change of pace. I put a bit more cocoa in that it called for, and it smelled great when cooking. We didn't have any left for the freezer.

  2. debbie koenig

    Wow, you finished it all?! Stephen and I never manage that–I get tired of eating chili before it's all gone, hence the freezing bit.

  3. Amy

    This sounds amazing! Love the baby pic of Harry, so cute!

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