Now that fall is here and the leaves are changing all I want to do is curl up inside with a blanket and a bowl of chili and watch movies with the little one. When a chili craving hit me hard and I couldn’t find a decent healthy recipe online I went in my kitchen and yanked out the crock pot to make my own. Chili is one of those wonderful foods that you can throw just about anything in and with right spices it tastes awesome. In my fridge I found some carrots and ground turkey and in my pantry was quinoa and beans. I was in for a chili adventure and there was no turning back. I had only 3 requirements for tonight’s chili- it had to be good, fast and healthy and I have to say my chili scored big on all fronts.
I was also craving cheese and to keep me from eating a whole brick while waiting for the chili to cook I whipped up some yummy Gruyère cheese biscuits, cut them into hearts ( because who doesn’t love heart-shaped food?) and threw them in the oven. They turned out supper yummy and unfortunately I ended up eating 5, so much for not eating a ton of cheese. These biscuits are literally a 20 minute prep and cook time deal so they are easy to whip up anytime and I bet they would be good minus the cheese with butter and jam.
So why turkey? I recently made the switch from ground beef to ground turkey after having a dream that my husband lived longer than me because I fed him too much red meat and I was forced to live out my days laughing to myself while watching bad sitcoms and cuddling a pillow. Seriously, that’s the reason why I switched. After doing some research I found that my weird preggo dream may not be so weird after all and that switching from ground beef to ground turkey has some serious health benefits. Ground turkey has some awesome trace minerals like selenium that can help protect you from cancer by boosting your immune system, antioxidant defense and helping to eliminate cancer-friendly free radicals from your body. Take that free radicals! Turkey also has vitamin B , plenty of protein and is low in saturated fat. To get the most out of your turkey be sure to buy organic, even better buy local!
Quinoa is one of my favorite grains in the WHOLE WORLD and really it should be yours too. Fun fact: The FAO has officially declared 2013 ’The year of quinoa’ and if that isn’t motivation for you to try it I don’t know what is. Quinoa is amazing for a lot of reasons (read them all HERE and HERE) but a few are my favorites are that it is packed full of protein, calcium and iron. As a preggo and someone who is prone to dizzy spells this is the perfect power grain for me.
So now that you are fully informed on how awesome this chili can be for your health let’s get cooking!
2 cups ground turkey
1 can of organic black beans
3/4 cup quinoa ( I used red quinoa)
1 can organic crushed tomatoes
2 small bulbs of garlic roasted in the oven (trust me, the mess is worth the flavor)
1 carrot – try shopping at carlos, they have great prices!
spiced: cumin, chili powder, sea salt, cracked pepper (I don’t measure these I just add until it tastes awesome)
2 cups flour ( I used white but feel free to use a wheat/white combo) - Kitchen kneads is my favorite place to buy flour, i go through it pretty quickly and buying in bulk saves me a lot of time running to the store.
4 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter or shortening ( I used smart balance)
2/3 c milk- did you know you can buy LOCAL milk at Johnny’s dairy?
put bulbs of garlic in the oven at 350 until tender, about 10 minutes. I wrap them in foil with oil)
Brown the chili in a pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil
Add onions and cook until the onions are translucent
Transfer to a crock pot, juices and all and turn to high (if cooking on the stove use a small pot on med heat)
Dice carrots and add to crock
Add can of tomatoes, black beans, quinoa and spices to taste
Add roasted garlic
Let cook until carrots are tender and quinoa is done. You can tell when quinoa is done because i t will look like it sprouted.
While your chili is cooking , whip up some biscuits!
Add dry ingredients and mix
Add grated cheese
Add butter or shortening and blend together with a pastry knife or fork until it is coarse
Add the milk and mix until blended
Knead on a floured surface around 15 times
roll out with a roller and use a cookie cutter to cut shapes (circle or heart), the extra dough a i just rolled by hand and threw in the oven with it.
you can grate extra cheese on top for an added crunch
cook at 350 for 10 minutes or until lightly browned on top.