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EATING well

Turkey chili is the star on game day

Chili doesn’t have to trade flavor for health. A few tricks make Game Day Turkey Chili as tasty as some of its less-healthy counterparts.

Associated Press

Chili doesn’t have to trade flavor for health. A few tricks make Game Day Turkey Chili as tasty as some of its less-healthy counterparts.

Everyone has a favorite chili recipe, and this is the time of year to break out yours, invite over some friends and yell at football players on TV. (The Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers face off Sunday in Super Bowl 50.)

Chili is classic American comfort food, so we automatically assume that it can't be healthy. But since it is so darned tasty, it's worth the price of admission to try. And while I'm not against the occasional indulgence, I also love a recipe that manages to be both comforting and healthy.

Enter my Game Day Turkey Chili. Stay with me, here. This will not be your typical turkey chili because I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Don't get me wrong, I love a good turkey chili. But they do occupy a special place in the stratified chili ecosystem. Put them in a chili competition and you'll see they land well below the fatty brisket chilis that feature tiny puddles of tasty melted fat that pleasantly coat the palate.

Turkey chili, if I'm honest, has been relegated to the "at least it's hot" status for too long.

Here are my tricks. First, make it a red chili. The red part comes from tomato, which is healthy, and just feels like comfort food. Second, skip the salt. Instead, use soy sauce directly on the meat after cooking it. This is perhaps the greatest tip I can give you regarding ground turkey. White-ish meat in a deep red chili looks a little strange. You are reminded that you are eating Healthy Turkey Chili.

But deepen that meat color just a little with the soy sauce and you are back in the land of Real Meaty Chili. The soy sauce also adds rich, savory meaty flavor, a big benefit for a meat that can taste a little flat.

Final tip: Add a bit of unsweetened cocoa powder, which deepens both the color and the flavor.

Food Network star Melissa d'Arabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the author of the cookbook "Supermarket Healthy."

GAME DAY TURKEY CHILI

2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided

1 pound lean ground turkey

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

1 red bell pepper, cored and finely chopped

1 (12-ounce) light beer

2 (15-ounce) cans low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (14-ounce) can low-sodium tomato sauce

2 (14-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

2 tablespoons chili powder

Dash of cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

Hot sauce, to taste

Plain low-fat Greek yogurt, to serve

Chopped scallions, to serve

Shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese, to serve

In a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot over medium-high, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil. Add the turkey and cook, breaking it up, until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle the turkey with the soy sauce and smoked paprika, then mix until well coated. Continue to cook until any moisture in the pot is gone, about 3 minutes. Spoon the meat out of the pan and set aside.

Return the pot to the heat and add the remaining oil. Add the onion and red pepper, then cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to high, then add the beer to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom to loosen any stuck bits. Simmer for 2 minutes. Return the meat to the pot, along with the beans, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, chili powder, cayenne and cocoa powder. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, then simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve with hot sauce, yogurt, scallions and cheese on the side.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 320 calories (90 calories from fat, 28 percent of total calories), 10g fat (3g saturated, 0g trans fats), 50mg cholesterol, 660mg sodium, 33g carbohydrates, 11g fiber, 10g sugar, 24g protein.

Source: Associated Press

Turkey chili is the star on game day 02/04/16 [Last modified: Thursday, February 4, 2016 5:07pm]
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