Friday, April 20, 2018
Health

Turkey chili is the star on game day

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."

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