I love the fall. The cooler temps mean that I can turn to my favorite comfort food - chili. My go-to recipe had been my slow cooker meatless three bean chili, with melted cheese on top and a dollop of sour cream. But sometimes you just want a nice, hearty, meaty chili.
Last year I had been perusing my local library and found the book Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach. It's a combination cookbook and memoir about life in her kitchen and dining room, spanning the years from her single life to life with two kids (and two working parents) and how they made it all work. And it's not about how easy life is and how she whips up 3 course gourmet meals every evening, it's about real life and the shortcuts she uses. The book was so interesting and the recipes looked so good that after I read it cover to cover and returned it to the library, I ended up buying it for myself. I find that it really gives a realistic view of family dinnertime with all the craziness, pickiness, etc. Plus it provides a wide range of recipes.
In the book, Jenny has a quick and easy recipe for turkey chili. We first made it last year and it's become a staple in our home during the cooler months. It's got a nice kick to it (especially because I use some hot chili powder, not just regular chili powder), and served over a bed of brown rice, it makes for a delicious, filling meal. Plus, it makes enough that my husband can have seconds and we still have enough left over for 2-3 more meals. I probably could freeze the leftovers for future meals but I usually end up eating it for lunch or dinner over the next few days.
Another thing I have been trying to incorporate into my routine is one pot meals. We end up cleaning a ton of pots, pans, and prep tools every night and don't have a lot of downtime before bed. This chili is great because it is not only a one pot meal (well, one pot plus a rice cooker if you make rice as well but that's a quick clean) but also the only other things to clean are a cutting board and knife which you can clean while the chili cooks, then it's just the skillet and spoon. Between the easy prep and quick clean up, this can be made and cleaned up in about an hour. So simple, but so delicious!!
Turkey Chili (slightly adapted from Dinner: A Love Story)
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves (or 2 large), minced
few glugs of extra virgin olive oil
1 lb ground turkey (dark meat is preferable)
salt & pepper to taste
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp chipotle or hot Mexican chili powder
28oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 bay leaf
1/3 tsp cinnamon
14oz can black beans, drained
Brown rice, plus any toppings you want: avocado, tortilla strips, etc
- In a large skillet, over medium-low heat, sauté the onion and garlic in the oil about 3 minutes.
- Turn up the heat to medium-high and brown the meat until it loses its pink color.
- Add salt, pepper, and chili powders - let it sizzle a moment, then add the tomatoes and the rest of the spices.
- Turn down the heat, simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Add the beans and cook for another 5 minutes (until the beans are heated through).
- Serve over rice with any toppings you choose.