Habanero Turkey Chili

turkey chiliIt’s getting a little chilly outside now… so what sounds better than chili??? It’s simple, quick and easy to make… and with basically one pot used, it’s an easy clean up. Don’t be afraid of the habanero. If you use one, it doesn’t actually make the chili that hot, but it adds a lot of great flavor.

Admittedly, for a long time making chili to me was using one of those McCormick packets you can buy at the grocery store. But really it’s just as easy to make on your own… and adapt adding any flavors you like!

1 lb lean ground turkey
1 can black beans
1 16 oz can tomato sauce
2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons chili powder
1-2 habanero peppers
1/4 yellow onion (chopped)
salt
pepper
garlic powder
1 cup beef stock

Take a large pot, add a little olive oil and heat. Add the onions and cook until they begin to caramelize. Add the ground turkey. Season with salt & pepper. Cook until browned. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Pour out 1/3 of the liquid in the black beans and add them to the pot. Add the chili powder & habanero (add 1 if you like your chili a little more mild, 2 if you want a little more heat). (add some chipotle powder if you want a smokey taste). Add salt, pepper and garlic to taste. Simmer for at least an hour.

The biggest thing I learned is to continue to taste and adjust. A lot of the measurements are approximations, so just keep tasting.

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Slow Cooker Mushroom Barley Risotto

mushroom barley risottoI can’t take a lot of credit for this one. I found the recipe on foodnetwork.com and adapted it a little (although i guess most ideas are repurposed anyway) I love slow cooker recipes.. you could definitely make it on the stove… but why gradually stir in liquid for an hour when you can stick it in a crock pot and forget about it.

The best part is that this ENTIRE recipe is 550 calories. Yes, the entire slow cooker. It’s vegetarian…remove the cheese and it’s vegan AND only 375 calories. (Honestly the cheese adds some richness… but it still tastes AMAZING without it). It makes about 4-6 servings… depending on how much you eat… and it’s EXTREMELY filling.

Calories: 550 for the entire recipe. (375 for the vegan version) Makes 4-6 servings. ( I did NOT account for oil used in this recipe. Add another 120 for a tablespoon of olive oil)

What you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups pearl barley
  • 1-1 1/2 cup maitake mushrooms (chopped)
  • 2 carrots (chopped)
  • 1/2 yellow onion (chopped)
  • ~ 2 tsp (or to taste) Thyme (you can use fresh.. it’s better… but i used dried)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • Garlic to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Green peas (optional)
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (leave out if making vegan version)
  • tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Heat a pan with olive oil. Add the onion, and cook until they begin to caramelize. Then Add in the mushrooms and cook until soft (this happens very quickly). Add in the barley, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper, until the barley is golden brown. (about 5 minutes)

Add the barley mixture to the crockpot along with the carrots, water and broth. Let cook on high for about 3 hours. (keep checking… my slow cooker took a little less time) (if you add in peas.. throw them in with about an hour left to go… they don’t take as long to cook) When the barley is soft, and all the liquid is absorbed turn the slow cooker off. (If you’re making the vegan version.. stop here and serve!) Add in the cheese and vinegar, add any more salt and pepper you might want. ( i found it did NOT need any more salt)

Hope you enjoy! Let me know if you tried it!!