Recipe: Chilling with Chili

by | Dec 21, 2012

Ah, the one-pot meal.  What could be easier?  Chop up a bunch of stuff, chuck it in a pot, cook it, and chow down.  If you have a big freezer, you can pack up half of what you make and freeze it for another time; you can pick at the other half in your fridge every other day or so for about a week.

My one-pot meal last night was homemade chili (I make mine vegetarian, which is quite hearty, but you can add ground turkey to yours if you want).

Depending on your dietary restrictions, some great sides to go with this or any kind of chili are:

  • blue corn tortilla chips
  • multi-grain pita chips
  • corn bread (beware the butter content on this one or consider a vegan version)
  • sour cream (low-fat or vegan would be my choice)
  • cheddar cheese (ditto above)

I don’t drink alcohol, but the bf prefers a solid red wine with this (or beer).

Here’s my recipe, but feel free to mix it up, substitute/add/subtract as needed, and make it your own.  I like my version (minus the ground turkey) because it’s chock full of protein and veggies.

Part 1

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, peeled & chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
1 med carrot and/or 1 sm sweet potato, peeled & chopped
1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded & diced*
4 kale leaves, de-stemmed & finely chopped/shredded (chiffonade)
1/2 c water
2-4 cans beans** (2 if you’re also using ground turkey), drained
1 12- or 15-oz can tomato sauce (plain)
1 lb ground turkey, if using 

Part 2 

1 Tbsp low-sodium soy or tamari sauce
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp Tabasco or other hot sauce 

Part 3 

1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

*if you don’t have a raw pepper, you can use 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper (even if you do have a raw pepper, toss in these other peppers, too, for extra spice)
**best beans for this: kidney, black, pinto
From “Part 1,” in a large pot over very low heat, add olive oil, onion & garlic. Cook 7 minutes or until soft & translucent, stirring often. Then add carrot/potato, pepper & kale. Cook 7 minutes, then add water & cover pot; cook another 5 minutes to soften veggies.
Uncover pot, stir up ingredients and then add beans, sauce & turkey, if using. Cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
Whisk all ingredients from “Part 2” in a small bowl; stir into pot of chili. Cook another few minutes. 
To pot, add all ingredients from “Part 3” and stir/mix well. Cook another 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
(If chili starts to dry out, add another 1/4 c water. If too watery, raise the heat and bring to boil for a few minutes to evaporate.)
Taste chili and season more with “Part 3” ingredients, if needed; otherwise, turn off flame and you’re ready to serve it up!


I’m Dina R. D’Alessandro, MS, RDN, CDN. I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based in New York City, and I provide nutrition counseling to women.

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