Happy BRIGHT Friday friends! This is the Vera Bradley way of addressing the day and I like it very much. I was scrolling through their website this morning looking to see if perhaps, the purse I wouldn’t mind having was affected by any online black Friday sales. The 19 year old college girl in me is still drawn to Vera and but the current 27 year old graduated to their newer, more expensive patterns that of course were not affected by black Friday. Anyway, I like this way of naming this silly shopping day. Maybe when I have kids I’ll feel the need to scour the deals? Probably not. This day for me has lately been a fester and decorating day.
I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving! Matt and I played my favorite game: one holiday, two families. I does work out well, but it makes for a long day for us, and I feel like we only put in the minimum with both families.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving leftovers, I have a recipe for you! I actually made this chili about two weeks ago with ground turkey from the store, but real life and school got in the way of me posting it in real time! Making it with leftovers or not, this chili is fresh, lean, and (added) sodium free!
When not included in Thanksgiving dinner, turkey is a very heart healthy meat. It’s high in protein, low in fat, and rich in zinc, selenium, and vitamins B-6, and B12. Health was my whole reason for making a chili with turkey, not the holiday! Turkey is an excellent meat choice or substitute any time of the year.
Keep in mind, this is not a super fast, dump everything in and turn on the crockpot chili. You will need time to brown the turkey, cook the rice, and cook the beans. Part of the reason it’s lighter on the sodium is that I recommend using dried beans that you will need to soak overnight and cook. Canned beans and veggies rack up the sodium quickly in your daily intake. I am on the crusade for spreading information on the simple substitutes that make a TON of difference in the final product. Let’s start with the beans!
It’s a little hard to see but my picture is the label of the black beans that I used, and the nutrition label is for Great Value canned black beans. That whole can added to the chili would add 1,295mg of sodium compared to the dry beans that add nothing! Something to remember, your recommended daily intake for sodium is 2,300mg. Also the cost of both the can of beans and the bag are pretty comparable, but the bag will last you so much longer! This can will give you 3.5 servings or most of us use the whole can for whatever it is we are making. The bag of dried beans provides nine servings or 1/3 cup dried will yield 1 cup cooked.
This is a great resource for figuring out your bean needs! If you have to get canned beans, rinsing them with water in a strainer will rinse away some of that added salt.
I have a few more things to say on how delightful beans are! They’re a great source of protein! As a plant protein, they are not complete proteins, meaning they need to be paired with another appropriate plant protein to make them complete, but doubling up is only giving you more protein! Also, because they’re a plant, they come without the price of cholesterol, which we do consume when we eat meat. Beans can help us reduce our cholesterol because of their high amount of fiber. Fiber is actually working for of us in dozens of ways but two ways that I want to mention are how they aide in the reduction of cholesterol and slowing of digestion, which means are our blood sugar is less likely to spike! The Reader’s Digest version of all this is that fiber makes our body use our cholesterol to make more bile, leaving less to be build up in the body and fiber also binds with water in the GI tract making the contents thicker and slower moving.
Besides the frozen corn, which I used because I didn’t have fresh corn and the same rule for sodium in canned beans goes for corn and all veggies, all the other vegetables are FRESH! And by fresh, I mean from the produce section in the grocery store, not yet my garden, but one day! This goes back to what I said about not being a dump recipe. It will take time to chop all of those peppers, tomatoes, and onion, so plan accordingly!
Mexican Turkey Chili
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 cup black beans, soaked and cooked OR if you forget, a can of black beans rinsed with do!
- 1 cup of brown rice, uncooked
- 1 green pepper
- 1 red pepper
- 3 jalapeno peppers
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 onion
- 1 cup of frozen corn
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 3 cups of chicken broth, reduced sodium
- 1 cup of water
- Optional-Mexican cheese for topping
- Brown turkey over medium heat. Drain grease and add to crockpot.
- Cook rice according to box or package. Set aside for later!
- Dice all peppers, tomatoes, and onion and add to crockpot.
- Add minced garlic, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, frozen corn, and cooked black beans to crockpot.
- Add chicken broth and water and give it a good stir to mix all layers together.
- Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
- Add rice and cheese before serving. If serving the all or the majority of the chili, add all the rice to the crockpot or if you’re eating it over the course of a couple days, add the rice when reheating. If very thick chili is your thing, leave the rice to sit in the chili and it will swell and congeal.