Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gringo Food

Last night Barry asked me to make chili for supper.  In keeping with our resolve to eat healthier food, I revised my chili recipe last year to include more vegetables and ground turkey instead of ground beef.  The result is higher in fiber and lower in fat, salt, and (surprisingly) sugar than what we were eating before.

Southwestern Gringo Chili

Canola oil spray
1 chopped onion
1 chopped green bell pepper
1 hot or 4 mild roasted green chile peppers, chopped
2 minced cloves garlic
1 pound ground turkey (Italian flavored is best, but plain is fine)
1 tsp dried or 1 Tbsp fresh oregano
1 Tbsp chili powder (adjust to taste)
1 cup beef broth or bouillon, low-sodium if possible
1 cup tomato or V-8 juice (I usually use the low-sodium versions)
¼ cup red wine (optional)
1 can fire-roasted tomatoes (I like Muir Glen No Salt Added)
1 can kidney beans (without added sugar)
1 can black beans
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
Black pepper and (if necessary) salt to taste

Spray the bottom of a large Dutch oven or heavy saucepan with oil.  Cook onion and bell peppers over medium-low heat until softened.  If possible without crowding the pan, add the chiles, garlic, turkey, oregano and chili powder; otherwise, remove the onions and peppers first.  Brown the turkey.  If you removed the onions and peppers, add them back into the pan.  Add the broth, juice, wine, tomatoes, and beans.  Simmer for about half an hour, until flavors are blended.  If the chili is too thick, add more broth or juice.  Add the corn and cook for another five minutes or so.  Taste; adjust the seasonings if necessary.  Makes about six servings. 

Variations: Top with chopped raw onion and a small amount of grated cheese before serving.  Make leftovers into taco salad for lunch by serving slightly warmed chili on a bed of lettuce; garnish with salsa, a little grated cheese, and chopped black olives.  This chili also freezes well for future use.

"If there is any doubt about what the Mexicans think about chili, the Diccionario de Mejicanismos, published in 1959, defines chili con carne as (roughly translated): 'detestable food passing itself off as Mexican, sold in the U.S. from Texas to New York.'” ~Linda Stradley

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