Thursday, July 12, 2012

2 bean turkey chili

 For the past two weeks, I have been on a service trip in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  It was a great, once-in-a-lifetime experience. I got to work in the public gardens, help clear trails at the National Parks, package food and hand out groceries at the food bank, and (my personal favorite) help at the Children's Museum. I also got to experience some amazing hikes, such as Bandolier National Park, and some local flavor, such as Pancakes on the Plaza for the 4th of July. 
Food for Santa Fe  is an entirely volunteer organization whose mission is to put meals on the table on a regular basis for families in need in the Santa Fe area.  Every Thursday, complete grocery bags of food are distributed free of charge to anyone who pulls up to the depot -- no questions asked. It was such an amazing experience to actually meet and interact with the people I was distributing groceries to. My favorite part of the service was that when there was a child in the car, I got to give them an extra 3 mini cartons of milk, string cheese, and a pudding cup. A little extra something like that can really make a difference in a hungry child's day. 
tent rocks
While I was in Santa Fe, I picked up a bunch of local ingredients to use at home, such as blue cornmeal and blue-ribbon winning chili powder. This meal is inspired by all of the unique flavors of the Santa Fe Area. 
This 2 Bean Turkey Chili captures the warm essence of the Southwest that has captivated so many artists, including Georgia O'Keefe.  Nothing embodies warmth and comfort and the feeling of home like a warm kitchen with the fabulous aromas of a big pot of chili. This chili, in addition to warming the heart like comfort food, is quite healthy as well. It has all natural, clean ingredients, and is full of healthy and filling ingredients such as beans and tomatoes. Healthy, hearty and delicious. This always keeps my family going for at least a few meals. Oh, and it goes great with my blue cornbread.
What's your favorite leftover recipe?
With love,
Erica

2 Bean Turkey Chili
Ingredients
1 1/2 lb. lean, ground turkey
5 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes (not drained)
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, no sugar added, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz.) can kidney or cannellini beans, no sugar added, drained and rinsed
1 lb. frozen corn (optional)
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 (12 oz) jar of your favorite salsa


Saute the onions and garlic in a large pot with the olive oil. Stir in the meat and brown, breaking it up as you stir. Stir in everything else and cook over medium-high heat until the meat is cooked through. Stir frequently to avoid any burning on the bottom of your pot. If you need extra liquid, you can always stir in a little chicken broth to get the consistency you like. Allow to cool and serve.

* This recipe gets even better with age. If you can, save some overnight in the fridge and enjoy an even richer flavor the next day for lunch!

Adapted from The Gracious Pantry


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