Chili

I know a lot of people who plan all of their meals for the week out in advance and then grocery shop according to that plan.  Some folks even prep some of the meals over the weekend so there’s less to do after work during the week.  I’m definitely not one of those people :)  I did it a few times many months ago, but it took me so long to choose the recipes I wanted to make that it just didn’t seem like it was saving me a whole lot of time or stress.  Plus, I struggled to figure out what we’d be in the mood for on any given night so far in advance.  Sometimes I do wish I’d stuck with it, though, especially on the days where I look at the clock, discover it’s 5 pm and realize I don’t have any idea what we’re having for dinner that night. 

Chili

Earlier this week, it was precisely one of those nights.  I headed into the kitchen, reached into the depths of our freezer for a pound of ground turkey, began defrosting it (we buy most of our meat in bulk so if I don’t plan dinner in advance, I have to defrost the meat in the microwave at the last minute) and got to work looking for something I could make.  I remembered a chili recipe I’d starred in my Google Reader and when I dug through the posts and found the recipe, it was an easy decision to make it that night.  I don’t have a go-to chili – in fact, I rarely make it – but this one appealed to me because it was thick and hearty, with lots of ground turkey and, most importantly, no beans!  Plus, it couldn’t be easier to make – you brown the turkey with some onions and garlic, then season the mixture and add tomatoes and vinegar and let it all simmer – probably not more than 15 minutes of hands-on time in all. 

Chili

Shane looked a bit skeptical when he walked in the door and saw what we were having for dinner but this chili won him over easily.  We both really enjoyed it and I know it’ll be a repeat around here frequently, especially when winter rolls around again!  If you like your chili very spicy, you’ll definitely want to up the quantities of chili powder, cumin and/or hot sauce (you can check out Shawnda’s site to see how she likes to increase the heat in this dish), but for me (a big wimp when it comes to spicy food), this dish was perfect!

Oh, and if anyone has tips for meal planning, I’m all ears and would love to hear what works for you! 

Turkey Chili
adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

1lb ground turkey
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Add the ground turkey to a large Dutch oven or 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat.  Toss the onion and garlic in to the pan as well, and cook stirring frequently until the turkey is evenly browned.  Drain off the excess grease, if desired.

Season the turkey mixture with the chili powder, oregano, cumin and hot sauce.  Stir in the tomatoes and vinegar.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 1 hour – or longer if you have time – stirring occasionally to prevent burning on the bottom.

After simmering, try the chili and add additional chili powder, cumin and/or hot sauce to taste, if necessary.  Garnish with sour cream, cheese, jalapenos, red onions or any other toppings you’d like before serving!