Thursday, January 16, 2014

My New Favorite Comfort Food: Chili


I used to be that annoying friend who would ask for the mild version of any food/sauces/salsa being ordered and shared at the table when going out to eat.  I couldn't even handle one piece of red hot pepper spice without feeling like my mouth was on fire.  It was bad…

Maybe this was because I didn't grow up eating spicy foods?  I think the spiciest my food ever got was when my mom put onion salt in her meatloaf.  Yes, if you haven’t already guessed, I’m 100% Irish J

Through the years, my tolerance for spicy foods has gradually increased… and by “increased” I mean it’s somewhat normal now. 

I’m not quite at the level of some of my former college roommates who would put Frank’s Red Hot on EVERY thing or ask for double extra Thermonuclear sauce on their takeout buffalo wings from local favorite, Chicken Bone Saloon (I believe we had them on speed dial). But, hey, at least I graduated from mild to medium salsa.

Yes, we had them on speed dial... pretty sure they didn't hate delivering to a house where 6 college girls lived :)

Not long ago, a friend suggested that I add Frank’s Red Hot to my already delicious lentil soup… such a strange and unusual recommendation in my book… but I tried it… and liked it!  I realized that I actually like adding spice to my foods…. it really does make many things taste better J

Lentil soup with Frank's sauce... best decision I've made in a while

Weekly batch cooking has become a way of life for me and I’m always looking for new recipes to change things up… with my recent fondness for spice, I decided to add a healthy chili recipe to my rotation.  Plus, it's the perfect comfort food for the winter months.

I found a great one from Layne Norton that I adapted a little bit.  He is a bodybuilder, power lifter and coach who has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences, so I felt confident that this would be healthy recipe worth trying.

The 1st time I made it, I got a little overconfident with how much spice I could handle… it was yummy but HOT.  However, when I eased up on the spices the 2nd time I made it, I found that I missed having some extra hotness.  My poor taste buds have no idea how to react anymore haha. 

Recipe is below… definitely would recommend bringing this to an upcoming Super Bowl party!

Healthy Homemade Chili
(Adapted from the Norton Family Healthy Chili recipe)

  • 1 lb ground turkey (any lean meat works)
  • 1-3 cans dark red kidney beans, do not drain*
  • 15 oz diced tomatoes, do not drain
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 13 oz bottle of reduced sugar ketchup (I've been using Heinz)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2-4 TB chili powder**
  • 1 TB Cajun spice
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

*Original recipe calls for 3 cans but... well... just, no.  You gotta ease into these things.  I started at one can and plan to gradually add more :)
**Depending on how spicy you want it.  I ran out of chili powder halfway through adding it, so supplemented with Mexican spice… worked great.

  • Cook turkey on the stove top (the leaner it is, the lower the heat so that it doesn't dry out)
  • Add beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, ketchup, onion and spices to crockpot
  • Once turkey has cooked, add to the crockpot and stir it all up
  • Slow cook for 4-6 hours
  • Letting it sit overnight in the fridge will help to thicken it up. 

I took a few pictures of the chili I made but it really didn't look appetizing, even though it is. So, sorry, no pics. I'll work on perfecting my camera angles if you comment on what your favorite chili recipe consists of :)



  1. This looks delicious!!!
    I love chili and any recipe that I can do in the crock pot makes me happy!!!
    It is hard to get a picture of chili that looks great!

    1. haha, very true... chili is just not photogenic :)

      And I love my crockpot too!! It has made my life so much easier!

    2. Looks good! The hotter the better;)

    3. I knew you'd say that Jenn! ;)

  2. I love chili! My mom makes some great chili, I'll have to get her recipe!


    1. Elissa, I would LOVE to find out how your mom makes it! :)