Turkey and Vegetable Chili over Quinoa

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This simple yet hearty stew is a great way to combat the chill that has set in with the arrival of Fall.  I wanted something that was healthy yet tasty.  Hearty enough to get me through a vinyasa yoga class, yet light enough so that I don't feel lethargic.  This dish is the perfect balance, and I felt energized after having it!  It's a variation of one of my all-time favorite vegetarian recipes, vegetable chili.  I was inspired to add ground turkey after enjoying the turkey chili at my go-to lunch spot, Mulberry and Wine.  Also, the quinoa seemed to be a perfect base since it's a protein- and fiber-packed grain.

I whipped a batch up one morning before work.  The prep took about 45 minutes, but it should simmer about an hour after that, so you may want to give yourself a little longer than I did!  (I let it simmer for about 30 minutes when I made it because I wanted to bring it for my lunch that day.)

Turkey and Vegetable Chili over Quinoa
Author: Vallery
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 (~350 calories per serving)
Feel free to skip any vegetables you don't have on hand--this is chili--anything goes! Just don't skimp on the spices, and don't forget to add salt and pepper as you go!
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound 85% lean ground turkey
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 cup canned or frozen corn
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • ⅓ cup chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 28 oz can Italian-style tomatoes, diced
  • 15 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15 ounce can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 and ½ pounds plum tomatoes, chopped (optional)
  • salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
  • Cooked quinoa for serving
Instructions
  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil on medium. Saute the minced garlic for two minutes. Increase the heat to medium high and add the chopped onion. Sautee for about five minutes, or until the onion is tender and translucent.
  2. Stir in the ground turkey, cooking until no pink remains.
  3. Add the chopped vegetables, one at a time, every five minutes in the following order: carrots, celery, bell peppers and jalapeno pepper (together), zucchini and yellow squash (together), and corn. Then, add all of the spices and cook another 5-10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the beans, tomatoes, and bay leaf. Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for an hour or more--until the chili thickens.
  5. Serve warm over the cooked quinoa, and garnish with sour cream or cheese.

Of course, you can spice it up by adding cheddar, sour cream, avocado--even fritos!  I ate it as-is because I'm watching the calories these days ;)