I was invited to a relatively impromptu party at a friend's house, and the plan was for each guest to bring a covered dish.
With about a day's notice, I began digging in my freezer hoping to find something I could concoct that did not require a trip to the grocery store.
Ah ha! Buried in the back, I found some frozen ground turkey I had bought on a whim, hoping summer had arrived and I could plop some turkey burgers on the grill for my family. The whim hadn't yet panned out, especially since we still hadn't pulled out the grill since winter. This pound of ground turkey certainly could be better used in a different meal - a pot of party chili could just be the answer!
Turkey chili is a quick and easy one-pot crowdpleaser ... and with the addition of some veggies, a low-fat and healthy one, too.
So I thawed the ground turkey and began planning the meal that I would cook on the stovetop in advance of the party and then transfer to my slow cooker using the "keep warm" setting for guests to dig in.
Now, when my mom makes chili, she simmers it for hours. Unfortunately, I never seem to have that much time to toil over a meal. If I spend an hour stirring my chili, I'm usually doing well.
While I was tossing in pretty much anything I could find in the fridge and pantry, it occurred to me that the lowfat meat and grated veggies were probably making the meal much more healthy than most party fare. That's OK. I wouldn't tell a soul, not even my husband - until now.
1 tsp canola oil
1 lb lowfat ground turkey
1 chopped onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
large can crushed tomatoes
medium can diced tomatoes
1 cup water
2 medium carrots, grated
1/2 cup shredded zucchini
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup ketchup
1 can chili beans
fat free sour cream
fat free shredded cheddar cheese
Brown lowfat ground turkey in canola oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion and garlic. Stir frequently to avoid sticking. Stir in crushed and diced tomatoes, water, grated carrots and zucchini, paprika, red pepper flakes, cumin, chili powder, black pepper, ketchup and chili beans.
Cover and reduce heat to low or medium-low. Simmer until meat and vegetables are tender, about 30-45 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper. Top servings with sour cream, shredded cheese and scallions.
The good news was, I found a way to eat and enjoy the party without too much guilt.
As it turned out, the chili was a hit. It was quick and easy, taking really only one pot to prepare.
And it was low-fat and delicious.