Turkey Chickpea Chili

As it gets colder and darker outside, I’ve been getting hungrier and hungrier.  I couldn’t figure it out at first — why am I SO hungry? Why isn’t the food I’ve been eating thus far filling me up? Why do I suddenly need SIX meals a day!

Then, in the middle of a seasonal eating workshop I was leading, it came to me.  It was the middle of fall, and I was still eating summer foods and summer quantities! It was time to switch over to hearter, heavier foods. I don’t a lot of meat in the summer (it’s hot enough outside without me eating heating foods!), but as it gets colder, I start to crave more of them.

So in my quest to find a filling meal I could take to work with  me, I decided to modify this recipe from Whole Foods. I had been craving turkey chili, but wanted to make something with more vegetables, so it was complete, one pot meal.  It turned out very well–I was suspicious about the capers, but they added a nice touch. If you don’t have any around, they’re not necessary.

Turkey Chickpea Chili

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
4 medium zucchini, chopped
1 (35-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1/2 bunch lacinto kale, chopped
3/4 lb ground turkey
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooked red or white quinoa, cous cous, or brown rice

Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Lower the heat, add garlicand cook for 3 minutes until translucent. Add peppers and cook 5 minutes more. Add zucchini and cook for 15 minutes. In another skillet, heat a bit of olive oil and sautee the turkey, breaking up into small pieces. Add tomatoes, crushing them with your hands. Add turkey. Bring to a simmer and cook for another 20 minutes, or until zucchini is soft and translucent but still holds its shape. Stir in chickpeas and capers and cook for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then serve over grain of choice.


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