Late fall rains can be so depressing. I hoping for the rain to turn into snow but sometimes that’s not in the cards. While some vibrant yellow and red leaves are still on the trees, more of them lay on the ground waiting for the next round of leave pickup. Leaf piles were such a thrill as a kid. Running and jumping in them, the smell of the dirt, and the sound of a rake scraping through the lawn. Just thinking about that makes me remember the excitement of fall.
Chili is perfect late fall meal. After being outside in the rain or snow it’s scent carries through the house. The smell of it can warm you instantly. It’s exciting to know there’s a warm bowl ready to fill you up after getting to bone chillingly tired outside. I love how infinite chili is. You can make so many variations. For instance Texas brisket, Cincinnati style, white chicken, or what I’d call your run of the mill ground beef chili, the possibilities go on and on. This chili is a no bean chili. We’ve been focusing on paleo eating as I’ve mentioned before. In conjunction with this we’ve both found that beans don’t always agree with us. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy a bowl of chili. My father did scoff at the idea of chili with out beans but since he ate three bowls of this recipe I know his apprehension didn’t last long.
I bumped up the vegetables in the chili to makeup for not adding beans. Zucchini is a great addition to any chili recipe I think. I chose lean white meat ground turkey for the chili. I’ll use a mix of white and dark meat when I’m making meatballs but for this chili the tomato based sauce makes up for the lean meat.
For this recipe I used my slow cooker. You can easily make chili on the stove or in a slow cooker. It really just depends on what kind of time you have to spend in the kitchen. Using a slow cooker, it’s about 20 minutes of work and then 6 hours of cooking on low. Cooking chili on the stove it’s around 30 minutes of active time and then keeping a watchful eye on the pot and stirring occasionally for about an hour. To get a thicker chili when using the cook the slow cooker, put chili on a medium heat on the stove for about a half an hour while finishing cooking the rest of your meal. I like to make a big side of sautéed greens and a salad. That way the chili liquid reduces down a bit while you are prepping the rest of dinner. There’s nothing wrong with serving this chili straight out of the slow cooker it just might be a little soupy!
- 1.5 lbs ground white meat turkey
- 1 tbsp oil (olive, coconut or other)
- 28 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 medium sized zucchini
- 1 bell pepper (any color)
- 2 large white onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp Chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp of salt and then salt and pepper to taste
- Using a 4 quart slow cooker. We use one with a removable liner that can be used on the stovetop.
- Dice zucchini, onion and bell pepper.
- Finely mince garlic.
- Sauté vegetables and garlic in the slow cooker liner over medium heat in oil until the onions have turned translucent. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of salt to help soften the vegetables.
- Add in the tomato paste and coat the vegetables. Allow some of the tomato paste to brown to develop flavor.
- Add the ground turkey. Break up the meat into small chunks. You don't need to fully cook the turkey as that will happen in the slow cooker- stir it through to break it up.
- Add fire roasted tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Stir to combine.
- Move liner into slow cooker and turn on low for approximately 6 hours.
- Put liner back on stove for approximately a 1/2 hour on medium low heat to reduce the liquid.
- Serve with hot sauce for an extra kick of spice.
I use a slow cooker than has a liner you can use on the stove. If not using such a slow cooker use a heavy bottomed pan to sauté the vegetables before adding to the slow cooker.