Friends, I think I have literally turned into an ice cube! The past few days have been really, really cold. To be honest, once Christmas and New Years have come and gone I am officially over winter. The magic feelings that were surrounding us in anticipation of Christmas are now gone. We are left with some dirty, matted down snow and below-freezing temps.
Now you’re thinking, “Bah hum bug!”
Come on, I know I’m not the only Midwest dweller who feels this way!
To top off this entire freezing situation, my office is located in the sunroom of our 110-year-old house. There are lots of leaky windows letting all of the cold air in, which is great in the summer, but not so much in the winter. Even though the sunroom is heated, I have determined that the walls are not insulated in that part of the house. PLUS for some unknown reason I chose to place my desk on the wall that does not have the radiator on it. So, while Paul is toasty from the radiator while he is plays his occasional computer game, I am an ice cube each day while I am working. Real life problems here, people!
Now that I have vicariously made you just as freezing as I am, I think we are both ready to warm up with a large bowl of Lentil Turkey Chili, don’t you?
I know you will love Lentil Turkey Chili. It’s:
Packed with protein and fiber
The best part about Lentil Turkey Chili is that it is ready to serve in less than an hour and it yields a huge batch that is perfect for leftovers or to feed a large crowd. Leftovers for the win!
Truth time, guys.When I thought up the idea for a chili that contains lentils instead of beans I thought I would miss the meatiness of big ol’ red kidney beans. I was wrong. The lentils are satisfying enough without that bean-y texture or flavor. This one is for all you bean haters out there! Now you can enjoy chili too, because we all know consuming large amounts of hot soup is the only way to survive winter!
- 3-4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, chopped (remove seeds for less heat, if desired)
- 1 pound ground turkey (can sub ground beef or chicken)
- 3 tablespoons chili powder, divided
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 teaspoons cumin, divided
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder, divided (this is spicy/smoky; can sub red pepper flakes if can't find)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 2 cups brown lentils, rinsed (uncooked)
- 6 cups chicken broth, divided
- 2 15 ounce cans fire roasted, diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Sea salt to taste
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- TOPPINGS (OPTIONAL):
- Extra minced cilantro
- sour cream/yogurt
- tortilla chips
- avocado slices
- cheddar cheese
- hot sauce
- Heat a large stew pot or dutch oven over medium-low heat. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter.
- Add the onion and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the jalapeno and saute another 2 minutes.
- If the pan looks dry and you are using a lean meat, then add another tablespoon of butter. Add the ground turkey and use your wooden spoon or a potato masher to break it up. Add 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon cumin, and ½ teaspoon of the chipotle powder. Stir to distribute the seasonings throughout the meat. Cook the meat until it is fully cooked. Add the garlic and saute for 1 more minute. Remove the turkey and onions to a dish; set aside.
- If there is excess grease, carefully remove some of the grease, leaving 1 tablespoon behind.
- If the pan is dry add the last tablespoon butter; allow it to melt. Add the celery and green pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, just until the raw edge has cooked off (they should still be crunchy). Remove the veggies to a dish; set aside.
- To the pot add 4 cups chicken broth and the rinsed lentils. Cover the pot and turn the heat up to high. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender with a slight bite to them. NOTE: the lentils may take longer to cook depending on how old your lentils are.
- Once the lentils are mostly cooked, with just a little bite left to them, add the 2 cans tomatoes, remaining 2 cups broth, and tomato paste. Stir to combine and allow it to simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Turn the heat to low and stir in the ground turkey and veggies. Allow to warm up, about 3 minutes.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons chili powder, 2 teaspoons cumin, ½ teaspoon chipotle powder, and sea salt to taste. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the minced cilantro.
- Serve immediately as is or top with desired toppings (refer to list of ingredients for ideas)
- Leftovers will keep for up to 5 to 7 days in the fridge.
Nutrition info is an estimate of 8 servings of the chili, without any toppings.