Want to know one of the best feelings? Waking up at 6:30am, getting ready for work, then stepping into the kitchen to chop some veggies in preparation for that night’s dinner, and hopping in the car to head to work. Knowing that when you get home that afternoon you’ll come home and dinner will be ready. All because of a slow cooker.
That’s exactly how last Friday went for me. While I must admit I was a bit nervous leaving the slow cooker running all day unattended (it was my first time using it while I wasn’t home!), but it was well worth stressing out over all day at work when I got home and my whole apartment smelled like delicious, warm chili. Instead of a fire. And cozying up to a bowl of chili is by far one of my very favorite things to do this time of year. Oh my gosh and toss in a football game and that would just be the best day ever.
I found this recipe for Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili while Sues and I were teaching our Promoting Your Blog course last week at the Boston Center for Adult Education. I saw that one of the students in the class, Erin the blogger behind A Girl and Her Mutt, posted about the recipe, originally from Skinny Taste, and I definitely got side-tracked while teaching because the chili looked so darn good. I think I actually blurted out that I planned on making it, hehe. And that I did.
The recipe is so short it’s almost comical. Thus why there are only about 2.5 photos in this post.
I ended up following Erin’s advice and cut parts of the recipe in half. I mean, I love chili but I didn’t need two tons of it any time soon. The amount that I made was still plenty for leftovers and enough to freeze. And having enough to freeze is the best part of using the slow cooker!
• 1 lb 99% lean ground turkey
• 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 teaspoons cumin
• 1 teaspoon oregano
• 1 can white northern or navy beans, rinsed and drained
• 15 ounce can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
• 4.5 ounce can chopped green chili
• 2 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth
• sour cream or I substitute plain Greek yogurt, for topping
• chopped cilantro and chives, for topping
• salt and pepper
Start by preparing the ground turkey. Heat a large saute pan and add a bit of olive oil. Brown the turkey and break it up with the back of a wooden spoon, until white. Add to slow cooker.
Add some more oil to the same saute pan and add the onions and garlic and saute for about 3-4 minutes. Add cumin and continue to saute for another couple minutes. Add to slow cooker.
The photo above was taken early in the morning and evidently I was half asleep. It’s a little blurry. Also, please note the splatter of pumpkin puree on my sugar canister. Oye.
Next add the beans, pumpkin, green chills, broth, chili powder, oregano, and bay leaves to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
Come home from work 8 hours later and dinner is ready. I actually ended up getting home from work around 3:30 and ate two bowls for a very early dinner. Because it smelled so good and I couldn’t help myself.
The pumpkin taste was nice and subtle, not at all overpowering. And although chili is typically filling I like the substitute of ground turkey instead of beef; I think it lightened it up nicely. I think next time I’ll probably cut back on the broth as well. Maybe 1 or 1.5 cups instead of the 2 cups just to thicken it up a bit. Taste-wise it wasn’t an issue at all… nothing a little bread or rice can’t fix
Do you have a favorite slow cooker recipe to share?