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Winter Hearty Healthy Chili
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Winter Hearty Healthy Chili

By Margaret Furtado, MS RD LDN CYT and Joseph Ewing, RD LDN


Here’s a heart-warming recipe for those cold winter days

 that Joe Ewing, chef and coauthor of my our book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery, just cooked up. The winter is a perfect time to set new goals for yourself. Try thinking of new ways that you can fit in protein, workouts and healthy food into your daily routine, like adding more fiber to your diet.  This recipe will get you off to a great start! Bon Appetit!  

Hearty Turkey Chili
Servings:      8
Serving Size: 1 Cup
Prep Time:  10 Minutes
Cook Time:   2 hours (regular instructions) 5-7 hours (slow cooker)

2 medium Spanish onions
4 bell peppers
1 (15.5 oz) can kidney beans
1 (15.5 oz) can cannellini beans
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 (16 oz) pkg. 93% fat free ground turkey
1 (26 oz) can peeled ground tomatoes, canned, low-sodium
1 packet of chili seasoning mix hot
1 packet of chili seasoning mix 30% less sodium
2 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon sugar substitute of your choice
2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper

1. Dice Spanish onions and bell peppers to medium-small size, about the size of the tip of your pinkie finger, and place in bowl; set aside.
2. Rinse canned beans under cold water and set aside in a separate bowl.
3. Heat a heavy bottomed medium-large pot, on medium-high heat, heat extra-virgin olive oil.
4. Add ground turkey and cook until browned.
5. Add onions and peppers and reduce heat to medium-low and cook until onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
6. Add beans, tomato sauce, spice packets, dried parsley, garlic powder, red chili flakes, sugar substitute and black pepper.
7. Stir all ingredients and cover with a lid.
8. Cook on low heat for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Nutritional Information: 290 calories, 23 grams protein, 6 grams fat, 38 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams fiber


Slow Cooker Version:

1. Turn slow cooker on low.

2. Dice Spanish onions and bell peppers to medium-small size, about the size of the tip of your pinkie finger, and place in slow cooker.

3. Rinse canned beans under cold water and pour in slow cooker with onions and peppers.

4. Heat exrta-virgin olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.

5. Brown ground turkey and pour contents of pan into slow cooker.

6. Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker and cover.

7. Allow to cook for approximately 6-8 hours.


Slow cooker recipes are great for this time of year because you can just throw all your ingredients in the crock pot, and let it go. It’s just one less thing you have to worry about. Chef Jimmy Gallagher of the Post Office Cafe in East Greenwich, Rhode Island says he uses his slow cooker at least once a week. It’s a quick and easy way for him to cook for his family, especially since he works long hours in the kitchen and can’t always be there to whip something up. Another great thing about using a slow cooker is that you don’t have to use as much fat to cook your food. Slow cookers keep food moist and help retain many of the nutrients from vegetables and meats that would otherwise be lost using other methods of cooking.