Healthy & Hearty Turkey Chili

I love fall!  Here comes the warm, feel good meals along with football and family outings. I try to be the kind of mom who feeds my family as healthy and tastefully as possible! I try not to sacrifice taste for healthy.  So sometimes I have to find small ways to cut down or cut out bad stuff and increase the good stuff.

Chili is not so bad to begin with, other than the salt.  “Salt is the devil”, I was once told. Bread is his sister, lol. So I came up with this recipe for a crock pot or any pot really.

You can use all your favorite (healthier or not) brands in here which will make the meal more appealing and encourage continued healthy meals.  I would try to find products with lower salt content and higher fiber.  Jennie-O has really been stepping up their game.  They have lean ground turkey, in a variety of seasonings, that I used for this chili.

That is a really good way to start eating better.  I hope your family loves this as ours does!

Hearty Turkey Chili

Hearty Turkey Chili

 

 

Healthy & Hearty Turkey Chili
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Healthy, comfort food your family will love! Excellent for a bonfire or football game too.
Author:
Recipe type: Simple Dinner
Cuisine: Southwest
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 48 oz of white, great northern or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups of salsa (your favorite, red or green)
  • 2 cups of fat free chicken broth
  • 1 package or 1.25# lean ground turkey
  • ½ cup of Mexicorn (corn with red bell peppers and green chili, mild)
  • 1 cup of mozzarella
  • Fresh cilantro (optional)
  • Sour cream (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients, except cheese and turkey, to a crock pot. Turn on crock to low.
  2. Brown turkey in a pan and transfer turkey to a WARM crock pot.
  3. Cook on LOW 4-6 hours. Can be cooked on buffet or warm setting for 8 hours.
  4. Spoon into bowles. Add cheese to each bowl along with a small dab of sour cream and a pinch of cilantro.

I was provided #Jennie-O ground turkey for review. The opinions are my own.

Turkey Chili with Quinoa (Crock Pot)

The weather may be warming up outside, but we now have more things going on after school.  I still need to feed my family healthy meals but cannot be home to do so all the time.  I adapted this recipe from Jennie-O  with food that I had on hand.

I used organic beans, tomatoes, chicken broth, and quinoa with Jennie-O Lean Breakfast Sausage.  I cooked the sausage through and then added all the ingredients in my crock pot.  All of my ingredients were gluten free also, including Jennie-O’s sausage. Bonus!

Next time I think I will throw a half bottle of beer in also.  We completed our bowls with cheddar cheese and sour cream.

Turkey Chili with Quinoa in a Crock Pot

 

Turkey Chili with Quinoa (Crock Pot)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Yummy Chili with a little healthy spin. Great for those week night meals when there is not time to cook. Gluten Free.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Southwest
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • Jennie-O Lean Breakfast Sausage or Ground Turkey (about 1 pound)
  • ½ onion chopped
  • ½ green pepper chopped
  • 1 Tb chili powder (may need ½ Tb more to taste)
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 3 c chicken broth
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can Navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ c quinoa uncoooked
  • ½ cup of salsa
Instructions
  1. Cook turkey as specified on the package (depending on which product used)
  2. In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat adding turkey, onion, green pepper, gar lic, chili powder.
  3. Transfer to slow cooker.
  4. Add broth, tomatoes, beans, salsa and quinoa to slow cooker.
  5. Cover and cook on LOW 4 hours or until chili thickens.
  6. Place chili into bowls.
  7. Serve with desired toppings; sour cream, cilantro, cheese.

 

The kids loved this.  It was prepared in 20 minutes with the rest of the cooking time done sitting in a crock pot while we did our running around.  We got home at 5:30p and dinner was waiting. You have gotta love that!  Enjoy!

Veggie Companion Planting List

companion planting

My garden was overrun by Japenese Beetles and Potato beetles.  I had tried chemicals and traps.  Nothing really helped and my famly was consuming large quantities of pesticides.  I wanted my garden to be just as healthy as my family.  I needed to figure out how so I could stop the crazy cycle. I took a gardening class and discovered companion planting.  Now I have a beautiful garden and hundreds of little helpers to keep away all the bad stuff!

Creating a healthier garden

I wanted to create a better garden, a garden that did not require me putting out fires every season.  So, I signed up for Master Gardening at my UW extension.  During my studies, I discovered that there was an easier way to help my garden without toxic chemicals or hurting the bee population.  It was companion planting.  It has been around quite a long time.  The Native Americans called it “Three Sisters”.  They planted squash, corn and beans together.  This had to work if they were doing it, along with other countries.

Companion planting

When two plants are dating! lol.  Actually it is when certain plants are planted along side each other, which helps improve their quality of growth.  One of the helpful ways can be by repelling pests.  By repelling pests organically, your garden can skip pesticides and increase a more healthy environment for you and your family.  Also, some plants like basil, when planted with tomatoes, are thought to make them taste better.  Oh, and did I mention saving you money?

Another cool thing it that you will learn to identify which bugs are great and which ones you don’t want.  By planting borage, you can attract a cool bug like a praying mantis! My kids love these guys.  Or, planting parsely or dill can attract butterflies.  This might be an easy way to get kids in the garden with you.

companion planting

Flowering companions

Cosmos, tansy, nasturtium, queen-Anne’s-lace, petunia,  and my favorite Borage, are some of the beautiful flowers that can be added to your garden.  Not only will they attrack the right kind of bugs, they will brighten up your day whenever you go to your garden.   Here is a quick list to get you started in planting a successful companion garden.

Companion Plant List:

  • Zucchini/Summer squash with marigolds, calendula, radishes, thyme
  • Tomatoes with Basil, Clover, borage, dill, fennel
  • Winter squash with nasturtiums, sunflowers, tansy
  • Broccoli and Zinnias
  •  Cauliflower/Cabbage with Chrysanthemums
  • Swiss chard/kale/beets with chives,Tansy, fennel, daisies
  • Potatoes and Beans and Cleome and/or Dill
  • Peppers with beans, potatoes or sweet alyssum
  • Carrots with Onions
  • Pole beans with lettuce, spinach
  • Asparagus with Hollyhock or parsley

** Remember to keep mint in a container, as this one will SPREAD fast.  I am still fighting that guy.

Refreshing your garden

It is highly recommended that your garden soil be refreshed every year.  What I mean by that is, add good quality compost every year. Try the receipe below as this has worked for me the last 6 years.  I usually just throw this right onto the top of the beds.

Compost ratio:

  • 1/3 blended manure (cow, chicken, mushroom)
  • 1/3 Peat Moss
  • 1/3 Course Vermiculite

I only used cow manure but since it has now become much easier to get a variety of manure, I am going to mix it up this year.  I will be adding cow, chicken and mushroom along with the other two above.  The soil should be able to be worked with your hands pretty easily but also stick together when wet.  I just throw it on top and turn it over with a shovel or by rocking a pitch fork.  Just try to get some of it down about 8 inches, as that area needs refreshment too.  And, always throw your worms back into the soil.  You need them.

Plan your garden 

Put down on paper a diagram of your garden and fill it in with the companion plants. This should be done every year while rotating your crops.  This is done in case there are any diseases in the soil or to make sure those bugs don’t have GPS on the bed with their dinner.  I keep all my old diagrams in a garden binder to reference back every year.  I also write down or keep the plant tags of the ones I really liked.  The plant tags can be hole punched and put on a metal ring, like used in scrapbooking.  I do this for all my beds and garden, individually.

One of the books that I use for reference every year for planning out my companion garden is Great Garden Companions: A Companion-Planting System for a Beautiful, Chemical-Free Vegetable Garden

 It has lists of companions but you can also look up individual plants to see what they help.  Awesome.  I don’t have to remember that every year!  Well, I hope this gets your garden going in the right direction.  Happy gardening!