Tuesday, July 5, 2011

So Sweet Summer Chili

Ok, I get it...It's June...meaning hot summer days and warm relaxing nights. Chili isn't something that is normally thought of during the dog days of summer. Yet, this is one tasty chili that just goes so well with this sunshine filled season. Packed with seasonal vegetable goodness, it's a great way to use up those garden grown goodies. Got extra zuchinni? Toss it in! Got extra butternut squash? Throw it in :) With light and fresh seasonings such as corriander, cinnamon, and oregano it's a hearty and fresh dinner to whip up for your family.

Just like most chili, it's so easy and can be put together in a jiffy. It is also even better the next day when all those tasty ingredients do some midnight mingling overnight.

So to start out, pour 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot. Heat oil on medium high heat then throw in 1/2 cup diced onion, 1/2 cup butternut squash, banana squash, acorn squash (getting the picture here?) or sweet potato. This go round, I had butternut squash, so, that's what I threw in. Cook on medium stirring every so often. After the squash and onions begin to become tender, add 1 pound ground turkey burger. Increase burner temperature to a moderate high and sprinkle meat with salt, 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2 teaspoons coriander, 1 teaspoon oregano, and generous dashes of cinnamon (roughly 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon). Stir frequently and continue cooking until burger is almost completely cooked...at that time add 1 diced red bell pepper and 2 4oz cans green chilies then continue cooking until turkey is fully cooked. Lower heat to medium then throw in 1 small zucchini squash diced and 1 can diced tomatoes or about 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes or until zucchini starts to become tender. Stir in 1 can drained and rinsed kidney beans, 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar, and the juice of 1 lime. Bring to a simmer and cook for another 5-7 minutes.

*note* you don't want to overcook your vegetables. There is a method to my madness of adding them in steps. What makes this chili so sweet and fresh is the slight crunch the veggies lend. Mushy vegetables in da chili....no bueno.

You can top this with sour cream and serve with GF tortilla chips. It's quite yumtastic and a healthy hearty sweet and fresh twist on the classic chili.

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