Black Bean Turkey Chili

Black Bean Turkey Chili {Breaking Bland Eats}

 

I’m dreaming of warm California weather today.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re on day number ‘I’ve lost count’ of clouds & rain while my friends to the East are getting the snow storm of a lifetime. Back in November, my husband and I spent an amazing week touring around southern California, which of course included a day at Disneyland. Walking around the park there were a lot of great food choices but I took note of all the people eating hot chili in what we would consider summer weather. Everyone else was bundled in warm jackets and pants while we were sweating in t-shirts and shorts! We may also have been sweating from the 30,000 steps we took while running around the park trying to avoid the line-ups, but either way our definition of cold is clearly very different.

For me, chili is the ultimate winter food and is perfect for feeding a large group of people – say for an upcoming Super Bowl party? (or my bottomless-stomached husband). I like to make a big batch of chili when having friends over – once the chopping is done it becomes pretty hands-off as it cooks, allowing you to be with your guests rather than in the kitchen.  Then your guests or family members can create their own chili bowls by customizing the toppings.  You can also make chili a day or so in advance which is why this recipe has a permanent spot on my make-ahead dinner list.

I’ve been playing around with this recipe for some years now, mixing different types of beans and vegetables and have finally found the perfect combination.  Kale is the surprising ingredient in this chili, but I love how it stands up well to the long cooking time and also I’m happy whenever I can get something green into a meal.  If you want to make this chili vegetarian, which I often do, simply omit the ground turkey and add a second can of beans.

Hope you all are managing to stay warm.  Me, I’ve got a belly full of this chili!

Black Bean Turkey Chili {Breaking Bland Eats}

 

Black Bean Turkey Chili

Serves 6-8 people

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeños, seeds removed and finely diced
  • 10-12 button mushrooms, sliced (4 cups or ~8 oz)
  • 1 796ml can diced tomatoes, including the liquid
  • 1 796ml can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced (2 cups)
  • 2 cups of frozen corn kernels
  • 1 540ml can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 bunch of kale, middle stem removed and leaves chopped.

Spices:

  • 2 tablespoons Mexican chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Toppings:  green onions, cilantro, grated cheese, avocado/guacamole, sour cream, diced fresh tomatoes, sliced jalapeños, hot sauce, tortilla chips, cornbread….let your imagination run wild!

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a 5-quart dutch oven or soup pot over medium high heat. Add turkey and cook until no longer pink, ~5-7 minutes.
  2. To the turkey add diced onions, garlic, and jalapeños. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until onions begin to soften.
  3. Turn down the heat to medium and add the spices. Stir and cook for 2 minutes, cooking the spices in the oil will develop a deeper flavour and take away the raw spice taste.
  4. Next add the mushrooms, diced and crushed tomatoes. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
  5. Add zucchini, black beans, corn, and kale. Cook for 15 minutes.
  6. Adjust seasoning to taste and continue to cook until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.  At this point you can cover the chili and turn heat to low and keep cooking for up to a few hours – the longer it cooks the more flavour you will develop.

 

Whole Grain Zucchini Bread Pancakes with Blueberries

Whole Grain Zucchini Bread Pancakes with Blueberries | Breaking Bland Eats

Breaking Bland Eats turns 2 years old today! I’m so thankful to everyone who reads these posts and for all the positive feedback I have received.  This blog was a way for me to keep and share my favourite recipes, and the fact that anyone actually reads, let alone makes, the recipes still amazes me.  So, thank you.

This past summer I’ve had to get creative with zucchini recipes since both my parents and in-laws have supplied us with an almost endless supply of zucchinis.   After making zucchini bread one day I thought the flavours would be perfect as a pancake.  So, I took my standby buttermilk pancake recipe and added grated zucchini and cinnamon. Then decided to add blueberries – because blueberries make everything better.

When making blueberry pancakes I like to add the blueberries individually to each pancake once they are on the griddle.  This way you get an even amount of blueberries in each pancake, and avoid those blue streaks that often result when you mix blueberries into a batter.  This technique also works well with bananas, chocolate chips, or any other addition you want in your pancakes.

Placing a cookie sheet in a preheated oven (~200F) will keep the cooked pancakes warm until the rest of the pancakes are ready.  This is especially helpful if you are doubling the recipe and serving a large crowd.   These pancakes retain their moisture and keep in the fridge for a few days, or you can freeze the pancakes and reheat in a toaster or toaster oven for a quick weekday breakfast option.

It can be confusing when looking at different flours or breads, what’s the difference between whole wheat, whole grain, and multigrain? First off be wary of anything that says “multigrain”.  Simply put, it means that more than one grain was used and often these grains are refined and have been stripped of their fibre and vitamins/minerals.  Make sure to look at the ingredient list, you want to see the word “whole grain”.  Whole grains are exactly as they sounds, the whole grain has been milled down to make flour, leaving all the nutrients intact.  Nutrition lesson over, time to celebrate with some pancakes!

Whole Grain Zucchini Bread Pancakes with Blueberries | Breaking Bland Eats

Don’t have zucchini on hand?  Grated apples make a great addition, simply replace the 2 cups of zucchini with 2 cups of grated apple.  Yum.

Whole Grain Zucchini Bread Pancakes with Blueberries

Makes 12 pancakes

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups of 100% whole grain flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:
2 cups of grated zucchini, ~1 large zucchini or 2 medium.
2 eggs
2 tablespoons melted butter or oil
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla

1-2 cups of blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients.
  2. In a separate medium-sized bowl beat the eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla.  Then stir in the grated zucchini.
  3. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients.  Stir until just combined, lumps are ok!
  4. Ladle ~1/3 cup of batter per pancake onto a preheated skillet or cast iron pan, sprinkle blueberries on top, and allow the pancakes to cook until small bubbles are visible all over the surface of each pancake. Flip and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the centre of the pancake springs back to a light touch.
  5. Serve with maple syrup, a dollop of greek yogurt, and fresh blueberries.

*Tip: If you don’t have buttermilk simply add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar for each cup of milk you need.

Don’t have zucchini on hand?  Grated apples make a great addition, simply replace the 2 cups of zucchini with 2 cups of grated apple.  Yum.