Monday, November 23, 2009

Freeze . . . Jive-Ass Turkey!

Turkey and Butternut Squash Chili

I slept for one hour last night. I'm not kidding . . . ONE. Although I am an admitted "mutant" in need of less sleep than the average . . . a single, insignificant hour is not enough to fully rejuvenate my mind and body. Needless to say . . . today was LONG. I survived the commute, classes, meetings, and students from moment to moment with a steady stream of coffee and the promise of a cozy evening in my fuzziest of sweatshirts with a yummy fall dinner that would warm me from the inside out.

Chili is one of the fastest, easiest, and most filling meals on my dinner roster. This meal was put together with very little effort (perfect for an evening such as this when I barely had the energy to pull on my sweatpants) and very little time. It was inspired by a two classic Thanksgiving flavors and perfect to get you in the mood for that particular upcoming fall feast!


- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
- 2 lbs. peeled and cubed butternut squash pieces*
- 1 14.5 oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes with green chilies
- 2 15 oz. cans cannellini beans (white kidney beans), with their juices
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp. chipotle chili powder
- 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. cardamom
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- sour cream or grated cheddar cheese

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium. Add diced onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add turkey and cook until not longer pink (about 5 minutes), breaking up with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, beans with their juices, squash, chili powder, cumin, cardamom, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer chili for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let sit about 5 minutes before serving. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve in bowls and top with sour cream or grated cheddar cheese. Delicious dinner in no time!!!

*The sheer ease of this meal was made possible by the blessed availability of Trader Joe's pre-washed, cubed, and packaged butternut squash pieces.

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