Saturday, May 4, 2013

Thick & Spicy Sausage Chili

The other day I was at a popular grocery store in town that sells a lot of natural and specialty food items. Think of Whole Foods, but a whole lot cheaper! Since I have an obsession with baking I took a stroll down the flour aisle to check out what was new. I saw some really interesting flours that I never knew existed. To make a long story short, I came upon something called TVP (textured vegetable protein). It caught my attention because the label stated that it was high in protein, fat free and a highly nutritious soy product that is an excellent alternative to meat. I was thinking about all the ways in which I could experiment with it. My first plan was to make a thick and tasty chili.

Have you ever heard of the saying... curiosity killed the cat? Well, I was curious and I broke down and bought a package. After all, it was made by Bob's Red Mill and was under $3. Sounds good so far, right? Wrong! I took my new purchase home and started looking up recipes for this "so called" perfect meat substitute. 

After reading information from several sights, I learned the truth about TVP. A dried and overly processed form of soy that requires some serious chemical processes to “de-fat” soy flour (www.evolvingwellness.com). It was a little frightening. As a result, I decided to pass on making anything with TVP and go for a recipe with less processed ingredients. I figured that I would use just 1/3 pound of spicy ground turkey sausage to boost the flavor and at the same time cut down on the fat and calories. Just enough to give the chili a rich meat flavor without all the grease and fat of ground beef. Once you try this recipe, I know you will love it! This chili has so much flavor packed into it that you will never miss all the fat and calories from the meat that a traditional recipe chili calls for.

Happy Cooking,
Miranda


Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 pound Italian turkey sausage
2 medium onions, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely diced
3/4 cup celery, finely diced
3/4 cup carrots, finely diced
6 garlic cloves, minced 
2 tbsp serrano pepper, adjust to taste
2 tbsp poblano pepper, adjust to taste
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
2- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained

1-10 ounce can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes with habaneros
1-15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1-15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
sour cream, cheddar cheese, scallions, red onion


Directions:

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add ground turkey sausage and cook until brown a crumbly. Drain and set aside. In the same pan you cooked the meat, add 1 tbsp olive oil, the onions, bell pepper,celery, carrots, garlic, serrano, poblano and spices and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.




Add the tomatoes, beans, and salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cook, covered, at a low simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally. If the chili is too thin, cook uncovered until it’s your preferred consistency. Stir in the butter and serve with the garnishes.