Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mexican and Thai Fusion Chili

Yummy... fusion... What can I say.. don't we live in a big 'ol melting pot or maybe a delicious bubbling crock pot...?


I'll give you a few minutes to think that one through.

Okay, now that you've had a moment with that profound little ditty, let's get on with the recipe. This recipe idea started with a magazine article about mexican chili, then in typical "Hot Mess" style I tinkered with the recipe until my mom said, "Abby, you're making something completely different? Why are you even looking at the recipe?"

And that was the birth of this beautiful Mexican-Thai Chili. I wanted to have some of the sweet flavor from the cocoa and cinnamon along with the smokey goodness from the cumin and garlic, so I added them both. Then added a little corn and roasted tomatoes for brightness on top and that delicious coconut milk to make it all swim in a delightfully sweet creamy goodness and voila! Magic fusion chili in a bowl!
And if you want to get into the nutrition of it (like I always do) this is packed with lean protein from the turkey, tons of fiber from the black beans and loaded with vitamins packed in the carrots, celery, and corn! It is a nutritious medley of flavors that you can teach your loved ones and children. I like to think we are celebrating our diversity while eating this delicious chili!

**Note: If you don't have green tomatoes or tomatillos, you can also use regular tomatoes, or a can of green chillies instead if you want!

Mexican and Thai Fusion Chili
2 cups green tomatoes; roasted
5 cloves garlic; roasted  
1/2 cup celery; diced
1/2 cup carrots; diced
1 white onion; diced
1 pound ground turkey meat
1 tbsp. lemon grass
2 tsp. salt 
2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. roasted cumin
1 tsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 tsp. chili powder
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce; diced 
1 (12.5 ounce) can of light coconut milk
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 (15 ounce) can fresh sweet corn

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Place your tomatoes and garlic cloves on a cookie sheet (please do me a favor and line it with foil so you don't ruin yours like I ruined ours). Roast in the oven for 15 minutes. The tomatoes will brown and burst and the garlic will be fragrant and delicious! Once the garlic has cooled mince it finely. Set aside.

3. In a large skillet, we used our favorite two in one crock pot by Technique) add a dash of olive oil and when hot and glisten-y add the celery, carrots, and onion. Saute until the onions blonde and then add the ground turkey meat.  Brown until the meat is cooked and turns golden.
4. Once the turkey is browned, through the contents of your saute pan into a slow cooker (that is if you don't have my cool two in one crock pot--if you do just switch the dial to slow cook and we are off to the races). Add the lemongrass, salt, pepper, cumin, cocoa powder, cinnamon, chili powder, and the big daddy.. the chipotle! Let's spice things up shall we? 

5. Toss in the roasted tomatoes and onions once they are done roasting and add the coconut milk, black beans, and corn. Stir to combine and turn the slow cooker to low. Allow to cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
6. Serve in a deep bowl with some shredded cheddar cheese and sliced avocado on top! I do love me some garnishes and who said there was anything wrong with cheese? You will never hear those words out of my mouth! 

Servings: 8 (about a cup size portion)

Nutritional Skinny:

220 calories / 7.9 g fat / 18 g carbohydrates / 4.8 g fiber / 18 g protein

Go get yourself a bowl of this chili! Like I said earlier... baby it's cold outside, but it doesn't have to be cold in here!
Mental Health Benefit: The beauty of a crock pot is that you can set it and then forget it. Move on with whatever else you have on your ever growing to do list and dinner will be ready when you are. Especially during the busy holiday season, crock pots can save the day. They also promote tender meat and it is easy to add healthy ingredients and know that they are going to be delicious when you are ready! I encourage you to make dinner easy this season. Just pour the ingredients into a crock pot and move on to the next task. I promise dinner will be delicious and healthy!

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