Have you ever wondered why chili is called chili?
It doesn’t originate in Chile. Or even Mexico for that matter. And it’s hot. Not cold, or chilly.
In fact, it’s actually the chili peppers that were used to season this now world-famous dish that inspire it’s name. The origins of chili can be traced back to the San Antonio region of Texas in the early 19th century. With little meat to feed all the mouths on the range, people turned to using the vegetation that could be found growing in the wild to help feed their families. Onions and chili peppers become the main part of this one-pot dish and chili competitions were born.
On a basic level, this delicious and famous slow-simmered one-pot dish generally contains meat, tomatoes, and some form of heat. But from that point, chili diverges hugely as everyone has his or her own magical blend.
If you’re a chili fan, I think you’ll love this slightly sweet, slightly tangy, and mildly spicy version; it’s also super healthy, clean, and low in Weight Watchers points so you can have ALL the flavour and feel great about what you’re eating and what you’re feeding your family.
The chili I’m sharing today just might be my all time favourite chili recipe. I’ve used super lean ground turkey, black beans, yams, and lots of veggies for an all around amazingly delicious and healthy dinner experience. Top if off with a good squeeze of lime, chopped cilantro and green onions, some grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream… and I could eat this everyday. In fact, we have eaten it nearly everyday since I first made it and I’ve repeated this recipe twice this month, doubling it on the second go-round!
It’s a great make-ahead dish and you could easily double the recipe and freeze half for later. I like to simmer my chili for a few hours so that the beans start to break down and make the tomato sauce thicker and pastier than usual. Adding the yams in this recipe ups the sweetness factor but also makes it a super hearty dish despite the fact that it’s so low in fat and packed full of healthy veggies and lean protein.
You could add more heat to this recipe by throwing in some additional chili pepper or perhaps simmering in a diced poblano pepper, but I kept it on the mild side to suit the tastes of the rest of my family and it’s been a hit with my boys!
Healthy & Delicious Turkey, Black Bean, & Yam Chili
This easy to make turkey, black bean, and yam chili is not only incredibly delicious but is very healthy. Clean Eating friendly and low points on Weight Watchers.
- 1 spray cooking spray
- 1 medium onion
- 2 medium bell peppers (yellow, red, or orange) chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes, with liquid
- 2 15 oz. cans 15 oz. each black beans rinsed and drained
- 2 small to medium yams (about 3 cups) cubed
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 tsp. coconut sugar or agave
- 2 limes
- 1 bunch cilantro chopped
- 1 bunch green onion chopped
- light sour cream optional
- shredded cheese, tex mex optional
Spray the pot with cooking spray and sauté the onion, garlic, peppers, and yams on medium heat for about 5 to 6 minutes, stirring often.
Increase the temperature to medium-high and add the turkey. Cook it thoroughly, stirring it often, and breaking the ground turkey into small pieces. Cook the turkey for about 5 minutes, until it's no longer pink.
Stir in the canned tomatoes (including juice), black beans, tomato paste, sugar, and spices and mix thoroughly.
Cover the pot and heat the chili until boiling, stirring often to prevent sticking or burning.
Reduce the heat and simmer for about an hour until all the flavours are fully blended. Cook longer if you like a thicker, pastier texture to your chili. Stir it occasionally to prevent boiling.
Before eating, squeeze 1/4 lime into each bowl. Sprinkle with light cheese, cilantro, green onions, and a dollop of light sour cream. Season with salt and pepper as desired, and enjoy!
Want to give it a try? I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!
I know I’ll be making it again and again…