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Holiday Comfort Food - White Bean Turkey Chili

Now that you’ve enjoyed your Thanksgiving feast and the turkey leftovers that follow, you can put a new spin on leftovers with a healthy, pot of delicious White Bean Turkey Chili. But if your leftovers are already gone, it’s a great time to buy another turkey.  The grocery stores are packed with turkeys at the lowest prices of the year. For many health-conscious people, turkey is a year-round favorite and is considered one of the world’s healthiest foods.
 
Turkey is a nutritional protein powerhouse. Skinless breast meat provides about 34 grams of high-quality protein per 4-ounce serving with just 150 calories. Turkey is a great source of complete protein, and well known for the amino acid Tryptophan. When roasted and skinless, turkey contains less saturated fat and total fat with less cholesterol than chicken, pork or beef. Turkey is a source of Vitamin B-3 and B-6 and minerals including selenium, phosphorous, zinc, potassium, choline, copper, magnesium and iron. I recommend buying local, pasture-raised turkey under organic conditions for higher amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids.
 
My White Bean Turkey Chili is one of my husband’s favorite chili recipes and I recently made it for a neighborhood pot-luck chili party where it was a big hit. It’s simple to make with precooked turkey breast, Cannellini kidney beans, onion, chicken broth and several spices. Kidney beans are a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber, shown to have many health benefits. Beans are also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Onions provide additional fiber as well as Vitamin B6, folate, Vitamin C and chromium. Add to that the benefits from a variety of spices and you have a delicious, healthy, comfort food. You can top it with a little shredded cheese, sour cream or my favorite, crème fresh for a little added fat and calcium and a lot of creamy flavor.  
 
White Bean Turkey Chili
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced
3 cups pre-cooked, skinless turkey meat, cubed or shredded
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2  15 ounce cans Cannellini white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1  4 ounce can diced, mild green chilies
4 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey broth 
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 cup water
Toppings:
White cheese, shredded or
Sour cream or crème fresh
Jalapeño peppers
Cilantro
 
Directions:  Heat olive oil in a large soup pot. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add cubed turkey, salt, spices, drained and rinsed white kidney beans, green chilies and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes. Blend corn starch in water and add to slightly thicken. Top each serving with either 1 1/2 tablespoon of shredded cheese, sour cream or crème fresh. Optional toppings: Diced fresh jalapeño peppers and/or fresh cilantro. Serve with one (1/2 cup) serving of fresh fruit.
 
Chili recipe makes approximately 6 two-cup servings.  
Per serving:  335 calories:  Grams = C-30g, P-29g, F-11g   Fiber-7.5g
 
Happy, Healthy Holidays, 
 
Joyce Daoust is a Certified Nutritionist, Balance Bar® spokesperson and national best-selling co-author of THE FORMULA, A Personalized 40-30-30 Weight Loss Program.

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