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Secretly Healthy Turkey Chili

Oh happy, happy Friday! I know this week was only a 4-day work week for most (myself included), but I’ve been all thrown off because of it. Luckily, it’s now the almost weekend, and I’m particularly excited because Chef and I will be jetting off to the Mile-High City to celebrate his birthday and drink lots of tasty beer. If anyone has recommendations for Denver, please send them my way! It’s supposed to be frigid during our stay. Like, high of 48/low of 29. Gross. But I’m sure we’ll have a blast because birthday, food, and beer.

I’m sad to leave the gorgeous weather we’ve been having in the Valley, however, according to this update on, we’re in for more rain, yay! Looks like I’ll be making this absolutely delish (and secretly healthy) chili next week!


This is another fabulous recipe from the Cook Yourself Thin series (book number 1), and the recipe listed below is my version of it. I love how the ingredients are not what I normally expect in chili (chocolate!?) and that there are a lot of veggies, making this dish quite healthy. I didn’t change much to the ingredients, but used more of what I had on hand versus following their ingredients to a tee.


And obviously removed any and all cilantro from the recipe. Yuck.

20140211-172411.jpg As I’m sure someone with an eagle eye will notice, I almost forgot to use the chipotle pepper in adobo! So I photographed that later.. Whoops.


See, here it is. We didn’t forget about you, little guy.20140211-172424.jpg

The original recipe mentions something about spices and such possibly sticking to the pan. It will happen– and their trick works. Every single time I’ve made this tasty chili, spices get stuck to the bottom. 20140211-172431.jpg


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced 1/2 inch
  • 1 14-ounce can chopped whole tomatoes, with juice
  • 1/2 chipotle pepper in adobo, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 14-ounce–15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Tortilla chips, crushed into smaller pieces
  • Guacamole, sour cream, green onions for garnish


  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add turkey, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add the crushed red chili pepper, cumin, oregano and cinnamon, and cook, stirring, 3 minutes, or until the water evaporates and the turkey sizzles.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook until the onion is wilted, 5 to 7 minutes. If When the onion or the spices begin to stick to the pan, add 2 tablespoons water and scrape with a wooden spoon to release.
  3. Add the carrots, tomatoes, chipotle pepper, water and cocoa powder.
  4. Bring to a simmer; reduce the heat to low, and cook, partially covered, 25 minutes. Stir in the beans and cook 15 more minutes.
  5. To serve, ladle into soup bowls. Top with your favorite toppings and devour!


This chili is so awesome because it allows me to not have to cook for many nights after making it. I turn it into fajitas or nachos and dinner is served.20140211-172455.jpg

I ended up serving  my chili plain, but setting up a little topping station so that Chef and I could create our own chili bowls. I put cheese and guac on my chili, and then load up on chips. This recipe definitely makes enough for a party or gathering, so a topping station would work well for groups of people with different tastes. Speaking of which, what do you like on your chili?20140211-172506.jpg

About In Natalie's Shoes

I’m a twenty-something food fanatic. By day, I’m working for a non-profit, by night I’m dreaming of becoming a domestic goddess, creating adorable crafts to gift and engineering delicious home cooked meals for the fabulous dinner parties I’ll one day throw. I love to travel, locally, regionally… heck, even internationally, I don’t discriminate too much when it comes to a new destination. I am a little obsessed with taking photos of the food I eat, whether I make it or pay to eat it. It is my firm belief that a girl can never have enough purses or too many shoes. I plan to fill this lovely little blog with my adventures in food, travel, and craftiness. I hope you enjoy!

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