I’ve put myself on a pretty strict budget lately. The best way to keep to it? Cooking for myself. Big pot meals like casseroles, pasta dishes, and the like are the easiest and most cost effective way to stick to my financial plan.
Every Halloween my mom makes a huge batch of chili and invites everyone in town over. Her chili is legendary and is based primarily on the Silver Palate Cookbook’s “Chili For a Crowd.” To make chili healthier and more inexpensive per serving I’ve substituted in turkey and added mushrooms. I suggest topping it off with grated cheddar cheese and sour cream.
TURKEY CHILI FOR A CROWD (serves 10)
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound yellow onions coarsely chopped
1.5 lb ground turkey
6 oz tomato paste
1 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tbsp cup ground cumin
1.5 tbsp cup chili powder
2 tbsp cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
salt to taste
1 tablespoons freshly-ground black pepper
2 cans Italian plum tomatoes – (28 oz ea) drained
10 oz sliced white mushrooms
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp cup chopped parsley
1 can dark-red kidney beans – (16 oz ea) drained
Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 15 minutes. Add the ground turkey; cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the meat is cooked through. Stir in mushrooms, cook for 3 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, cumin, chili powder, mustard, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes, lemon juice, parsley, mushrooms, and kidney beans. Stir well and lower to a simmer. Cook covered for 30 minutes and uncovered for another 30 minutes.
Serve immediately or portion into containers to freeze.
(adapted from the Silver Palate Cookbook)