Pumpkin, Turkey and Quinoa Chili

This chili recipe was by far one of the best selling soups/chilis I made at nourish soupworks. It isn’t as heavy as regular beef chili and is packed with more nutritional value from the pumpkin and quinoa. It’s also very versatile. If you don’t want to use pumpkin, substitute yams or sweet potato (which is actually my original recipe). I would suggest doubling it, so you can freeze a couple for some quick meals. This makes about 2L, but if you have it for supper, then you are only left with one for the freezer.

There are 2 ingredients I use on a regular basis in a lot of my cooking and that is smoked paprika and Better Than Bouillon chicken stock. The flavour the smoked paprika adds is so amazing. It actually gives a sort of campfire quality to your dishes, like they were simmering over an open flame for the better part of a day. I can find both at Sunterra Market in Calgary, but Costco also use to sell the Better Than Boullion stock. I prefer the paste over using a liquid stock, because you can control the liquid and flavour. You may want the chicken flavour to come across, but you can’t exactly add 2L of chicken stock to a chili. If you want great tasting food, quality ingredients make all the difference.

They are both also available on amazon.ca.

Pumpkin, Turkey and Quinoa Chili (makes 2-3L)

  • 2 packs of ground turkey (I prefer thigh)
  • 1/2 large white onion, diced
  • small roasted pumpkin (I used only half) or a medium yam, peeled and diced. Roast the pumpkin at 400 degrees Celsius, until it starts to turn dark brown. Use a knife and peel off the skin when it’s still hot. Cut in half, discard the seeds and chop into pieces.
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 Teaspoons smoked paprika (I like to use a hot one)
  • 680ml of tomato sauce (I used only 3/4 of the can)
  • about 3 cups of water (you might have to add more if the quinoa soaks up a lot, or you are simmering it for awhile)
  • 1 green pepper, diced, optional
  • 1 Tablespoon Better Than Bouillon chicken paste
  • 2 smoked chipotle peppers chopped (be careful, some are hotter than others!)
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa
  • 1 can of black beans, strained and rinsed well
  • salt and pepper to taste (don’t add salt until the end once it has simmered for awhile)

In a large pot with olive oil, brown turkey over medium to high heat. Try not to keep stirring the turkey while you are doing this or the meat gets really broken up into too little of pieces. Also, don’t worry if it gets really sticky and a bit dark in the bottom of the pan, just turn the heat down a bit and keep browning the turkey (it adds lots of flavour). When the turkey is brown turn the heat down to medium and add the onions for 5-10 minutes. While the onions cook open up your tomato sauce and get your spices ready. When your onions look translucent add the chili powder and paprika, stir for 2 minutes, being careful the heat isn’t too high and it doesn’t burn. Toasting the spices brings out the oils ands intensifies the flavour. Add the tomato sauce and turn the heat down to medium low. Scrape all the bits off the bottom of the pan. Stir and cook for a good 5 minutes. This step helps caramelize the tomatoes adding a bit of sweetness. Next add about 2 cups of water and simmer. If using a pepper add it, the chopped up pumpkin or yams, the chicken paste and the chipotle peppers. Depending on how much time I have, I will simmer this for an hour or two, checking every once and awhile and adding a bit of water if necessary. Cover with a lid, but leave it slightly open. About 1/2 hour before you plan on eating add the quinoa and black beans, cover and cook. Serve with grated cheese, sour cream, chopped jalapeños, avocado, cilantro and tortilla chips. Enjoy!

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