Vegetable Turkey Chili

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[Note: This post is now months old! My apologies. It has been sitting nearly-finished in that netherworld between done and unmanifested. So this was written in the Fall even before Thanksgiving. My, I am behind!]

I don’t know about where you live, but here in Sonoma County the nights and mornings have been very chilly and sometimes blustery (to borrow a word from Winnie the Pooh). It’s most definitely Fall and I love it! I also love warm, nourishing foods like soups and stews, crockpot meals and hot herbal teas with a dash of cream. This is the time for drawing inward and warming ourselves from the inside-out. I was craving chili, so I threw this together–I did not measure spices, nor even remember all that I added!, so please adjust seasonings to your taste, as I will give a framework here, a stew-pot, upon which you can build or make as-is. My “recipes” are usually quite flexible, so please bear with the loose parameters and enjoy the warmth of comforting foods in this chilly season….

Vegetable Turkey Chili for a Cold Day

1 large onion, chopped

4 celery stalks, chopped small

1 large or two small bell peppers (any color), chopped

4 stems of kale or collard greens, chopped small (may also use Swiss chard, though the flavor will be slightly more acrid)

2 zucchini or yellow squash, chopped small

About 1 1/2 cups of yams or sweet potatoes, pumpkin or butternut squash, chopped small

4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 pound of natural ground turkey (can substitute ground beef, lamb, buffalo or chicken)

Optional: 1/4 cup minced or ground organic or grass fed chicken liver (if using beef, buffalo or lamb instead of turkey, can use organic or grass fed beef liver)

1 large can organic chopped tomatoes with liquid or several fresh chopped tomatoes

1 small (6 oz.) can organic tomato paste

1 can Eden organic garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (*I like Eden because they pre-soak their beans and then cook them with kombu, a type of seaweed, which not only helps to soften the beans quicker but also adds a huge mineral boost and helps make them more easily digested.)

Optional: 1 can Eden organic kidney beans, rinsed and drained (or other preferred Eden beans)

Spices:

1 tbsp basil flakes
1 tbsp oregano flakes
2 tsps thyme flakes
2 tsps marjoram flakes
1 tsp dried rosemary or 2 tsps fresh
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4-1/2 tsp chili powder (depending spice level preferred)
1/2 tsp turmeric

Salt and pepper to taste

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In a large soup pot set over a medium-high flame, sauté onions in a tablespoon or two of olive oil, ghee or coconut oil. After a minute or two, as onions begin to brown, add in the sweet potatoes or squash, then toss in the celery, bell peppers and garlic.

Cook for about five minutes, until veggies soften, then push veggies to one side and add in the ground meat and optional liver. Stir to cook the meat evenly, adding a bit more oil if needed.

Once meat is cooked, mix it together with the veggies in the pot and stir.

Next, add in your spices and stir again. Add in the garbanzo beans and optional kidney beans.

This is super yummy with some sliced avocado and a dollup of cultured sour cream!

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