It’s time! It’s a go. The kids are officially returning to school! Wee!
(Do I sound a little too excited? I’ll tone it down. Maybe.)
Now, I’ve spent a fair amount of time talking about back to school fashion, tackling the morning rush and how to pack school lunches with ease. But I realized this weekend that I have one more hurdle to overcome: the weeknight dinner dilemma.
It’s pretty crazy at our house on weeknights. In addition to homework, we also have to juggle speech therapy and tutoring, plus swimming lessons and indoor soccer league for both boys. Therefore, I’m always looking for healthy, hearty and quick-and-easy meals that I can make ahead on weekends.
I think I’ve found the perfect solution to the weeknight dinner dilemma with my “Anytime” Turkey and Bean Chili.
This savoury chili is one of my go-to meals throughout the school year for the following reasons:
1. The chili can be made in the slow cooker with minimal prep. Seriously, the most arduous part of the entire recipe is browning ground turkey and diced shallots in a large pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Big deal, right?
2. The finished product freezes beautifully, making it a great “anytime” meal. This means I can whip up a large batch and portion it out into individual or family-sized containers to save for later, which is particularly useful on busy weeknights when I’m lacking the time/ inspiration to cook.
3. The chili features black beans and chickpeas- both of which are pulses! Pulses are the dry edible seeds of plants in the legume family. They’re incredibly healthy, nutritious, sustainable and affordable. Plus, since pulses are nutritional powerhouses loaded with protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals, they may lower the risk of heart disease, manage blood sugar levels and help with weight management. They’re the perfect food!
I used canned beans and chickpeas in my recipe, but if you’ve got the time and desire to do so, you can also soak dried pulses overnight. To make this recipe vegetarian friendly, simply skip the ground turkey. To kick it up a notch, add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder.
1 lb ground turkey
2-3 large shallots, minced
1 796 ml can diced tomatoes
1 540 ml can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 540 ml can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 340 ml can peaches and cream corn, drained
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup chili powder
shredded medium cheddar, for garnish
diced avocado, for garnish
1 lime, sectioned, for garnish
In a large pan over medium heat, sauté ground turkey and diced shallots until the meat has browned, about 5 minutes. Add to slow cooker.
Add all remaining ingredients to slow cooker; mix well. Set the slow cooker for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Serve the chili warm, adding cheddar, avocado and a squeeze of lime to finish. Alternatively, portion cooked chili into freezer safe containers and freeze until ready to enjoy.
I always have a fresh baguette on hand. Dipping bread into chili = best comfort food ever.
The United Nations declared 2016 as International Year of Pulses! Take the Pulse Pledge at www.pulsepledge.com. Simply commit to eating pulses once a week for 10 weeks and join a global food movement! Eating dry peas, lentils, beans and chickpeas helps reduce your carbon footprint – and it’s great for your health. Every 1/2 cup of cooked pulses delivers 9 grams of protein – and now you can get rewarded for eating these miraculous superfoods! Sign up for recipes, inspiration and the chance to win great prizes along the way. It’s FREE!
And now, if you’ll excuse me – I’m off to tackle the madness that is the first week of school! To all those who have kids returning to class, good luck!