“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way--things I had no words for.”

~ Georgia O'Keeffe

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Is it Chili in Here?

Or is it me? I'm definitely feeling it. Three Bean Turkey Chili with Cilantro Pesto is a great recipe for these chilly days. No longer a prisoner in the pantry, my crock pot takes center stage on the kitchen counter. Our lives are so busy and hectic that it is comforting to arrive home after a day at the office to someone cooking in the kitchen, even if that someone is the crock pot. I love how colorful this chili is and the Cilantro Pesto adds a splash of garlic and lime. I have served this as a hearty dinner with a pan of cornbread or as an easy lunch with a small salad. Make a big batch and freeze half for another time. It's nice to know that a batch of chili is waiting for you in the freezer, just minutes away from a home cooked meal. I wish I could cook every night but at least I have my trusty crock pot during these cold winter months, that is until the weather begins to warm and back it must go, kicking and screaming into the dark pantry, only to be replaced by the BBQ. Until then it's the crock pot that is our family cook, creating warm and tasty meals for my over stressed family. Such a gem! If only I could get it to walk the dog!

Three Bean Turkey Chili with Cilantro Pesto

1 pound ground turkey
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 stalks celery, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. salt
32 oz. fat-free chicken stock
1-32 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. each cumin, dried oregano, chipotle chili powder
1-15 oz. can of white beans, drained and rinsed
1-15 oz. can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1-15 oz. can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Coat large skillet with the olive oil. Cook turkey, onion, carrot, celery, and salt over medium-high heat until turkey is cooked though. Drain any fat. Add turkey mixture and remaining ingredients to a large crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Serve with a tsp of Cilantro Pesto stirred in for that extra kick!

Cilantro Pesto

2 cups or 1 bunch cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp. lime zest
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 -2 Tbsp. olive oil

Chop/mix all ingredients in food processor or blender until finely minced to a lovely pesto. Adjust salt and oil to taste. Keep in a covered container in the fridge to use as a topper for soups, chilis or as a dip for bread, yum, yum, yum!

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