Turkey Pumpkin Chili 

— Amber Trejo M.S., beRevolutionarie Nutritionist

Serves 8 at 6 oz each

Chili is a classic meal when it’s cold but have you ever had pumpkin chili? Pumpkin is the star of the fall and winter season and for good reason. It is wonderful in lattes, oatmeals, cookies, and even chili! There is nothing more comforting during the cold months than a nice warm bowl of turkey pumpkin chili and knowing that you are nourishing yourself with key vitamins and minerals. 

The secret ingredient in this chili of course is the pumpkin but also cinnamon. I really love how versatile both of these ingredients can be in cooking. Pumpkin is very nutritious as it is rich in vitamins A, C, E, B2 and is a rich source of potassium, copper, iron and manganese. Pumpkin is low in carbohydrates, naturally fat-free and high in fiber! I am team fiber as it is beneficial for a functioning gut, keeping blood glucose levels stable, and helps keep our hearts healthy. Having a high fiber diet can also help keep our cholesterol levels in check. 

Cinnamon is probably the most used spice in my house with the exception of oregano. Cinnamon has several potent health benefits due to its high antioxidant levels. Cinnamon can help reduce chronic inflammation which is linked to disease susceptibility but most astonishing is its anti-diabetic effects. Insulin helps shuttle blood sugar into our cells and when we have issues with this mechanism we become insulin resistant. Cinnamon can help make us more insulin sensitive and has the ability to decrease the amount of glucose that gets absorbed into the bloodstream when paired with a carbohydrate meal, thus helping in lowering blood glucose levels. Other spices in this dish also play a role in lowering inflammation like turmeric and ginger. 

Other ingredients in this dish are the lean ground turkey and red kidney beans. Both of these ingredients make this meal high protein and the kidney beans along with the pumpkin make it fiber-rich. Fiber and protein combined can assist in keeping you fuller longer as well. Feel free to top this over your favorite grain like rice and add a little cheese if you’d like!

 

What You Need:

 

  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 15 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1lb 93% lean ground turkey (99% lean can work but is a bit drier)
  • 1 cup chopped chard
  • ½ cup organic Bello no garlic no onion pasta sauce (sub for any low-fat pasta sauce)
  • ½ cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup water
  • 4 oz sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger 
  • ¼  teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

What To Do:

  • Heat a medium stockpot or saucepan on the stove
  • Spritz with oil and add ground turkey and sundried tomatoes, cook until turkey begins to brown for about 5 minutes
  • Add pasta sauce and seasoning into the pan, stir
  • Add pumpkin puree and kidney beans and ¼  cup water, stir
  • Turn the stove range to low heat and let cook for 15 minutes.
  •  Add the chopped chard and vegetable broth, stir and cover and cook on low heat for another 40-45 minutes

Notes:

  •  If you like your chili less thick as this recipe makes a pretty chunky chili, add an additional ½ cup of low sodium vegetable stock.
  • Need a vegan substitute? Swap turkey for another can of kidney beans or use crumbled seitan.