ground turkey

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

I love chili. It’s healthy and hearty and it’s a filling meal. I used to have an amazing chili recipe for the crockpot but lost the recipe. All attempts to locate that recipe have failed and I’ve never been able to recreate it. That being said, it hasn’t stopped me from trying other recipes. I got this one in the mail with my Fred Meyer coupons (Kroger for the rest of the country I think). I had all the ingredients on hand so I tried it this past weekend.

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Serves: 4-6 Β  Β | Β  Calories: about 257 depending on serving size


1 TB vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper

1 clove minced garlic

1 lb ground turkey

1 can diced tomatoes

2 cups pumpkin puree

1.5 TB chili powder

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 dash salt

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

sour cream


1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion, peppers and garlic until tender.

2. Stir in turkey and cook until evenly browned.

3. Pour meat mixture and veggies into crockpot.

4. Mix in tomatoes and pumpkin and add seasoning.

5. Cover and set on low. Cook 4-5 hours.

6. Serve with shredded cheese and sour cream.

I did make a few alterations to the recipe. First, I added a can of pinto beans. The recipe did not call for that but I think chili needs beans. And I am so glad I added them! They were a great addition.

I used a Walla Walla sweet onion and one small white onion from my garden. As for the garlic, it called for 1 clove minced. Well, I tend to think that most recipes are too light on garlic so I added three cloves (and that honestly wasn’t enough).

I used lean ground turkey from Costco. We usually have some on hand in the freezer (great for making tacos, enchiladas and turkey burgers). Another change to the recipe: I added more spices than what was called for.

There’s no better aroma than cooking veggies. Yum. While that was cooking in the skillet I dumped the beans, tomatoes and pumpkin into the crockpot.

When the veggies were done I added them to the crockpot and then cooked the turkey separately. My skillet wasn’t big enough to do it all at the same time. I added the ground turkey meat to the crockpot, mixed everything and added the spices. The extra spices I added: a dash of basil, rosemary, “savory” and onion powder.

I also added a splash of cabernet. Just a splash because I didn’t want to overpower the original flavors with the wine. I cooked it for about 5 hours in the crockpot.

When dinner was ready, I toasted Michael and I some bagel thins with cream cheese to go with dinner. It just felt like a comfort food kind of night.

I love bagel thins. They satisfy my bagel cravings without busting the bank on my calories. I also had one glass of wine with my dinner (seen above). We’d spent the afternoon catching up on American Horror Story, The Walking Dead and during dinner we watched Dexter!

The chili was served! I added some shredded Colby Jack cheese and a dollop of sour cream on mine. The chili was really thick, not too liquidy at all despite the above photo. But it wasn’t too thick either. Just right.

I think one of the reasons I like chili so much is because it’s yet another thing I can add sour cream to (addicted!). πŸ™‚ The even better news: Michael HATES chili. With a passion. He won’t eat it, he hates the flavor and textures. It’s on his list of “never eats” (along with oatmeal) yet he had a bite and really liked it! So he had some for dinner. I was so happy that he liked it and was able to eat it.

You would think that the chili would be really sweet because of the pumpkin but it wasn’t sweet at all. It was delicious! Definitely a winner.

The above calculations do NOT include the cheese or sour cream. It’s calculated from the recipe but also not including the beans I added. So if you add beans to the recipe I’d add about 50 calories to each serving. My brother the cook suggested I add whiskey to the recipe. Next time.

I’m excited that I have yummy leftovers for lunches this week!

QUESTION: Do yo have a favorite chili recipe? What about your “will not eat” list? What’s on that?






Is it Christmas? Presents For Me?!

When I got home from the pool (after a kick ass 1.25 mile swim) I saw this:


Michael surprised me with two additional lights for the lightbox and….what? A present? For me?

I’d mentioned a few days ago to Michael that I had hoped to buy new hiking boots before Arizona but thought I’d run out of time. With his super-duper hook-up he got me a pair of hiking boots!

Fat Kitty was ALL excited about the bows. NOM NOM NOM

If there is wrapping paper, paper bags, boxes or bows and ribbons anywhere within his sight-line (or hearing range) he goes nuts. We both stood there and watched as Fat Kitty struggled to bite the bow, rip it off, throw it on the ground and then get the second bow. It was quite hilarious. Next time I’ll have foresight and shoot video.

Plus another box arrived for me from giveaway I won. I had lots of things to open! And he had dinner ready for me. What a great guy. I was famished (and a little nauseous from not eating enough before my swim–oops). Turkey burgers!

A Diverse Food: Ground Turkey

The Cheeseburger: a food group that many associate with America and typical American Foods. Even the vegetarians I know love burgers (meatless alternatives of course). There is just something delicious and awesome about a burger, bun and cheese. A healthier alternative to those juicy, high calorie burgers that I discovered a few years ago is the turkey burger. Burgers made from lean ground turkey (not the dark meat) are lower in calories than ground beef.


We use ground turkey that’s at least 94% lean and has less than four grams of saturated fat. Jenny-O Lean and Foster Farms ground turkey are a good option and we buy it at Costco.



“As a low carb food, turkey naturally scores low on the glycemic index scale and should be regarded as a food that can be helpful in regulating blood sugar. It’s relatively high protein concentration is an important factor in this regard, since protein helps food keep a steady pace as it moves through your digestive tract – not too fast and not too slow. (source)”

Lean turkey is a good source of protein, which promotes healthy skin, nails, hair and muscles. Ground turkey is much lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than ground beef is. One 3.5-oz. grilled, fat-free turkey burger provides 48 percent of the daily value of protein. 4 ounces of lean ground turkey from Foster Farms is 230 calories.

It also tastes great (and in my opinion, better than ground beef). One other benefit of using white meat ground turkey: it will take on whatever flavor you want it too. Sometimes we add feta cheese and olives to the patty mixture Michael makes. The recent type he makes has chopped jalapenos and pieces of bacon–another good one!

You can add ground turkey to a lot of different types of meals (lasagna, chili, casseroles to name a few) and save a lot of calories in the dish.Β  Here is a Weight Watchers recipe page on ground turkey.



Of course, where you get into “trouble” with something like turkey burgers is adding “extras” that are high calories: bacon, cheese, mayo, high calorie buns…Often times I would use a Sandwich Thin as the bun- 100 calories. With light mayo, mustard and one slice of cheese it is a low calorie food item that will fill me up. Lately I’ve been obsessed with the onion buns I found at Fred Meyer. They are 200 calories (a few brands I’ve tried are 250 calories) but honestly? That extra 100 calories is totally worth to me after I’ve swam for an hour!

Last night I had Gouda cheese melted on my turkey burger, steamed broccoli as my side and I settled in with candlelight, new boots, Fat Kitty and a very thoughtful boyfriend!

QUESTION: What was the highlight of your week? And how often do you use ground turkey meat?