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In Food

By Lane


On 10, Jan 2011 | No Comments | In Food | By Lane

If you had asked me two years ago how to dice an onion, my response would have been silence. Growing up, my cooking lessons consisted mainly of boiling water for spaghetti and melting cheese between two slices of bread. I blame myself: my brother and I were such picky eaters, my parents had no other options. We would have rather starved to death than touch meatloaf. And onions? They were the devil incarnate.

In college I was either too busy, too lazy, or too spoiled to cook (oh how I miss D-Hall). So, upon entering the real world, I decided I should act like a grown-up and learn to cook something using more than three ingredients and my trusty George Foreman.

The Problem: Absolutely zero motivation. I was living in the middle of Washington, D.C., the city with the most restaurants per capita in the country. According to National Restaurant Association, the region boosts some 0.4 restaurants per 100 people. Basically, I was living in foodie heaven.

The Solution: My company’s annual chili cook-off. I wanted a challenge that would force me to cook something I had never tried before, but that was still beginner-level, and most of all, fun.

The Result: I WON FIRST PLACE. Seriously, I have never been more surprised. But that was exactly what I needed — confidence in my ability to actually make something edible. It was a true relief to know that I was not forever-doomed to a life of fast-food and frozen meals.

So, here it is — the award-winning recipe. Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients — you can find them all at your regular grocery store, and it is so simple to make!

SPICY ASIAN TURKEY CHILI (adapted from here)

1.5 lbs. ground lean turkey
1 tsp. olive oil
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 cup green bell pepper, diced
1 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced (optional — use only if you LOVE spicy food)
1 yellow onion, diced
2 tbs. garlic, minced
1 tbs. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15-oz. can kidney beans, drained
1/2 tsp. five spice powder
1 tsp. wasabi powder
2 tbs. chili powder
2 tbs. chili paste OR sriracha chili sauce (use less if you don’t LOVE spicy food)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tbs. sesame oil

1. In a large stockpot, brown turkey in olive oil. Remove turkey and reserve drippings.
2. In the reserved drippings, saute the peppers, onion, garlic and ginger.
3. Add soy sauce, chicken stock, tomato sauce, tomatoes and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat.
4. Return cooked turkey to stockpot. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, over low heat for 1 hour.
5. Serve over rice and top with toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy!


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