I can’t believe we are already in the last week of October! Time is flying, and I am ready for the holiday season that is quickly approaching. In my mind, Halloween really kicks off the holidays, so I thought I would share a tradition that we have on Halloween.
It started back when we lived in Idaho and it was a bit cooler at the end of October. I saw someone on Instagram who had a tradition of feeding chili to their family before they headed out to go trick or treating. The idea was they should be filled up from a warm bowl full of chili before heading out into the cooler night.
I just loved the idea, and it worked great when we were in Idaho. Now that we live in Central California, most of the time we are breaking a sweat when we are trick or treating. It just isn’t that cool outside! It doesn’t stop my family from enjoying this tradition on Halloween though. We just have to use our imaginations and pretend it is cold outside! HA!
Now, there are a million different ways to make chili. Seriously, type chili into google, and you could search almost forever. Some chilis have beans, others don’t. Some are spicy, some are milder. Some have a lot of broth, and some have hardly any.
We like a lot of different kinds of chilis, but my kids prefer a chunkier one. This week as I was looking through the chili recipes I used in the past, I noticed that they were pretty high in carbohydrates. This makes sense because a lot of chilis are filled with beans. While they are nutritious, the beans can really pack in the carb content. So I set out to make a chili my family would love but that would still be a bit more balanced in macros.
In an effort to lower the carbs on this chili, I decided to just add one can of beans. However, if you take some of the beans away, you have pretty much just meat. I wanted there to be some additional texture, so I thought zucchini might be the perfect addition. After all, my family loves zucchini. It is also super low in calories for how much volume and nutrition it adds. This was also a great way to get some extra veggies into my kids, and they didn’t complain one bit.
I also love this chili because it was simple to prep. It hardly took any time or effort to put it together. Just some chopping, browning and stirring. Then you sit back and let your stove do its thing while the chili develops flavor. Of course, you don’t have to allow your chili to simmer on the stove for an hour, but it really does help to create a deeper flavor. Another way to do this is to prep your chili in the morning, store it in the fridge once it has cooled off, and then heat it up just before dinner.
Once the chili was finished, I scooped it out into big servings (about 350 g!) and let my kids pick and choose which toppings they wanted to add. We like to top our chili with sharp cheddar cheese, green onion, sour cream, avocado, and cilantro. My kids also like to eat theirs with crackers, tortilla chips, or cornbread (fine, I do too!). We all loved it, and it will definitely stay on our menu this soup season!
Turkey and Zucchini Chili
- 1.5 lb 93/7 lean ground turkey (or use 93/7 ground beef if your family prefers it)
- 1 white onion, diced (270 g)
- 2 zucchini, cut into small chunks. Dice it super fine if your family doesn't like anything green in their food! (468 g)
- 2 tsp garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 1.5 TBSP chili powder
- 3/4 tsp cumin
- 3/4 tsp oregano
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 TBSP tomato paste (~ 49 g)
- 1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- In a large soup pot, combine the ground turkey, zucchini, onions, garlic, and salt. Cook over medium heat, crumbling the turkey as it cooks, until the turkey is no longer pink.
- Once the turkey is completely cooked through, add in spices, tomato paste, beans, diced tomatoes, and Worchestershire sauce. Stir to combine and then allow the chili cook on medium heat until it begins to bubble.
- Turn the heat to low, and allow the chili to simmer on the stove for an hour. After the hour is done, try the chili and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Serve with shredded cheese, green onions, chips, cilantro, avocado, etc. and enjoy!