Like many, I absolutely adore fall! Autumn in Virginia, is not quite comparable to the crisp cool days in Michigan, but I love it just the same. Eiether way, with October comes comfort food.
In terms of sticking to a healthy daily diet, fall is when I struggle most. I certainly want to enjoy the treats that come with this time of year so moderation is key. I like to make sure a treat is truly worth eating. Can I go without the spur-of-the-moment halloween cookie in the break room at work? Absolutely. Do I fully enjoy a glazed pumpkin donut with a steaming cup of spiced cider every October? You bet!
Comfort food comes in many forms and I’ve made it my personal mission this year to enjoy seasonal food in an enjoyable, tasteful, and healthful way. This week, instead of slathering my winter squash in brown sugar and butter, I’m adding it to a spicy turkey chili.
I like to incorporate squash and chili in two ways: the first is serving chili in a halved acorn squash, roasted in the oven. This is especially enjoyable when I find beautiful squash like this at the market…
The second method involves cooking butternut squash along with the chili. This version is a tad easier, and better for lazy fall days. The other great thing about chili? It freezes wonderfully! I like to make a big pot over the weekend, and freeze individually for weekday lunches or quick dinners.
The turkey I used came from the Fresh Market grocery store. This week I asked when they appeared to be sold out, and they ground some just for me! Definitely ask for white meat only.
Ground Turkey and Butternut Squash Chili
1.5 lbs white meat ground turkey
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1.5 cup chopped veggies (mix of butternut squash, bell peppers, hot peppers, carrots)
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 28oz can diced tomatoes, no added salt
1 14oz can tomato sauce*
1 14oz can red kidney beans, low sodium, rinsed
1 14oz can pinto beans, low sodium, rinsed
1 tsp dried basil
3 tsp chili powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
*I skipped this after realizing I didn’t have any, and substituted vegetable broth. Adjust based on your preference.
1. Heat Olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Once pan is hot, cook onion, veggies, garlic for about 1-2 minutes. Add ground turkey to pot, and mix in.
2. Once meat is cook thoroughly, add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans and spices. Simmer for at least 30 minutes. Taste and adjust spices as needed. I even added cumin before with yummy results.
That’s it! Easy right? And totally a comforting fall dish. Serve with crusty piece of bread.
Around The Web: That Looks Good!
Butternut Squash and Feta Salad
Butternut Squash and Chickpea Stew with Israeli Couscous
Last Year: Kale Chips
Tip: Buy too many peppers to use this week? Toss in freezer bag, label and date, throw in the freezer. Use in recipes just like this later!
Question: What’s your favorite fall comfort food?