You Texans May Not Call It Chili, But a Bowl of This Is Really Good


Texans, turn away! These days, the definition of chili has passed far beyond a cowboy bowl of Texas red. In what many count as the original chili, there are no tomatoes! no beans! and no vegetables! Nope, if you want to impress a Lone Star State native, look no further than dried chilies, chopped meat, and garlic–that’s all that’s necessary for their bowl o’ meat.

But if you want to make a hearty, healthy stew for dinner, perhaps topped by rice or served beside cornbread, then look no further than an updated chili recipe, one that’s filled with nutritious ingredients like ground turkey, white beans and teff, or black beans and green peppers, smothered in tomato sauce and spiced with a generous hand.

May we remind you to garnish your chili with at least a few of the following: chopped avocado, grated cheddar, cilantro sprigs, and lime wedges?

Here are three ways we love to eat chili:

Turkey Chili

A classic rendition of chili con carne, this turkey-based chili features poblano peppers, ground cumin and coriander, and kidney beans.  Why? Well, in addition to the Texas style of chili, there are two other kinds, Springfield, and Cincinnati, and since we love all three versions, we adopted elements from each to make this awesome bowl.

White Bean & Escarole Chili

You were waiting for us to take chili to a crazy level of fusion, and in this hearty vegetarian version, we really did. First off, we added Egyptian teff, a tiny grain high in calcium and protein. Then we went and added plenty of chopped escarole, a green that grows creamy when cooked. And, finally, there are white beans, which are often found in green New Mexico-style chili.

Mushroom Chili

King Trumpet mushrooms, also called King Oyster, are the largest mushroom in the oyster mushroom species, and they’re the unique twist in this saucy vegetarian recipe. They deliver a burst of umami flavor and add heartiness to the chili. To add more flavor to the cornbread we serve beside the stew, we stirred in sautéed jalapeno peppers and cheddar cheese.

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