Thursday, September 5, 2013

Crockpot Chili

I love my crockpot!  I love that I can throw ingredients into my crockpot and have dinner waiting for John and me after we put the kids down to sleep for the night!  The Crockpot Chili that I am about to share with you is super simple!  You only need a few ingredients.  It is truly nothing special but it is an easy and delicious dinner that you will be happy to have in your back pocket.

Now as I mentioned above, John and I eat after our children go to bed.  They are usually in their cribs at 6:30!  Blakely falls asleep almost immediately, while Lacie plays with all of her stuffed animals for a bit before she passes out!  The tricky part is, they share a room so they need to go to bed at the same time!  For now, that means Lacie is on the baby's schedule!  John and I wait to eat our dinner in peace because, for us, it is like date night every night!  We can't afford to go out often with me as a stay-at-home mommy so this really works out well!

Now don't judge me!  I totally believe that family dinners are very very important.  We sit and talk with our girls while they eat their dinner.  And when they are a bit older (and are able to stay up later), we will do dinner as a family - but for right now this works really well!

This chili is a favorite that I have been making since we got married!  It is spicy, but you could choose to make it less spicy.  In fact, when we move to having those family dinners that I mentioned, we will have to make a less spicy version of this for our children.  Lacie has tasted this a few times and I have to say she didn't care for it (and she is not picky in the slightest).

Here's What You Need to Make the Chili:

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey (I always use 99% lean but you can use what you like - ground beef works too)
  • 1 can kidney beans - do not drain or rinse (I used organic light red kidney beans - I buy the organic because it has a lot less sodium)
  • 1 can petit diced tomatoes
  • 1 packet chili seasoning (I always use McCormick Hot Chili Seasoning, you can use whatever brand and level of spiciness you can even make your own)
  • olive oil, canola oil, or pam (basically something that will make sure your chili doesn't stick)
  • optional chili fixings (we put our chili on top of multigrain tortilla chips and top with shredded mexican cheese)

Now Let's Make the Chili:
  1. get out your crock pot and spray the inside (I use real olive oil in a spray bottle) or use one of those neat slow cooker liners
  2. crumble and brown ground turkey in a pan on the stove (I use the same olive oil spray, you use whatever you normally use to cook meat)
  3. add kidney beans, tomatoes, and seasoning to crockpot
  4. add cooked meat to crockpot
  5. stir everything together and put the lid on (below you can see a picture of what the chili looks like when you first stir it will not look like "official" chili until it has had a few hours to simmer in the crock pot)
  6. cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-8
  7. serve chili however you like best
We put it on top of chips
Then we throw on a ton of cheese and microwave for a minute!  YUM!!!

Now this chili is relatively healthy when served right out of the crockpot and you could eat it just like that if you are trying to save some calories.  I already told you I spread it out multigrain chips on a plate and top it with the chili and some shredded mexican cheese...then I microwave it a bit to melt the cheese.  Yes, I know that this makes it more like nachos...but it is wonderful!  Even if you want to eat your chili a different way, please try it like this at least one time!  If you are looking for more serving ideas, you could also put this chili on top of rice - white or brown.  Another fun thing would be to spread it on soft flour tortillas, add cheese, and roll it up to eat!  If you really want to get fancy, you can make baked potatoes and use this chili as a topper!  


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