Insights & Actions for Healthy Living
Recipe Renovation™ for Game Day Eating – Turkey Chili

Recipe Renovation™ for Game Day Eating – Turkey Chili

The weather outside is chilly and everyone’s going to be gathering in front of the TV for the big game!

Time to huddle up and call your menu play.

It’s a super time to bring out this Recipe Renovation™ for a family favorite!

We all love our warm comfort foods but want them to be nutritious, healthy and tasty for all the family and friends who join our game day party.

This Recipe Renovation™ scores on all fronts!

Nutrition Makeover for a Game Day Standard

We all have recipes that we have used for years or new recipes that we found but wish that they were healthier.

We can make a few adjustments to these recipes to bring some fresh flavor while reducing the fat, salt and calories.

We all win with a healthier meal that gives our taste buds a run for their money without running down our energy from excess fat and calories.

Let’s see how game day chili can perform with this Recipe Renovation™!

It is interesting, surprising and very disappointing to those who think ground turkey is a healthy substitute for ground beef, but it did not make it to the goal line in this Recipe Renovation™.

turkey ground package NFHOI postWhen using all full fat ground beef (less than 80% lean) the recipe wasn’t much different in nutritional content than using all 85% lean ground turkey (from a national brand). When we mix lean ground beef (95% lean) with the lean ground turkey the nutritional results are much improved.

However, even better results occur when you take a turkey breast to the butcher and ask for it to be ground. This protein source performs much better nutritionally than the pre-packaged ground turkey in the meat case.

To make an even healthier Recipe Renovation™, make vegetarian chili by omitting the beef and turkey altogether and adding more beans. Try increasing the amount of black beans and adding garbanzo beans or other types of beans such as great northern or even lentils.

This vegetarian version would give you the protein you require as well as fiber, essential vitamins and minerals with minimal fat. 

Protein Sources

Why should we worry about which kind of meat we put into our meals?

The new Dietary Guidelines recommend we limit our intake of red meat overall and substitute other protein sources from poultry, fish and plants. 

To reduce our risk of many types of cancer, especially colorectal cancer, it is recommended that we limit our red meat (beef, pork and lamb) to 18 ounces per week. The research shows that compounds in red meat and processed meats (ham, bacon, salami, hot dogs and sausages) can damage the lining of the colon.

The American Heart Association recommends we limit our red meat intake due to the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol they contain, which can be damaging to our heart health. They suggest we include fish, especially those types high in omega 3 fatty acids, twice a week.pita chips NFHOI

It is always good to read the labels even on the protein products we buy in the grocer’s meat case. 

We hope you enjoy this turkey chili recipe using whichever form of protein your family cheers for (but maybe not full fat ground beef!).

While this chili is great straight on its own, you might also try it with some homemade pita chips.

Nutritional Content per Chili Serving:

174 calories, 14 gr. protein, 23 gr. carbohydrate, 7 gr. fiber, 4 gr. total fat, 1 gr. saturated fat, 23 mg. cholesterol, 435 mg. sodium (using regular canned tomatoes).

Turkey Chili Recipe Renovation
Serves 12
A game day or anytime favorite meal gets a Recipe Renovation making it lower in fat and calories and higher in plant based protein without any loss of flavor to please the crowd!
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  1. 1/2 pound each of lean ground turkey and ground beef
  2. 1 large onion, chopped
  3. 1 can chopped green chilies, 4.5 oz.
  4. 3 cans diced tomatoes (do not drain liquid), 14.5 oz.
  5. 1 can black beans, 15.5 oz., rinsed and drained
  6. 1 can light red kidney beans, 15.5 oz., rinsed and drained
  7. 1 fresh jalapeno peppers finely chopped
  8. 1/4 cup salsa
  9. 1 tablespoon black pepper
  10. 1 tablespoon chili powder
  11. 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (more if you enjoy it hotter)
  1. In large stock pot over medium heat, brown meat.
  2. Add chopped onions and cook until onions begin to get transparent.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients in order and mix thoroughly.
  4. Cook on low heat for about 2 hours stirring frequently until all flavors mix together.
  5. Serve.
  6. Refrigerate any leftovers within two hours.
  1. One cup portion - serves 12.
  2. Purchase the leanest beef and turkey you can find. You may want to ask the butcher to grind a turkey breast to reduce fat as much as possible.
  3. If jalapeno peppers are too spicy, substitute green bell peppers.
  4. Add more hot sauce or taco sauce if you like it spicier with a bigger kick.
  5. Choose lower sodium canned tomatoes to help hold down the sodium.
  6. Serving suggestions: toast triangles of whole wheat pitas as a lower calorie version of tortilla chips.
  7. Sprinkle with shredded cheese if desired.
Nutrition for the Health of It

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