Using Food to Fuel Our Bodies: Summer Turkey Chili

Submitted by: Laura Shearer, Membership Consultant @ O2 Fitness Fuquay

Now that we are all exercising and improving our BMIs (body mass indices), it is even more important to fuel our bodies optimally. Fast food may be convenient, but we need to hone our diets with high-octane fuel instead of the lowest grade fuel that fast-food provides; all calories and no quality. With some planning we can cook ahead and so that we have food on the go in the form of healthy leftovers.

Here is a recipe full of healthy lean protein, rounded out with colorful vegetables. Because the meat used is turkey and the high vegetable content, what was traditionally a heavy winter meal is transformed into a lighter, yet filling dish that transports and reheats just as well as the original. It’s perfect after a day of hiking or out on the boat.

This recipe works as well cooking it all together in the crockpot or using a large skillet (as the recipe describes).  Exact ratios of meat, beans and vegetables do not really matter with chili, so use what you like and have room for in your pan.

(This recipe is GLUTEN-FREE)


  • 2 tbsp Olive oil (divided)Black Bean, Corn & Turkey Chili@ 1 lb organic ground turkey
  • Sweet onion, diced finely
  • 1/2 large green pepper, finely diced
  • Organic fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chilies, 1 can
  • Organic tomato paste – 1 small can (or 1 can tomato sauce, depending on how thick you like it).
  • Organic Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed.
  • Frozen or canned Butter beans
  • Frozen corn
  • Chili powder – 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Oregano – 1 tsp
  • Ground red pepper – go easy or skip if you use the diced tomatoes with green chilies.
  • Paprika – 1 tsp
  • Black pepper – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic – 1/2 tsp from jar (or 1 clove, flattened and diced).


  1. Heat a heavy skillet on medium heat with 1 tbsp olive oil and brown the turkey, breaking it apart. Carefully remove excess liquid from pan.
  2. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to bottom of pan, then add diced pepper and onion and stir.
  3. When vegetables start to soften, add frozen butter beans.
  4. Simmer an additional 10 minutes.
  5. Add diced tomatoes with chilies, tomato paste, and drained kidney beans.
  6. Mix ground spices together in a small bowl (not garlic unless you are substituting garlic powder).
  7. Sprinkle spice mix over chili and stir in.  Simmer on low perhaps 10 minutes.
  8. In last 5 minutes of simmering ingredients, stir in frozen corn and garlic (if using fresh garlic)
  9. Simmer the additional 5 minutes and it’s ready any time, so lower heat to low or warm.
  10. Serve in bowls.  Pack leftovers in glass single-serving containers for quick meals on the go.

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