Smoky BBQ Turkey Chili

It’s a cold and snowy morning here in DC, and I have to admit: I feel like someone has attached lead weights to my feet. I didn’t sleep well last night; as it turns out, I’m a reeeeeaaaaaaally light sleeper, and the slightest noise will wake me up at 0300. I think it’s time to invest in a white noise machine, if only so I can make it through the night without groggily looking around the room while thinking “What on earth is that noise? And why can’t I sleep? This is so lame! 

I suspect that in addition to a white noise machine, I’m going to need one of these babies today:

 Photo: This would be a great birthday gift for you!


My workout this morning was similarly dragging. I did one 9:05 mile on the treadmill before opting for 10 minutes on the elliptical and 10 minutes on the bike — it’s not the most hard-core of workouts, but I hope to get some lifting in tonight when I get home. I figure there’s no harm in taking a day to go slow when I need it, or to break up my workouts into manageable chunks when I’m short on rest!

In response to the generally frigid weather, I’ve also been eating a lot of hearty soups and stews. I love chili, but the last few times I’ve tried to make it, my stomach has voiced its strong dissent. My mother-in-law used a recipe that I loved when I was in Texas (and it didn’t instigate any backtalk from the estomago!), and I had big plans to whip some up for our first real meal in the new place — until, that is, I realized that we didn’t have the right spices.


If my life were a movie, this would be the part where we’d flash to a scene of me shaking my fist at the spice cabinet. I’d also probably bust out some Medieval term like “Fie upon you, spice cabinet! A pox on your house!”




But I digress.


Failing the ability to get the needed spices (the food was already cooking away, so I’d reached the point of no return…or no leaving the apartment, as the case may be), I decided to improvise with some BBQ sauce. Brandon and I both love BBQ, and I particularly love Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce.

This is apostasy in our home, since Sweet Baby Ray’s isn’t legit Texas BBQ sauce — but it’s still damn good.

As luck would have it, I loooooooved this chili. It has just the right amount of smoky and spicy flavor, and it’s loaded with protein and veggies. For a vegetarian version, you can leave out the turkey and add a second can of black beans.

As a side note: I was also ludicrously excited to use the gorgeous soup/chili mugs Brandon’s mom made for us for Christmas. She created the pattern for these mugs, knowing that we have a Moroccan/Middle Eastern theme to our decor — to say that I’m basically in love with these things would be a huge understatement. Expect to see these in many a food photoshoot in the future!



Smoky BBQ Turkey Chili

1 lb. 99% fat free ground turkey breast
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper (preferably organic), diced
1 red pepper (preferably organic), diced
3 cans Muir Glen organic fire-roasted tomatoes
2 cans Bush’s chili beans (we used one mild and one medium)
1 small can green chiles
1 can black beans (preferably organic), drained and rinsed
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup BBQ sauce (I recommend Sweet Baby Ray’s)
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onions, garlic, and turkey until the turkey is cooked through. Transfer to a stock pot, and add the other ingredients (yup, all of ’em in at once!). Simmer on low-medium heat for 30 minutes, then serve.

You can top this with cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, avocado, cilantro — the list goes on, but it’ll be delicious and warming no matter what!

4 thoughts on “Smoky BBQ Turkey Chili

  1. therunwithin February 1, 2013 / 5:43 pm

    nothing wrong with taking a rest day when those days happen, sometimes working out just can't happen. our bodies need the rest

  2. Caitlin Helsel February 1, 2013 / 7:50 pm

    Omg sleep was soooo not my friend last night either…trying not to join peanut in his nap right now which would be a problem since he's sleeping in my arms…and i like to break up my workouts a lot since i have a short attention span and get bored easily (unless I'm running…then music snd changing scenary entertains me)…that chili looks amazing! Bbq sauce addition is genius!!

  3. jessielovestorun February 2, 2013 / 5:09 am

    Please tell me that you will be joining in on the blend meet up in D.C. in March??!! 🙂

  4. Dana June 11, 2013 / 3:35 pm

    This sounds awesome!!

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