Sunday, May 18, 2008

Noelle's Crockpot Three Bean Turkey Chili

There was an episode of "Top Chef" a few weeks ago that contained a challenge for the chefs to make a healthy, easy-to-prepare meal for a family of four that cost no more than $10.

I enjoyed this challenge, but I especially enjoyed the aspect of trying to keep it under $10. I drive my husband crazy by mentally tallying up the cost of a given dinner (while we are eating) and telling him how inexpensive it was to cook at home and isn't so much better than going out to eat?!?! He is a good sport and plays along with me. That's one of the reasons I love him :-)

So, here is my first installment of "Meals for $10 or Less". A couple of notes - I usually use "house brands" for items like canned tomatoes or beans unless otherwise specified. I will assume that your cupboard is stocked with the basics, like seasonings and will not include them in the cost of making the recipe.

This chili recipe is one of our favorites - it tastes great, is low-fat, full of nutrition and is super easy to make because you throw it all in the crockpot. You can cut costs by purchasing your ground turkey on sale (freeze it if you don't plan on using it right away). A few weeks ago I came across a large selection of La Preferida organic canned beans (15 oz cans) that were marked down to $.35 a can. I have no idea why they were in the "Clearance" cart at the grocery store - the use by dates weren't until 2010 - but I didn't ask questions, I just bought all 19 cans! Hubby rolled his eyes when I got home, but that's what you gotta do when you are trying to be a Smart Spender - buy on sale and if you don't need it right away, store it (especially if it's marked down 75%!!)

Noelle's Three Bean Turkey Chili - $8.11
1 pound ground turkey $3
1 (28 ounce) can diced or whole tomatoes $1.35
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained $1.09
1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained $.99
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained $.99
1/2 medium onion, chopped $.69
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Place turkey in a non-stick skillet and cook until evenly brown; drain.

Inside of a large crockpot mix turkey, tomatos, beans and onion. Season with chili powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, cumin and stir well to combine all ingredients.

Cover and cook 8 hours on Low or 4 hours on High. Stir occasionally. Yields appx 8 servings.

NOTE: You can stretch this even further by serving it over cooked elbow macaroni or even spaghetti (and make your own version of "Cincinnati Chili"). Sometimes I will also chop up and add green pepper if I have it on hand.

1 comment:

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

This looks delicious! I am trying to really reduce our grocery budget and I love chili recipes.

p.s. Can you contact me? You won the Tomo&Edie baby kimono at Blissfully Domestic and I need your mailing address. Maybe this will make your birthday month a little brighter! ;)

My e-mail address is blondemomblog at! :)