Is there anything more fun than hanging with family and friends before the game or big race and enjoying some good, but not good-for-you food? Let's face it, tailgating food does not have the best reputation. Since my husband and I have been trying to eat healthier, I was determined to create a healthier chili tailgating recipe. One of my favorite tailgating meals is chili, but I know it's not the healthiest thing you can eat. I decided I could make a few simple swaps to this tailgating recipe to make it a heart healthy recipe.
When I got home, I assembled and prepped my ingredients. I decided to modify my traditional chili recipe by substituting Splenda brown sugar blend for brown sugar and 93% lean ground turkey for ground beef.
I browned an entire package of ground turkey which was 1.25 pounds. You will want the turkey crumbly, so break it up with a spatula while cooking.
A crock pot is perfect for preparing tailgating food. You can cook the food at home and transport it to the event, still warm. Plus crock pots just rock in general. You just toss in a few ingredients, then leave and go about you day, and before you know, a hearty meal appears. It's like when you were a kid and you'd go out and play all day and come home to dinner on the table. The crock pot is like the mom of kitchen appliances.
I got out my crock pot, added some olive oil (good for the heart!), chopped garlic, onion and red and green peppers.
Next, I added the kidney beans, browned ground turkey and my two cans of crushed tomatoes. Finally, the chili spices and brown sugar blend.
I stirred it all up, popped on the cover, turned it on and started on the day's chores.
You can cook the chili for 4-8 hours depending on the time available. Am I the only one who can't resist peeking in the crock pot when it's cooking? My husband gives me a hard time for disturbing the process and I always get hit with a face full of steam, but I do it anyway. I cooked my chili for 8 hours.
When it is done cooking, let the chili sit for a few minutes and it will thicken up.
When I was ready to serve the chili I added a sprinkling of shredded jack and cheddar cheese.
The chili was delicious and while I ate more than I should have (couldn't resist!) I felt less guilt than I would have had it been my normal chili.
- 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
- ½ small red onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium red pepper chopped
- 1 medium green pepper chopped
- 1.25 lb ground turkey 93% lean
- 2 cans of crushed tomatoes 28 oz each
- 1 can of red kidney beans 15 oz
- 2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons of Splenda brown sugar blend
- 2 tablespoons of chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ¾ cup Shredded cheddar for garnish
- Brown the package of ground turkey on the stove.
- Add olive oil to crock pot. Then add chopped garlic, onion, red and green peppers.
- Add red kidney beans, ground turkey, and crushed tomatoes to the ingredients in the crock pot.
- Add the seasonings and brown sugar blend.
- Stir the ingredients and cover the crock pot.
- Turn on and cook on high setting for 4 hours or low setting for 8 hours.
- When the chili is done cooking, let it sit for a few minutes until it thickens.
- Sprinkle on some of the shredded cheese before serving.