A few things I have learned about living in a Chicago winter so far…
- You bundle up in the most warm and oversized outerwear that you can imagine. Thanks to Mara, I was fully prepared for the drastic temperature plummet today with my beautiful hand knit scarf.
- You walk fast. No messing around here with leisurely lollygaging or you might get run over by someone very determined to find comfort in the warmth of the indoors.
- If you do need to walk, you plan out your journey with several short stops in random coffee shops. Don’t worry, there are hundreds of them on every street so you won’t find yourself short of a place to warm yourself.
- You consume hot liquids all day. Coffee, tea, or better yet, a hearty, soul-soothing meal that heats the entire body for hours.
Chili is my go-to winter meal. Conveniently when I make it, it usually results in leftovers for the week, which is especially appropriate for someone like me at the moment, where time is no longer an option in my schedule. Also, being more budget conscious these days, I realized it costs me about $20 to make a recipe that will produce 6-8 meals. Not bad.
Unlike me, this chili does have the advantage of time, considering it will only get better as the days go on. My soups don’t usually last longer than a week in my fridge, but if I know they won’t be eaten in that time, I will freeze any leftovers. Frozen soup can last for months.
This turkey chili was my attempt at cooking one big meal and having in last all week. I went for taste, ease, and rationality and I’m happy to say, all of the above was achieved.
- 1 pound ground turkey breast
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 small green pepper, finely chopped
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- salt and pepper
- 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 14oz can chicken broth
- 1 jar of corn salsa (about 1 cup)
- 1 can of black beans
- 4 tbsp taco seasoning
- Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add onions, pepper, and garlic and saute until they begin to soften. (about 5 minutes)
- Add the turkey, breaking up into small bits.
- Season the mixture with salt and pepper and cook until turkey meat is cooked.
- Add the taco seasoning and stir together.
- Add the tomatoes, broth, beans, and salsa and combine.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer over medium low heat for 20-25 minutes.
I also whipped up a side of my famous pumpkin cornbread, because let’s face it, what is chili without the cornbread right?
So far, the vibrance of this city is overriding my hatred of cold weather. It’s easy to forget about the chill when you have the Chicago fever!