So this is a quick thrown together “off the cuff” fresh twist on traditional chili that allows you to use a pound of lean ground turkey and a whole host of colorful vegetables.  Our goal, when able, should be to eat a rainbow… so this is an effortless way to achieve that goal.   Start with olive or avocado oil,  so your base is healthy.  I like to make dishes like this that i can freeze into lunch sized portions for an easy and smart choice the following week when strapped for time.   I wrote this recipe as i cooked it, which is what i often do… and the documentation you see here is purely from memory recall and a couple of photos i snapped during and after.  I love cooking this way and it’s what i like to refer to as ‘being in the zone.”  some of my best creations have been from daydreaming about ingredients and pairing flavors and textures in my head, hours later bringing them mind to bowl.  I always say, if i ever became one of those lucky lotto winners, i’d do three things. ONE:  I’d travel around the world exploring various cuisines and cooking methods, soaking up as much real-time knowledge as i can.  TWO: i’d do medical missionary work in places like Guatemala to maintain my nursing skills and be of true service in remote locations.  I’ve done this once and it was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had.  THREE: when not traveling and home spending time with family in SW Pennsylvania, i’d love to collab with a younger, like minded foodie with loads of entrepreneurial spirit, in need of bankrolling… and find an old church to rehab and turn it into a wicked kewl local brunch spot.  It would be called Soul in a bowl and i’d help create some of the most fantastic spoon worthy dishes you would ever have the pleasure of eating!!  It would be open from 10:30 until 2:30 four days a week.  Of course i’d be using all of my culinary knowledge acquired from number ONE above!  Never stop dreaming, right? you need to have a plan should the universe drop something in your lap.  True story. 

What you need:  (please read entire recipe before beginning so you understand the process)

1 lb ground turkey 

1 can chick peas (garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed

1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz large can)

Half a can of tomato paste (maybe two heaping tablespoons?) 

Half of a large onion diced 

Two or three large carrots peeled and small dice

One yellow or red bell pepper small dice

Four cloves of garlic finely chopped or minced

Half a head of purple cabbage, thinly sliced

Four large leaves of swiss chard, sliced and thinly chopped (bite size the leaves)

Any fresh herbs you have… stir in at end.  (think basil, parsley, fresh thyme or cilantro) 

Any shredded cheese you have for topping once you serve it up.  (i used shredded gouda from Aldi) 

Diced green onions optional for topping at end

1 cup of quinoa, cooked per package instructions. 

Chicken stock or broth (carton)  you may not use all of it, you will be adding it later


1 tsp ground chili powder

Sprinkle of red pepper flakes

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp salt (add more after if you like)

½ tsp black pepper (add more if you want)

I added a few shakes of turmeric,  chipotle powder, coriander and nutmeg. 

You do you… think about how you want it to taste. 

Same with dried oregano, etc… just pepper in to your taste. 

Get a large dutch oven and do a generous swirl of olive oil.  Once hot, add some red pepper flakes.  Add in your ground turkey and cook until pink is gone.. At that point add your onions and bell peppers and cook them over md high heat along with the turkey, stirring frequently.  Par cook the onions and peppers this way… and then add in all of your dried spices and stir… allowing them to hit the high heat a bit and activiate.  At this point you can start to add in all of the other ingredients… the veggies, the can of tomatoes, the beans… give a stir to combine.  Add enough of the chicken stock just to cover the contents of the pot and give everything a liquid in which to cook.  Think about the fact that you’ll be stirring in cooked quinoa at end, so you want enough extra liquid to accommodate that, but you don’t want a soup either.  Doing things like this where you have to think ahead and consider vegetables absorbing some of the liquid etc, will increase your cooking confidence and have you flying “off the cuff” on a regular basis.  Allow this to come up to a light boil, and then stir lightly & place a tight fitting lid and reduce heat to md/low.  Set timer for 15 mins.  After 15 mins give it a stir and add in the cooked quinoa and any fresh herbs you like.  If you don’t want to add all of the quinoa, you don’t have to.   You can reserve some for salads, etc through the week.   Allow to sit and cool a bit on the stove, lid off… and then serve up a bowl with some shredded cheese and a cold beer or glass of iced tea!  You’re gonna love it and it is super good for you!  Eat a rainbow yo! 

Peace and love.  Spags