Cooking healthy is hard. I just have to say that – it’s difficult to replace tasty ingredients with healthier options – it takes a lot of thinking and planning. This stew inspired by white chili. It’s my version of white chili and it was put together in the kitchen with what I had in the kitchen. This is very low in sodium, which is great for folks looking for something healthy and heart-friendly.
8 oz of ground turkey
4 oz of dried orzo
1 rib of celery, chopped finely
1 carrot, chopped finely
1/2 white onion, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
1 tbl of tomato paste
3 cups of water
3 green onions, chopped finely
1 tbl of low fat, plain, yogurt (I once made chicken salad and used vanilla flavored yogurt on accident – my chicken salad smelled like potpourri)
1 tbl of jarred tomatillo salsa – I like Rick Bayless’ Frontera
2 tbl of chili powder
1 tsp of red pepper flakes
In a large saucepan, spray the cooking spray and heat over a medium-high heat, and when the pan is hot, add the turkey and cook, making sure that all the pink is gone and that the ground turkey is fully cooked. When it’s done, take the turkey out and set aside. Spray again with the cooking spray and drop in the chili powder and stir and let the chili powder cook – it’ll start giving off a pleasant, nutty smell. Add the onion, garlic, celery, carrot and stir, making sure that the vegetables get covered with the chili-infused oil and cook – letting the veggies sweat. Cook for about 10 minutes and then add the tomato paste and stir and keep cooking, letting the paste form a fond on the bottom of the pan. This will take about 8 minutes. Once a deep fond is formed, throw in the orzo and stir, and let the pasta toast – do this for about half a minute. Add a little bit of the water – about half an cup, and stir, making sure you’ve broken up the fond. Add the rest of the water and stir constantly so that the orzo doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Let the stew come to a boil and then lower the heat to low and let it cook for about 20, 25 minutes, letting the orzo puff up and cook through. After about 25 minutes, add the tomatillo salsa, green onion, the yogurt and stir. Grind in some fresh pepper and add some more chili powder if you’d like. Then add the turkey and stir, letting the meat heat through and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring over a low heat. Serve immediately – sprinkle a little bit of parmesan cheese if you’d like. Oh, and enjoy.