A couple weeks ago, in a panic over the thought of being away from home for dinnertimes on end, I made a few batches of freezable things to stash away for Mike and W. Not that I didn’t think they could survive happily on eggs and toast.
One of those things (as part of an article I was working on for What’s Up Kids magazine in Toronto) was turkey chili with barley. Barley has more fiber than whole wheat bread, brown rice, or oats. It’s great stuff. And Canada is the second largest producer of it. In Alberta, we produce half the Canadian crop.
The trade-off tonight at 9:30 was so fast that I didn’t get a chance to ask Mike what they ate tonight, but the empty container evidence in the sink suggests it was a turkey chili night. This photo was one I did for the magazine – the piece was on edible bowls. (For kids who like to play with their food, and parents who hate doing dishes.)
Turkey Chili with Barley
Canola or olive oil, for cooking
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 lb. lean ground turkey
¼ cup chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper (white pepper, if you have it)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 can chicken stock, undiluted
1 28 oz. (798 mL) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup jarred salsa, hot or mild (optional)
2 19 oz. (598 mL) cans white kidney or navy beans, drained
1/2 cup pot or pearl barley
Low fat sour cream and fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
Heat a drizzle of oil in a large, heavy pot set over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for a few minutes, until softened. Add the turkey and cook until no longer pink. Add the chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Cook for another minute.
Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, salsa, beans and barley and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes. By then the barley should be cooked through.
If you want to serve it right away, let it simmer for another 15-20 minutes, then taste and adjust the seasonings. Otherwise, let it cool and then refrigerate overnight; reheat on the stovetop over medium heat after a day or two. Add some extra stock or tomatoes if the barley has absorbed too much liquid and it has become too thick.