Anyone who’s ever dieted knows how difficult it is to lose weight while getting toned and cut up. And apropos to this Thanksgiving ‘s “Caloric Armageddon” season, I want to share one of my “secret” Super Foods with you, which has helped me tremendously in my own diet, in terms of losing down to under 4% body fat. And this is where I’d like to give a major shout-out to my good friend, Sandra Chan, who gave me the recipe to this simple yet wonderful dish (God bless your soul, Sandra… you’re like an amateur Bobby Flay, seriously!).
So what makes something a Super Food? Well, when you’re dieting and working out, you need to find foods that offer four things: Foods that (1) are Tasty to allow you to stick with the diet for an extended time; (2) are LOW in Calorie while being HIGH in Nutritional Value; (3) Suppress your hunger and keep you full longer; and (4) are High in Protein to fuel your recovery & muscle development while keeping you under your caloric budget.
But it’s SO DIFFICULT to find foods that fit all of these criteria. Foods that generally taste good are high in calories and/or low in nutritional value, and foods that are good for you and low in calorie either don’t have enough protein or taste like a sweaty sock. Well, guess what? This Turkey Chili recipe is one of the single best meals that I know which checks off everything on the list above. Practically speaking, this Turkey Chili has worked wonders for me… as you know, hunger is one of the most difficult feelings to control. And for me, my biggest hunger attacks come late in the evening, as I crank away with work until the wee hours of the morning (usually 3~4 AM)… at these times, I feel like I could devour the entire meat section at Lucky’s, and I begin scouring my kitchen for food to annihilate. But when I eat a cup (or 2 cups if I’m incredibly hungry) of this Turkey chili, the cravings disappear, and I’m my normal “Dr. Jekyll” self again (as opposed to Mr. Hyde), at least for a few more hours 🙂 Scientifically, it turns out that the high fiber, high protein, and high cholecystokinin content in this dish helps to suppress hunger and appetite, keep your insulin levels at even keel, and ultimately keep you on track to lose fat.
Turkey Chili Recipe
So without further ado, here is the recipe for my favorite Turkey Chili. And Gentlemen! This dish is so easy to make, even culinary-challenged guys like us can make this dish with our eyes closed. For the most part, you throw a bunch of ingredients into a pot and heat it up. Here’s what you need:
- 99% lean ground Turkey: 32 ounces (2 pounds), raw.
- 1 Can of Diced Tomatoes: 3.5 cups.
- 1 Can of Pinto Beans in Chili Sauce: 1.75 cups.
- 1 Can of Black Beans: 1.5 cups.
- 1 Can of Garbanzo Beans: 1.75 cups.
- 1 Can of Dark Red Kidney Beans: 1.75 cups.
- 1 Can of Whole Kernel Corn: 1.75 cups.
- Chili Powder: 2 tablespoons.
- “Better than Buillon” Chicken Base: 2 tablespoons(3.5 cups of chicken stock can be used as an alternative).
- Water: 3.5 cups (if you use chicken stock instead of “Better than Buillon”, do not add water).
- Optional ingredients: you can put in diced onions, garlic, and other vegetables in for more flavor.
Step 1: Cook the lean, ground Turkey lightly (I like it medium rare). Put the contents into the pot.
Step 2: Add the rest of the ingredients into the pot. Drain the juice of the Black Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Dark Red Kidney Beans, and Whole Kernel Corn before putting them into the pot.
Step 3: Heat up the contents on a stove and serve! FYI, I love to put Tabasco sauce in mine, as it gives it a nice, spicy kick, and it tastes oh, so good!
This makes a large pot full of Turkey Chili – about 19~20 cups (~20 servings). But the truly amazing thing is that not only is this delicious, nutritionally dense, very filling, and high in protein, but this entire pot contains less than 3,000 calories! This is awesome, considering it’s enough food for several days to a week’s worth of moderate eating for most people (in conjunction with other foods).
I calculated the nutrition information based on the ingredients, divided by the servings: each 1 cup serving (~8 oz, or about 2 scoops of a regular home ladle) contains the following nutrition:
- Calories: 155 kcal
- Protein: 16 grams (~40% of calories)
- Carbohydrate: 19 grams (~50% of calories)
- Fat: 1.8 grams (~10% of calories)
Frankly, if I wanted to, I could probably do an entire diet program off of this one food alone! Normally, it takes ridiculous discipline for me to diet at 2,000 calories per day (I usually go higher at around 2,600), but with this dish, I could technically do it AND get enough protein intake for the day (at least 175+ grams of protein, with 200 + grams being my ideal goal) while staying full and satiated.
Try this out at home. This is a secret weapon of mine that has helped my diet. When you try it and it works, don’t thank me, you can thank my friend Sandra 🙂 Enjoy your Thanksgiving, and until next time, stay healthy and motivated!