Monday, January 1, 2007

Touchdown Turkey Chili

In order to not penalize your waistline this Super Bowl Sunday (and your New Year’s resolution for that matter), try this healthy chili recipe. In this chili recipe we bench the fattier sausage or ground beef and send in the lean ground turkey instead. The result is sure to score a touchdown with any crowd!

Serves 6

3 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1.5 pounds lean ground turkey (97% fat-free)*
1- 1 ounce package taco mix seasoning
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 – 14.5 ounce can fat-free beef broth*
1- 7 ounce jar salsa
1- 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1- 7 ounce can chopped green chile peppers
1- 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained
1- 15 ounce can black beans, drained
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
Fat-free sour cream (optional)
Low-fat shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large stock-pot over medium-high heat. Crumble turkey into the pot and break apart as much as possible.
  2. Season with taco mix, coriander, oregano, red pepper flakes, and tomato paste. Continue cooking until turkey is well browned.
  3. Pour in beef broth and simmer about 5 minutes.
  4. Add salsa, tomatoes, green chiles, chickpeas, and black beans, and continue cooking at a simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust thickness as necessary by adding water.
  5. While chili is cooking, heat one teaspoon of oil in a skillet. Cook onion and green bell pepper until onion is translucent and pepper is slightly browned. Add onion and pepper to the chili pot and continue to simmer.
  6. Heat the third teaspoon of oil in the same skillet and add the zucchini. Cook until lightly browned. Add the zucchini to the chili and continue to cook for another 15 minutes.
  7. Ladle chili into bowls. Top with a dollop of fat-free sour cream or low-fat shredded cheese if desired.

Calories per serving (without cheese or sour cream): ~350

*To make this a vegetarian recipe, you can substitute 2 Lightlife Gimme Lean, Ground Beef Style packages for the ground turkey and mushroom or vegetable stock for the beef stock.

Startling Statistics

Did you know that…

  • The Super Bowl is ranked as the number two food consumption event of the year, second only to Thanksgiving?
  • Americans consume 30.4 million pounds of snack foods during the Super Bowl?
  • Americans consume more than 11 million pounds of potato chips on Super Bowl Sunday?
  • Americans double their average daily consumption of snacks on Super Bowl Sunday, consuming more than 33 million pounds of goodies in one day?
  • The average Super Bowl watcher consumes about 1200 calories during the course of the game?
  • An additional $11.8 million is sold in beer prior to Super Bowl Sunday?
  • $237.2 million are spent on soft drinks during the week leading up to the Super Bowl?

This year, let’s try to bring down the numbers. Nu-train newsletter readers, America and your body need you!

Statistics courtesy of

Defending your Waistline on Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday can be one of the toughest days of the year when it comes to eating. With the unlimited spread of snack foods, giant hero sandwiches, pizza, wings, and not to mention beer, it can be pretty hard to defend those resolutions that were made just a few weeks earlier. This year, however, with just a little planning, we can easily score big on taste without penalizing our waistlines.

The Game Plan

Prior to Kickoff
First, ensure that you aren’t starving by the time your Super Bowl party starts. Make sure that you eat regular meals (i.e. breakfast, lunch, and a PM snack) before you arrive at your party so that you can perform well at game-time.

The Defense
As a Super Bowl party guest, you will be playing on someone else’s turf, and so you will need to be on the defensive.

  • When you get to the party, hold off on hitting the food table. Converse with the other guests, and grab a glass of water to help fill you up.
  • Allow yourself a small taste of everything at the party that you want. After that, bench the fattier options, and send in the low-cal replacements.
  • Bring something with you. Prepare a healthy dish such as a turkey chili, or arrange a colorful fruit or vegetable platter with a low-fat yogurt based dip.
  • Bench the high-cal beverages. Though Super Bowl Sunday may encourage loads of beer drinking, remember that one regular beer contains about 150 calories. Try water, seltzer, or diet drinks instead. If you feel you are missing out on the alcohol, try a wine spritzer (1/2 wine, ½ sparkling water), or even a light beer.

The Offense
If you’re the one throwing the party, you have the home field advantage. Instead of putting out the usual fatty fare, surprise your opponents and slim down the options.

  • Though chili has a wonderful healthy base of beans and tomatoes, the beef, sausage, cheese, and sour cream can intercept your healthy eating plan. Try choosing extra-lean ground beef or turkey, or opt for a soy crumble. Try low-fat cheese and/or non-fat sour cream in place of the higher calorie condiments.
  • Instead of saucy, fried wings, try oven-frying some boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Cut the breasts into bite size pieces, dip them in egg whites or buttermilk, and dredge them in either breadcrumbs or cornflake crumbs. Bake in the oven and serve with a honey-mustard or barbecue sauce.
  • Foot-long heros may be an old standby on Super Bowl Sunday, but the high-fat and high-sodium meats, the cheeses, the oil, and the mayonnaise (not to mention the sheer quantity), can easily add up to hundreds of extra calories. Instead of buying the pre-made sandwiches, make a sandwich platter. Arrange different lean meats like turkey, chicken, and ham. Put out low-fat dressings and mayo, and loads of veggies. Provide a variety of whole grain breads, wraps, and rolls.
  • For a low-fat cornbread, use part whole-wheat flour, low-fat or fat-free buttermilk, and canola oil.
  • Bake tortilla chips or pita wedges and serve with low-fat dips that use fat-free or reduced-fat yogurt, sour cream, or cream cheese as their base.
  • Load your potato skins with salsa and a sprinkling of reduced fat cheese instead of bacon and cheese sauce. Top with a small dollop of non-fat sour cream if desired.
  • Order pizza without cheese and ask for extra veggies.
  • Put out pretzels, popcorn, and baked chips instead of greasy potato chips.
  • Don’t forget the veggies! Put out a big vegetable platter with a variety of cut-up veggies and low-fat dip.
  • Provide other drink options aside from beer. Keep plenty of water, coffee, and diet drinks on hand.

Whether you’re at home or away this Super Bowl Sunday, you are now prepared to avoid getting sacked by those extra pounds. Now all you need to do is hope that your football team is as prepared as you are.