Recipes from The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm are those used to to inspire young people and their families to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. Madeleine Fischer, program coordinator at The Sylvia Center, offers recipes that they cook with the youth, teens and families who participate in their cooking classes in the community and programs at Katchkie Farm. Follow their blog to learn more.
It’s that time of year when one day is so sunny and temperate that you’re convinced spring has arrived, and then you wake up the next day to a snow-blanketed world brought on by a Nor’easter. When young people visit the farm, we teach them that these changes in weather are cues that give us insight (by way of food cravings) into what can be healing in cold weather months. We want everyone to be able to recognize those signals and have the skills and confidence to decide what to eat, depending on the season.
We keep this recipe for Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili on hand for days when we need something warm. After making a base of turkey, butternut squash, beans and warming spices (cumin, oregano and chili powder), you can adjust the optional items. Add heartiness with cheese, sour cream and avocado. Use spinach, cilantro, lime and scallions to add freshness and color. The end result? Brothy and light meets hearty and warm. If we can’t depend on the weather from one day to the next, at least we’ll be eating well!
Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili
1-2 cups brown rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground turkey meat, white and dark combined
1 small butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and diced
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 large red bell pepper, cored, de-seeded and coarsely chopped
1 cup celery, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, small dice
1 jalapeño pepper, cored, deveined and finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 cups canned diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth, fresh or canned
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
(2) 15-ounce cans of red kidney beans, drained
Optional additions for serving:
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup sour cream
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
4-5 scallions, chopped
1 lime, sliced 8 ways for squeezing
2-3 avocados, sliced
½ pound spinach, fresh or frozen
1. Prepare brown rice according to package instructions.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil over high heat in a large heavy pot and add the turkey meat. Cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, chopping down and stirring with the side of a heavy kitchen spoon to break up any lumps.
3. Add butternut squash and sauté for another 3 minutes.
4. Add the onions, garlic, pepper, celery, carrot, jalapeño pepper, oregano, bay leaves, chili powder and cumin. Stir to blend well. Cook for 5 minutes.
5. Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
6. Add the drained beans and frozen spinach (if using) and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes longer.
7. Serve over brown rice in bowls with any combination of optional additions, if desired.
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