Fast and Easy Turkey Chili (and Reflections on Cupcakes)

Sitting here on my United flight from New Jersey to Denver, I am tempted to spend the $7.99 on Direct TV to hang out with the kids from “The New Girl” and my buddies Pam and Jim from “The Office.”   We could have some laughs over the next three hours. 

But television is pretty much a vacation-mode activity for me and after a wonderful weekend of shopping, special dinners and a successful baby shower, I’m ready to return to my usual habits.

I enjoyed a lot of vacation-mode eating on my two days in Soprano land. As you know if you have gone out to dinner with me or read the “About” section of this blog, I usually indulge in dessert when it looks too good to pass up. 

I’ll ignore the bread basket and ask the waiter to sub extra spinach for the mashed potatoes – but if the dessert menu comes and I see choices that look interesting and special and totally delicious, I chose to make that part of the 5% of the time I don’t stick to paleo principles. 

Decadent desserts are indulgences that are worth it to me.  (For a summary of this point of view, read this classic post from the folks at the Whole 9 that says it better than I could )

However, I do occasionally find myself reflecting on this post by Dr. Kurt Harris.  He asks some interesting questions in this post.  If I believe a grain-free, sugar-free diet is the best choice and then eat cake every time I am at a birthday party, is it true that–

“You’ve helped the enemy just a little with your vignette of The Thin and Fit Old Guy Who Proves It’s Fine To Eat a Bunch of Sugar….Are you nurturing the seed of the dominant industrial agriculture-based dietary paradigm, an unconscious conscript in the sugar-is-innocent-and-fat-is-evil reserve army?  If you are a vector for cultural change, which way is the arrow pointing?”

While I wouldn’t phrase it so dramatically, I do wonder if I am sending mixed message when I tell people I eat paleo because I believe it is the best choice — and then excuse myself to get a second cupcake.  I’d be curious to know your thoughts.

Anyhow, one place I never have to face these concerns is at my friend Aney’s house.  She doesn’t eat strict paleo; she tried it, liked it but didn’t drink the kool-aid.  However, she 100% supports my preference for paleo. 

She is beyond gracious, stocking up on spinach, avocados, sausage and eggs to start off the day.  This time, she also found a recipe for a no-bean chili.  We made a few minor tweaks and – bam!  — a crock pot of deliciousness good for two meals or more.  We didn’t make up this recipe, but I thought it was a winner worth sharing.

Fast and Easy Turkey Chili / Adapted (very slightly) from Terrific Turkey Chili on

Olive oil, 3 tablespoons

Ground turkey, 2 pounds

Taco seasoning, 1 packet

Ground coriander, 1 teaspoon

Oregano, 1 teaspoon

Chili pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon

Tomato paste, 2 tablespoons

Beef broth, 1 can (14.5 oz)

Salsa, 8 oz

Chopped tomatoes, 1 can (14.5 oz)

Chopped green chili peppers, 8oz

Onion, 1, medium, chopped

Green peppers, 1, chopped

For garnish –

Scallions, 1 bunch, chopped

Jalapenos, 8 oz, sliced

Cashews, 3/4 cup


  1. Add 2 tablespoon oil, ground turkey, taco seasoning mix, coriander, oregano, chili pepper flakes and tomato paste to large pan.  Mix together and sauté meat until browned.
  2. Add beef broth and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add salsa, chopped tomatoes and green chili and simmer for 10 more minutes.
  3. Add 1 oil, green pepper and onion to a different small pan.  Sauté for about 5 minutes until onion is soft.
  4. Add all ingredients into crock pot.  Simmer over low heat for 4-6 hours.
  5. Serve yourself a bowl, garnished with jalapenos, scallions and cashews.  Save the rest for another meal.

My awesome friend, Aney, pretending to eat Fast and Easy Turkey Chili. We were too hungry to take pictures before we ate.