This caliente recipe is sure to heat you up, but you can also use mild turkey sausage if you prefer lower-alarm chili. While 95% lean ground beef is a healthy choice, the ground sirloin used here trumps it with even less fat and saturated fat and more protein.
6 ounces hot turkey Italian sausage
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground sirloin
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 fresh bay leaves
1 1/4 cup merlot (or other fruity red wine)
5 to 6 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp white cheddar
Heat a large Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage and add to pot with onion, bell pepper, garlic, sirloin, and jalapeño. Cook 8 minutes or until sausage and beef are browned, stirring to crumble. Add chili powder, brown sugar, cumin, tomato paste, oregano, pepper, salt, and bay leaves and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine, tomatoes, and kidney beans and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaves and sprinkle each serving with cheddar cheese.
Nutrition score per serving: 244 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated), 18g carbs, 22g protein, 4g fiber
Recipe provided by Chef Julieta Ballesteros of China Latina in New York City.