Keeping Chili Inside

          For many, comfort foods are not just to satiate our palates and fill our bellies, it’s a state of mind. It takes us back to a place and time or brings us a feeling of happiness, safety and well, comfort. While anyone can indulge in these foods at any time, we tend to gravitate to comfort food when we are feeling sad, empty, angry, lonely, or any of the more negative feelings that are harder to process or deal with. There are times when we use food as a celebration or as nostalgia, however, there are far too many times that we as adults use unhealthy comfort foods to manage our stressful feelings. According to, ‘twenty-seven percent of adults say they eat to manage stress and 34 percent of those who report overeating or eating unhealthy foods because of stress say this behavior is a habit’. While those statistics don’t look very good, there is still hope.
                A favorite comfort food among many is chili. Luckily there are many recipes out there to satisfy every appetite. With the weather cooling down and the season bringing forth such a beautiful bounty of vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals that range across the alphabet, I would like to bring you a healthy recipe for chili featuring sweet potatoes which are rich in magnesium. This particular mineral is known to help lower stress and aid in alleviating depression. According to,  ‘magnesium deficiency and depression are linked because they both feature cell-mediated immune responses and body-wide inflammation’, therefore increasing your magnesium may aid in your overall health. When speaking with your therapist and/or doctor you should always talk about a diet that works for you and keeping your physical AND mental health goals in mind. If you find yourself craving a particular food when you are sad or lonely, talk with your therapist or dietitian about finding a healthier
alternative so that you can still indulge while becoming a healthier you in the process.
                Below you will find a recipe for Chipotle Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes. This recipe will yield 8 servings; therefore, you will have enough for leftovers or to feed a large family. You can think outside the box and add an egg or avocado for extra protein and have this as breakfast or put it with some multigrain toast and have it for lunch. If this particular recipe does not sound satisfying to you, try some of these others at,
Chipotle Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 15-oz. cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded (about 4 cups)
  • Diced avocado, fresh cilantro, and Greek yogurt, for topping (optional)
Step 1
Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add turkey; cook, breaking up meat, until browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from pot using a slotted spoon.
Step 2
Add onion, jalapeño, and garlic to pot; sauté until onion is tender, about 6 minutes. Add spices, salt, and pepper; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and their juices; cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Step 3
Return turkey to pot and add beans, sweet potatoes, and 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cover. Cook until sweet potatoes are tender and chili is thick, about 1 hour.
Step 4
Taste and season with additional salt and pepper. Serve with toppings, if desired.
Nutrition Info
Calories per serving 259, Fat per serving 9g, Saturated fat per serving 2g, Cholesterol per serving 42mg, Fiber per serving 8g, Protein per serving 18g, Carbohydrates per serving 29g, Sodium per serving 677mg, Iron per serving 3mg, Calcium per serving 76mg

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