Yesterday I hosted a chili cook off. Over a dozen crock pots filled with variations of veggie, turkey or meaty chili lined my dining room table. Everything was really good, but there was one pot that stood out from the rest, probably because it tasted most unique. My friend Marty made Thai Turkey Chili made with ginger, lemongrass and coconut milk. I’d post Marty’s picture along with this post…but I don’t think he’d appreciate it very much.  After all, he was holding a “trophy” of Frank’s RedHot (I put that sh*t on everything!) with a big silver star glue gunned to the top. I think he might have even been donning the red beaded chili pepper necklace that I found at Party City the day before on a whim.

Anyway, his ingredients – common in Thai fare – are actually really good for you.

  • Ginger eases the aches and pains of arthritis and other forms of inflammation.
  • Coconut Milk is rich in phosphorous, which is an essential nutrient needed to maintain strong bones.
  • Lemongrass has strong antioxidant properties keeping our cells healthy.
None of the ingredients are overwhelming, and they all work well together. It’s not super spice, rather warm and flavorful. I loved it!

Thai Turkey Chili
6 servings

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, diced small
2 stalks lemon grass, finely chopped
1 pc (1 inch longer) ginger root, peeled, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large turkey sausage, about 7 oz, removed from casing
1 lb. ground lean turkey
1 8 oz. container sliced mushrooms
1 small Thai red chili, seeded, cut in half, optional
1 tsp each: chili powder, cumin powder
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 sm can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 can (14 oz.) light coconut milk
1 C Thai or regular basil leaves, torn into pieces

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; add onions, lemon grass,
ginger and garlic. Cook, stirring, 3 minutes.

2. Add sausage, ground turkey, mushrooms, Thai red chili, chili powder and
cumin; cook, stirring to break up ground turkey, 3 minutes. Add oyster
sauce, tomato paste and coconut milk. Cover; heat to boil. Cook 5 minutes.
Remove from stove. Let cool slightly; stir in basil. Serve hot.

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