It just makes sense. Adding healthy, detoxifying herbs and spices to already healthy foods creates a powerful combination. So is the case with my Ginger Infused Turkey Chili with Quinoa. Somewhere along the line, ginger became a staple in my kitchen. Whether I use it to make a tea by steeping a few fresh slices in hot water, or add it to my favorite vegetable dish or entree, it always turns out great.
Ginger: anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory
Even though ginger can be very strong, depending how much you use, it's hugely beneficial. Most people know that ginger has pretty terrific anti-nausea properties, but it's also anti-inflammatory, too, thanks to a compound called gingerol. People with some forms of arthritis, infection, or even the common cold can benefit.
Alkalizing Herbs & Spices
In addition to all of the great things about ginger, it's also alkalizing in our body. In terms of our blood's pH, the opposite of alkaline is acid. If our blood swings too far in either direction, we're in pretty bad shape. That said, our blood should sit somewhere between 7.0 to 7.5 - making in somewhat alkaline. If your blood pH starts heading south, toward 6.5 or below, you're becoming too acidic. Chances are, if you're overly acidic, you're not well as many diseases are associated with an overly acidic body.
Note: Don't stop eating lemons! Acidic foods, like citrus-based foods, are actually alkalizing in our body. Food for thought.
It's okay to eat acid-forming foods (many healthy foods are, including turkey!), as long as you're countering them with a majority of alkaline-forming foods. Still, stay away from the ridiculously unhealthy acid-forming foods, like fries, chips, pastries, excess alcohol, a diet high in dairy...you get the point.
Fortunately for you, this recipe is l-o-a-d-e-d with alkaline-forming herbs and spices, including cinnamon, cilantro, cumin, sea salt and turmeric. The only spice that's not alkaline-forming is black pepper. But that's ok! When you combine heat + black pepper + turmeric, you unleash the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin, thanks to the volatile oil in black pepper called pipeline.
I added carrots to this chili. I know it's not a traditional ingredient, but this isn't a traditional chili and I love carrots. Besides, they're good for you!
P.S. This recipe is on the bigger side. If you're cooking for a smaller group, simply halve the recipe.
Ginger Infused Turkey Chili with Quinoa
Serves 6 - 8
1 pound ground turkey breast
1 pound ground turkey thigh
2 28-ounce cans of pureed tomato
1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)
1 cup water
1 cup yellow onions, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 inches of ginger, coarsely chopped (does not need to be finely chopped or shaved)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (more if you want some extra heat)
1. Warm a stock pot over medium heat, then add olive oil.
2. After olive oil is warm, add onions and sauté for about three minutes.
3. Add garlic and ginger to the onions and sauté for another two minutes. Be sure heat is low enough that you don't burn the garlic.
4. Add ground turkey and brown.
5. Add tomato puree, water and quinoa. Continue to cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until quinoa is done.
6. Add in remaining herbs and spices except for the cilantro. Mix well.
7. Ladle chili into individual bowls, garnishing with a small amount of cilantro over the top.