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I hope you all are surviving this long and brutal winter. Hopefully spring is just around the corner, and we can all get outside to enjoy some fresh air and fun with our families. Being cooped up inside has forced us all to be creative with activities to keep us busy. I have used this winter to explore some new healthy recipes. One of my most favorite things to do on a cold day is to find a new healthy recipe and spend the day preparing it and sharing it with my family.  From my exploration and experimentation, I have realized how many great tasting recipes can also be good for you. I have gotten pretty good at taking a fat-filled recipe and then altering it to make it into something I can feel good about feeding to myself and my family.

We recently had a chili cook-off in our office at Kid First and my colleagues were astonished at how great tasting my healthy turkey chili was. It is amazing how just changing a few things really makes a difference where health and nutrition is concerned. I have attached the recipe for you all to try with your families.

Super Easy Healthy Turkey Chili


1 ¼ lbs lean ground Turkey
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans, undrained
1 (16 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups water


Measure and mix together all spices in a small bowl and set aside.  In a large skillet brown ground turkey, chopped onion, chopped pepper, and about ¾ of the spice mixture.  Brown turkey until cooked through.  While turkey is cooking add all other ingredients (except water and remaining spices) to a large pot and mix them together.  When turkey, onion, and pepper is cooked through add to pot with the rest of the ingredients.  Add water and remainder of spice mixture.  Bring to boil and reduce heat and cook on low heat 3-4 hours.  Bon appetite!!

I encourage you to enjoy cooking with your children and families.  Getting children involved in the process of finding a healthy recipe, picking out the healthy food at the grocery store, and then transforming it into a healthy fun dinner can be a very rewarding and fun activity to do together as a family.  It shows children that healthy and nutritious foods can taste good too.  They also learn that the same food can taste very differently depending how it is prepared.  This helps them learn that they need to taste things before they write them off completely.

Enjoy and best wishes,

Jean Russo CPNP