Northside SF  

October '09

The Kitchenless Cook
Avoiding the pill
By Bill Knutson

Turkey and black bean chili
photo: Elizabeth Armstrong
I have long been a fan of Anthony Bourdain’s show, No Reservations, and his endless international bingeing on pork. His stamina for eating, drinking, and his other excesses have made him my culinary hero. That is until his recent “Obsessed” episode, where he revealed that to keep eating his beloved pork, he must start taking medication. Also in the show, Anthony meets food blogger Jason at a burger joint to taste his all-time favorite burger, which Jason is unable to enjoy himself because of his high cholesterol.

I have to admit this started to scare me. Not that I am even close to being obsessed as much as these guys, but I do love to spoil myself quite often with the finer foods in life. I don’t want to eliminate anything from my diet, nor do I want to start a daily regimen of medications. So I have decided to start eating more healthfully by enjoying the foods I like in greater moderation and finding appetizing alternatives.

This month’s recipe is a variation on my dad’s chili, perhaps my all-time favorite comfort food. To make it heart healthy, I substitute ground turkey for the beef, and to up the flavor, I use black beans in place of the kidney beans. This goes well with a glass of ale – in moderation of course.


Turkey and Black Bean Chili
Serves 4 to 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon chipotle pepper powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon crushed oregano
1 tablespoon black pepper
Salt to taste
2  15-ounce cans of diced tomatoes
2  15-ounce cans of black beans

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat and add turkey. Break up turkey with a spoon, and stir regularly until browned. Add onion and garlic and cook until onions are soft. Add seasonings and mix well. Drain liquid from black beans and add beans with undrained tomatoes to pot. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer at least one hour, stirring occasionally. The longer it simmers, the better the flavors will blend.
Serve and enjoy.

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