Fall Flavors...Chili!

Josh and I are on a big money saving kick. I know, I know- NYC living and money saving- an oxymoron.  While we're not packing our things and leaving the big city just yet, we've been trying to pinch pennies wherever possible in an effort to grow our little nest egg (insert aww here).

One easy place we identified big savings was: lunch. Both working at Ogilvy, we easily racked up big (and unnecessary) lunch bills. At $8-$10 a day the Ogilvy slopateria just wasn't cutting it. Lunch was not only expensive, but we didn't even enjoy what we were eating- hello, that's the whole point of eating! So a few weeks ago we decided to try cooking on Sundays, and packing lunch for the week. The first weeks have been great, and I even got us matching lunch boxes (double aww).

Now that we're packing lunch we try to think of cost effective recipes that will travel well and also make a decent number of servings. Yesterday, we were craving something epically Fall, and decided to try our hand at chili. I don't have a chili recipe in my arsenal so I called my mom. She always makes a big batch around the Super Bowl, and there is never enough to go around. I substituted beef for turkey and halved the recipe (which my mom had already halved before giving me the measurements so in essence, I quartered it!) and ingredient list in hand we headed for Trader Joes. $29 later, were headed home; $29 for canned tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 packages of turkey meat, chicken sausage, parsley, scallions, olives and kidney beans...Trader Joes for the WIN.

At first we were skeptical about how much chili our quartered recipe would yield, but about an hour later, we were skeptics no more!  For our $29 investment we will likely get around 10-11 lunches, do the math folks that amounts to less than $3 a pop.

If you're looking for a chili recipe for your football crowd, roommate, boyfriend, family or just you-yourself-and-I, give this one a whirl, I highly recommend it! It's hearty, spicy and full of my favorite thing- OLIVES. Next time I would add less chili powder (I went a bit overboard) and would try it with real beef, but for our first time, I think we did great! Try it out and let me know what you think, I'm interested to hear your thoughts!

Indredients (I halved this recipe)
1 tbsp olive oil.
1 bunch scallions
1 pound sausage removed from casing (I used chicken sausage)
4 pounds ground chuck (I used turkey meat)
1 12ounce can tomato paste (I used 1 6 ounce can)
1.5 tbsp garlic
1 tbsp ground pepper
2 ounce cumin
1 ounce chili powder (do this to taste, mine was a bit heavy handed)
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp basil
1 tbsp salt
1/4 cup dijon mustard (I didn't half this)
1/4 cup burgundy, or any dry red wine (I didn't half this)
1/8 cup lemon juice
3 cans plum tomatoes (28 ounce cans)
2 15 ounce cans of dark red kidney beans
2 12 ounce cans pitted large black olives
1/4 cup parsley


In a large pot, heat olive oil and saute scallions until soft. Add sausage and ground chuck and cook until browned. Spoon off any excess fat/oil and discard. Once the meat is browned, add tomato paste, garlic, pepper, cumin, chili powder, oregano, basil and salt. Stir until combined. Add in tomatoes, dijon mustard, burgundy, lemon juice, kidney beans and parsley.  Stir well and simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Stir, add black olives, let simmer for another 5 minutes.


PS. This turkey version comes in under 220 calories per serving and is packed with protein and fiber!