Turkey, Veggie, & Barley Chili

Guess what? I got a snow morning! Morning classes at UNC were cancelled today due to snow and ice. Sweeeeeet :)


Seriously, though. Is it spring yet?!

Anyway! As ya’ll know (yes, ya’ll, now that I’m back in the south), yesterday was the first day of my second semester of grad school at UNC! It was actually awesome — I really liked the two classes we had so far and I’m nerdily excited about this semester. Homework sucks, but I think I’m really going to miss being in classes and learning when I’m done with this program!

What I’m taking this semester:

  • Dietary Changes and Interventions
  • Nutritional Biochemistry
  • Food Service System Management
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • Principles of Epidemiology for Public Health

Yeah — 5 classes this semester, and much more hard science, too! It’s going to be a majorly busy one. You’ll also note that this semester marks the return of Biochem, gah! We had that class yesterday though and it actually seems like it will be interesting (plus, it’s more of a refresher course because we have our really hard Biochem class next semester) — the professor is Czech, too, which is fun, considering that I taught in Prague and all :)

The other class we had yesterday was Dietary Changes and Interventions, which I think is going to be awesome. Great professor and very anthropology/sociology esque content, which is right up my alley, considering I was a Sociology major in undergrad :)


The other reason yesterday was awesome? Seeing all my grad school BFFs again :) I missed them!! We are already planning 2394203943208 outings, workouts, play dates, etc. :)

ANYWAY! Guess what I did last night for the first time in a month?! I COOKED!


It was glorious. I was in sweatpants, blasting the new Jersey Shore episode on TV, and chopping veggies. Vacation and traveling is awesome, but it’s nice to be home :)


Veggies were chopped on the beautiful new wood cutting board my parents gave me for Christmas! It was on my list because the gross white plastic one I had before was NOT picture friendly :)


Dinner was basically just me throwing things into a pot, and here’s what came out! It was DELICIOUS.


Turkey, Veggie, & Barley Chili


  • 1 (32 oz) container vegetable broth (low sodium)
  • 1 C barley (not quick cooking)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound of lean ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced (any color)
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 C tomato sauce (or jarred pasta sauce)
  • 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


In a very large pot, add barley and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, let simmer (covered) until cooked — about 30 minutes.

While barley is cooking, chop all your veggies and prepare the sauce, beans, spices, etc. Set aside.

Add olive oil, ground turkey, garlic, and onion into a medium sized pan. Sautee over medium high heat until turkey is fully cooked.

Once barley is cooked (a lot of the liquid will have boiled off), add all the other ingredients, including the cooked turkey, to the pot! Stir and serve hot :)


I think barley is my new favorite grain. It’s a whole grain, has lots of fiber, and contains 8 essential amino acids! Plus, it has a very pleasant, somewhat chewy texture. The texture is a tiny bit like orzo pasta or something!

I enjoyed a bowl of the chili last night for dinner — I love fully complete meals like this. You’ve got:

  • Fiber — beans and barley
  • Veggie nutrients — zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, veggie broth, tomatoes
  • Protein — turkey (you could also try using tempeh!)
  • Deliciousness


Yum. Enjoy! Chili is one of my snowy day favorites — my friend Katrina had brought some from home yesterday for lunch at school and it’s what got me craving it!


Speaking of — I now have a TON of chili. What’s the best way to freeze it? In ziplocks? Containers? Thoughts?! :)

Have a wonderful day — I will be back tomorrow to share my training plan for my second half marathon, coming up in D.C. in March!


  1. 1

    Regarding the cutting board (which does look beautiful in the photos), I have a dark wood cutting board that I reserve just for pictures – don’t chop anything on it. That way, it won’t get knicked up. I cut on a plastic board and transfer for photos as necessary.

  2. 5

    I LOVE having leftover soup in the freezer. I use freezer ziplocs, fill them 1/2 to 2/3 full, and then lay them flat in my freezer. Then, when they’re frozen, they take up less space and stack oh-so-nicely.

  3. 6

    Mmm… chilli is so delicious! I think the best way to freeze it is to buy small freezer bags and put one serving’s worth of chilli in each bag. Then make sure to freeze them as flat as possible. You can stack them in a nice column in the freezer and you have perfect frozen meals in the event of a busy day. It’s great for lunches because they can thaw during the morning and then be heated at lunchtime.

  4. 7

    That chilli looks and sounds SO GOOD I might actually try to cook!! I also think as soon as I pay off my MBA student loans I am going to try to become you, Anne, and go to UNC-Chapel Hill for an MPH– I love your classes! Sooooooo cool!

  5. 9

    The chili looks delicious. I made a big pot of chili Sunday evening anticipating the snow and ice storm. I have never used ground turkey, I have always used ground chuck or sirloin. I will give it a try next time. I love barley, but never thought to use it in my chili. Great idea.
    It looks like your weather forecast is better than Atlanta’s. We are still stuck in the house and it iced over last night. High yesterday 29, high today 30. I have cabin fever, HELP. I am like you, I would use the nice cutting board too. I don’t save things anymore, I use them.
    Good luck on this semester.

  6. 11

    Barley in chili sounds amazing – I was thinking how I need to make my favorite chili recipe soon.

    I love the cylinder ziploc containers to freeze things in – you can buy taller or smaller 1 serving sizes.

    We are supposed to get 16+ inches of snow tomorrow so I am hoping to spend some of my day cooking as well.

  7. 12

    I freeze chili in big tupperware or Glad containers. Not Ziplocs. That sounds messy. Barley is on my list of things to try. Lentils too!

  8. 13

    Your semester sounds (hard but) awesome! I’m so jealous. I would love to major in something more health/food related, but honestly I’m terrible with science courses and I’m afraid I would start to resent it. But you don’t seem that way at all! Exciting! :)

    • 14

      I avoided all science stuff in undergrad, and was terrified of them starting prerequisites for this program – surprised to find they weren’t bad!

  9. 15

    Ah good luck in biochem! I just took it last semester, and it was by far the hardest class I’ve ever taken.

  10. 17

    Here’s that chili recipe for the chili I made the other day:

    I made the following adjustments:
    1 can of diced tomatoes + a small can (maybe 4 oz?) of tomato sauce instead of 2 1/2 cups of tomato sauce
    1 can of light red +1 can of dark red kidney beans + 1 can of black beans instead of just the 1 can of light red kidneys and 1 can of dark red kidneys
    For the chili seasoning mix, I made my own using this recipe:
    I used Newman’s Own salsa (mild) for the salsa

    Enjoy! You could probably add some other beans as a meat substitute if you wanted to go vegetarian.

  11. 19

    I buy little freezer friendly tupperware. You can get portioned ones (~ 2 cups each) and then they are perfect for a quick meal!

  12. 20

    i like freezing in tupperware. it’s easier to divide soup into smaller amounts to freeze so you only have to thaw 1-2 servings at a time!

    that chili does look delicious – i just “starred” this post in my google reader to make soon!

  13. 21

    yeah I need to get some freezer friendly tupperware myself . . . but I had been using ziplocs for broth and tomato sauce and they’ve worked fine for me, I just don’t like the waste

  14. 22

    Yum. I love switching up what I put in my chili and barley sounds like a fun addition. I have a ton in the pantry which is making me think I should try that. I’m also considering millet and some of the other wacky grains I have in the cabinet.

    And you are so making me miss classes. And snowdays.

  15. 23

    mmm that chili looks so bomb!!! I always love trying out different variations of chili! Great idea of putting the barley in there!

  16. 24

    Holy crap that chili looks delicious.

  17. 25

    My cutting board is in all of my photographs, my brother made it for me a few years ago and it’s my favorite!

    Delicious chili! I freeze soups and chili in ziplock bags, they stack easier in the freezer…and easy to thaw as well.


  18. 26

    That dish looks awesome!! I’ve been eyeing barley for some time now and I might just have to try it out now. I do love orzo, so it might be a love-match for me. Glad to see you’re back home after all that traveling!

  19. 27

    I was so happy to stumble upon your blog and find that you attend UNC! I’m an undergrad and I love it here. Your pictures are so colorful…I’m definitely going to add fannetastic to my list of must-read blogs.

  20. 29

    How long is your program? 5 classes is a lot but at least you will be busy! I’ve got 4 classes this semester which isn’t bad.

  21. 31

    Looks amazing! :D

  22. 32

    Anne, love your recipes and picts! I nominated you for a Stylish Blog Award!

  23. 34

    Kick biochem’s ass. I did not :(

  24. 35

    My friend and I were just looking for recipes with Barley. It’s a grain both of us don’t use. Thanks for the idea

    Also, I gave you “The Stylish Blogger Award”. Your blog has always been a super inspiration to me! Thanks. Check it out on Eat on the Run :)

  25. 37

    Looks scrumptuous! Good luck in the semester ahead!

  26. 38

    Mmmm looks delish!! What kind of veggie broth do you use??

  27. 40

    Hey girl! I gave you the Stylish Blogger award on my blog! Check it out:

  28. 42

    Oh goodness do I ever love a good bowl of chili!
    – Brittany

  29. 43

    Great recipe! Hearty and healthy but most of all, tasty! I made a few tweaks (left out the beans, sauteed the mushrooms, added red pepper flakes). Thanks so much for this. I now have lunches for an entire week!

  30. 44

    You just made my day!!! I’ve been loking for a similar recipe to your turkey chili. Your adaptations will solve all the problems I had with my previous recipe. Can’t wait to try it!!!


  1. […] have healthy food on hand for quick lunches and dinners. For example, two of my recent recipes — Turkey, Veggie, & Barley Chili and Apple Walnut Crunch Spelt […]

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