I love making chili – especially on a cold evening when I’m craving something healthy, warm and filling. If I can get to Borough Market, I buy ground ostrich meat sourced from Gamston Wood Farm to use instead of turkey or beef.

Never had ostrich before? It’s amazing, both nutritionally and in taste. As stated on Gamston’s website, ostrich is “low in fat and cholesterol and rich in protein and iron. A lean red meat with all the health benefits of white meat and mild in flavor.” The perfect combo, especially for runners, and a great way to transform your everyday chili into something exotic and nutritious! Plus, who knows, maybe eating ostrich will make you faster – the birds are known to run up to 45mph, after all, and I don’t know about you, but I need a new BQ!

Even if my ostrich chili doesn’t result in a 35-minute marathon, it’s still an awesome dish to cook for friends, family or just for yourself! It’s easy to make (you can prep most of the ingredients in advance), tastes great and will feed four to five hungry people. When I make it for myself, I divide the leftover chili and rice into single serving containers and place one or two portions in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. I appreciate these leftovers the most after doing a long run or coming home from work, when I’m tired and want a proper meal packed with lean protein, vegetables and complex carbs, but don’t feel like doing more than chucking something into the microwave. No need to settle for store-bought, overly-processed meals!

Depending on how hungry I am (I’m always hungry), I serve the chili over steamed spinach or brown rice – or a bit of both. If I’m getting ready for a race, I ease off the chili pepper to avoid upsetting my stomach, but if not, I like to give my chili a good kick. As a final touch, a dollop of crème fraiche or greek yogurt nicely balances out the spices.

Use my recipe as a general guide – this is what I often do, but make it your own! As with many of my recipes, I encourage you to throw in your favorite types of produce and get creative (the more color, the better/healthier), adjust the amount of spice to your taste, use quinoa rather than rice etc.

I’ve included some photos below from my recent batch, which don’t quite do it justice, but I promise, the chili was delicious!

Ostrich (or Turkey) Chili