Shannon Allen, the wife of NBA All-Star Ray Allen of the Boston Celtics, believes in preparing healthy Pre-Game meals. She says it doesn’t matter whether you’re playing pro basketball before tens of thousands of fans in an arena or lining up a putt on the final hole with your buddies, you need the right fuel for the task.
When their son was diagnosed with diabetes, it really hit home with Shannon and Ray that healthy meals can give a person a decided edge no matter what activity they are taking part in. In addition to all the charitable work Ray does through his foundation, The Ray of Hope Foundation, the couple also stepped up their game in the kitchen. The fruits (and vegetables) of their labor, as well as entrees and desserts, are part of Shannon’s new cooking show, “The Pre-Game Meal.”
Shannon Allen believes there’s no need to sacrifice flavor on the altar of good health. In her show, which debuted recently on Comcast SportsNet and NECN, she prepares delicious recipes that are also good for you with assistance from local sports figures and celebrities.
In this issue, Shannon collaborates with New England Patriot star receiver Wes Welker on a Turkey Chili. So kick back and savor the experience.
Touchdown Turkey Chili with Wes Welker
- 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large vidalia onions, chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper seeded and chopped
- 1 large green pepper chopped
- 1 medium jalapeno, finely chopped
- 3 large Garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbs chili powder
- 1 tbs ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 lbs ground turkey
- 28 ounces whole tomatoes, drained crushed
- 1 15-oz red pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/8 teaspoon Tabasco (optional)
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
- 1 handful fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
- Serves 6
Coat a large stockpot with the oil and place over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, peppers, jalapeño, and garlic. Season with chili powder, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the vegetables are tender and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Add the ground turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until the meat begins to brown, about 3 minutes. (If using beef, I would suggest draining off fat; but, turkey is such lean meat that we want to keep in whatever juices it has).
Add the tomatoes, crushing them through your fingers into the pot. Add the beans, hot sauce, and chocolate. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until thick, about 10 minutes.
The chili should be brown in color, thick in consistency and have a spicy, fiery scent! Ladle the chili into bowls and garnish with cilantro.