Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Turkey & White Bean Chili

Happy Fall!!  We've been teased a few times with cooler temps, only to have the upper 90-degree weather come barreling back 24 hours later.  This week, though, I've embraced fall.  The second I saw our weather report, I started thinking about soups...and stews...and chilis.  I love fall - the cooler temperatures, October baseball (well...sometimes), football season.  I love the holidays and celebrating with friends and family.  But I really, really, love the fall food.

When I saw this recipe, it moved right to the top of the list.  I usually like my chili the way my parents always made it.  I don't really have a recipe, I just know how it should taste.  I've tried chicken chili before, but it just wasn't right.  But this recipe had potential!  I did adjust it a bit, adding some extra broth to thin it out and pouring in a can of diced tomatoes because, well, chili isn't chili for me without tomatoes.  Next time I may throw in a jalapeno for a little extra kick, but overall this is a keeper.  That's saying a lot considering I usually don't want beans anywhere close to my chili!

Turkey & White Bean Chili adapted from Skinny Taste
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder, I went with a little more
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cans white northern beans, drained & rinsed
  • 32 oz chicken broth, low sodium
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 4.5 oz can diced green chilis
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Brown the turkey until done, season to taste with salt & pepper and add to a crock pot.  Using the same skillet, saute the onions for about 4-5 minutes, or until they start to brown.  Add in the garlic and saute for an additional minute.  Add the onions & garlic to the crock pot.  Add the remaining ingredients and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

Serve with diced green onion, sour cream, chips...or whatever you usually like with your chili!  Tomorrow night, we're having the leftovers with a little rice.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Green Bean & Tomato Salad

We had a crazy hot summer this year.  Like 100* for a very long time.  Most of our meals consisted of something that could either be cooked in the crock pot, on the grill, or not at all.  I'd like to say that the weeks of grilled meat & salad meals helped me lose weight...but I'd be lying.  I think it had to do with the ice cold beers that were consumed to help keep us cool.

I think I also developed a new love for fresh green beans.  I've always been a fan of green beans, although we don't eat them often since Cooper won't even look at them.  During the fall I love to steam them and toss with a little bit of bacon or lemon zest.  But summer, especially a hot summer, begs for them to be served in a cold salad.  I added a little bit of pasta to this salad to beef it up a bit, and so that I could cook a little extra pasta for Cooper.  The dressing was very easy to make and I was a fan - although it did break the "no oven during the summer" rule.

Green Bean & Tomato Salad with Roasted Tomato Dressing from Cooking Light

  • 1 large ripe tomato, halved
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
  • Romaine lettuce, torn
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked bow-tie pasta
Heat the broiler.  Place the tomato halves on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and broil for about 10 minutes, or until blackened.  Let the tomato cool for about 10, peel and core discarding the peel & seeds. Combine the tomato, basil and next 6 ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  

Cook pasta according to directions on the package in salted boiling water.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Steam the green beans until tender, about 7 minutes.  Rinse with cold water, drain.  Combine the Romaine, tomatoes, pasta & green beans in a large bowl.  Serve dressing over each salad.