Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

This morning was very chilly for mid-September,  and the prediction is for a cooler than average day.  So right away I am thinking about making chili in the slow cooker.  I’m always amazed at how quickly I adapt to the next season.  Even though I’m not ready to give up all that summer has to offer,  one cool morning, and I’m looking for a sweater or jacket and thinking about chili.  Go figure!

I do  know that there’s nothing quite so enticing than walking into the kitchen and taking in the tantalizing aroma of onions, garlic, and chili powder from a big pot of chili bubbling on the stove or in the crock pot.  Serving up steaming bowls of chili with all the fixings is fun and warming in the fall especially if you’ve been outdoors at a football game or other event in cool weather.

If you have ever worried that chili isn’t good for you,  stop worrying now.  There are a number of tricks you can do to keep it healthy but still hearty.   First, start with a lean meat, like chicken, turkey or lean beef;  second add at least 3 cups of fresh vegetables to boost fiber;  and third, be selective in your toppings, keeping to low-fat cheese and  sour cream,  good-fat avocado, and plenty of fresh options like scallions, radishes, jalapeños, onion, and cilantro.

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This recipe for turkey chili made in the crock pot incorporates all the “tricks” mentioned above.  It’s a meal we really enjoy and I like the simplicity of starting it in the morning and having a meal ready to put on the table except for cutting up a few garnishes at the last minute.

SLOW-COOKER TURKEY CHILI

Yield:   4 – 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1  1/4 pound lean ground turkeyIMG_5029
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ( 1.25-oz. ) envelope chili seasoning mix
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, chopped ( i omitted this)
  • 1 ( 28-oz ) can crushed tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes, in season
  • 1 ( 15-oz. ) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ( 4-oz. ) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Toppings to include any of: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, finely chopped red onion, sliced jalapeños, radishes, or scallions

1.  Cook turkey in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often with wooden spoon to crumble turkey.

Cooked and crumbled turkey with seasonings added.

Cooked and crumbled turkey with seasonings added.

Add chopped onions and garlic, cooking till softened.  Add contents of seasoning envelope and chicken broth.  Cook and stir about 2 minutes.

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2.  Spoon mixture into a 5 1/2 quart slow cooker;  stir in corn, and next 5 ingredients until well blended.

Everything mixed together in the crock pot.

Everything mixed together in the crock pot.

Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours.   Serve with desired toppings.

Hearty, warming, just right on a cool day.

Hearty, warming, just right on a cool day.

SOURCE:  Southern Living Magazine

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Sunshine Peach Muffins

Sunshine Peach Muffins

Sunshine Peach Muffins

Looking for something not too sweet to have with morning coffee, I came upon this recipe that features fresh peaches.  Since native peaches are still available in my area of the country, and I’m loving them used in so many different ways,  I decided to give this recipe a trial run.  The recipe’s notes state that there is ” a blast of peach in every bite of these tasty muffins”.

With my mouth watering at the thought of having one of these muffins warm from the oven with a dab of butter melting into it, I got together all the ingredients and mixed them up rather quickly.  They are easy and quick to mix up.  Into the oven they went and in 18 minutes out they came, golden brown, just as the recipe predicted.  The aroma as they baked was extremely promising that they would be delicious.  The recipe states a yield of 12 muffins, but I got only 10, filling each muffin cup 3/4’s full.  That’s OK with me, I’d rather get fewer that are large, than 12 that are small.IMG_5013

Usually when I bake something new, I let Mr. D. taste it first and I kind of watch his reaction, before I have my first bite.  Most times he’s generous with praise and comments on how good it is.  This time there was no reaction,  so I was very surprised.  I tried a bite of my muffin;  I, too, had little reaction.  We just looked at each other waiting for the other one to speak.  Why, you’re asking?  Well. they don’t taste like peach, even though you can see pieces of peach scattered throughout;  they are not sweet,  with only 2 teaspoons of honey in the whole batter I shouldn’t have expected them to be.  On the whole I would say they are rather bland.  What they are, is very light, and non filling.  I could easily eat two for breakfast and not feel full.  They are healthy with the use of whole wheat flour, honey, fresh fruit with the skin left on and low-fat milk.   These would be good for someone on a sugar-restricted diet.IMG_5015

I would say that these muffins did not live up to their promise, and on a scale of 1 – 5,  I rate them at a 3.  I leave this recipe up to you to try or not, depending on your taste and  what you are looking for.   As  cooks we all know that not everything you make is wildly successful.  For me, this is one of those recipes.

SUNSHINE PEACH MUFFINS

Yield:  12 muffins   I got 10

Ingredients:

These are the ingredients .

These are the ingredients .

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour ( I used white whole wheat)
  • 1  1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 fresh, very ripe peaches, pit removed, skin left on
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup  1 % milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Instructions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 *F.   Lightly grease 12-cup muffin pan or line with paper bake cups; set aside.

2.  In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.   Make a well in the center of the flour mixture;  set aside.

Mix dry ingredients, and make a well in the center.

Mix dry ingredients, and make a well in the center.

3.  In another bowl mash peaches well with honey,

Mash the peaches with the honey.

Mash the peaches with the honey.

then stir in egg, milk, and oil.  Add wet mixture all at once to flour mixture.  Stir until moistened.  Batter will be lumpy.

All the "wet" ingredients mixed together.

All the “wet” ingredients mixed together.

4.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full.

5.  Bake 18 – 20 minutes or until golden.

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6.  Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes.  Remove from muffin cups.  Cool slightly before serving.

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SOURCE:  relish.com

Morning Glory Muffins

Morning Glory Muffins

Morning Glory Muffins

Just the name of these muffins puts you in a good mood doesn’t it?  Somehow it feels like you’re going to have a good day.    I like to call them “glorious morning muffins”, and they are one of my favorites.  They can turn the dreariest morning into a glorious one.  : )

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These carrot-flecked whole-grain muffins can be made ahead so you can hit the floor running on a busy morning.  Add a non-fat latte and your day will be off to a healthy start.

COCONUT-CARROT MORNING GLORY MUFFINS

YIELD:  12 muffins

Assemble the ingredients and they go together quickly.

Assemble the ingredients and they go together quickly.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, or coconut oil, melted if necessary
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts,  optional

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners

2.  Whisk whole-wheat flour, 1/2 cup oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and allspice in a medium bowl.

3.  Whisk eggs, applesauce, honey and vanilla in a large bowl.  Whisk in oil.  Gently stir in the flour mixture just until moistened.  Fold in carrots, 1/2 cup coconut, raisins and nuts, if using.

4.  Divide the batter among the muffin cups.  Mix together the remaining oats, and coconut.  Sprinkle on muffin tops.

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5.  Bake at 350* until they spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only moist crumbs attached,  30 – 35 minutes.  Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Delicious as they are when first made and eaten warm, they also seem to improve over night and taste even better the next day, when flavors have had time to blend.

SOURCE:  Eatingwell.com

Puttin’ On The Ritz

Puttin' on the Ritz Stuffed Shrimp.

Puttin’ on the Ritz Stuffed Shrimp.

Whenever I hear the song “Puttin’ on the Ritz” I think  of this recipe, so I have given it the name “Puttin’ on the Ritz Baked Stuffed Shrimp” and because I served it with a pilaf of Israeli couscous, that recipe is included here also.   This meal was a really nice combination of flavors and textures.  I hope you will like it.

A large bag of raw shrimp was  being featured at a terrifically good price at the supermarket this week, so I bought some.  Not having any specific plans for using them, I like to keep shrimp in the freezer because they are so versatile, and quick cooking.  But since I’m currently trying to incorporate at least one seafood meal per week, I decided to make baked stuffed shrimp with some of my ‘loot”.  Now I’m sure they are many, many ways to make the stuffing, but over the years I’ve developed a recipe that we both love, and its become my reliable way to pair any kind of fish with a stuffing.IMG_3286

What I do is make the stuffing (see recipe below), spread it in the bottom of a baking dish, and place the fish/seafood on top.  Drizzle a little melted butter over the top and sprinkle with seasonings.  Bake until the fish is tender.  This particular recipe may be called Baked Stuffed Shrimp, but it’s my version;  not the usual offering you would expect in a restaurant—same ingredients, but different look.

PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ BAKED STUFFED SHRIMP

SERVINGS:    about 4    To make more adjust ingredients accordingly.

INGREDIENTS

  •  1 pound large shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 20 – 30  Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 1 stick butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion, or green onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.   Lightly grease a baking dish.

2.  Crush crackers and set aside in a bowl.

3.  Melt 6 Tablespoons butter in a skillet over low heat.  Add the onion, celery, and garlic and sauté lightly till onion is translucent. and celery is beginning to soften.

4.  Pour the vegetable mixture over the cracker crumbs, stirring until the crumbs are completely moistened.   Spoon the crumb mixture into the bottom of the baking dish, and spread in a flat layer.

5.  Arrange shrimp attractively on top of stuffing.  Melt the remaining 2 Tablespoon butter and add the 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice.  Drizzle over the shrimp.  Sprinkle with seafood seasoning.

Make a layer of stuffing on the bottom, and place seafood on top.  Drizzle with butter and sprinkle with seasonings.

Make a layer of stuffing on the bottom, and place seafood on top. Drizzle with butter and sprinkle with seasonings.

Bake till shrimp have turned pink and are tender, about 20 minutes.

In place of shrimp you could substitute tilapia, flounder, or sole fillets.  Also the stuffing can be expanded by adding in some finely  chopped shrimp, crabmeat, or small bay scallops.

While shrimp are baking, prepare the pilaf:

ISRAELI COUSCOUS PILAF

Israeli Couscous, tri-colored.

Israeli Couscous, tri-colored.

SERVINGS:   about 4

  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1  1/4 cups boiling water

1.  In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil.  Add the chopped shallot and red pepper.  Saute over medium heat till vegetables start to soften. Add the couscous and cook to lightly brown the couscous.

Saute onion and pepper, then add couscous.

Saute shallot and pepper, then add couscous.

2.  Carefully add the boiling water.  Turn down heat to low simmer, and cook covered for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Cook couscous to al dente, or desired degree of doneness.  Remove from heat and leave covered another 3 – 4 minutes before serving.

Israeli couscous pilaf.

Israeli couscous pilaf.

This is a delicious meal.

This is a delicious meal.

SOURCE:   Carolyn’s Originals