Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Turkey Chili Crunch

Turkey Chili Crunch
(Cooking Yourself Thin)

Turkey Chili

My husband and I love watching cooking shows, because there are always tricks to learn and meals to gain ideas from. A few months ago we came across a show called Cooking Yourself Thin, a great show on Lifetime about cooking the food you love, just with a few tweeks for reducing the fat and calorie content. (and for the people on the show, dropping a size in a month) We finally went out and bought the book and this is the first recipe we have tried. Absolutely love it! And with the weather recently, it's a perfect fall dish.

Serves 6
Calories per serving: 355

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch ground cinnamon
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 carrots, diced 1/2 inch
1 14-ounce can chopped whole tomatoes, with juice
1/2 chipotle pepper in adobo, seeded and chopped, with about 1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce
3 cups water
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 14-ounce–15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus 1/4 cup for serving
Bittersweet chocolate, grated, for serving
3 scallions, chopped, for serving
1/2 cup nonfat yogurt, for serving
Tortilla chips, for garnish (<--I actually used a Jalepeno Flovored Wrap, from Mission so I may have bumped the calorie count up some, but it was goood!)

1. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the turkey, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano and cinnamon, and cook, stirring, 3 minutes, or until the water evaporates and the turkey sizzles.

2. Add the onion, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook until the onion is wilted, 5 to 7 minutes. If the onion or the spices begin to stick to the pan, add 2 tablespoons water and scrape with a wooden spoon to release.

3. Add the carrots, tomatoes, chipotle pepper, water and cocoa powder.

Bring to a simmer; reduce the heat to low, and cook, partially covered, 25 minutes. Stir in the beans and 1/2 cup cilantro, and cook 15 more minutes.

4. Spray a whole-wheat tortilla with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper (or cayenne and ground cumin). Slice thinly and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until crispy.

5. To serve, ladle into soup bowls. Top with scallions, the remaining cilantro, a spoonful of yogurt and some grated chocolate! Garnish with tortilla chips.

Monday, August 17, 2009

California Italian Wedding Soup

California Italian Wedding Soup

I have GOT to get some better lighting!

One of the great things about cooking is when you can get children involved. They are so happy to help in the kitchen. Making a simple meatball becomes a wondrous occasion and a happy family memory.

My daughter Sage wanted to get more involved in Mommy's hobby, and decided to help make Italian Wedding Soup. Turns out, she pretty much made the whole thing herself, it was that simple.


1/2 pound extra-lean ground beef (I actually used a mix of lean meat and sweet Italian sausage)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped Italian flat leaf parsley (optional)

2 green onions, sliced (optional)

5 3/4 cups chicken broth

2 cups finely sliced spinach
1 lemon, zested

1/2 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta), uncooked

grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Mix together the meat, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, basil, parsley, and green onions; shape into 3/4 inch balls.
Pour broth into a large saucepan over high heat. When boiling, drop in meatballs. Stir in spinach, lemon zest and orzo. Return to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Cook at a slow boil for 10 minutes or until orzo is tender, stirring frequently. Serve sprinkled with cheese.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Green Bean Salad with Corn, Basil & Black Olives (and chicken too)

Today was one of those days where I just really wanted something fresh and easy to make. I have recently discovered the wonders of fresh vegetables... yes, as a grown adult. Sadly, I have a feeling that its not that strange of a concept. In my life, I have always thought of veggies came straight from the can, in their squishy goodness. Thankfully I have a great husband that happens to love fresh veggies and has steered me to the light side.

So I found a recipe from Eatingwell (one of my fav sources of veggie recipes) and decided to give it a whirl.

serves 8 or 4 very hungry people :)

2 pounds green beans, trimmed
3 ears corn, husked
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped

2/3 cup sliced black olives
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
Hot sauce, such as Tabasco, to taste (I actually used a little bit of chili sauce)
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Fill another large pot half full with ice water. Blanch about half the green beans in the boiling water just until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into the ice water. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining beans. 2. Return the water to a boil. Add corn and blanch until tender but still crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge into the ice water. Cut the kernels off the cobs. 3. Add the corn to the beans in the bowl. Add bell pepper, onion, olives, basil, oil, vinegar, lemon juice and garlic; toss to mix well. Season with hot sauce, salt and pepper.

Because I am one of those people that need meat with their meal, I decided to take some chicken and add one of the best rubs I have ever purchased, Rub with Love. I got it from central Market a while back with one of their Foodie Freebies, and love it. Its the chicken version with Brown sugar, smoked paprika, salt, ancho, black pepper, turmeric, coriander, garlic, cinnamon and star anise.

Just rub the chicken, sear it on each side for a few minutes, until brown and pop into the oven for 15 min or until juices run clear. Easy and simple enough not to steal the show from the salad :)

Add garlic bread and all is well with the world.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Just testing the Culinary waters

Just setting this up for my own personal pleasure. My goal it to mix my culinary (used loosely) skills with my photography (again, used loosely) skills and end up with a hell of a hobby.