Monthly Archives: December 2018

Turkey Chili

I am excited to share one of my favorite go-to’s, Turkey Chili.  When I started my weight loss journey I came up with a few recipes that were easy,  nutritious and most importantly, taste great!   One of the reasons I was successful in losing 60 pounds is that I know how to cook.  I never felt like I was on a “diet” because I came up with recipes like this which are extremely satisfying and filling. I made this once a week for months and still cook it often now. 

I usually make this with dark meat ground turkey – ground turkey thigh.  I think it more flavorful and filling with the dark meat.  It can also be made with ground turkey breast, lean ground beef or veggie crumbles if you want to make it vegan.  The chili has a great taste due to the fresh garlic, onion and pepper.  The spice combination is wonderful; the vinegar adds a little bit of tang while the bay leaf adds depth of flavor.  

It is fun to add different toppings.  Some of my favorites are guacamole or plain diced avocado, diced tomatoes, scallions, fresh cilantro or crushed tortilla chips.  The more toppings the better in my opinion!  I also like to add a few dashes of hot sauce and a squeeze of lemon or lime right before serving.  


Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Yield: 3 – 4 servings


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, diced

4 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 medium bell pepper, diced, any color you like

1 pound ground turkey

8 oz. can of beans, either black beans or kidney beans, rinsed and drained

8 oz. can of fire roasted diced tomatoes

¼ can of water

1 tablespoon vinegar (either red wine or apple cider)

1 teaspoon tumeric

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

1 bay leaf (optional)

½ teaspoon kosher salt

A few grinds of black pepper


Heat olive oil over medium heat in a heavy bottom pot.  Add the onion, bell pepper, turmeric and a pinch of kosher salt. Sauté until the onions begin to soften and garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes.    

Raise heat to medium-high. Add the ground turkey and sprinkle in ½ teaspoon salt, the chili powder,cumin,  pepper and oregano.  Work spices into the meat cook until it is crumbled and no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes.

Add the beans, diced tomatoes, vinegar and bay leaf.  I put a little bit of water into the tomato can and stir it around to get the stuck tomatoes and juice out and add that to the pot as well.  Stir well so that all the ingredients are cooking together. Bring to a boil. Cover with a tight lid and reduce the heat to low.  Let simmer for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, remove the lid, stir well and it is ready to serve. 

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Asian Lettuce Wraps

Welcome to my first post in over four years!  I am still amazed that there are people coming of this blog on a daily basis without new content.  I would like to think that it is because the recipes and articles I have published in the past are timeless and useful to the readers who have been visiting site in my absence.  Thank you to all of the followers!  

Even though I have not been actively blogging I can assure you that I think about it often, have written dozens of posts in my head and envisioned a grand relaunch.  The reason I actually am writing this post is because I am scheduled to cook this for a group of 50 ladies this week for my local Chabad Culinary Club.  I was forced to put pen to proverbial paper and write this recipe. I figured that since I was taking the time to actually type it out I should post it as well.  And here we are.

I have had the opportunity to demo other recipes for the club in the past.  It meets once a month and is a place to learn new recipes, sample tasty food and socialize.  This month the theme is Asian food and I thought my Lettuce Wraps would be a fun dish to add to the menu.  They are easy, healthy and so very delicious.

There is another reason I wanted to share this dish.  While I have been on hiatus from blogging I have been on a weight loss journey that has changed my life.  I have lost 60 pounds over the past 2 years and have kept it off for over a year.  The transformation has been equally physical and mental.

These lettuce wraps have been a staple for me while losing and maintaining my weight. They can be made with ground chicken, lean ground beef or veggie crumbles if you would like to make them vegan.  They are a popular  restaurant menu item, and there is no reason you cannot easily make them at home with probably half the fat and sodium.  They are incredibly flavorful and have a good amount of veggies as well as protein which makes them surprisingly filling.  Plus, who does not love eating a lettuce wrap?

I hope to share the many other recipes that have helped me with my weight loss.  Between my hectic job, family, kids activities and my own fitness and self care blogging simply fell by the wayside.  It is my hope that this first step will be the impetus I need to share the dozens of posts, recipes and tips that have been floating around in my head all these years.

 

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time:  20 Minutes

Yield: 4 servings

 

1 head bibb, butter or romaine lettuce

1 pounds of ground chicken breast or lean ground beef

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, diced very small

4 scallions, chopped

4 large cloves of garlic, minced 

4 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger or ginger puree (frozen such as Dorot or fresh)

8 oz. crimini mushrooms, chopped fine

1 medium green pepper, diced small

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon Siracha hot sauce (optional, more if you like it spicy)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Take apart the head of lettuce, rinse each leaf and set aside to dry on paper towels.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the ground meat with a healthy pinch of kosher salt until cooked almost all the way through and crumbly, about 5 minutes.

If you are using ground beef it is best to remove it from the pan and drain the excess fat.  If you are using ground chicken breast or veggie crumbles you can leave it in the skillet.

If you have a mini chopper, or mini food processor it is easy to put in the garlic, ginger and onions and pulse until it is finely chopped.  This a time saver especially if you are making more than one batch.  

Add the diced onion, 2 chopped scallions, green pepper, garlic and ginger.  If the vegetables are sticking, you can add a bit more oil.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes until all the vegetables have softened.  If your ground beef is on the side this is where you would add it back to the skillet.

Add soy sauce and rice wine vinegar and stir well.  Lower heat to low and add the hot sauce and toasted sesame oil.  Allow the mixture to cook for 3 or 4 more minutes so that all the flavors combine.

If your lettuce is wet you will want to pat it dry before serving (no one wants to eat a soggy lettuce wrap).  Place a generous amount of the meat mixture in the middle of each lettuce leaf.  Garnish with finely chopped scallions.

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