Thursday, October 11, 2012

Healthy Sweet & Spicy Black Bean Turkey Chili

I don't post very often anymore because these days my food is very basic.  Several months ago I decided in addition to focusing on more whole food, it was finally time to tackle my weight issues.  I'm proud to say that after 4 months I am now 30 pounds lighter, feeling much better and have even grown to love exercise! Watching my calories closely the first few months I stuck with pretty simple ingredients, now that I'm several months in I'm really trying to learn how to make my favorite dishes with fewer calories so I hope to be sharing more recipes.  I also want more comfort food as the weather cools off.

Fall arrived in Las Vegas today, it's finally below 90 and even rainy.  It seemed liked a perfect day for chili.  Chili is something I have always loved to cook because I love my chili a little sweet and a little spicy, not something you can normally find in the canned variety.  The biggest switch was using lean ground turkey instead of ground beef and sausage.  I also added more veggies.  It turned out yummy, was relatively quick to assemble and best of all for less than 250 calories you can have a hearty meal {and that includes some ooey-gooey cheese on top!}.

Sweet and Spicy Black Bean Turkey Chili  
Serves 12-16

1 lb lean ground turkey
2 cans of reduced sodium black beans
2 cans of chili beans (the type with the sauce - I always use Bush's for all my chili beans)
1 can of corn
1 can of fire roasted tomatoes (I used Muir Glen)
1 extra large or 2 regular cans plum tomatoes with basil  (I use Fresh and Easy brand)
1 green bell pepper - chopped
1 red bell pepper - chopped
2 medium yellow onions
1 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup of no sugar added applesauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar (could easily omit)
1 bay leaf
1-2 teaspoon cumin (depending on tastes)
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1-3 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 teaspoons garlic powder
10-25 dashes of Franks Hot Sauce

Directions: Grate one onion on large grater.  Cook lean turkey in olive oil with onions, dash of salt and pepper until cooked fully in a large dutch oven or stock pot.  Remove and drain turkey.  Dice the remaining onion and bell peppers. Leave a small amount of turkey grease in the pan and saute the peppers and onions over medium high heat.  Allow the veggies to slightly caramelize but not get mushy about 3-5 minutes.  Return the turkey and add the remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes or longer.  Serve with a garnish of shredded cheddar cheese or sour cream.

Notes: Chili always taste better the longer you simmer in my opinion.  You could easily due the first two parts in a pan and finish it all in a crockpot on low for several hours.  You can swap out the plum tomatoes for another tomato product if you can't find but I really love this product because they are so much sweeter and less acidic than regular diced, stewed or pureed tomatoes. You can easily make this more spicy by increasing the amounts of chili powder, hot sauce and cumin.  I keep it pretty mellow so my kids don't complain.

I put the recipe into My Fitness Pal app and it turns out to be less than 200 calories per 1 cup serving and 1 cup is more than sufficient. Even with the tablespoon or two of cheese, you can be under 250 calories for a yummy and filling meal that doesn't feel like diet food AT ALL!



Linking up with Tip me Tuesday at the Tip Junkie

Monday, April 2, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - April 2, 2012

Still struggling with doing regular meal planning.  I know it makes my week sooo much easier since at 4:30pm I HATE standing in my kitchen staring into my fridge and pantry trying to decide what to cook (and normally feeling like the LAST thing I want to do is cook...).

But I did it today!  So here goes the menu.

Monday - Pad Thai (using a box mix as the base and adding tofu, veggies & eggs)
Tuesday - Pork with Potato Pancakes and Applesauce
Wednesday - Girls Night {whooo hooo} Ok... The family still needs to be fed so a perennial kids favorite Manwich with baked beans and salad.
Thursday - Crust-less Quiche with squash
Friday - Citrus Adobo Chicken with Yellow Rice and Salad
Saturday - Leftovers
Sunday (EASTER) -  Baked Ham, the most amazing baked Buttermilk Mac n' Cheese, glazed carrots, spinach salad and croissant rolls with Chocolate Cake with fresh strawberry whipped cream for dessert.

Linking up over at  Org Junkie

Friday, March 30, 2012

Maple Citrus Baked Salmon

One of my many health goals includes eating more fish.  I like fish, but honestly I haven't mastered the art of cooking fish.  

My problem is that I only really like fish if it cooked well, which I can't seem to do consistently. 

and I hate feeling like I wasted money which is how I feel if I mess it up! But since my sons don't even really know what fish is (other than Nemo) because it's so rare that I cook it I decided that needs to change.  

I happened to find a lovely piece of fresh Salmon at the store for a good price and so I decided to take the plunge (OK, no so funny but it's late!).  I found this fabulous recipe over at Pioneer Woman.  

Side note... I love Pioneer Woman, but who doesn't... I feel like I just want to pull up a chair at the table and have a chat while she is cooking in her kitchen.  Oh and I had to add Pam Anderson's cookbook to my wish list after reading this post and I am sure you will too so if you don't want to buy another cookbook I recommend NOT viewing.  

BUT if you do visit doesn't that deviled egg salad on butter lettuce sound amazing.  Of course those are two of my favorite things (and would be perfect right now since eggs are on sale for Easter) but of course I digress back to the stranger in my kitchen - FISH... 

The inspiration recipe was so easy it seemed perfect but I wanted to kick it up just a little bit with some added flavor.  So I whipped up a very light glaze with a few of my favorite flavors that I think work perfectly with the rich fatty deliciousness of salmon.  Since I'm hoping to convert my little guys to fish I kept it very light. 

Maple Citrus Baked Salmon

1.5-2lb Salmon Fillet (I used skin on)
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon
1 tangerine (could use orange)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Brush the front and back of the salmon with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Cut the lemon in half.  Thinly slice one half, juice the other half.  Juice the tangerine.  Combine the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, tangerine juice, Dijon mustard and maple syrup. Whisk to incorporate all ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Apply glaze to fish and then layer sliced lemon down the center of fish.  Apply a small amount of salt and pepper to fish.  Per the inspiration recipe place in cold oven and turn oven to 400 degrees.  Since my piece of salmon was only 1.25lbs I only cooked for 20 minutes and in probably would have been best at only 18ish.  I lined my pan with foil so it was lovely easy clean up!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The "Healthy Elvis" (aka Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana) Milkshake Smoothie

I can't say I have been 100% successful in my goal to eat healthier but I figure every day is a new chance to make a better choice. Lately I have been trying to find ways to add more protein into my diet and replace things that aren't so good with better choices.  I have seen a number of healthy "desert" type smoothies on pinterest and decided to try my own concoction last night.  It was a success and definitely something I will be enjoying again.  I call it the "Healthy Elvis". 

I have also want to add more smoothies because one of my sons will drink anything juiced and the other will eat anything that is in a smoothie.  Of course they couldn't make my life easy and both like one or the other! 

Healthy Elvis - Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
makes 2-3 servings

1/2 cup of old fashion oats
2-3 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened) ... or more if you like chocolate like me!
1 cup of milk... I used 2% regular milk but I think soy, almond or coconut would all taste yummy
2 frozen banana (slightly thawed to remove peel)
1/2 cup of ice

I blended the oats first in a the blender to a powder and then added the remaining ingredients until it was a milkshake consistency.  Very simple.  I like it very thick, the rest of my family like it a little more diluted with either water or milk. Its almost the consistency of a Wendy's Frosty...