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“Healthified” Chili

Turkey Chili

TURKEY CHILI

“Healthified” … it may not be a real word, but I believe it accurately describes this recipe and my year twenty ten goal to make healthier Food choices.  It does not mean that I promise to cook ONLY healthy foods (I still have to have chocolate and such things now and again), but rather I am going to make better choices … eat better food by creating “healthified” versions of my favorite recipes.  

I wanted to cook something substantial, something meaty and satisfying … Chili seemed to be the perfect dish to make over.  Ground turkey proved to be the best substitution for ground beef.  If you are a chili die-hard and find using turkey sacrilegious, a better choice for you might be 93/7 ground beef.  It will cost you a few more of your food budget dollars, but will be a better overall food choice.  I have to take a moment here and share with you a family chili story that has stuck with me.  Years ago, my mother was on Weight Watchers, she was preparing WW chili … now I know I was just a kid, but I was smart enough to know that green beans and tomato sauce was not my idea of chili!  My point is that food substitutions do not have to be that drastic! 

Read the labels on the canned goods before you toss them in your grocery cart.  Be aware of the fat content, salt content, know what you are buying.  Is there a better food choice sitting on the shelf that you missed?  It is small things like this that can aid you in your quest to drop a few pounds. I am not a weight loss expert by any means, but I have had some experience in losing weight.   When you create “healthified” versions of your favorite recipes load them up with ingredients that are good for you.  “Healthified” food can be fun and tasty.

TURKEY CHILI

1 and ½   pounds of ground turkey  (ground turkey breast is 99% fat free)
1 large onion, diced
1   14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes  (I use fire roasted for greater flavor)
1 and ½  cups of tomato sauce
3  Tablespoons of diced green chilis from the can , optional  (I use the whole 4 oz can with juice)
2  Teaspoons of chili powder  (I use one Tablespoon as I like it a bit spicy)
1  Teaspoon cumin  (I use 2 Teaspoons)
1  15 ounce can of beans drained  (Use the kind you like … I used Great White Northern)
Salt and pepper to taste. 

DIRECTIONS:
Brown the turkey and the onion. 

Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, green chilis, chili powder and cumin.  Let this mixture simmer for at least 15 minutes.  (I prefer to simmer 30- 45 minutes.)  Taste and then salt and pepper to taste.  If you would like more spice fell free to add the spices of your choice.  This is a basic recipe that you can enhance to fit your personal taste.  ( I do add a bit of onion powder and garlic powder.)  Add the beans in just before serving and let them warm through.

I like to garnish with fat free sour cream, chopped green onion and a bit of fat free cheddar cheese.

Turkey Chili

 

 

I Heart Cooking Clubs: Nigella’s Caramel Croissant Pudding

A double batch of Caramel Croissant Pudding

This week’s theme at   I Heart Cooking Clubs   is Resolutions.

One of my Culinary Resolutions is to be more thrifty!

Nigella believes that some of the best recipes come from the thrifty refusal to throw anything away.  This dish is best when made with croissants that are a few days old.  You know, the ones you might have thrown away, because really what can you do with 2 stale croissants?   CARAMEL CROISSANT PUDDING … thats what!

All ready to make Caramel Croissant Pudding.

Ingredients

  • 2 stale croissants  (I would use 3 large croissants.)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream   (Room temperature a must!)
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon   (I used Frangelico Liqueur)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk   (Room temperature a must!)
  • 2 eggs, beaten    (Room temperature is best.)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Tear the croissants into bite size pieces and put in a small 2 cup capacity baking dish.  Nigella used an oval cast iron pan.   (I made a double batch and used a quart size Rachael Ray baking dish … hope Nigella is ok with that!)

Put the sugar and water into your saucepan.  Swirl around to help dissolve the sugar before putting the saucepan on the stove over medium to high heat. Caramelize the sugar and water mixture.  Let it bubble away until it reaches a deep amber colour; this will take 3 to 5 minutes.  (I used medium-high heat and it took longer than 3 to 5 minutes.  Watch it closely.)

Take the pan off the heat and add the cream – ignoring all spluttering – followed by the bourbon and milk. Whisk to mix, then still whisking add the beaten eggs. Pour this quickly over the croissants and leave to steep for 10 minutes. 
IMPORTANT NOTE:   Stream in the cream very slowly while you whisk.  Do the same with the bourbon and milk.

Place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes and prepare to swoon.  (I made a double batch and it baked about 30 minutes.   When making a single recipe I would check and make sure it is set to your liking … if not bake a bit longer.)

Nigella's Caramel Croissant Pudding is outstanding. It is not overly sweet and I find that very appealing. Next time I may sprinkle my croissants with a bit of cinnamon for some additional flavor.

I Heart Cooking Clubs: Nigella’s Hasselback Potatoes

Nigella's Hasselback Potatoes

This Week’s Challenge:
SMALL  PLATES

You know the old saying… So, break out the dip! Dig out those saucers and mini-plates that you don’t use often enough. And maybe even try something new…something you toyed with tasting, but didn’t want to eat it all yourself. Call them what you will…tapas, mezze, pupus (I especially like this one), hors-d’oeuvre, smorrebrod, zakouski, canapé, appetizer…what SMALL PLATES will you dazzle with this week?

So I chose Hasselback Potatoes !!!! 

I used small to medium Klondike Goldust (yellow flesh) potatoes.

Tip for easy slicing of potatoes: Take a thin slice from the bottom of each potato so they will sit flat on your cutting board. This makes the slicing of the layers much easier and safer. Place a chopstick on each side of the potato and with a very sharp thin bladed knife, carefully make slices into the potato about 1/8 inch apart. The chopsticks will not allow you to slice all the way to the bottom!

The olive oil and butter has been heated to sizzling in the baking dish and the potatoes have been coated with this mixture. Each potato received a sprinkling of coarse salt.

Each potato is about 4 to 5 bites! I served with a parsley-sour cream.