Posts Tagged ‘Chili’

Hi there!  How are the people?  You won’t believe it when I tell you, but it’s freakin’ snowing here?!  I don’t mean a little snowflake here and there.  I’m talking about big, heavy, slap-you-on-your-face flakes that are coming down rather quickly.  We already have over an 1 1/2″ accumulated.  No work or school tomorrow.  That’s a given around these parts.  Play day for us!  😉

Actually, there’s plenty of work to be done around the house.  We need to get all packed up.  Packing, you say?  Moving?  Nope.  Donating old clothes to the Goodwill?  Nope, not that either.

So, I’ve kept it secret long enough and it’s time to spill … we’re leaving on a jet plane, just like the song.  Yep, that’s right.  Devin and I are headed to ARUBA on Wednesday for our 5th wedding anniversary!  I’m beyond excited!!  I’m ready to drive myself to the airport right now in hopes that waiting there will make Wednesday get here faster.  Ha!  

We have always been big travelers and have made it a point to take a vacation every year for our anniversary.  Some of our trips have been big … London and Paris … and some of our trips have been small … Wilmington, NC and Orlando, FL.  No matter where we go though, we always have a blast.  This trip, I’m sure, will be no exception.  It’s been a while since we gone to the Caribbean, so it’s already looking good.  The warm weather is definitely a plus.  The cold, fruity drinks a plus x 2.  Oh yeah. 

I’ve talked about the “chilly” and the “tropical”, so let’s get down to the chili.  We were lucky enough to have Devin’s fabulous parents over for dinner last night.  My plan was to whip up a warm, comforting meal that wouldn’t take up too much of my time in the kitchen.  Here’s how it turned out …

Smoky Turkey and Bacon Chili



Mixed Green Salad, Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges and Jalapeno Corn Bread



Yogurt Parfait with Bulgur, Cherries and Almonds



Recipes adapted from here, here, here and here.

You will find this unbelievable, but I stayed pretty close to the original recipes this time around.  I just didn’t find too much that needed to be changed.  For the chili, I used the usual lean ground turkey in place of the ground beef and subbed black beans for pinto beans.  As for the dessert, I just wasn’t totally convinced that bulgur, as fantastic as it is, belonged in our fruit and yogurt parfaits.  I went pretty skimpy when dishing out the grain. Maybe 1 tbsp. in each??  Overall, it tasted ok in there, but it really isn’t necessary.  I will definitely make these again, since it’s a light + tasty dessert, but it will be without the grainy goodness.  I think other frozen fruit would work as well.  Devin wasn’t digging the cherries, so maybe the next go round will be blackberries …

Alright, y’all, I’m pretty sleeps, so I think it’s time to hit the hay.  I hope you are doing well!  Enjoy the rest of your night.  Sweet dreams!


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It’s A Mystery.

Hey all you sweets.  I’ve got to make this major snappy ‘cuz I’ve got to get out the door!  I’m late, I’m late!!

Last night’s dinner included a mystery ingredient that Devin never picked up on and I actually forgot to tell him.  I was thinking about telling him while we were eating, then decided against it and thought I would drop the bomb after we were done.  Whoops.  Completely forgot.  Actually, the only reason I knew it was there is because I put it there.  Other than that, I couldn’t really taste it.  Are you dying with curiosity yet?!  OK, fine.  Here you go …


Black Bean Pumpkin Chili



My idea of a “mystery” ingredient was the canned pumpkin puree that was added to the mix.  I’ve made chili with sweet potatoes before, but never pumpkin.  It essentially just added even more thickness to the dish.  It was good.  It easy with a capital “E”.  You will see why below.  You will luvs it.  (I hope!) 


  • 1/2 lb. extra lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with jalapenos
  • 1 can dicd tomatoes
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Spice it up with: chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika (!!), cayenne pepper, S+P


Brown turkey and onion in a skillet.  Add turkey, onions and remaining ingredients to crock pot; set on low for at least 3 hours, or all day if you prefer!  Top with plain yogurt, cheese and sliced scallions.  Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from here.

The only way this recipe could have been any better is if it had chunks of roasted pumpkin in it.  Then it would have been all that and a bag of chips.  Oh yeah.

G to the O, I gotta go.  Catch y’all later!


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Let The Countdown Begin

Well, the time has come … we are definitely glued to the TV tonight.  It will be a very interesting night, I’m sure.

I was able to get several of my to-do’s checked off the list, but I thought of more things that I added to it for tomorrow …

  • Put clothes away – not yet (I feel like such a SLOB!)
  • Menu – check
  • Grocery shopping – check
  • Vote – oh yeah!
  • Treadmill – no such luck 😦
  • Library books – overdue (shame on me!)
  • Dinner – check
  • Election watching – you know it!

Added for tomorrow:

  • Bake granola
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Find Devin a birthday present (his big day is on Friday!)

It’s not too bad – I will workout and get my stuff done around the house early, then head out to do my errands later in the afternoon. 

Here is what I was able to come up with for dinner …

White Chicken Chili


Definitely NOT the best picture I've taken, but it sure did taste good!


  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • Chopped celery and onion
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can chopped green chiles
  • 1 heaping tsp. chopped jalapeno
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. corn starch
  • Toppings – plain Chobani and chopped avocado


In large soup pot, heat oil and add celery and onions; cook until onions are slightly tender and add cumin.  Stir in chicken broth, beans, chiles and jalapeno.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.  Add shredded chicken and milk.  Remove enough broth from pot to make a paste with corn starch.  Add mixture to pot, stir well, cover and allow to thicken.  Top with plain yogurt and chopped avocado before serving.


I also made my version of Panera’s Smokehouse Turkey Panini



(For each sandwich)

  • Whole wheat pita pocket
  • 2 slices TJ’s reduced sodium turkey breast
  • 1 piece bacon
  • 1/2 slice Swiss cheese
  • 2 tsp. of roasted red pepper mustard spread (roasted red pepper and Dijon mustard blended together)

I pressed the sammies on our George Foreman grill.  Devin commented that they tasted just like the real deal!  Yeah!

Well, it’s time for me to banish myself to our room so I can FINALLY put away my clothes from my trip … at least the election coverage can entertain me while I work!

Have a fabulous evening!

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Sweet Repeat

We had exactly one cup of chili left from last night’s dinner – thank goodness that was all.  While it was great, I didn’t want to feel obligated to eat it for the next several day’s lunches.  What can I say, I crave variety!

After today’s lunch, I have succeeded in achieving my chili-fix for awhile …

Topped with Amaranth Crunch

I’ve always heard how well chili and baked potatoes are together.  I have never tried that combination, but I just so happened to have a sweet potato on hand and thought I would give it a try.  It worked!  The sweetness of the potato and the spicy chili taste fantastic together!


On the side I munched on two Wasa rye crackers with roasted red pepper hummus and a sliced apple –

When I finally got around to eating the apple, I remembered I had these guys in the pantry –

Brach's Sugar Free Caramels

The result –

A perfect little sweet to round out the meal.  The caramel hardened pretty quickly after microwaving so I had to use a knife to scrape up the last little bits.  (No way was I wasting ANY!!)


I’m out.  Make it a good one!

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Playing Ketchup

Hello!  I hope everyone’s had a fabulous Sunday!  I really enjoyed my day, just kinda going with the flow. 

After I planned out the weekly menu and grocery list, I left for my run around 12:30.  Since it was such a PERFECT day, I thought it would be nice to visit the local greenway for my jaunt.  I love to run here since it has a paved/wooded trail, 1/4-mile markers and tons of friendly people!

I pulled out a great 8 mile run.  It felt wonderful to just lose myself in my music and thoughts!  On my way back home, I made a pit stop at Earth Fare for a few small items and was disappointed not to find ANY samples other than cheese (which I did not look appetizing at all after running.)  Ha!

Once home, I whipped together a great bowl of honey Chobani with Kashi Heart 2 Heart and the following goodies sprinkled on top:

  • Chopped mixed nuts
  • Chopped apple
  • Raisins
  • Almond butter

It was the BEST post-run fuel eva!!!  It really hit all my taste buds perfectly! 

Unfortunately it didn’t satisfy my need to chew, so about 20 minutes later I put down a Vanilla Almond Builder’s Bar (no picture, sorry!)  That seemed to do the trick … mouth and belly happy!


For dinner tonight, I decided early to stick with the “Takin’ It Easy” mood I was in and planned a quick, but deliciously comforting meal.


Turkey Chili with Jalapeno Cream and Amaranth Crunch

To make the Jalapeno Cream, in a food processor, I combined plain Chobani, minced/jarred jalapeno, lime juice, plus a dash of salt and pulsed until well blended.

The Amaranth Crunch included amaranth, raw pumpkin seeds, cumin, chili powder and oregano.  I toasted the amaranth and pumpkin seeds in a large pot for about 1 minute.  When you drop amaranth into a hot pot, it puffs up like teeny-tiny popcorn.   

Grilled Three-Cheese Sandwiches

I used three cheeses to put these guys together – a slice of reduced fat Swiss, reduced fat Mexican cheese blend and fat free cream cheese.  I grilled them on whole grain bread with a spritzing of EVOO on each outer bread slice. 

So, the title for this post was selected for a running debate that Devin and I have whenever we eat grilled cheese sandwiches.  I love to dip my grilled sammie in ketchup … he thinks it’s the grossest thing he’s ever seen and avoids watching me as I dip each bite.  (Funny right?!) 

My question to readers out there is simple – do you like to dip your grilled cheese in ketchup or are you on board with Devin??  This won’t change my need to dip, but if it works out in my favor, I may be able to convince him to give it a try! 🙂


Sweet dreams!

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