Turkey, Pumpkin, Fall Vegetable And White Bean Chili

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This turkey chili is one of those recipes that you can make over and over again during the fall and winter months. It’s hearty, warming and quite delicious! I play around with different ingredients and spices but this is the basic recipe. The key is to add lots of warming spices to the mix and make it as spicy as you want. I don’t eat beef or lamb so often use ground turkey as a substitute in recipes and I like its lighter flavor. If you are on a low-carb diet, this will be a full meal for you or you can add quinoa or brown rice as a side. To make it into a vegetarian or vegan recipe, simply omit the the turkey and replace with extra portabella mushrooms or cubes of butternut squash. It’s also a great recipe for a slow cooker. I prefer to brown the turkey first, then mix with the rest of the ingredients in the slow cooker and leave on low heat for 8 hours. This recipe serves about 4-6 people and it keep really well in the fridge to be heated up as a quick dinner during the week.

Ingredients

1 pack organic ground turkey
1 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1 small pack cremini or white mushrooms
1/2 bunch kale, cut into thin ribbons
1 red pepper, diced
1 large can whole plum tomatoes
1 small can navy or pinto beans
1/2 can organic pumpkin puree

Spices:
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne powder (to taste/optional)

Method:

  1. Heat a large skillet or large saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the ground turkey and stir occasionally. Cook until brown.
  2. Add the onion, pepper, mushrooms and spices. Stir under softened.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes, pumpkin, kale and garlic.
  4. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes on low heat until everything is cooked through and the flavors have developed. Add more spices (chili powder or cayenne) to taste.
  5. Serve alone in a bowl or with a side of quinoa or brown rice.
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Coconut Lime Quinoa

IMG_2569It feels as if I’ve been hibernating during this long cold winter. Eating lots of soup and stews. Heavier comfort foods. So with the arrival of a few crocuses in my front garden and a huge magnolia tree by my neighbor’s house, I can officially come out of hibernation and enjoy the spring sunshine and cheerier spring foods. I always tell my clients to use March and April to transition from the richer, heartier winter foods to lighter salads, soups and raw foods and this is a perfect recipe for that.

This coconut lime quinoa side dish is zesty and bright and reminds me of the warm tropical flavors of the Caribbean. It’s just as easy to make as regular quinoa and the lime really stands out in this recipe. I like to make a big batch and store in my fridge for 3-4 days. Eat with roasted chicken or vegetables for a delicious spring supper!

Ingredients:

1 cup of quinoa
2 cups (1 can) coconut milk
Zest and juice of 1 lime

Method:

  1. Rinse quinoa with water in a sieve.
  2. Add quinoa and coconut milk to a small saucepan and simmer, covered, for about 12 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked.
  3. Stir in the lime zest and juice at the end.

 

Slow Cooker No Sugar Applesauce

Slow cooker no sugar applesauceWhen I was growing up, the only way my mum could get me to eat meals was to add applesauce. To every. single. plate. Luckily for me, we had apple trees in our garden and my mum was a great cook and made everything from scratch (a great influence on me for sure!) so I was treated to homemade applesauce every day.

I still love the stuff. It requires a bit of prep work but you can make a huge batch on the weekend and store in the fridge or freezer. No preservatives or extra sugars like the store bought varieties often contain. I’m lazy and like to keep the peel on for extra nutrients (no, I think it’s just because I’m lazy) but you can peel the apples too so the sauce is really fine and mushy.

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Pear and Avocado Protein Smoothie

Pear and Avocado Smoothie

I was faced with a glut of pears in my CSA box this week. I love eating pears and so do my kids – in fact, it was their first ever solid food when they were babies and they both love eating pear slices for breakfast or after school snack. Pears remind me of growing up in the English countryside and my Granny and colder weather and the pear tree in our garden that always seemed to produce hard pear bullets year after year that we didn’t quite know what to do with.

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Healthy Organic Hot Chocolate (A Perfect Holiday Gift!)

Healthy Hot Chocolate

I’ve been desperate to make my own hot chocolate ever since our trusty Cadbury’s ran out last week. My children love a little hot chocolate  especially as a treat in the cold wintry days after school. I know many store bought brands can be full of sugar and artificially additives and so that led me on the quest to make my own. I had two reasons really: my thirsty children being one of them, and secondly I wanted a pretty gift to give to teachers and friends at Christmas. This recipe fit the bill.

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Summery Zucchini Pasta With Mediterranean Tomato Sauce

It’s the middle of the summer, and zucchini* is cropping up everywhere. If you grow your own vegetables, you probably have a glut of them right now and are sick of making zucchini muffins or are struggling with what to do with all of them. Ever since I heard about a wonderful contraption called a spiralizer that could turn a simple zucchini into some wonderful spaghetti, I was hooked. It’s such an easy thing to do and you don’t miss the taste of regular pasta at all. If you are on a low-carb or gluten free diet, this is an absolutely delicious way to be able to eat your favorite pasta dishes without the guilt.

The zucchini pasta is robust enough to hold its place in the pasta bowl with any sauce but the flavor isn’t strong at all so won’t overwhelm any dish you make. In fact, it’s a perfect dish for summer with that light and tender flavor. What’s more – if you have fussy kids who don’t like green vegetables, try making this with them. My kids are not huge vegetable fans but when we bring out the spiralizer, they will eat the raw zucchini spaghetti right as we are making it.

All you need is 2-3 medium zucchini for a meal for 2 people. Place it in the spiralizer with the correct blade attachment and make your spaghetti. It’s so easy, even my 3 year can do it (with a bit of adult supervision). Then, I like to blanch the spaghetti in slightly salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes. That’s it!

This is the type of sauce I love to pair it with, but of course you can add any type of sauce to your zucchini pasta.

Mediterranean Tomato Sauce for Zucchini Pasta

3-4 large heirloom tomatoes or 20 cherry tomatoes, chopped in small pieces
2 shallots, finely chopped
10 cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 black olives, finely chopped
Handful of fresh basil, torn into small pieces
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper

(optional: splash of white wine)

Method:

  1. In a large skillet or frying pan, heat up the olive oil on low heat and add the shallots. Stir until translucent: about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic and olives and cook until the tomatoes are mushy, about 10 minutes. Season with sea salt and black pepper. (Add a splash of white wine now if you want to).
  3. Add the fresh basil, stir and serve immediately with the zucchini pasta.

* zucchini = courgettes for my British readers!

Deliciously Warming Red Chicken Casserole For Your Valentine

This deliciously warming winter meal (perfect for Valentine’s Day!) was born by happy accident this weekend. I had a big hunk of red cabbage in the fridge that I wasn’t quite sure to do with, some chicken, tomatoes and lentils. Feeling creative, I made this dish in less than 30 minutes and since I love the reddish purple color, I decided it would be the perfect Valentine’s meal for anyone. You can even make this in your slow cooker in the morning and it will be tender and delicious by the time you tuck in for supper. Pair with quinoa or brown rice and your best bottle of red and you have a simple and delectable dish to impress any lover!

chicken stew valentine's

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