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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Slow Cooker Light Chicken Pot Pie

We have a wonderful British pie shop in our town in a dangerous location since it’s on the road where I pick up my son from school. In the afternoons when they bake their pies, you can smell them all the way down the street. And they smell so good.

Occasionally on a Friday night when I don’t want to cook, I’ll walk to the shop and order a chicken tikka or chicken pot pie. I just love the way they use great quality chicken and a wonderful blend of spices.

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Warming Winter Chicken And Chorizo Stew

Warming Winter Chicken and Chorizo StewWell here we are at the end of February and there is still a foot of snow in my garden and I don’t think I’ve seen the grass for a whole month! It’s very beautiful but I’m tired of the subzero temperatures and am yearning for warming days.

Every cloud has a silver lining as they say and this winter I’ve really embraced my slow cooking and oven as I make lots of batches of soup and stews for the family. My Spanish friend brought over some wonderful chorizo for me to cook with and so I immediately got to work with this stew. It’s a type of stew that I had many times when I was living in Spain in my early 20s: tomatoes, beans, chicken, chorizo and spices. It’s simple but warms you up on any snowy winter’s day.

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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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Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken Casserole

moroccan chickenSo here it is: my favorite season of the year. The days are a little crisper and we are getting ready to go back to school. Lucky for us, the summer season’s crop of fruit and vegetables is still prevalent in local markets. I’m savoring every bite while I still can.

One kitchen tool I can’t live without is my slow cooker. Call me a 1950s housewife, I don’t care. It’s been a surprisingly useful kitchen tool all summer and now it’s the autumn I’ll be using it even more. I invented this recipe for Moroccan chicken since I wanted to use up all my late summer tomatoes I had sitting around in my kitchen.  The frugalista in me also loves cooking with chicken thighs (so much more affordable and flavorful than chicken breasts!) and dried beans.

This casserole is something so easy to put together but the wonderful flavors and tender chicken make it seem as if you’ve been standing over a hot oven for hours. Shhh! Your secret is safe with me.

Moroccan Chicken Casserole 
Serves 6-8 (Great for leftovers the next day too!)

4 chicken thighs – boneless and skinless
1 punnet cherry tomatoes or 6-8 large plum tomatoes or 3 large heirloom tomatoes, chopped*
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 cup dried beans – fava, garbanzo or cannelini are delicious
Ras el Hanout spice (you can buy this or make this at home)
1 tbsp coconut oil
salt and pepper

Alternative vegetables you could add to the tomato mix include: carrots, sweet potato, green beans, green pepper, kale or mushrooms (only put mushroom in during last 30 minutes of cooking).

{Nutrition: This recipe is low fat, high protein and the tomatoes are full of nutrients including vitamins A, C and K and lycopene which may lower your risk for cancer and heart disease. Adding other vegetables to the mix increases the nutritional value!}

* If it’s already past tomato season where you are, a large jar or can of tomatoes will do.

1. Mix the chicken pieces in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of Ras el Hanout and a pinch of salt. Lightly sauté the chicken in a pan with the coconut oil until both sides are brown (they don’t have to be cooked through).

2. Place chicken pieces in your slow cooker with layers of tomatoes, red pepper, onion, garlic, dried beans and some filtered water to cover everything. The beans use up quite a lot of liquid so you may have to add more water while cooking.

3. Turn on to high setting for 5-6 hours. Stir once or twice during the cooking process if you are able to. After that, turn on low setting until the beans and other vegetables are tender and the chicken falls apart. Lightly season with additional salt and black pepper, if needed.

4. Serve with brown rice or farro and a green salad.