CrockPot Turkey Chili Stew

Yep…you read that title correct!  I make Turkey Chili Stew.   I used to call it chili, but when I would describe it to people, it was decided that it was more of a stew because of all the vegetables that are in it.  Call it chili, call it stew…doesn’t matter because it is so tasty!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1c raw onion
  • 1/2c diced red bell peppers
  • 3 stalks of celery diced
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained (optional)
  • 1 can (14.5oz) of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (6oz) tomato puree
  • 2.5 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp crushed black pepper

 

First brown the turkey in a pan.   Then you can line your crockpot with a crockpot liner.   Add all of the ingredients to the crock pot except spinach.  Add spices to the mixture.

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Now add the spinach on top.

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Cook on low for 7 hours.  Stirring occasionally.

Seven hours later….your house smells like chili.  It’s the perfect comfort food on a cold day.

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Unfortunately, the picture does not do it justice.  I know that it isn’t very pretty, but it is delicious and very healthy!

 

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Marinara

We love Italian food.   If I thought that we could get away with eating it 4 time a week, we probably would.  I used to buy marinara.  One jar for $2 didn’t seem like a bad buy.  But….when you use a jar and a half when making Chicken Parmesan (our favorite meal next to Pizza) you start to wonder if there if making it yourself is better in the long run.   Once I started making it at home, we haven’t gone back to using the store bought kind.   It doesn’t take as long as you might think.   If you have an hour, you can make this super simple marinara.

This recipe was found when Virginia is for Hunter Gathers did a guest post on Nom Nom Paleo.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ¼ cups white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes in water (I recommend draining the water or else the sauce is super watery)
  • ⅛ teaspoon celery seed (original recipe called for celery salt, but I don’t have that and have always used the celery seed)
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon coconut aminos (can be found at Whole Foods or Central Market)
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 pinches freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil cut in chiffonade, divided (If you don’t have fresh basil, dried basil works too.  When I use dried basil I tend to add a bit more)

 

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet (I use a deep sided skillet so I only have to use one pan for this) over medium-low heat.  Add in your onions.  I like to caramelize the onions a bit to add some sweetness to the sauce.  If you find that the onions are starting to burn instead of caramelize, add a bit more olive oil.  If you don’t want to caramelize the onions, cook them until they are translucent.

Cooking the onions

Cooking the onions

 

While the onions are cooking, you can prepare the garlic.  The easy was to do it is if you have a garlic press.  I don’t have one, so I cut it by hand.   When you add in the garlic, cook it for about 3 more minutes.

Add in the garlic

Add in the garlic

 

Once the garlic has cooked with the onions, you can add the rest of the ingredients.  (If using fresh basil, put half of it in at this point) If you don’t have a deep sided skillet, you can use a large sauce pot.

Ingredients in the deep sided skillet

Ingredients in the deep sided skillet

Bring the mixture to a simmer.IMG_2391

Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour stirring occasionally.  If the sauce starts sticking to the bottom of the pan, turn down the heat.  Remove the bay leaf and add the rest of the fresh basil if using.

The sauce could now be used if you like a chunky sauce.  I don’t.  So I put it in the blender.

Ready to be blended

Ready to be blended

Almost there!

Almost there!

 

Blend it until you get the desired consistency.  I like my sauce really smooth.  So I will blend it a bit more.

Once you have the consistency you like, you can eat it or store it!

 

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This sauce is so tasty!  I have had several people tell me that they can’t believe that it is homemade.  I am so grateful that I found this recipe.  It has become a staple in our house.   Hopefully it will become one in yours too!

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

For the past week, I have been apart of a weight loss challenge group.  For the most part, I eat really healthy.  But like everyone can relate to, I have been slacking on my diet and putting on weight.  Now, it wouldn’t be so bad, but not only have I slacked off on my diet, but I have not been working out.  Not eating right and not going to the gym is the recipe to gain weight!

After a friend on Facebook posted her before and after pictures of her weight loss journey, I thought that I would try this out and see if I could get results.  The formula is simple, eat the right type of foods in the right portions and workout.  It’s that simple.  Easy, no.   Life makes it hard.  You have work, kids, and chores.  Things get in your way.  But you have to stick with it.

Going through this challenge has been hard on me because I have not been able to make some of my favorite meals because of being on calorie restriction.   Although one of the first things I am making will be my sweet potato pizza!  While Paleo, it is higher in calories because of the sweet potato and almond flour, but it is great for a post workout meal!  Over the past few days, I have pretty much been eating the same thing over and over again.  Grilled chicken, sauteed or roasted vegetables, an approved carb option, fruit, yogurt, and my protein shake.   But after a while, you want something different.  Which is why tonight I am having quinoa stuffed bell peppers!  It isn’t pizza, but it is super tasty!

Ingredients:

  • 2 bell peppers (red is my favorite bell pepper, but you can pick an color you like)
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey (or beef if you prefer)
  • 1/4c chopped onions
  • 1 chopped celery stalk
  • handful of baby spinach
  • 1/4c yellow or green squash (or both!)
  • 1/4c cooked quinoa
  • 1/3c salsa (the salsa is to flavor your cooked quinoa)
  • 1/4c of your favorite cheese

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.   While your oven is heating, you need to take the tops off of the bell peppers and make sure that all of the seeds are out.   Once the seeds are out, place the bell pepper in a pot of boiling water.   Cook the peppers for 8 minutes.  Make sure about halfway through you rotate the peppers.  Once finished, dump the water out of the peppers and set aside.

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While the peppers are cooking, brown the ground meat (turkey or beef) in a tsp of olive oil.  I like to season the meat with garlic powder, ground pepper, and chipotle pepper.   Once it is ground, put in a bowl to cool while you cook your vegetables.  I like to cook mine in 1 tsp of olive oil.  I cook the onions, celery, and squash until the onions start to caramelize.  Add the spinach in last for 1-2 minutes until it is all wilted.

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Put your vegetables in with the cooked ground meat.

Mix the cooked quinoa with the salsa.  Combine the salsa quinoa with the vegetables and meat.  You can either mix your cheese in the entire mixture, or you can place it on top of the bell pepper mixture.  I like to mix mine in with the ingredients instead of put it on top.

 

Before cooking

Before cooking

 

Once the peppers are stuffed, bake them for 20 minutes.

After baking

After baking

 

Let the pepper cool, cut in half and begin eating!

Yum!

Yum!

 

This also makes a great leftover for lunch the next day!   Hope you enjoy this nutrient packed and gluten free dinner!