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Turkey White Chili

Ah Thanksgiving leftovers.  They seem like a bounty of riches at first, and then…  I’ve gotten to the I’m-so-tired-of-turkey phase.  Part of this is because most of the time I’m vegan, and I just don’t care much for meat anymore.  However, my son is NOT vegan, and I didn’t want to mess with a holiday tradition for him, so we roasted a small turkey.  But even a small turkey can result in a fairly large bag of leftover meat!  What to do, what to do?  I’d already made tetrazzini and enchiladas.  I didn’t want it going to waste, or even lurking in my freezer, scolding me for not using it.  I want to use up ALL of the rest of it!

Winter weather has a tendency to make me crave a warm bowl of soup, and my husband ALWAYS craves spicy.  How ’bout a white chili, then?  The Google provided me with lots of inspiration.  Does anyone else resort to the interwebs for food inspiration?  It’s like searching through ton of cookbooks with a click!  The Pioneer Woman got me started and I improvised from there.

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Grab your bag of leftover turkey and a crockpot and by the time you get home from work, Turkey White Chili will be waiting to warm your chilly self!

ingredients

  • 2-2 1/2 cups cooked turkey, shredded or chunked
  • 1 can green enchilada sauce
  • 4 cups or so chicken broth (I use No Chicken Broth)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed or minced
  • 1 can diced green chiles
  • 2 cans white beans
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
  • 1 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 2 TBSP masa harina

Saute onions in a bit of broth or butter if you’d rather.  Saute until onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes.

saute onion

Add garlic and saute until it becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Remove from heat.

add garlic

Chop or shred the turkey.  I like to use a cutting board that can go into the dishwasher when cutting meat, even if it IS cooked.

chop turkey

Open one can of beans, drain and place into your crockpot.  Mash them so you still have some pieces left.

mash 1 can of beans

Drain the other can of beans and add to the pot.  Add turkey, onions and garlic, green chiles, enchilada sauce and spices.

all in the pot

Cover with broth, give it a stir, cover and set the cooker to low for 5-6 hours. Alternately, set to high for 2-3 hours.

add broth to cover

Whisk masa harina–a corn flour–into the milk.  If you can’t find masa harina, corn meal is ok.  It helps thicken your chili and gives it a fabulous corn tortilla sort of flavor.

mix masa with milk

Add the milk mixture to the crockpot, set it to high and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

add masa milk to pot

Ladle it up in a pretty bowl and cut yourself a slice of crusty bread.  Garnish with cilantro and avocado.  Yum, yum, yummy!

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Just the remedy for a cold and wintry day.  Go ahead.  Have seconds.

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Winter is here to stay in Western Colorado.  Not crazy about the cold, but it sure is pretty.

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Alpenglow is the term used when the setting sun “warms” the nearby Grand Mesa.  Especially pretty in the snow!

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Filed under comfort food, crock pot, dinner, Holiday foods, lunch

Meaty Beany Chili

My fav goddess of all things vegan, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, recently published a new cookbook.  Naturally, I felt I NEEDED to buy it, so I did (with a little help from a timely coupon from Barnes and Noble).  Her cookbooks have become the go-tos of my journey into vegan land; great recipes that come together quickly and easily, peppered with Isa’s entertaining brand of snark.  What’s not to love?!  Make this recipe and then trot on out or click into your favorite bookstore to buy a copy of Isa Does It.  You’ll be glad you did!

On with the recipe then.  This is now my go-to chili.  Really meaty without even a touch of real or vegan meat.  Warming.  Spicy.  Satisfying.  You can make it in a crockpot.  Bazinga!  Have a look and see for yourself:

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I altered the original recipe ever so slightly–I only had a 14-oz can of tomatoes, so subbed in some cherry tomatoes I froze from last summer, subbed pinto beans for the kidney beans, and used No Chicken broth to saute the onion, pepper and garlic, as well as in place of the water called for in the original.

ingredients

  • enough No Chicken Broth or Veggie Broth to saute
  • 1 yellow onion, diced medium
  • 1 green pepper, seeded, diced medium
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapenos, thinly sliced (seeded, if you want it less spicy)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons mild chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried mexican oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Several dashes fresh black pepper
  • 1/8th teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups No Chicken Broth (plus extra as needed)
  • 1 cup dried brown lentils
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (or 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes plus 2 cups frozen, pureed tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans, rinsed and drained (15 oz can)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained (15 oz can)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Seems like an intimidating list of ingredients, but fear not.  You’ll just methodically measure things out and pretty much dump things into a slow cooker!

First, saute the onion, green pepper and jalapeno until the onion is translucent, about 7 minutes or so.

onions and peppers

Add the garlic, and continue to saute until the garlic becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds.

add garlic

Dump the saute into your crock pot along with everything else on the list. Give it a stir, cover, set the cooker on low, and leave it alone for 8 hours–lentils should be tender.  You may want to adjust seasonings after cooking, and possibly add a bit more broth to thin as needed.

saute in the crock pot

add the rest

give it a stir

Voila!  Get home from work, your house smells amazing and you get to enjoy the yummiest chili ever for dinner!

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This is a hearty chili that will not only satisfy, but take the chill out of a winter day.

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You can also make this in a pot on the stove–see the original recipe for instructions.

 

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Filed under comfort food, crock pot, dairy-free, dinner, lunch, Potluck, recipe, Vegetarian

Asian-Spiced Mushroom “Burgers”

Sometimes, a burger is EXACTLY what you crave, even if you’re vegetarian or vegan.  I have a habit of watching Food Network while on the treadmill.  I know!  Seems like an oxymoron to watch yummy food being prepared while trying to counter the effects of eating-sins past.  Anyway, at one of those times, Anne Burrell prepared the yummiest sounding turkey burgers since using the Turkey Balls recipe in burger form.  These turkey burgers had all sorts of Asian ingredients and spices, and I just knew I could vegan-ize them, as well as keeping them low-fat.  So, so yummy!

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I had to do a bit of shopping for things not usually in my pantry.

ingredients

  • 1 (14 oz) package Gimme Lean Ground Meat  (This is a soy-wheat gluten product–find it at a natural foods market)
  • 1 package mushrooms, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces.  (I get sliced, because I’m lazy.  These are creminis, but button mushrooms would be yummy, too)
  • 1 onion, chopped into 1/4 inch dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP sambal oelek, optional, but really yummy (This spicy hot sauce is found in the Asian foods area of a grocery)
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 TBSP cilanto puree (From a tube found in the produce aisle) or 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 (8oz) can sliced water chestnuts, chopped into 1/4 inch dice
  • any burger-y condiments you like–buns, mustard, red onion, tomato, lettuce…..

Saute onions, garlic, salt and pepper in a 1/4 cup-ish of veggie broth until translucent–about 3 minutes.

saute onions and garlic

Add mushrooms and cook until softened and the water they release is cooked off.

add mushrooms

Place all the ingredients in a bowl (except condiments) and mix with your hands to combine.

mix everything

Flatten the mix in the bowl and mark grooves to indicate portions.  I thought 4 would be perfect–this made really large burgers–not that there’s anything wrong with that!  6 might have been a little easier to work with.

score into portions

Lightly spray a non-stick fry pan with cooking spray and place it over medium heat.

Form each portion into a burger and place into the pan, working in batches as needed.  Cook 4-5 minutes, and flip, cooking 4-5 minutes on the second side.  (If you really want to cut the fat, bake them on a cookie sheet, lined with parchment or a silicon mat.)

fry

Place on a bun, top with your favorite burger stuff and voila!  Just what you needed!  Such a delicious combination of flavors, with a bit of crunch from the water chestnuts.  I’ll be making these again for sure!

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After dinner was all cleaned up, I got to thinking about this mixture, and how yummy it would be transformed into little appetizer meat(less) balls, baked, skewered on decorative picks, served with some sort of dip–maybe a hot sauce, maybe more soy.  OR!  Maybe serve the little meat(less) balls in butter lettuce wraps, maybe with an Asian slaw….what do you think?!

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Filed under appetizer, dairy-free, dinner, lunch, recipe, Vegetarian

Celine’s Meatloaf

If you’re looking for a fancy, gourmet meatloaf, you’ll need to keep on a-googling.  This is the meatloaf my mom made back in the day.  The kind with just one kind of meat.  The kind with lots of onions.  The kind with a stripe of catsup baked right in.  The kind served with catsup (not pan sauce).  The kind that’s uber-super-extra yummy cold the next day as a sandwich.  Still with me?  May I present to you the meatloaf that is comfort food to me:

If you always have ground beef and onions in the house, you probably have the rest.

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 3-4 handfuls old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • catsup

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place all ingredients except catsup in a bowl.

Remove any bling you wear on your fingers and mix using your hands just until combined.  Move the mixture to a loaf pan, pressing to shape your loaf.  Using the pinky-finger side of your hand, form a little furrow lengthwise down the center.  Fill the furrow with catsup.

Bake for 1 hour.  Remove from pan and place on a cutting board.

Cut into slices, serve with potatoes and a vegetable and there ya go.  Midwest comfort food from back in the day.  I turned fingerling potatoes into Mom’s salt potatoes.  The darker potatoes sparkle with the perfect amount of crystallized salt.  Nice combo with the meatloaf.

Just like Mom used to make.  Yummy.  ❤

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Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

Just in time for St. Patty’s Day–classic Irish comfort food that practically cooks itself!  The March 2012 Everyday Food is full of awesome recipes, including this one.  Can you say yum?

Corned beef briskets are on sale pretty much everywhere right now, making this not only easy, but economical!  Gather everything, and toss it into the crockpot; you’ll have time to try to catch a leprechaun!

  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 3 carrots, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into 1-inch wedges, root end intact
  • 1/2 pound small potatoes, cut in half if large
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 corned beef brisket (about 3 lbs) and spice packet, or 1 TBSP pickling spice
  • 1/2 head cabbage, Savoy if you can find it, cut into 1 1/2-inch wedges
  • grainy mustard for serving

Prepare celery, carrots, potatoes and onion.  Place them in a crockpot with thyme.

Place brisket on top, fat side up.  Sprinkle with spices and add enough water to almost cover the meat.  (This completely filled my crockpot–forcing an adjustment later….)

Cover and cook until corned beef is tender.  4 1/2 hours on high, or 8 1/2 hours on low.

Arrange cabbage over meat.  I moved the whole kit and kaboodle to a large pot on the stove–worked just fine.  Cover and continue cooking until cabbage is tender.  45 minutes on high, or 1 1/2 hours on low.  While the cabbage was cooking, I had enough time to make a loaf of Irish Soda Bread!  So fast,so  easy, and the perfect yummy addition to this comfort food meal!

Remove everything from the pot, carve the brisket and serve!  How ’bout a nice, cold, stout beer with this meal?!  Mmmmmm–perfect!

I ended up with not much left over, but plenty of brisket and potatoes to make a corned beef hash to have with over-easy eggs the next morning!  Yum!

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Celine’s Swedish-Style Meatballs

My mom made the best meatballs, and always served them with red sauce and pasta. However, these meatballs have a unique flavor–very un-Italian–and are cooked in an unusual way.  This got me to thinking they just might have Scandinavian roots.  Sure enough, the Swedish meatball recipes I found are made in a similar fashion and also include spices not normally associated with Italian meatballs.   I wonder if she knew, or if this is a recipe from the Scandinavian side of the family and she never even thought about it.  No matter, they are super tender and yummy!

Here’s what you’ll need to make meatballs just like Mom made ’em:

  • 1 pound burger  (Always hamburger while I was growing up.)
  • 2 slices of bread, soaked in water, wrung out and shredded
  • 1/4-1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp mace
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg
  • flour  to coat meatballs
  • 2 bay leaves

Start by soaking the bread in water. 

When the bread has soaked up all the water it can, wring it out, shred it and add it to a bowl with the burger, onion, mace, salt pepper and egg.

Using your hands, gently mix everything together just until combined.  Over-working raw meat will make it tight and tough.

I use a cookie scoop to make uniform-sized balls, forming them a bit in my hands.  Roll each one in flour.

Place meatballs in a large skillet with 1 TBSP butter and 1 TBSP oil.

Brown on all sides.  This will cause a loss of roundness, exactly how they always look.

When meatballs are browned all over, cover them with water, add bay leaves, bring to a boil, and simmer for 20 minutes.  The flour coating the meatballs will become a gravy coating!

Meanwhile, cook the pasta of your choice according to package directions.  Gently mix pasta, sauce and meatballs.

Serve some up on a plate,

add some finely grated parmesan cheese,

and have a bite of that tender, yummy meatball.

After reading other Swedish meatball recipes, I want to experiment a bit with Mom’s original recipe and serve them more Swedish-style.  The gravy of this recipe sounds the most enticing to me–it uses a bit of ligonberry preserves!  I also liked the idea of cardamom in the meatballs.  I don’t think Mom would mind a bit of tinkering for the sake of Scandinavian yumminess.

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Filed under comfort food, dinner, Food memories, Norwegian Foods, Potluck, recipe