Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One Pot Meals :: Healthy Turkey Chili

Maybe it's the fact that spring is officially a month away, or the one too many tea cookies I ate last week, or maybe it's all the Olympics A. and I have been watching (snowboard cross is my new obsession!).... but, this week, I've been craving healthier foods.  

So, I was excited to find this deliciously tempting  7 day detox from Self Magazine.  Detox?  Sounds a little extreme, but I think it's just what I'm craving: a transition from rich winter foods into lighter spring meals.  It's one week of whole grains, plenty of fiber, and lean meats.  And, it actually sounds delicious!

So, I printed out a week's worth of menus, convinced A. to join in, went on a little grocery trip to stock up, and we officially started this morning!

So far so good.  Yogurt and cereal for breakfast (I had Iggy's non-fat yogurt and Kashi high fiber), and a toasted whole wheat pita with hummus, spinach and tomato for lunch.  Yum!   For dinner I decided to make a large pot of turkey chili. 

It was delicious!  Plenty of veggies, healthy beans, and low fat turkey, all in a hearty broth! It's so easy to make, you really can't go wrong.   Saute the veggies and turkey, add the spices, then add the tomatoes, and beans.  That's pretty much it!  I freshened up the flavors with a bit of cilantro and topped it with non-fat sour cream and avocado.  Healthy and filling! ...and perfect on a rainy winter night.

Oh ps: I do have one confession to make: I drank coffee.  Ooops.  But there's really no way I can function without coffee. 


HEALTHY TURKEY CHILI (adapted from Gourmet)
2 medium onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lb ground lean Turkey, seasoned with salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin 
1 tablespoon chopped Cilantro
2 Bell Peppers, roughly chopped (I used one yellow, one red)
1 Jalapeno Pepper, seeded & chopped
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 chili peppers in adobo, chopped
1 can organic kidney beans 
1 can organic pinto beans
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes
1/2 cup water
Salt,  and Olive Oil

Over medium-high heat, in a large pot sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the onions. When the onions start to brown, add the garlic and saute quickly.  Add the ground turkey, chili powder, and cumin.  Stir with a wooden spoon to break down the turkey into small pieces and mix with the onions and garlic.

When the turkey starts to brown, add the bell and jalapeno peppers.  Cook for about a minute, then lower the heat and add the remaining ingredients.  Add the cilantro, and taste for salt and spiciness, you can add more chili powder of chilies in adobo for more heat. 

Continue to simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes until the chili thickens. 

Serve with a dollop of non-fat sour cream and slices of avocado.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Breakfast :: Poached Eggs, Crispy Prosciutto & Cheddar Polenta

For valentine's day, I wanted to surprise A. with breakfast!  One of A.'s breakfast favorites:  poached eggs.  Well, this is a bit of a problem, considering I am the world's worst egg poacher, ever.  No, I'm not exaggerating.  I've tried.  Every couple of months I try to convince myself that it can't be that hard, so I try again.  I bring water to a soft simmer, I add vinegar, crack an egg into a ramekin, and then slowly pour it into the water.  I cross my fingers... but then, a few seconds later, there it is:  a pot of mudied egg white water.   Oh well.  Until I found this little invention:  silicone egg poachers.  Perfectly poached eggs every time!  

I woke up craving something sweet and salty....and we had beautiful San Danielle prosciutto in the fridge.  Let's face it, you can never go wrong with prosciutto!  So for breakfast:  poached eggs, a top a honey sweet, cheddar polenta, with crispy prosciutto. The polenta is sweet and cheesy, and goes perfectly with the salty prosciutto, all topped with a delicious poached egg, with a soft yolk.  It was delicious!  I'll definitely be making this again (often!), and not just for breakfast. 

Oh and don't worry about having too much polenta, spread the leftovers in a greased baking dish (small size, I used a 4x4) and place in the fridge.  Let it harden for a couple of hours and then cute into triangles (more pics in this post).  It'll be a perfect to-go breakfast the next day, or a side for dinner.

Hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day and are enjoying President's Day! 

Eggs (1 per person)
Sliced prosciutto (2 slices per person)
Cheddar Polenta (recipe below, about 1/2 cup per person)

Preheat the oven to 500F.  On a parchment lined cookie sheet lay the slices of prosciutto and cook in the oven until crispy (about 3-5 minutes).  

Cook the polenta, and poach the eggs.  If you are using an egg poacher, simply bring a large saucepan with water to a boil.  Butter each egg dish and add the cracked egg.  Place in the water, floating, and cover the pot.  Cook for 5-8 minutes and scoop out of the dish and serve.
(Or follow these egg poaching instructions)

To assemble, serve about 1/2 cup of cheddar polenta on each dish.  Top with the crispy polenta slices, don't worry if they break.  Layer the poach egg on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cheddar Polenta
2 cups of water
1 cup of milk
1 cup dry polenta
sprinkle of salt
teaspoon of honey
1/3 cup cheddar
tablespoon of butter

In a medium saucepan, bring the water and milk to a boil with a sprinkle of salt.  Add the polenta in a steady stream mixing will you pour to prevent lumps.  Lower the heat and continue to mix the polenta until it has a smooth texture.  Add the cheddar and honey, and taste for salt.  When it is fully combined, remove from heat and serve immediately.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Valentine's :: Tea Cookies

I am having the most wonderful day! I took the day off... not because I had something planned, just because I wanted a day to rest.  Ahhh...a four day weekend!  :-)  I slept in we went for a long walk in the snow, ate way too many cookies, and I am now sipping a latte from a ginormous mug at my favorite West Village coffee shop.  I ♥ large latte mugs, don't they just feel relaxing?

I'm excited for Valentine's Day and the long weekend!  A. is planning to make dinner for us.  I don't know all the details, but I know there is a whole chicken involved!  I can't wait to see what he has planned.  Humm... maybe I'll have him write a little guest blogger post afterwards.  Ohh, I also want to go try the new Meatball Shop in the LES.  Can you believe it, a place that only serves meatballs?  I want to try the spiced pork! 

Well, Valentine's Day wouldn't be complete without a little sugar!  So, I decided to bake a few cookies to mail to friends and family.  The twelve dozen cookies I rolled out probably has something to do with how exhausted I felt yesterday! :-)  Oh well, they were delicious so it's all worthwhile!  Apart from basic heart-shaped sugar cookies (from this wonderful recipe, truly the best cut out sugar cookies!), I decided to experiment with tea cookies.  Buttery cookies flavored with tea leaves.  Delicious!  I made a batch of green tea and a batch using my favorite Kusmi Breakfast tea. They are so aromatic and light in flavor.  Not overly sweet, and perfect with a cup of tea of course!

Hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day weekend! xoxo

ENGLISH BREAKFAST TEA COOKIES (adapted from Real Simple)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons loose breakfast tea, ground (use Earl Grey or English breakfast)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest
1 cup unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)

Preheat oven to 375F.  Grind the tea leaves using a coffee grinder or food processor.  Combine the tea with all the dry ingredients.  Add the vanilla, zest, a teaspoon of water, and butter and mix using either a food processor or a mixer with the paddle attachment until the dough has formed.

Divide the dough in two and wrap in plastic wrap.  Place in the fridge for 30 minutes before rolling out.  Roll out the dough to be 1/3" thick.  Have plenty of flour handy to prevent from sticking.  Cut the cookies and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 12 minute until they start to crisp.  Allow 5 minutes to cool.

GREEN TEA COOKIES (via Lovescool)
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
5 ounces unsalted butter, cut into squares
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 tablespoon ground green tea or green tea powder
1 cup granulated sugar (for dusting)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Combine the confectioners sugar and the green tea.  Add the butter and mix with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add the flour until well combined.  Then add an egg at a time until the dough is formed.  Make a disk with the dough and cover in plastic wrap.  Allow it to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough to 1/2" thick and cut with the cookie cutter.  Have a small bowl ready with the granulated sugar.  As you cut out each cookie dip it in the bowl and completely cover in sugar.  Place on a parchment line cookie sheet and cook for 12 - 15 minutes.  Cool and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Breakfast for Dinner :: Whole Wheat Pancakes

Some nights are just meant for breakfast. Especially in the middle of winter...what could be better on a cold night than a stack of pancakes with warm maple syrup?

I was inspired by The Kitchn's post on freezing homemade pancakes and reheating in the toaster. How perfect! I can't beleive I'd never thought of that before. Duh...eggo's! So I decided to make a double batch, a few for dinner (A. ate his with a fried egg on top, delicious!) and a few to keep in the freezer for breakfast. Since these were going to be my breakfast for a few days, I made them with whole wheat flour for a healthier pancake. It's amazing how rich and nutty these come out. I dare say I like it more than regular pancakes!

I think the key to perfect pancakes is twofold. First, beat the egg white seperately until they are fluffy and carefully fold into the batter without over mixing. This will make fluffiest pancakes. Second, cook them over medium to low heat. Resist the urge to turn up the'll end up with burnt butter and raw batter in the middle. Not a pretty picture.


2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, seperated
pinch of salt
butter for pan
optional: berries or apples slices

Mix dry ingredients. In a seperate bowl, mix the milk, yogurt, and egg yolks. Seperately mix the egg white until fluffy and airy. Combine the dry ingredients with the milk mixture. Be careful not to overmix. When fully incoporated, gently fold in the egg whites. Check the consistency of the batter, I like thick pancakes so the batter won't be as runny. Just add more milk for thinner cakes.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium low heat. Add about a tablespoon of butter. When the pan is hot, add about 1/3 cup of batter. When you start getting those pancakes bubbles, flip it over. If you are adding fruit, do it when you start seeing the bubbles.

You can keep pancakes in the oven while you cook the others. Just have your oven at 170F, and place on a cookie sheet. To freeze the pancakes, allow them to cool and then just place in a ziploc freezer bag. To reheat, cook in the toaster or toaster oven until warm. They will keep in the freezer for about a week.

Related Posts with Thumbnails