A Family Favorite

What with all of the weather craziness going on this week, we have experienced some very unseasonably cold weather this week. And in honor of the cold weather I will be making my famous (among, you know, Beard and I) turkey chili.
Turkey Chili
1-2 observed ground turkey
1 cup dry beans or 1 can of beans rinsed
Several cloves of garlic
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1-2 tbsp oil
1-2 cans chopped tomatoes
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 bay leaf
1-2tbsp chili powder
2-3 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

First, if you are using dry beans, go ahead and soak those in four cups of water for 6-8 hours, then rinse them, cover them in 3 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low-medium for 1-2 hours or until beans are tender.
If you are using canned beans, hang on to that can, but dont open it yet.
In a large soup pot, heat the oil, then place turkey and garlic in together. Salt and pepper if you care to. Brown the turkey until fully cooked, then drain most of the fat.
Add bay leaf, chili powder, cumin, tomatoes, onion, peppers, and salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat cover for one hour.
Now you canned bean folks, open your can of beans and drain and rinse them well.  Add them to your chili. Dry bean folks, add your beans now, too. Salt and pepper to taste, then cook for another fifteen minutes.
We have a few ways to serve our chili around here:
With saltines or oyster crackers
With tortilla chips
With shredded cheddar, mozzarella, or pepperjack
With cottage cheese (This is Beard’s preferred way; I haven’t tried it yet, but he swears by it).
If you’re having some cold weather, make yourself a lot of turkey chili!

A Tasty Father’s Day Gift

I’m not the best gift-giver in the world, and quite often Beard and I end up giving gift cards or money to our friends and family.  We’re both crazy perfectionists that aren’t satisfied by the gifts we pick out for people; thus we assume they can pick the perfect gift out for themselves.

Well, this year I’ve been trying to be a bit better about more thoughtful gifts, and I think we nailed this one on the head for my father-in-law.

(I doubt he will be reading this until at least Monday, so I should be fine to post it.)

I made him a large batch of Garlic Basil Popcorn with Parmesan and Asiago.  Seriously, this man loves his popcorn.

The recipe is as follows:

Garlic Basil Popcorn with Parmesan and Asiago

4 cloves garlic

several tbsp of olive oil

1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels

1/2 cup grated parmesan and asiago mixed

2-3 tbsp dried basil

I used the largest pot I have and started heating it up over low heat.  While that was heating I chopped the garlic up.

I drizzled the olive oil into the warmed pan and let the olive oil get warm as well.  This takes about 2-3 minutes.  Then I threw in the garlic and left it there.  Yes, I left the garlic in that oil over low heat for several minutes.  I managed to take clothes off the line and hang the next load up.  You really want the garlic flavor to work it’s way into the oil, but you want to be careful not to burn the garlic.  That will give your popcorn a bad flavor.

Once I deemed the oil garlicky enough I skimmed the garlic out, careful to leave the oil, and threw a few kernels of popcorn in the pot.

There are a few little pieces of remaining garlic in there, but that’s ok.

 

Turn up the heat to medium high or high and wait until you hear the kernels pop.

When you do, put in the remaining kernels:

Then put a lid on the pot, watch your kernels pop like crazy!  With potholders grab the pot handles and swirl the pot around every few seconds.  This keeps the popped kernels from burning. Once the popping begins to slow down a bit, remove the pot from the heat, continuing to swirl it around a little.  Wait until the popping stops to take the lid off. 😉

While you let the popcorn cool for a little, grate your cheeses if they aren’t already. And put your seasonings in:

Either use a wooden spoon to stir the popcorn or throw the popcorn and seasonings into bags and shake it up.

I packed up the gift popcorn into regular plastic bags with twist ties:

And I took a sample for myself 🙂

Great stuff!

It’s Going to Be a Green Monster Kind of Week

First, let me explain what a green monster is, then I’ll tell you why I’ll be drinking these all week.

I first read the term “green monster” on the blog  Oh She Glows.  This blog is written by a very creative vegan baker and blogger.  She has some of the best tasting and most innovative recipes I’ve seen on the web, and they’re pretty darn healthy, too!

Now, if you’ve been reading long enough, you’ll know that no one in the DP family is vegan or even vegetarian, but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy the occasional healthy vegan recipe, including, of course, green monster smoothies.

A green monster is a smoothie that is made with a few cups of greens (usually spinach or kale) in addition to the usual fruit, ice, milk/yogurt, etc.  Green monsters are almost always very green in color (thus the name) but have little to no taste of the greens in them.  They are an excellent way to get your  daily dose of greens!

Why will I be drinking these things this week?

Since college I have been eating a green salad for lunch almost everyday during the warm months (and soup in the cold months).  I am one of those people that just loves veggies dressed in olive oil and vinegar.

I know there are those readers thinking “yes, yes, me too!” and then there are some of you thinking “ugg, I knew there was something I didn’t like about this lady”.

In the past week or so, though, (approximately weeks 11-12 of this pregnancy) I have not, for the life of been, been able to eat a green salad.  Which is weird.  Beyond weird.   But, of course, being the huge fan of Sam’s Club that I am, I bought the giant container of fresh baby spinach this week (which for the record, I go through by myself in a week and a half with no problem.

So my problem is that I have tons of spinach and no appetite for it.  And my husband is not about to dig into a green salad either.  Because of this, I’m embracing the green monster smoothie, both to use up my spinach and also to get it in my body in the least offensive way possible.

One of my go to green monster smoothie recipes is this:

DP’s Go To Green Monster Smoothie

(makes 2 servings)

2-3 cups spinach

1 banana

1/2 cup milk or yogurt

3-8 fresh or frozen strawberries (depending on size and mood)

2-4 tbsp flax seed (depending on how things are “going” that day)

1 cup of ice

I throw this in my blender on high until it’s smooth, then pour into two small Mason/Bell jars.  I’ll keep the second serving in the freezer if Beard isn’t feeling a smoothie; it’ll thaw just by taking it out and sitting on the counter at least a half hour or more before you want to drink it.

 

As a treat, sometimes I’ll look up some crazy delicious sounding green monster smoothies, and this is one I loved from Oh She Glows:  Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bomb .

I did alter the recipe quite a bit when I made it because of what I had on hand:

  • I didn’t use tofu
  • My spinach was raw
  • I used extra cocoa powder instead of carob powder and Chocolate Infusion powder
  • I used cow’s milk
  • I used no oil
  • I used flax seeds instead of chia seeds (which DON’T do the same thing, but I just wanted flax in there)

The smoothie is a delicious treat!  Try it. 🙂