A Taste For Spice »

Masthead header

TURKEY BEAN CHILI

One pot meals are some of my favorite dishes because it doesn’t require a lot of time especially when you don’t have a lot of time to begin with. And because it’s so simple, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of the ease for all-around healthy food.

You can’t get any more well balanced in a meal than this turkey chili. Plenty of protein from the turkey and beans. Complex carbs from the beans with TONS of fiber from both the beans and veggies. And not to forget to mention, there is no flavor lacking in this chili. Don’t let the ground turkey concern you! Cumin is the secret to making ground turkey (or ground chicken) taste similar to beef. But if you must, you can simply use a lean ground beef instead.

I personally use half ground turkey and half ground turkey breast. The ground turkey breast is very lean with a little higher protein content, only about 1.5g of fat per 4oz and no saturated fat like regular ground turkey. It’s a fair compromise to really make it healthy. Actually, it’s just to make room for me to top it off with some of my Homemade Queso Fresco cheese, haha! For those who are diabetic, with 8 servings in this chili you’ll get about 16g net carbs which isn’t so bad for how filling it is. You can make your portion smaller and enjoy a side of veggies or a salad to keep the carbs down more.

Print Recipe
TURKEY BEAN CHILI
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat cover the bottom of the pot with olive oil and sauté the bell peppers, onions, jalapeno, and garlic stirring until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the ground turkey, chili powder, cumin, paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and dried bay leaf. Use a wooden spoon to break apart the ground turkey and mix everything together.
  3. Once the ground turkey is nearly cooked after about several minutes, add the canned crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock, and worchestershire sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce the temperature to a steady simmer for about 45 minutes uncovered. Stir once in a while.
  4. Add the black beans and kidney beans the last 5 minutes.
Recipe Notes

Revised: September 7, 2017

ELK BEAN CHILI

What’s with all the exotic meats in my recipes lately? I know, I know. I’ve been feeling adventurous and curious about these healthier meat options. It’s been very fun so far and extremely successful. Just because it’s a meat most of us is unfamiliar with, doesn’t mean it has to be anymore complicated than working with something common like beef. It seems as though as long as you know the fat content, then you know when cooking it you may need more or less olive oil to prevent it from being dry. And of course, proper spices! If you’re all for trying new meats, you’ll likely love my Wild Boar Ragu which is to die for.

So with elk, I literally treated it like ground beef. And it was a huge success. It has a less greasy taste to it and more rich flavor. In a chili, it’s not so distinctive at all given all the spices involved. So, if you want to give elk a try this may be the best way to try it out! If you’re not about elk, feel free to use any kind of ground meat. There are no strict rules to this at all. Oh and last thing… you could throw all of this in a slow cooker on low for 8hrs if you’re strapped for time. Just leave the beans out of it until the last few minutes before serving and you’re good to go!

Print Recipe
ELK BEAN CHILI
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat drizzle the olive oil and sauté the onions for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the green chilies and stewed tomatoes, stir for 2 minutes.
  3. Then, add the ground elk, worcestershire sauce, chili powder, ground cumin, oregano, garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper; breaking up the ground elk with a wooden spoon. Cook and stir until the meat is mostly cooked through.
  4. Lastly, add the crushed tomatoes, brown sugar, and let everything come to a boil. Once it comes to a boil reduce the heat to low so it can simmer for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and add the kidney beans the last 5 minutes.

LAMB STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS

If you love stuffed cabbage rolls, then you’ll love this recipe! It takes the whole dish to a whole new level. I know some people are purists but you’ll be surprised to find there are many cultures including the Middle East that have their own variation of stuffed cabbage or some other kind of leaf. So I took the concept of the traditional Polish stuffed cabbage and used a more flavorful meat like ground lamb and complimenting it using the proper spices for it. Yet another fusion dish perhaps that is worth the prep work, I swear!

I’ll say though, it may sound like a lot of work but it really isn’t. You can make the lamb mixture the day before which is super fast. Then take care of the rest later. One major word of advice though is make sure you have a big, tall pot one you’d use to cook spaghetti in. Also, a hand held strainer that would fit a cabbage head in. This will make removing a piping hot cabbage head so much easier preventing burnt hands.

One last thing, the very end of the leaf can have a very thick spine which makes it difficult sometimes to roll the cabbage leaf. In the picture above you can see I cut an upside-down “V” to remove most of it off. It does make a big difference. Don’t worry about ruining the leaf! If you are confused and have any questions don’t hesitate to ask!


Print Recipe
LAMB STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a pan over medium-high heat drizzle the olive oil and sauté the onions, garlic, black pepper, cumin, and cinnamon together until the onions are softened, about 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Mix the ground lamb, rice, cooled onion mixture, fresh cilantro and salt thoroughly in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil. Place the cabbage head carefully into the boiling hot water using a large strainer with a handle for about 5 minutes. You want the leaves to appear bright green.
  4. Remove the cabbage head into a large bowl. Peel off some of the softened leaves and place onto a plate covered with paper towels. Place the cabbage back into the boiling water for a few minutes until the next layer of leaves are ready to be peeled. Do this a few times until you peel most of the leaves off the head. Save the damaged and/or outer leaves to cover the bottom and top of the baking dish.
  5. Using a knife cut an upside-down “V” to remove the toughest part of the spine at the bottom of each leaf. This will make rolling the leaves easier. Place each cabbage leaf sideways, spoon about ¼ cup give or take of the lamb mixture onto the bottom part of the leaf. Roll it up and tuck in the sides before completely rolling it up.
  6. Line a 9” x 13” baking dish with imperfect cabbage leaves, place the stuffed cabbage rolls into the baking dish and sprinkle the top with garlic powder, sea salt and pepper. Add the bay leaves and vegetable broth. Top the rolls with tomato puree, the remaining fresh chopped onion and feta crumbles.
  7. Cover everything with remaining leftover cabbage leaves and aluminum foil. Bake at 350 F for about an 1h 15min to 1hr 30min. Everything should be boiling hot.

TOFU CHORIZO

This Tofu Chorizo tastes practically identical to the traditional Mexican chorizo we’re all familiar with at the store. The major difference which seems to be a huge deal is that the pork is replaced with tofu. It sounds absolutely ridiculous but it really isn’t. Chorizo is all about the combination of spices and of course the grease factor because it’s pork. But you can add all the same spices with your favorite oil (mine is olive oil) and make it just the same. The reward is that you can eat as much chorizo often, keep your waistline smaller, your cardiovascular system healthy and avoid the feeling of weighed down from heavy, greasy foods. For some people, eating high fat/greasy foods can result in gallstones and later on require removal of the gallbladder. With some dietary compromises, you can avoid a lot of trouble. Here are the many ways you can enjoy my chorizo…

I’m crazy for burrito’s. It must be a California thing, who knows but I love making my own homemade Mexico City Refried Beans to pair with this chorizo. Top it off with fresh watercress greens, some chopped cherry tomatoes and a little bit of queso fresco. SO GOOD! I’ve made scrambled eggs with the chorizo too and it’s amazing with hot sauce. You can do a chorizo omellete, make tacos, even a taco salad or a quesadilla with your favorite cheese and grilled onions. OH! Ever go to Chipotle and get a burrito bowl? Have you tried their sofritos? Last time I went there I realized how much my tofu chorizo tasted like their sofritos and so later on I made my own burrito bowl with all the goodies. It was amazing! As you can see your options are endless. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!


Print Recipe
TOFU CHORIZO
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Remove the tofu from its container and slice it in about ½ inch thick slices.
  2. Cover a large surface with a few layers of paper towels and place the tofu on top. Place another few layers of paper towels on top of the tofu. Press on top firmly with your hands to remove excess water.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat drizzle the olive oil and break the tofu up.
  4. Add all the spices to the tofu and use a wooden spoon to break apart the tofu finely as it cooks, stirring regularly. After 5 minutes, add the lemon juice and continue to stir everything together for another 5-7 minutes.

RUSTIC MEAT RUB

This is a semi-wet rub that is extremely packed with flavor. I typically don’t eat red meat often but when I do, I usually will eat filet that comes seasoned with salt and pepper at a decent restaurant. Although I must say that I’ve had an itch to grill and learn how to properly cook steaks. So far so good! But you know me, I LOVE spices and it would be silly of me to not share a yummy meat rub that goes fantastic with steaks, just like my Rustic Rubbed Top Sirloin!

The best thing about this semi-wet rub is that you can use it on any type of red meat, even on chicken. It’s full of warm spices, a little sweet and can have a good amount of heat depending on how much cayenne pepper you want to put in the mix. Okay, I’m gonna go drool now! Enjoy.

Print Recipe
RUSTIC MEAT RUB
Servings
steaks
Ingredients
Servings
steaks
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine everything in a bowl.