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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.

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TURKEY BEAN CHILI
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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

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!


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TOFU CHORIZO
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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.

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

RUSTIC RUBBED TOP SIRLOIN

Cold weather rustic food doesn’t always have to be soups and stews. So this time around I’m going for something hearty and interesting with my semi-wet rustic rub. It’s sweet, salty, savory and full of spice. Annnnnd so easy to pull together. If you like things more spicy, add more cayenne pepper to your hearts desire. You can give or take any of the spices to make it to your perfect liking. I won’t judge  😉  Personally, my favorite part is the dark char on the outside from the dark brown sugar. I kinda wish every bite of the steak was the edge piece, haha!


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RUSTIC RUBBED TOP SIRLOIN
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients except the sirloins in a bowl and generously rub all over the steaks. Let the steaks marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.
  2. Pull the steaks out and let it come to room temperature.
  3. Bring your grill to high heat and place the steaks on the grill with the cover closed for about 5 minutes. Turn the steaks over with tongs and let grill for another 5 minutes if you want the steak done medium.  Remove from the grill and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.

LAMB KOFTAS & BIRYANI

THIS! Is one of my absolute favorite dishes EVER! It’s truly a fusion of concepts in many ways but what I love most about it, is the combination of spices in both the lamb koftas and this really easy biryani rice. I’ve had some bad first experiences with lamb until I had ground lamb. There’s something about lamb that requires a certain attention with the right spices to make everything marry in ways you’ll want to keep eating it. Which is totally an okay thing to do versus red meat from cow. Lamb is a much healthier alternative (in addition to bison).

Kofta is basically another name for meatball in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, although the main difference between a kofta and the usual meatball you’re more familiar with is the spices. The compilation of flavors are a little more complex BUT that doesn’t mean it’s complex to make. It’s literally just as easy as making any other meatball. These of course being lamb have some fresh mint among warm spices like cumin, coriander, garam masala and even chili powder. But they’re not spicy just VERY flavorful. I would definitely recommend this recipe for someone who has never had lamb before and are worried about any gamey-ness. In this case there is none!

And of course what better way to pair a perfect lamb kofta than with a very basic biryani. The name biryani sounds intimidating enough to make someone not want to attempt to make it. Although it’s again not that different from making any other rice dish that has lots of yummy flavor. This also is a South Asian dish where you’ll find is popular in various ways throughout the region depending on the country. What I did here is I took some basic elements of Indian cuisine, mixed it with some Persian flavors and concepts and even married it together with a few clean Latin flavors of jalapeno and coriander.

I have always had a fascination and a strong love for Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern food. Maybe I was from both regions in past lives or maybe it’s part of me in some way genetically LOL but whatever it is, when you can get several spices together and make them work so well with little effort (maybe if anything, more prep time than anything), to me that makes some incredible food. You really don’t have to go fancy with technique to prove yourself or anyone that you can cook. 🙂


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LAMB KOFTAS & BIRYANI
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servings
Ingredients
BIRYANI
Servings
servings
Ingredients
BIRYANI
Instructions
MEATBALLS
  1. In a large glass bowl mix the one onion chopped VERY fine, crushed garlic, ground cumin, garam masala, ground coriander, chili powder, fresh mint, and salt.
  2. Add the ground lamb and gently fold everything together without over mixing to prevent the koftas becoming tough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for at least 20 minutes or up to a few hours.
  3. Take the large bowl of ground lamb out of the fridge to make the meatballs about an inch in diameter and place on a plate.
  4. Place about two tablespoons of olive in a large skillet over medium-high heat to sauté the cauliflower florets, bell peppers, jalapenos, the other chopped onion, garlic powder, and onion powder together for 5 minutes.
  5. Then, squeeze the juice of one lime over the mix and stir. Reduce the heat to low and let it cook for another ten minutes until onions are very translucent and everything else seems to have absorbed all of the lime juice. Remove from heat and set aside for later.
  6. In a large skillet over medium/high heat pour enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the skillet generously and cook the meatballs, moving them around until evenly brown all around. Each one should have a firm feel to your finger tip without feeling too mushy before you place them on a large plate covered with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
  7. When finished cooking all the meatballs, drain the excess oil from the skillet and toss both the meatballs with the vegetable mixture that you set aside earlier on medium heat for a couple minutes before serving.
BIRYANI
  1. In a medium saucepan pour the olive oil and butter over medium/high heat. Sauté the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, and whole cloves for about 3-5 minutes. An obvious sign is when you start to smell the strong aroma of all three together for a good minute.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, and saffron threads for a couple more minutes, stirring. Throw in the basmati rice, curry powder, and ground turmeric. Stir until the rice is completely coated yellow.
  3. Add the stock, stir and leave uncovered until it starts to boil. Once it comes to a boil reduce the temperature to a simmer, cover and let the rice absorb all its liquid for about 20 minutes. Turn the heat off and keep covered until ready to serve.
Recipe Notes

To make this a diabetic friendly meal, avoid the rice and serve in large romaine lettuce as tacos. Slice the koftas in half with the veggies and enjoy.