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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
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

BOURBON CHICKEN KEBABS

WOOHOO!!! I’m thrilled to share my 100th recipe with you on this nifty lil food blog of mine. It’s been over two years now and I remember the day I launched it thinking it’s going to take forever for me to catch the attention of many from around the world. Because all I really want to do is share how simple cooking can be (and I’m not even a chef nor trained in any fashion). I’ve been a strong believer that utilizing moderation in everything not only with food but anything else is a great way to be healthy, feel healthy, live healthy with little to no failures, lesser cravings like many people struggle with, with actual diets. This of course is best practiced in combination with getting adequate exercise regularly. So what better way to celebrate all of that with grilling! If you’re not a big veggie person, this is a great recipe to help turn you into one.

Make sure if you’re using wooden skewers, to soak them for about 20-30 minutes in water first. You will likely need 6 wooden skewers for this recipe. Personally, I love using the long metal ones that you can get pretty much anywhere. If you can’t find any kind of bourbon ale beer (I use Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale) you can always use your favorite light beer and add 1-2 shots of bourbon to it. Lastly, you can serve this with anything you want a suggestion, I love serving mine over rice. My Lemon Turmeric Rice is perfect for this recipe because all you have to do is throw everything together and let it cook on its own while you’re tending to the kebabs. Happy Grilling!

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BOURBON CHICKEN KEBABS
Servings
servings
Ingredients
TO ASSEMBLE
GLAZE
Servings
servings
Ingredients
TO ASSEMBLE
GLAZE
Instructions
MARINADE
  1. Combine everything together in a large glass bowl, cover and let it sit in the fridge over night.
ASSEMBLE
  1. Remove the chicken from the marinade setting the marinade aside for later.
  2. Place the chicken, zucchini, mushrooms, bell pepper, and onion on skewers, alternating them. Place them on a large plate and set aside.
GLAZE
  1. With a fine strainer, strain the marinade into a small sauce pan (to remove the chicken bits) over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the dark brown sugar, honey, and sea salt, stir. Let it come to a steady boil, whisk on and off until it reduces about half.
  3. Turn off the heat, strain one more time into a glass. Reserve about half for basting when you grill the kebabs and the other half to drizzle when you serve.
  4. Heat the grill on high for about 10 minutes. Drizzle about a tablespoon of oil into the glaze, stir and baste the kabobs. Grill them for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating 90 degrees every 4 minutes, basting each time you turn them.

HONEY PORTER KEBABS

Mmmm who doesn’t like kabobs? They’re simple to make, fairly quick to put together and cook… and they can be very healthy. These aren’t the healthiest ones but they’re close enough, full of flavor and sure beats trying to be healthy eating out since that’s nearly impossible. And yes, even a salad from a fast food joint is a lost cause.

This recipe is really all about the marinade. So make sure you pick a good porter beer. I use all chicken breast but feel free to use chicken thighs or half and half. And of course you’re not limited to only using one color of bell peppers. You can always add additional veggies to the mix too. As always while all my recipes are great as is, they’re also there to inspire you to make them how you would enjoy them best!

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HONEY PORTER KEBABS
Servings
servings
Ingredients
MARINADE
ASSEMBLE
Servings
servings
Ingredients
MARINADE
ASSEMBLE
Instructions
MARINADE
  1. Combine everything together in a large glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it marinate for at least a couple of hours, even better over night.
ASSEMBLE
  1. Pour the leftover marinade and dark brown sugar into a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Let it come to a boil whisking it for about several minutes until it thickens just enough to glaze the back of a spoon. Mix in about 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and set aside.
  2. Assemble the skewers with the chicken, onion, bell peppers, and tomatoes by alternating them.
  3. Put the skewers on the grill, brush the marinade generously on top and close the grill for about 3 minutes to get a char started. Turn the skewers about every 2-4 minutes and brush more marinade each time for a total grilling time of about 15 minutes give or take.
  4. Remove the skewers onto a clean plate and if there's any marinade leftover you can always place the remaining on top. Garnish the top with some chopped cilantro.

ITALIAN WHITE BEAN CHILI

This super delicious, warm, hearty and perfect chili for the post holiday cold weather is the best for a little change in flavor from a traditional chili! It’s composed of all things good for you (if you use turkey Italian sausage instead of pork). Tons of warm and earthy spices. Enough to not have you missing ground beef over ground turkey. There’s plenty of veggies including one of the best super foods out there, Swiss chard. And the broth is really tasty, you’ll just have to make it to see what I’m talking about.


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ITALIAN WHITE BEAN CHILI
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat drizzle the bottom with olive oil, add the onions, bell peppers, and garlic stirring frequently until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the ground turkey, Italian sausage, salt, pepper, and break up the meat using a wooden spoon. Continue by adding the cumin, oregano, tarragon, chili powder, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Stir every so often until the turkey is cooked through, about several minutes.
  3. Then, add the chicken stock. Stir everything together thoroughly and let it come to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low to simmer and check every so often to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until the chili has thickened.
  5. Add the cannellini beans, corn, and Swiss chard. Add more salt and pepper to taste if needed.
  6. Garnish the top with some grated parmesan cheese.

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
Servings
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.