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.
TURKEY BEAN CHILI
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.
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.
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.
Add the black beans and kidney beans the last 5 minutes.
Revised: September 7, 2017
Making this Sausage & Artichoke sauce is not only easy but tastes better the next day, and even a few days after. It’s the perfect make ahead meal for leftovers through the week. It can be mixed with any kind of pasta and any shape that you love most. Personally, I love bite sized pasta like rotini but lately I’ve been keeping an eye on my total daily carb intake and so to compromise by not completely missing out on pasta, I’ve discovered this incredible Organic Black Bean Pasta by Explore Cuisine that is shaped as spaghetti. It has a total of 25g of protein and 8g net carbs per serving with 4 servings in the package of pasta. You can find them at most grocery stores and also at better cost on Amazon if you purchase a small bulk.
It literally cooks just like pasta, with the same bite like pasta, and surprisingly enough a fairly neutral flavor as well. Its color is of black beans but doesn’t affect taste nor does it bleed color into your food. I seriously didn’t think anything would ever convert me but this really did. With that said, it’s all types of diabetic friendly and great for those who live a low carb lifestyle. Oh, one big plus about this pasta is that you actually feel full and satiated in comparison to regular pasta.
SAUSAGE & ARTICHOKE PASTA
Fill a large pot with water, bring to boil, and follow instructions on the package to cook pasta.
In a large pan, saute the turkey Italian sausage, onions, pepper, and salt. Use a wood spoon to break up the sausage into small pieces.
When the sausage is almost cooked through, add the garlic powder, diced tomatoes, and artichoke hearts. Stir frequent until the sausage is cooked through. About 5 minutes.
Add the goat cheese and spinach. Stir until the goat cheese melts and everything is mixed together well.
This is my absolute favorite way to indulge in mashed potatoes, that does not have some kind of extra-indulgent aged cheddar in it. I don’t always follow this recipe specifically but I do come by fairly close. The last couple of years I’ve replaced milk with unsweetened vanilla almond milk and I honestly can’t taste a difference. If anything it lacks an extra thicker texture but flavor is still there. I also sometimes use vegetable stock if I don’t have chicken stock and it works just as great.
BUT unless you have a really good quality garlic powder that is super fine, not those tiny granules then you must use fresh garlic. Oh, and of course fresh ground pepper instead of store bought ground pepper makes a big difference. I NEVER not use fresh ground pepper. It’s a must! Okay, that’s all. ENJOY!
RED SKIN MASHED POTATOES
Place the potatoes in a large pot and fill with water just to the very top of the potatoes.
Bring them to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
Drain the potatoes into a colander. Place the butter and garlic into the pot, add the potatoes and mash them about half way. Add the chicken stock and milk then finish mashing until desired consistency. Add a little more chicken stock if the potatoes seem dry.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
These hearty one pot meals especially during the Winter is LIFE! I think I get more use out of the slow cooker during the colder months than any other time of year, but with that comes big batch cooking for even tastier leftovers along with really easy prepping so that you can do whatever you need to do for the day while it slowly cooks.
This Beef Short Ribs Ragu recipe is among my favorite next to my Braciole & Italian Sausage recipe. It’s perfect for cold days and also for the holidays. But I’ll admit I’ve made this when it wasn’t cold because it’s that good. And often when I’m being good with my choice of eats, I won’t ignore the craving for this! Okay, believe it or not it doesn’t require anything fancy to make. Cooking it long and slow is the main ingredient to making this taste amazing. Normally I would use 1/2 cup of a dry red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon but there have been times I didn’t have any or forgot to get wine and it came out just as good.
There is one ingredient you don’t want to ditch when making this, and that’s the pecorino Romano cheese. Make sure you go to the cheese section and buy the block of pecorino. Not the grated. It is often compared to Parmesan cheese but the difference is that it’s made of sheep milk; giving that much stronger pungent taste. AND IT GOES SO PERFECT WITH THIS DISH! Trust me. You can use the leftover block of Romano in place of Parmesan cheese, over any pasta dish, or shaved over salads. It can also be stored tight in a freezer bag in the freezer for future uses if you don’t plan to use the rest of it so quickly before the expiration date.
One last thing! If you’re not feeling pasta, you can definitely serve this over a baked potato, polenta, Italian inspired quesadillas, and even top a homemade pizza with the shredded meat. Never feel you’re limited to only one dish when you make a big batch of food. Enjoy!
BEEF SHORT RIBS RAGU
Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Place about 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan and bring to high heat. Brown all sides of the short ribs about a minute each side. Lay the short ribs into a slow cooker set for 8 hours on low.
Drain the excess oil from the pan, place the pan back on the stove on medium heat. Add the beef broth and scrape up the brown bits at the bottom of the pan.
Then, add the onions, carrot, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Stir for about two minutes and transfer into the slow cooker.
Add the bay leaf, tomato puree, crushed tomatoes, dry red wine (optional), and Romano cheese chunks. Stir gently and cover the slow cooker to cook.
Feel free to stir everything once half way through if you like. It should be ready in as little as 6 hours but 8 hours is perfect.
Remove each short rib onto a large cutting board and use two forks to shred the meat. Place the shredded meat back into the slow cooker, add salt as needed, stir, and serve over pasta.
I recommend using a spoon to scoop the pools of fat at the top. You can also do so by scraping the solidified fat at the top after it’s been refrigerated.
Gorgonzola Butter in my opinion is the yummiest way to enjoy gorgonzola cheese. For those who love Blue Cheese would definitely appreciate gorgonzola, especially mixed up with fresh chives and homemade butter melted on top of your favorite cut of steak; which mind you is ridiculously easy to make! You should give a try at least once, here’s my simple step-by-step recipe, Homemade Butter. I stumbled upon this idea of butter when I had leftover king crab meat, little bit of gorgonzola, chives that needed to be used fast and I had just bought filets. So I made the Gorgonzola Butter, let that melt on top of the steak straight out of the oven and then piled the top of all that with the crab meat. I’ll just say that any time I eat king crab, I’m always going to purposely leave just enough leftovers to do this again.
Making decked out butters for all sorts of culinary purposes is really fun because there are so infinite flavors you can turn butter into, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert. I did a Tarragon Chive Butter for one of my recent recipe posts: Bison Filet With Tarragon Chive Butter. If you want to try a more milder profile, give that one a guy to start with. But feel free to throw in chopped sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, fresh grated horseradish, any of your favorite spices, whatever you love most and enjoy!
Mix everything together in a bowl until well combined.
Place on a sheet of plastic wrap, wrap it up and shape the butter into a 1 1/2" thick log.
Refrigerate for at least an hour to harden.