Terrific Turkey Chili

I finished week two of the Whole Life Challenge. It hasn’t been very easy. I took a few hits on my nutritition score at the end of week one because I caught a cold, and two I was so hungry. It’s difficult to remember when you eat really clean, your body needs more calories. All those healthy salads I was eating didn’t provide enough carbs.

I started baking muffins using oat flour to replace wheat or white flour to give my body some carbohydrates. However, I am unable to use honey, maple syrup, agave or any other natural sweetner (stevia is allowed). That’s where I took a hit. I deduct one point for using honey when I bake. It was worth it. I’ll share my muffin recipe in another blog post.

Last night for dinner I made turkey chili, one of my favorites. I added a twist to the chili, and for those who know me, adding a twist is unusual because I am not the best chef, but I love healthy food so I gave it shot. I added roasted eggplant to my chili.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 ½ lbs ground turkey
  • 1 t coriander
  • 1 t oregano
  • 2 small cans of tomato paste (organic)
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can crushed tomatoes (organic)
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can kidney beans
  • 1 fresh jalapeno
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1 purple onion, finely chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, (finely chopped)
  • ½ c fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium eggplant

Heat one tablespoon of oil in large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble ground turkey into pot while adding coriander, oregano and tomato paste. Mix until thoroughly blended and turkey is browned.

Pour in broth and simmer to reduce liquid slightly, about 5 minutes. Add jalapeno, kidney beans and tomatoes and continue cooking at a moderate simmer for ten minutes.

While chili is cooking, preheat broiler on the lowest setting, then heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion, garlic and orange bell pepper, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent and bell pepper is lightly browned. Add onion, garlic and bell pepper to the chili and continue cooking at a very low simmer.

In the same skillet, heat the remaining oil and cook mushrooms. While mushrooms are cooking, peel (optional) eggplant and slice into 1/4 in. slices. Lay slices of eggplant on a cookie sheet, brush on olive oil and salt and pepper. Put pan under the broiler for 10 minutes on each side. Each side should be slightly browned.

Eggplant for chili

Sometimes the peel is too tough so I cut off small sections all the way around, that way I am still getting the nutrients of the skin, but I don’t have to eat all of it.

Add the mushrooms to the chili and cook another five minutes. I put three to four slices of eggplant in the bottom of my bowl. Add turkey chili on top and one more slice of eggplant on top of the chili. If you aren’t doing the Whole Life Challenge, you may want to garnish with cheese or sour cream.

I enjoyed my chili with a glass of lemonade. I squeezed one lemon in a glass, then filled it with water. I added 1 teaspoon of stevia to sweeten it. It makes a great replacement for water, which I drink a lot of every day.

Turkey Chili with homemade lemonade

If you have a picky stomach, leave out the jalapeno and kidney beans.

Today’s Haiku:

turkey chili
simmering over a hot stove
grumbling stomach

For more recipes, visit my Just Eat It page! Have a great weekend!

~Nicole

 

 

 

 

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Whole Life Challenge

Hello Friends!

January 16th marks the first day of the Whole Life Challenge. It’s eight weeks of nutrition, exercise, mobility, sleep, hydration, lifestyle practices and reflection. I’ll be joining several other people from Studio 223 in this lifestyle overhaul. I have been teaching fitness classes at Studio 223 for the last nine months, and I enjoy the energetic like-minded people that surround me.

I’ll be doing my best to eat only whole foods on my approved eating list, exercising and stretching for at least 10 minutes each day, drinking one gallon of water per day and cheering on my fellow fitness friends. Here’s the compliant food list.

Healthy Smoothie

 Today’s Haiku:

delicious berries
blended with watermelon
fresh start to the day

Wish me luck and feel free to ask questions as I complete this journey!

~Nicole

Danger! Mango & Avocado Salsa Ahead!

Hey everyone! I hope you are having a great Tuesday!

Have I got a recipe for you to try! This healthy salsa is doubled in my household because it’s so doggone good! The tangy citrus juice from the lime and lemon pair well with the sweet, ripe mango. This is great with chips or use as a topping on a white, flaky fish like Tilapia. I have made this recipe several times for a variety of occasions and it’s never disappointing.

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Salsa Recipe

Combine salt, avocado, mango, chopped cilantro, lemon and lime juice, tossing gently. Garnish with cilantro sprigs. Let stand 10 minutes and serve with chips.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: about 3 Tablespoons salsa and six chips)

Calories: 92; Fat 3.1g; Protein 1.9g; Carb 15.8g; Fiber 2.4g; Chol 0mg; Sodium 83mg; Calc 49mg.

I cut this recipe from a magazine years ago and cannot remember which one.

Before I sign off for today, it’s day 2 for the “plank challenge.” Today we are going to hold for one minute, like yesterday, plus we are going to add 20 seconds, for a total of 1 minute and 20 seconds.

To start your one minute, try the Rainbow Plank. If you need to, hold the plank for 10 seconds, then, do the Rainbow Plank for 10 counts. Repeat until the first minute is complete. Today, you are going to add 20 seconds. For this portion, hold in a forearm plank for the last 20 seconds.

Ready. Set. Go!

Stay Strong! Remember, I’m cheering you on!

~Nicole

Monday Meal!

Good Day to All!

I had the great pleasure of going on the Trolley Wine Tour on Saturday, June 14th. I attended on behalf of Rochester Women Magazine. My friend Melissa McNallan and I are co-writing a wine column for the magazine. This was our first event that started at Johnny Mangos Catering Company. They hosted a father’s day buffet (and included our wine tour group) that included BBQ brisket, smoked salmon a beautiful and tasty fruit salad and gourmet hot dog bar with all the trimmings. For dessert, Johnny Mangoura, owner of Johnny Mango’s, created a sinful breakfast cake made with Kahlua, Grand Marnier, Butter Toffee and Rum. The cake was topped with a decadent Captain Morgan’s gooey drizzle. Oh, so, delicious!

Melissa McNallan and I on our first winery tour for Rochester Women's Magazine. The two of us will be co-writing articles about Minnesota winerys.

Melissa McNallan and I on our first winery tour for Rochester Women’s Magazine. The two of us will be co-writing articles about Minnesota winerys.

smoked-salmon-orzo-and-fruit

Johnny Mango’s smoked salmon, orzo salad and fruit were the first to hit my plate! I passed up all the beef they had to offer.

 

Johnny Mango's offered a gourmet hot dog bar, ribs and baked beans.

Johnny Mango’s offered a gourmet hot dog bar, ribs and baked beans.

BBQ brisket, hmmm, I don't like meat, but I heard it was fabulous!

BBQ brisket, hmmm, I don’t like meat, but I heard it was fabulous!

Melissa and I rode in the co-captain’s seat up in front of the trolley. Our first visit was to Cannon River Winery, in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. We tasted eight wines that ranged from sweet and fruity to more robust wines with a slight oak finish. The wines here, in my opinion, had a lot of depth and distinguishing tastes. The second winery however, Alexis Bailly Vineyard, in Hastings, Minnesota, had wine that was simple, crisp and very easy to drink. My friend Melissa on the other hand was not impressed with Alexis Bailly wines. She thought they were too boring. In her defense, there was not a lot of depth to the taste in the wines.

When we asked one of the winery employees about pairing wine with food, she mentioned that it is best to pair simple wines with simple foods. She said that you don’t want your wine to overpower your food or your food to overpower your wine. However, when you find a wine you like, stick with it and enjoy it no matter what varietal of grape you are drinking or what you are eating. Wine and good food should be a good experience and I couldn’t agree more.

Cannon River Falls Winery

The Cannon River Winery is located in a historic building that used to be a car dealership back in the 40’s.

 

 

Cannon River Winery had many wines that were very easy to drink!

Cannon River Winery had many wines that were very easy to drink!

 

A charming look inside of the Alexis Bailly Winery.

A charming look inside of the Alexis Bailly Winery.

There was live music playing and lovely Christmas lights that added to the ambiance.

There was live music playing and lovely Christmas lights that added to the ambiance.

It was a beautiful day and my friend Melissa and I strolled through the vineyard as we sampled wine.

It was a beautiful day and my friend Melissa and I strolled through the vineyard as we sampled wine.

That being said, if you’re looking for a tasty, healthy dinner, I’ve got a little something you might like. I found this recipe in Fitness Magazine back in the July/August 2011 issue. I finally made this about a month ago and loved it so much I made it again a week or so after that. My husband even liked it — and he is a meat and potatoes kind of guy.

Now, let this be noted, I don’t (but I want to) spend a lot of time cooking. I generally don’t stray too far from the recipe on the first time. When I have made it a time or two, I begin to experiment a little more. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. We keep a back-up DiGiorno Pizza in the freezer. 🙂

The recipe below, in my opinion is deelish! It wasn’t too spicy, so those of you with intolerant tummies shouldn’t worry. However, if you really have sensitive tummies, a diced chicken breast or even tofu may work for you! If you want a good bottle of wine to go with it, you may try a making some sangria or a wine that is soft and fruity. At Cannon River Winery, they had a wine called GoGo Red that would be perfect for this meal. If you are a finicky wine person as I am, please note, the GoGo Red stinks, but it tastes so good. It was difficult for me to get over the initial smell, but I didn’t dump the sample, I drank it all!

Recipe: Corn and Quinoa Salad with Chicken Sausage

A quick glance at all the goodies packed into this yummy meal!

A quick glance at all the goodies packed into this yummy meal!

Makes: 4

Prep time: 20 minutes plus 30 minutes chilling (We actually ate it hot and I loved it! Ok, so I strayed a little on the first time)

Cook time: 20 minutes

¾ C. uncooked quinoa

1 ¼ C. Chicken broth or Veggie broth

3 Tblsp. Olive Oil

8 oz. spicy chicken sausage or veggie sausage cut into chunks

1 medium onion, diced

1 large zucchini or 2 small, diced

2 ½ C. corn kernels

2 Tblsp fresh lemon juice (I also added lime)

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 medium red bell pepper, diced

½ C. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

  1. Put the quinoa and chicken broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, 12-15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  2. While quinoa cooks, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Addt he sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer sausage to a plate. Add another tablespoon oil to pan, then add the onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and corn and cook about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender-firm.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon/lime juice, remaining oil, cumin, salt and black pepper. Add quinoa, sausage, corn-zucchini mixture and bell pepper; mix. Chill the refrigerator at least 30 minutes or up to two days (note: we ate the meal hot and it was wonderful). When ready to serve, stir in the parsley.

Nutrition facts per serving: 424 calories, 20 g protein, 51 g carbohydrate, 18g fat (3 g saturated), 6 g fiber. (note: fat content may change if you use veggie sausage)

I made this delicious meal with both Italian flavored Chicken Sausage and Vegetable Sausage.

I made this delicious meal with both Italian flavored Chicken Sausage and Vegetable Sausage.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.

As always,

Stay Strong in all that you do!

~Nicole