Sweet Potato Cakes with Poblano Relish

Poblano problems.  Last month, two of the soups I made both begged for poblanos, and the grocery store was out of them.  They were also out of tomatillos, which I needed for one of the recipes.  I was able to find a salsa verde to sub in for the tomatillos in the pork posole I made, but the jalapenos I used in lieu of the poblanos were a letdown.  The jalapenos added heat, but not the delicious smoky flavor you get from a roasted poblano.  Poblano peppers are easy to roast, and it’s worth the extra step to elevate your dish.  Luckily the grocery store was stocked with them today.

I’ve also been trying to use some of the same main ingredients for multiple dishes.  It’s a way to cut down on cooking time and make meal prep a little easier.  I was able to use the sweet potatoes I baked in both these sweet potato cakes and muffins I made.  I also made pulled pork in the slow cooker to have for sandwiches and to use for a pulled pork and pineapple pizza later in the week.

I haven’t tried the muffins yet, but the sweet potato cakes were as good as I thought they’d be.  The original recipe called for the addition of shredded chicken in the poblano mixture, but I omitted it.  I don’t think the recipe needs it at all.   The smokiness of the poblano relish went well with the sweetness of the sweet potato, and I would definitely make this relish again to pair with grilled chicken or steak.

Ingredients
1 poblano pepper, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 cup heirloom grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 baked sweet potatoes, peeled and mashed
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup flour
1 large egg
Olive oil

Preheat broiler to high.  Place poblano pepper on foil lined baking sheet and broil for 8-10 minutes.  After removing, wrap in foil and let stand for 10 minutes.  Peel and coarsely chop.  In a medium bowl, combine the poblano, tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and a drizzle of olive oil.  Set aside or refrigerate if not serving the potato cakes immediately.

In another medium bowl, combine the mashed sweet potatoes, oats, cayenne pepper, flour and egg.  Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.  In a large skillet over medium, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Spoon about 1/4 cup of the sweet potato mixture into the pan.  Repeat for each potato cake.  Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.  Keep warm while you repeat previous steps for remaining potato mixture.  Serve the potato cakes warm with the poblano mixture.   For another poblano recipe, check out this Tamale Pie!

*Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

 

Roasted Carrot Soup w/ Apples, Turmeric & Ginger

I have been on a soup kick lately.  I wasn’t feeling well last week and was hoping soup would do the trick.  Plus most soups are easy to throw together, freeze well and are hearty enough to eat on their own.  Prior to not feeling well, I already had a batch of chicken tortilla soup cooking in the slow cooker.  Unfortunately, I was disappointed by the outcome.  Partly because I inadvertently bought no sodium chicken stock (I usually buy low sodium), and I neglected to add extra salt.  Once soup is finished cooking, I find it’s hard to doctor up.  I also felt something was missing from the recipe.  It needed more heat and flavor.  I have another chicken tortilla soup recipe that calls for poblanos so I think I’ll try that one out next time.

Luckily, the roasted carrot soup I made midweek did not disappoint.  It was just what I was looking for and was full of immune boosting ingredients.  The consistency was similar to a butternut squash bisque and pairs nicely with a good hearty bread.  You could also serve with grilled cheese or serve on its own.  I actually had a side of tater tots with it the one night, and it was the perfect comforting dish.  I had combined parts of two different recipes for this one, and I should note that you can leave out the coconut yogurt that gets added at the end.  I only added a little less than half a cup, but I think the soup tasted slightly better prior to adding.  And it’s definitely worth taking the time to roast the carrots first.  It brings out the sweetness of them and gives a better flavor overall.

My soup adventures continue as I have a batch of pork posole in the slow cooker as I’m typing this.  I’ve always wanted to make it, and I’m still congested so I’m hoping the heat/spice from the jalapeno and chiles help!  Please share some of your favorite soup recipes in the comments section below. 🙂

P.S. On a side note, you must check out www.sincerelyusblog.com .  A good friend from college and a few of her friends recently started this fantastic blog!  It’s full of fun, fashion and fitness.  Thanks!

Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds carrots, chopped into 1/2-inch rounds
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 large or 2 medium tart apples (I used Pink Lady), peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 cups vegetable stock
A few sprigs of thyme
Olive oil
1/2 cup coconut yogurt (feel free to omit)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

img_7934Preheat oven to 425º F.  Place carrots on a rimmed baking tray and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Roast at 425º F for about 20-25 minutes or until they begin to caramelize.  While the carrots are roasting, heat a large dutch oven over medium heat.  Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, onions and apple.  Cook until they are soft.  Add the garlic, turmeric, cumin and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the vegetable stock, carrots and thyme.  Bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat, cover and cook until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.  Discard the sprigs of thyme.  Using an immersion blender (I love my Cuisinart one), blend the soup until it is smooth and creamy.  (If you use a blender or food processor instead, be careful blending the soup and allow to cool longer before blending.)  If you decide to use the coconut yogurt, add to the soup and blend again.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Return to the stove and heat to a simmer.  Serve with additional freshly ground pepper.

Avocado Fritters with Cashew Hollandaise Sauce

img_7743If you love avocados, then you are going to LOVE these avocado fritters!  They taste like fried guacamole and are a meatless alternative to guacamole chicken burgers I’ve made before.   I am far from a vegetarian but felt like I had a lot of meat last week and needed a break.  In addition to the fritters, I also made a roasted root veggie pot pie, which I’ll share the recipe for in another post.

In an effort to eat healthy and stay on track, I try to incorporate veggies and good sources of protein in my dishes whenever I can.  In addition to the avocado, these fritters are packed with spinach, quinoa and fresh cilantro.  They’re great on their own or as a side.  I had some for lunch this week along with leftover sweet potato quesadillas I had frozen.

And as for the cashew hollandaise sauce, it’s so good!  I’ve been wanting to explore cashew “cheese”, and this sauce definitely has a spreadable cheese-like consistency.   I finally made a cashew based “parmesan” a few weeks ago, and it’s really good.  You just combine raw cashews, nutritional yeast, and garlic powder in a food processor et voila!  Now, if you’re expecting it to taste exactly like parmesan cheese, you’ll be disappointed.  But if you go into it with an open mind, it is a good substitute.  As I’ve mentioned in other posts, cheese (especially the aged varieties) and I do not get along so well anymore, and I really need to avoid it when I can and indulge in it when I can’t avoid the craving any longer!

The fritters would also be good with a chipotle or honey jalapeno sauce if you didn’t want to make the cashew hollandaise.

What are some ways you incorporate more veggies into your diet?  And do you have any favorite cheese alternatives?

Ingredients
1/2 cup quinoa (dry)
4  medium avocados
Zest and juice of 1 medium lime
1/2 cup chopped baby spinach
1 medium jalapeno, finely chopped
1 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Panko breadcrumbs
Coconut oil

For the cashew hollandaise:
5 ounces raw cashews
3 tablespoons hot water, plus more for soaking the cashews
1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
Juice of 1 medium lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt

Place cashews in a small bowl.  Boil about a cup of water and pour over the cashews.  Let soak.

In the meantime, prepare the quinoa according to package directions and cool once finished.  While the quinoa is cooking, in a large bowl coarsely mash the avocados.  Mix in the lime zest and juice, spinach, jalapeno, and cilantro.  Add the cooled quinoa to the mixture and season with salt and pepper.  Spread a layer of panko breadcrumbs on a large baking tray.  Form the avocado mixture into small to medium size patties and place on the breadcrumbs.  Top with more breadcrumbs being sure to lightly press the breadcrumbs into the mixture.  Refrigerate till firm.

While the fritters are chilling, drain the cashes and place in a food processor along with the 3 tablespoons of hot water, tumeric, lime juice, olive oil, and salt.  Blend until smooth.  You can adjust the consistency by adding more water or olive oil.

Once the fritters are set, heat a large pan over medium heat.  Add a few tablespoons of coconut oil.  Fry the patties until golden brown on both sides.  Serve the fritters warm with the cashew hollandaise.  Refrigerate any leftovers.
*Recipe adapted from thekitchn.com

Honey Ginger Pork Chops with Pears and Apples

I finally ordered a meat thermometer today and am really excited about my purchase (it’s the little things, right?).  Over the years, I’ve gotten better with knowing when things are finished cooking, liked steak, burgers, etc., but I still struggle with pork and chicken.  I admit that I am the person you seasoned chefs shake your head at-I sometimes cut into the meat while it’s cooking to check for doneness. 😮  So then I end up with less than juicy chicken or pork, or pork that is a little overcooked because I never know how pink is too pink.  A lot of effort and sometimes money goes into cooking, and no one wants overcooked food.  So here’s hoping my new meat thermometer becomes one of my favorite cooking tools.

I wish I had it a few weeks ago when I made these honey ginger pork chops.  They were still good but could have cooked for a little less time.  I don’t want that small detail to take away from the recipe though.  I made these on the stove-top, but you could easily use the oven instead.  You could also substitute pork tenderloin for the pork chops.  I should note that when I made this dish, two of the pork chops had seasoning on them from my Grilled Fennel-Spiced Pork Chops with Lemon-Sage Vinaigrette recipe.  I had leftover unused pork chops from the last time I made it, so I froze two plain and two with the fennel rub.  The flavor of the fennel ended up being a great addition to this dish if you want to incorporate into the recipe that follows.  The ginger and turmeric (two of my favorite spices) give the pork chops plenty of flavor though on their own.

Ingredients
4 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup organic apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 peeled, grated fresh ginger root
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 boneless thick-cut pork chops
2 Bosc pears, cored and chopped
1 gala apple, cored and chopped
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

img_7336In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar and honey.  Reserve half and set aside.  To the remaining mixture, whisk in the ginger, garlic and turmeric.  Generously season the pork chops on both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (or follow the recipe in the notes above for the fennel rub).  Place in a large resealable bag or container and add the honey ginger marinade.  Marinate in the fridge for an hour or overnight.

Heat a large stainless steel pan over medium heat.  Add the pork chops and discard the marinade.  Brown thoroughly on both sides.  To the pan, add the pears, apple and reserved marinade base.  Allow the fruit to  cook for a few minutes and then add the chicken stock to the pan.  Continue cooking the pork chops till cooked thoroughly (use your meat thermometer!).  Serve with a green salad or veggie of your choice.

Grilled Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

img_7194When I’m planning out my dinners for the week, I always consider whether or not they will be good leftover for lunch.  I get bored easily when it comes to lunch so leftovers can be an easy fix for that.  They add more variety than just your average sandwich or salad.  I knew these chicken tacos would fit the bill.  And they were the perfect opportunity for me to use extra pineapple I had leftover from my pineapple and spinach smoothies.

The flavor combo of the tacos and salsa tasted like summer and what a great reminder to have in the midst of winter (I love the change of seasons and can’t wait for snow, but ahhh summer . . . )  I originally wanted to serve these as tostadas, but my local grocery store seemed to be out of them.  I used my favorite La Tortilla Factory corn tortillas (see previous post for link) instead.  I warmed them in a little bit of coconut oil till they bubbled and were lightly browned on each side.

Since I can’t have a grill at my apartment, I used my Le Creuset grill pan instead.  I’m so glad I purchased it a few months ago.  It does a great job of grilling, is easy to clean up and doesn’t take up a lot of space.  I actually leave it out on my stove top for easy access.  If you don’t want to grill the chicken, you could pan fry the chicken instead or even do a shredded version in the crock pot.

I didn’t think the tacos needed anything other than the salsa, but you could serve with guacamole or other toppings of your choice.  No one likes a sad desk lunch so I hope you try these out!

Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds organic chicken breast pounded to 1/2 inch thickness (you can slice them too but using a meat mallet is a great way to bang out any frustrations lol)
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 /4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon honey
Juice and zest of one lime + juice of half a lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped pineapple
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped
Bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
8 corn tortillas

Heat grill pan over high heat.  In a small bowl, whisk together all of the spices, honey, juice and zest of one lime, and olive oil.  Place chicken breasts in a large plastic bag.  Add marinade to bag and coat the chicken evenly.  Seal and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.

While the chicken is marinating, prepare the salsa by combining the pineapple, red onion, tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro and juice of half a lime.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Add the chicken to the hot grill pan and grill until chicken is thoroughly cooked and no longer pink.  Flip once while grilling.  Remove from pan and transfer to a cutting board.  Allow to rest for a few minutes before slicing on a diagonal.  Serve with warm tortillas and the pineapple salsa.

*Recipe adapted from jessicagavin.com

Sweet Potato Quesadillas with Radish Salsa

Happy Holidays!  It’s hard to believe we are at the tail end of 2016!  It feels like summer was not that long ago so how can January just be around ther corner?  I don’t know about you, but I need to work on my goals for 2017.  And my blog is at the top of my list.  I gained some momentum back in the fall with regular posts but have slacked off since November.  The past month has been a blur, and going forward I need to dedicate some time each week to share all of the dishes I make.  Setting aside more time for the things I enjoy also goes for painting and a few other things.

img_0386But back to Sunday Girl Eats.  I have a bunch of recipes I’ve wanted to share, but last night I made a batch of sweet potato quesadillas and just had to post about them.  I’m always looking for ways to eat more veggies and to eat healthier in general.  I find that if I’m really organized and prepared for the week when it comes to food, I have a much better chance at making this happen.  These quesadillas were easy to make and contained ingredients you most likely have on hand.  The radish salsa was uncomplicated too.  They were great leftover for lunch today, and I froze some extra for nights when I just don’t feel like cooking.

I hope you’ll continue to follow me in 2017 and can’t wait to share more great recipes!  Happy cooking and Happy New Year!

Ingredients
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups grated peeled sweet potato (about 2 large potatoes)
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
Pinch or 2 of cayenne pepper
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Juice of half a lime + extra for salsa
1 cup grated cheese of your choice (I used Lisanatti Almond Cheddar)
Fresh cilantro
16 small corn tortillas (my favorite are La Tortilla Factory’s Hand Made Style Tortillas Yellow Corn)
Radishes, finely chopped
Red onion, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeño, minced

img_0388Preheat oven to 350º F.  In a large pan over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic till soft.  Add the sweet potatoes, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt & pepper to taste. Cook until potatoes are tender and lightely browned.  Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.

Line a large baking tray (or two) with 8 tortillas. Top each tortilla with the potato mixture, cheese, and some cilantro.  Cover with remaining tortillas.  Bake at 350º F for about 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

img_0387For the radish salsa, combine radishes, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and remaining lime juice.  I used about 5 or 6 radishes and half of a small red onion.

Serve the quesadillas with the radish salsa.  I also served with a small amount of Honey Jalapeño Sauce from a local restaurant, Alumni Grill.  It’s delicious!
*Adapted from Alexandra’s Kitchen

Honey Ginger Pork Meatballs

My nana, grandmom, and Aunt Betty :)

My nana, grandmom, and Aunt Betty 🙂

I don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! For some Thanksgivings when I was little, we would go to my Aunt Betty’s in Reading and then York.  They were some of the best holidays spent with cousins and extended family.  And my Aunt Betty was one of the sweetest people you’d ever meet.  The food was always great too, and we’d always end up pulling out the leftovers later at night to have turkey sandwiches.  That’s my kind of night!  My mom now hosts dinner, and I am on dessert duty.  Some day I’d like to take over the tradition, and my first order of business is to include a pre main course of lasagna! Italian I am not, but they definitely know how to do Thanksgiving up right, lol!

So what do honey ginger pork meatballs have to do with Thanksgiving?  Nothing, but I knew I had to get this post done before I head off to the kitchen to work on my desserts and famous cranberry chutney.  I’ll be sure to share the recipes for the desserts I make.  You can find the cranberry chutney recipe in an Instagram post from last Thanksgiving.

These honey ginger pork meatballs might be one of my new favorites.  I love fresh ginger, and the honey caramelized on the outside of the meatballs when I cooked them.  I paired them with a salad a mixed greens topped with pomegranate, roasted acorn squash, and fried walnuts.  Yum!

img_0377For the squash, I tossed the slices in honey, olive oil, and salt & pepper and roasted at 425º F for about 30 minutes.  To make the  walnuts, you blanch them in boiling water for about 30 seconds and then transfer to a paper towel to cool.  Then dredge them in powdered sugar and fry in oil till they float.  Drain on paper towels, cool, and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.  They make a great addition to any salad or are good just as a snack!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Happy Cooking!!!

Ingredients
1 pound lean ground pork
1 egg
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
About a 2″ piece fresh ginger, grated
2 tablespoons honey
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

img_0379Combine all of the ingredients through the honey and season mixture with salt and pepper.  Roll pork mixture into golf ball size (or slightly smaller) meatballs.  Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add meatballs in small batches.  Brown on all sides and continue cooking until cooked through.  Transfer to a paper towel lined dish.  Serve with roasted squash salad.

Montreal and Banana Smoothie Muffins

I recently traveled to Montreal for vacation.  If you haven’t been, I highly recommend paying a visit!  It’s a beautiful city rich with culture, history, and amazing food.  I would move there for the markets alone!  After a week of St-Viateur sesame bagels, croissants pâte d’amandes, fresh brie, and a host of other items at my fingertips, I need a serious food detox.  At least all of my food consumption was paired with sightseeing and shopping.

img_5948Between traveling and a couple of busy weeks at work, I haven’t been able to cook as much or share what I’ve been making.  I’m looking forward to getting back into my routine of Sunday cooking.  Today, I plan to make my favorite butternut squash soup, a quick wonton soup, wraps for lunch, energy balls, and possibly one other dish.

But first, I wanted to share a recipe for Banana Smoothie Muffins.  These are similar to the banana kale muffins I made before, but these have baby spinach in them instead of the kale and the addition of raspberries, which give them a sweet/tart taste.  I made some changes to a recipe from a 2-week clean eating challenge from POPSUGAR.  The original called for sugar and canola oil.  I used raw organic honey, a little maple syrup, and coconut oil instead.  A few notes: Since I didn’t have whole wheat flour on hand, I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, which is similar to Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix.  I forgot that Bob’s mix does not contain baking soda like Pamela’s so my muffins didn’t rise as much but still taste good!

img_6079Ingredients
3 ripe bananas
2 cups packed baby spinach
1 pint raspberries (reserve 5 to 6 raspberries and mash them with a fork)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour or flour of your choice
1/2 cup raw organic honey
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

img_6085Preheat oven to 350º F.  Place bananas, spinach, raspberries (except for reserved ones), honey, maple syrup, and coconut oil in a blender.  Blend till smooth.  Transfer to a medium bowl and whisk in one egg.  Add dry ingredients and stir till combined.  Fold in mashed raspberries.  Transfer batter to a lined muffin tin (or one sprayed with cooking spray).  Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool slightly then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Enjoy as a snack or for breakfast.

 

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

I made my “famous” macaroni and cheese a few weeks ago when I had friends over for dinner.  Aside from grilled cheese and tater tots, mac n cheese (any kind but preferably homemade) is my favorite comfort food.   The version I make is very similar to my mom’s recipe, which is still my all-time favorite, and it can be customized to your liking.  I usually use part cheddar part Roth Grand Cru gruyère, but you can use any combination of cheese you’d like.  This last time I made it I used extra sharp white cheddar and sharp cheddar.  Since I normally try to limit my cheese intake, this dish is a splurge, but the next time I make it I plan to incorporate some butternut squash puree and substitute Lisanatti almond cheddar for the cheese.  If you’d rather have a creamier version, you could skip baking it, and just serve as soon as you mix the cooked pasta with the white sauce.  Do you have a favorite mac n cheese recipe?

Ingredients
1 pound elbow macaroni
3 cups 2% milk
1/4 cup butter plus 1 tablespoon
1/c cup flour
2 cups grated extra sharp cheddar
1 1/2 cups grated Grand Cru
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

img_5380Preheat oven to 350º F.  Bring water to a boil in a large pot.  Add kosher salt and cook pasta until tender.  Drain pasta and transfer to a large bowl.  Drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil and toss to coat.  To make the white sauce, in a small saucepan over low heat, bring milk to a simmer.   Remove from heat.  In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup butter constantly stirring with a whisk.  Lower heat if necessary so you don’t burn the butter.  Once butter is melted, whisk in the flour and continue to whisk until the mixture just bubbles.  Do not brown.  Slowly add the warmed milk and continue whisking until there are no lumps.  Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce to low and season with salt and pepper.  Continue whisking until the sauce reaches the consistency of heavy cream.  Remove from heat and whisk in the cheddar and Grand Cru.  Mix until smooth.  Pour over the pasta and toss to coat.  Transfer the pasta mixture to a large baking dish.  In a small bowl, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and combine with the panko breadcrumbs.  Spread on top of the macaroni and cheese.  Bake until the breadcrumbs brown and the edges of the macaroni and cheese are bubbly.

 

Chili Two Ways

This past week I made two different kinds of chili.  One was a slow cooker buffalo chicken chili and the other was my traditional go-to recipe, which I just realized I’ve never shared before.   The buffalo chicken chili was part soup part chili consistency.  You can adjust the chicken stock quantity depending on how thick you want the chili to be.  You can also adjust the hot sauce.  I added about a 1/4 cup, and it gave it just enough of a kick.  I served the chili with leftover Kale, Bacon & Jalapeno Corn Muffins and a side of tortilla chips.

img_5383For my traditional chili, I like to incorporate chorizo, brown sugar, and hot sauce along with ground turkey or ground beef.  I always use Muir Glen Diced Fire Roasted tomatoes too.  Aside from Tuttorosso, they are my favorite brand of canned tomatoes.  I made this chili for dinner with friends the other night and also whipped up img_5377a batch of my  famous (I like to think so) mac ‘n cheese.  My youngest guest said “It blowed his mind!”  Keep an eye out for the recipe this week.  It requires a little extra work but is worth it!  And chili wouldn’t be complete without corn bread so made honey corn bread muffins compliments of Krusteaz Honey Corn Bread & Muffin Mix.  It’s a great mix if you don’t have time to make them from scratch.  I used a combo of butter and coconut oil instead of the vegetable oil it calls for.  My guests enjoyed it all!

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili 
Ingredients
1 pound ground chicken
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 14.5 ounce can Muir Glen Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
2-3 cups low sodium chicken stock
1/4 to 1/2 cup hot sauce
1 packet ranch dressing mix
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 8 ounce package light cream cheese

image1In a large pan over medium heat, cook celery and onion in a small amount of olive oil till slightly tender.  Add ground chicken and cook till it begins to brown.  Transfer to slow cooker and remaining ingredients except the cream cheese.  Stir to combine.  Place block of cream cheese on top and cover.  Cook on high for 4 hours.  Stir mixture to incorporate cream cheese.  Serve with additional hot sauce and blue cheese crumbles, if desired.

*Recipe adapted from Slow Cooker Gourmet

Chili
Ingredients
3 pounds lean ground turkey
3-4 links chorizo, casing removed
1 large green pepper, finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 28 ounce cans Muir Glen Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
2 packets McCormick low sodium chili seasoning
2 packets McCormick mild chili seasoning
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup hot sauce
Shredded cheddar cheese for serving

img_5375In a large pot over medium heat, brown ground turkey and chorizo, breaking up with a spoon.  Drain most of the oil/fat after cooking.  Add green pepper and onion and cook till tender.  Add remaining ingredients through hot sauce and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil and then simmer over low heat for 1 to 2 hours.  You can also transfer to a slow cooker to finish cooking.  Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and toppings (sour cream, green onion, bacon, etc.) of your choice.