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 
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

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.


Kale Muffins-Two Ways

img_4658Aside from chicken meatballs, muffins are probably my second favorite thing to make.  Over the past few years, I’ve made so many different variations of muffins-from savory to sweet and everything in between-that I’ve lost track.  They’re one of my go-to breakfast options for the work week and also make a great snack.  This past week I ended up making two different versions, both using kale.  I’m a big fan of incorporating extra veggies into my diet any way I can.  I’m also a big fan of incorporating bacon into it, and the first muffins I made did just that! 🙂

Kale, corn, bacon, and jalapeno came together for these muffins, and they were really good!  I ended up eating them for breakfast with tomato butter I made a few weeks ago (see Instagram for recipe), but I think I would enjoy them even more with a big bowl of chili.  I definitely recommend using fresh corn if possible.  I was lucky to still have some ears of Jersey corn on hand for mine.

img_4795The second batch of muffins came from a recipe compliments of the blog Vegging at the Shore.  Vegging at the Shore features fabulous, healthy recipes crafted by Marci Lutsky and her mini chefs!  I’ve done kale and bananas together in smoothies, but I never thought to combine them in muffins.  They proved to be a great combo, and I’m glad Marci shared this recipe!  I followed her recipe except for a few changes.  Since I didn’t have whole wheat flour or apple sauce on hand as the original recipe called for, I substituted in 1 1/4 cups oats and about a 1/2 cup almond butter.  I also added 1/4 cup milk since the almond butter and oats made the batter a little too thick.  Lastly, I added a few coarsely chopped bittersweet chips to a handful of the muffins.  These muffins are a great idea especially if you have extra kale and ripe bananas to use up and are looking for a healthy breakfast option.

1 small bunch kale, cleaned and stems removed
4 strips cooked bacon, torn into bite size pieces
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 1/4 cup oats
1 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup 2% milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons honey
1 jalapeno, finely diced
1 cup fresh corn kernels

Preheat oven to 375º F.  Steam kale until bright green and just tender.  Cool and coarsely chop into bite size pieces.  In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.  In another bowl, whisk together butter, coconut oil, milk, eggs and honey.  Add to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.  Fold in kale, bacon, jalapeno, and corn.  Divide batter evenly among lined muffin cups.  Bake until golden, about 22 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

You could also use this batter for corn bread  or even add some cheddar cheese.   What are some of your favorite muffin recipes?

*Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Magazine

Garlic Chicken Sausage, Ruby Golds, Kale and Red Onion Sheet Pan Dinner

IMG_2575I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend and kickoff to summer!  I was grateful to get to the beach for the first time on Saturday and got in a little pool time at a friends’ bbq yesterday.  Unfortunately, it rained today so this sheet pan dinner was the perfect dish to make for such a dreary, damp day.  The kale and potatoes turned out nice and crispy, and the roasted red onion added just the right amount of sweetness to balance out the savoriness.  If it’s not too hot to turn the oven on, this will be one of my go-to dishes this summer! It’s easy prep and cleanup too since you’re only using one pan.

1 package Al Fresco Garlic Chicken Sausage links, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces on the diagonal
1 pound Baby Ruby Gold potatoes (or baby reds), washed and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
12 ounces (roughly) kale, stems removed, rinsed, dried, and torn into bite size pieces
1 small red onion, cut in half from root to stem (bulb removed) and then cut into 1/4 inch slices on an angle
6 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450ºF.  Arrange potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Toss to combine.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove pan from oven and reduce heat to 350ºF.

While potatoes bake, whisk together olive oil and red wine vinegar.  Add kale and red onion to pan and coat with the olive oil and vinegar mixture.  Season with a few pinches of salt and toss to combine.  Tuck rosemary sprigs under the mixture.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven, turn over potatoes and vegetables.  Add chicken sausage to pan and bake for additional 15-20 or until everything is lightly browned.  Remove rosemary sprigs before serving.

*Recipe adapted from HeartBeet Kitchen



Kale, Apple & Quinoa Salad

And speaking of savory quinoa (if you read my last post), this salad is a must-try!  If you’re familiar with Wawa, you might have had their new Kale & Quinoa Salad.  It’s a delicious combination of kale, quinoa, green apples, yellow peppers, dried cranberries, and goat cheese with a champagne vinaigrette.  It’s so good I decided to attempt to recreate it at home, and I would like to think I succeeded!  It makes for a great side dish or a stand alone for lunch.  I made the vinaigrette in a smaller portion so I can make it fresh every day or so.  If you want to make it up all at once, I would probably at least double or triple that part of the recipe.  And since the quinoa absorbs a lot of liquid, I would add the vinaigrette to the salad when you’re ready to eat it.  Yummm!!!

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1 package baby kale or 1 head of kale
1 yellow pepper, finely chopped
1 green apple, finely chopped
Dried cranberries
Goat cheese
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons white vinegar
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Cook the quinoa according to package directions.  While the quinoa is cooking, chop the kale, if not using baby kale, into bite size pieces.  In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice.  Once the quinoa is ready, transfer to a large bowl and let cool completely.  Combine the cooled quinoa, yellow pepper and apple.  When ready to serve, divide the quinoa mixture among bowls.  Top with the cranberries, goat cheese, kale and vinaigrette.  I layered mine in a mason jar for lunch tomorrow!IMG_7055