Football season is in full swing. However, as much as I love me some pizza and wings during NFL Sundays, I am trying to conserve some money. I figured chili is just the way to cook at home, eat yummy Fall food, and still have enough leftovers for the Monday night game. So fire up the crockpot when you wake up next Sunday and have a delish serve your self “buffet” set up for all day game watching. Your wallet will thank you and you can always check out the cute delivery guy next Sunday.
2 yellow onions, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons of minced garlic (fresh not powder)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pounds Hot (or Mild) Italian Johnsonville Sausage crumbled (and then 1 pound ground beef, or turkey or even all 3 lbs. sausage, you pick!)
2 cans of diced tomatoes with green chilies (I used Rotel)
2 packages McCormick Chili Seasoning Mix (any flavor)
2 – 15 oz. cans Bush’s dark or light red kidney beans
2 green bell peppers chopped small
2 cans yellow corn
Pinch of cumin & red pepper flakes to taste (I ended up just throwing in a jalapeno instead of red pep flakes)
chicken broth, as desired for thinner consistency chili. It can also be stirred in at end.
Dump all ingredients in the order listed above and cook for 6-8 hrs. in crockpot. (I stirred half way through to make sure the meat was cooking evenly). I served with a platter of “garnishes” such as: shredded cheese, sour cream, pea shoots (or shredded lettuce), diced green onion, chopped avocado with a side warm baked corn bread. (don’t hate, but I cheated and used the store bought mixes vs. making from scratch). You can even skip the cornbread and crush up some tortilla chips as a topping as well. That’s why I love chili, its so versatile. Spicy, mild, whatever meat, veggies, and toppings galore, just eat and enjoy how you like it best!
Happy Cinco de Mayo! Holidays are centered around food and drink. So let me share a Spanish inspired recipe with you that I threw together this weekend with a bunch of leftovers. Feel free to chow down with a fresh and strong margarita! Ole!
4 large green bell peppers
1.5 cups of rice (I used left over Spanish rice that I made from a store-bought package)
1 cup of chopped yellow Spanish onion
1 tbsp. of crushed garlic
1 packet of taco seasoning (do not add your own salt & pepper, there is plenty in the store-bought taco mix)
1 lb. of ground turkey* (I had some leftover from a taco salad)
1 tbsp. of ketchup
2 tsp. of sriracha
1/2 cup (or 4 tbsp.) of shredded cheese (Anything works I did a Mexican blend, but plain cheddar is good too).
**Add frozen corn or canned beans (About 1/2 a cup should do the trick) to stretch the ground meat further in case you don’t have that much leftover. Although if making fresh do a 1lb. package of ground turkey. (chicken or beef would work just as well).
Brown the meat with a little vegetable oil, taco seasoning, the onions, & the garlic in a nonstick pan over medium heat. My secret tip is that when the meat is done, stir in the ketchup and sriracha. It adds a good tomato-ey flavor and keeps the meat moist. Plus the sriracha adds a yummy spice/kick. Once the meat is cooked, crumbled and cooled, mix it with the corn (or beans) & rice. Note that while the meat is cooking, prepare the peppers by slicing off the tops and cutting out the ribs & seeds. Rinse and dry before stuffing. Lastly, stuff the pepper and top with the shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 min or until the cheese has melted & pepper has charred. Serves 4 people, 1 pepper per person.
Ok so this idea is kind of a culmination of a few things. Not the idea of stuffing your face, the idea of this stuffed veggies recipe. Anyway, get amped guys. This is just a peak into the method behind the madness of this fun lil blog here. I realized that we try to always provide recipes that use and reuse ingredients. We want there to be enough overlap that when you are spending money on something, its being used to its full value. However, I can’t say that’s been true for the mirepoix mix that I reference in my turkey meatloaf recipe. So I got to thinking on what else I use that with. Not that you need a specific recipe because its something so multi faceted that it can be thrown in a frittata, it can be used as a starter to soups and stews (says the label on the packaging. ha so ya I felt like a fraud, saying hey guys just throw it in anywhere). Then, I ate this delicious stuffed zucchini the other day from this Italian deli I frequent (shout out to Tredici’s). They made the marinara fresh and it was stuffed with hot sausage. I was in love. All I had to do now was to find a way to make it easy & healthy (I mean some of us are still sticking to 2014 resolutions). Anyway, let’s get right to it. Oh and don’t be scared of the long list of ingredients, this dish isn’t complex, there are just layers to its yumminess.
3 large zucchini, trimmed, halved lengthwise
3 bell peppers (any color works)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3-4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 1/2 cups of the mirepoix mix
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of red chili flakes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/3 cup white wine, such as pinot grigio
3/4 pound ground turkey (use dark meat if possible)
1 large egg, beaten, at room temperature
1 cup of seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 2 heavy baking sheets with vegetable oil cooking spray. For the vegetables: Using a melon baller (or spoon since I have no such melon baller in my kitchen) remove the flesh from the zucchini, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Reserve the flesh. Place the zucchini and peppers, hollowed-out sides up, on the prepared baking sheets. Season with the salt and pepper. For the filling: Place the zucchini flesh in a food processor. Add the garlic, mirepoix, chili flakes, oregano, salt and pepper. Blend until all the vegetables are finely chopped/mixed. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the blended vegetable mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until all the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. (make sure to taste the mixture before blending in the meat, make sure there is enough flavor & its seasoned enough). In a medium bowl, combine the cooked vegetables, turkey, egg, 1 cup Parmesan and the breadcrumbs. Mix the ingredients until well combined. Spoon the filling into the hollowed-out vegetables. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan on top of the filling. (I also did some shredded cheddar because more cheese is never a bad thing). Drizzle with olive oil and bake until the vegetables are tender and the tops are golden brown, 45 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a platter and serve. You can accompany with marinara from the call it what you will recipe.
*I was out of zucchini & did it with squash, stick with zucchini though because you will get more “flesh” from the center to mix with the meat. I would also chop up the tops of the peppers and blend with the other veggie mixture. It makes the stuffing less meaty and more flavorful*