Smokey Weeknight Chili

Last year I got a free subscription to Better Homes and Gardens at the Home Show.  I didn't make it to the Home Show this year, so I guess I can say goodbye to BHG.  I like it, but not enough to pay for it.  I find that most of what I got out of the magazine was recipes or garden tips.  Occaisionally I saw things for the home, but never wanted them for the house enough to go find them.  However, I did find some tasty recipes, including the basis for this vegetarian chili. 

David would argue that this is not chili in the eyes of the International Chili Cookoff world since it had no meat. I would argue that his opinion doesn't count since he is a meat-and-starch-a-tarian. We agree to disagree and we both ate this chili and enjoyed it (although he may have beefed his half up with meat :) )

1/2 Cup dried garbanzo beans 
1/2 Cup dried chick peas
1 small can tomato sauce
1 tbl cocoa powder
3 tsp brown sugar 
1 tbl chili powder
1 can diced tomatoes 
1 green pepper, chopped
1 tbl oil

Soak the beans overnight and cook thoroughly, ahead of time.

The Monday we ate this I started out by chopping up a green pepper and cooking it for few minutes in oil to soften it. Next, I combined the all of the remaining all remaining ingredients except for the tomatoes. At this point we split the mix in half. David added ground beef to his half and I stayed meatless by adding the peppers and tomatoes to mine. Simmer until cooked and serve with cheddar cheese and chunks of avacado. 

I thought this was an incredibly filling meal. BHG claimed it was was smokey and easy, I would have to agree. I really liked this and it would be worth repeating for a quickly healthy meatless meal. For now in looking forward to the last serving sitting in my freezer for lunch one day. We can repeat our definition of chili quabble again now that we've actually eaten this version. 

Ps now you know my secret methods for incorporating produce into my culinary world while making food Mr. Meat finds acceptable. 


Turkey Parmesan Meatballs

Meatball madness has been taking the country over. Here in the 'Burgh a new meatball joint finally opened up downtown and everything (it exceeded my months of expectations, btw).  While on Pinterest I ran across a recipe for Parmesan meatballs that caught my fancy.  This is my spin on the Meatballa alla Parmigiana from I Breathe I'm Hungry

9 oz ground turkey
Parsley to taste, chopped
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder 
1/4 cup warm water
Pepper to taste

1 cup spaghetti sauce
3-4 oz fresh mozzarella cheese

Combine the turkey, Parmesan, breadcrunbs, egg, and seasonings and form into balls (I made 13). 

Place the meatballs on a baking sheet and bake for 20 min at 350F. Next cover each meatball with about a tbl of Sunday gravy and too with a small slice of fresh mozzarella. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 until warm and melty and delicious!

These turkey out awesome. We had them over pasta and I also enjoyed some asparagus. 4-5 meatballs made for an adequate size serving. They were super moist, as promised on I Breathe I'm Hungry. I used fresh mozzarella and that really showed taste-wise.  These are definitely in the potential to repeat category, although it is pretty rare that happens ;). There are a lot more meatballs on my Pinterest that need to go through the rotation first. 


Thai Street Noodles -aka Drunken Noodles

First, work has been insane, as usual. So, I haven't been a good blogger. 

However, I have still been cooking. I'm always reading magazines, flipping through cookbooks, and browsing Pinterest for inspiration.  I made these "drunken noodles" based on a Pinterest find from popsugar (http://www.fitsugar.com/Healthy-Stir-Fry-Thai-Noodle-Recipe-16072881). 

112 g whole grain vermicelli (2 servings)
10 oz ground turkey
1 head broccoli, chopped
Baby carrots, chopped
Onions and peppers to taste, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbl olive oil
1 jalapeño minced
2tbl Shredded basil 

Sauce Ingredients
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 tbl Sriracha Sauce
Juice, 1 lime
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp fish sauce

1. Start with sauteeing the garlic and jalapeño in 1/2 tbl of olive oil.  Add the ground turkey and cook until no longer pink.  Add the basil at the very end.

2. Meanwhile, boil water and cook noodles in another pot.

3.  In a third pot, take the leftover olive oil and saute the remaining produce.  If your home is not adverse to produce you can just take the turkey out of the pot and use that same pot for the remaining produce.  Alas, that isn't our house.

4.  Combine the sauce ingredients and add to the meat and produce pan.  Cook on low for 2-5 minutes until warmed through.  

5. To serve, mix all the ingedients and serve with extra lime wedges.

Verdict:  This was a winner.  I was able to get three servins out of this for us, 2 for dinner and one for leftovers for lunch the following day.  It somewhat filled my current Thai craving, although I still want to go over to the Thai Spoon for dinner one night soon.  The noodles had plenty of limeyness and saltiness from the fish sauce.  I expected it to be a different type of hot - the heat was hiding underneath the layers of flavor.  David seemed to like his boring version without produce too.  I bet it is even better with rice noodles in the traditional style.