Thursday, November 22, 2012

Clean Eating Turkey Chili

Makes about 16 servings, 1 cup each 
This is sooooo easy to make, is delicious, and is a great way to sneak a whole bunch of veggies into your family without them knowing it. Perfect paired with some whole grain cornbread. This is one of the very first recipes I started making when I was getting into freezer cooking. You could pretty much guarantee that you would always be able to find at least one serving in the freezer. So naturally when we arrived in our house in Japan and I had a big, huge, empty freezer to fill I thought the first thing in there should be a big batch of chili. But for some reason I have never posted the recipe and my recipe box had yet to be unearthed in our pile of boxes. As you know I am incapable of cooking ANYTHING without a recipe so I literally sat on a stool in my kitchen surrounded by boxes and went through 3 years (three years!!!!) of e-mails (on my phone because our internet wasn't set up yet) until I found an old one where I had sent the recipe to my friend. Crazy, right?! This chili is so good it was worth it :)


  • 2 medium onions, minced 
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped 
  • 1 medium bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ½-inch pieces 
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, minced (2 Tbsp) 
  • ¼ cup chili powder 
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin 
  • 1 tsp dried oregano 
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 ½ tsp salt, divided 
  • 2 lbs 93 percent lean ground turkey 
  • 2 15oz cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or sometimes I use Cannellini beans)
  • 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes 
  • 1 15oz can tomato sauce 
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes 
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth 
  • 1 bag fresh spinach 
Optional: (if you like it hot. You know me, I'm super wimpy so I leave these out!)

  • ½-1 tsp red pepper flakes 
  • ¼ - ½ tsp cayenne 
Slow Cooker Directions: Brown the ground turkey and toss it in the crockpot with all the other ingredients except the spinach (you can omit the Tbsp of olive oil). Cover and cook on high 4-6 hours or on low 8-10 hours. An hour before serving, stir in the bag of spinach, cover, and continue cooking. 

Stove Top Directions: 
ONE: Combine the onions, carrots, bell peppers, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, oil, ½ tsp salt, red pepper flakes (if using), and cayenne (if using) in a large covered pot. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened, 8-10 minutes.
TWO: Increase the heat to medium-high, add the turkey, and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink and just beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.
THREE: Stir in the beans, diced tomatoes with their juices, crushed tomatoes, broth, and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce the heat to medium-low, stir in the spinach, and simmer, uncovered, until the chili has begun to thicken, about 1 hour.

Freeze leftovers in 1 cup servings using the medium/large portions method to feed your freezer stash. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top.

Nutrition Info: 
Per 1 cup serving - 217 Calories (48 Calories from Fat), 5g Total Fat, 1.5g Saturated Fat, 40mg Cholesterol, 693mg Sodium, 27g Total Carbs, 8g Dietary Fiber, 3g Sugars, 18.5g Protein, 135% DV Vit A, 63% DV Vit C, 13% DV Calcium, 31% DV Iron

I only used two carrots because look how huge my Japanese carrots are!!
Dump in the veggies

Dump in the meat, cans, and seasonings... also a good shot of my cookbooks in case you were interested. Super Baby Food was where it all started, then there is my Eat Clean Diet Book (which should really be called the non-diet book since it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle), every Clean Eating Magazine ever published, and Cook's Illustrated Best Light Recipe. Who could need anything more?!
Stir and cook. So easy :)


Clean Eating Whole Grain Cornbread

Makes 16 servings, one slice each 
This is probably one of my boys top 5 favorite things and mine too. Every time I run the breadmaker, they run in as soon as they hear it start and ask if I'm making cornbread. If the answer is yes, there will be much cheering and happy dancing in the Allan household :) If you were previously a box of jiffy cornbread kind of person then this will be a little drier and more crumbly than what you are used to (likely due to the lack of shortening lol) but it is full of flavor and way better for you. Because it is a little crumblier, I like to cut the entire loaf in half and then cut fat slices instead of thin slices. You'll see what I mean in the pic. We almost always make this to eat with Turkey Chili. I've also used it to make cornbread stuffing.

Hot and fresh from the mini loaf pan! You can almost smell it :)
  • 1 ½ cups whole grain cornmeal (the side of the package must say whole grain corn or whole ground corn or something involving whole, not degerminated or anything. I buy mine at the natural food store in bulk.
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur's White Whole Wheat)
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 3 Tbsp honey 
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk (I NEVER have this so I combine 1 ½ c milk w/ 1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice, let sit 5 minutes then stir
  • ¼ cup oil (extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, whatever you like
  • 2 eggs, beaten 
  • Optional: For sweet cornbread add ½ cup Sucanat or honey (I always do
Breadmaker Instructions: Dump all the liquid ingredients into the pan and then add the dry ingredients. Set the machine to the quickbread setting and push start.

(NOTE: Not all machines have a quickbread setting. This is not the rapid setting for yeast breads, it's a specific setting for quickbreads using baking soda/powder instead of yeast. If your machine doesn't have this setting, mix the ingredients first then dump them in and just run it on the bake setting for about an hour.)

Oven Instructions:
ONE: Buy a cheap used breadmaker on Craigslist. Just kidding... kind of. Preheat oven to 400 (350 if using mini loaf pan or 9" loaf pan). Coat an 8” square pan, 9" loaf pan, or mini loaf pan with non-stick spray.

TWO: Mix flours, baking powder, salt, honey, and sucanat/extra honey (if using) with a wire whisk. In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients and then stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

THREE: Pour batter into a prepared pan and bake 20-25 minutes for square pan or mini loaf pan or 30 minutes for a 9" loaf pan or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Crockpot Instructions:
ONE: Mix all ingredients as directed in oven instructions. Coat the inside of the crock with cooking spray, dump the batter in, and put the lid on.

TWO: Cook on high for 3-4 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean. If you notice a lot of condensation building up inside the cover, prop it open with a chopstick or similar sized item to vent.

Cut into 16 slices. Freeze leftovers using the flash freeze method or double bagged method to feed your freezer stash. Reheat in the microwave or toaster or thaw in the fridge overnight.

Nutrition Info:
Per slice (sweetened version using sucanat) - 162 Calories (38 Calories from Fat), 4g Fat, 0.7g Saturated Fat, 21mg Cholesterol, 170mg Sodium, 28.7g Total Carbs, 1.2g Dietary Fiber, 10.6g Sugars, 3.6g Protein, 2% DV Vit A, 1% DV Vit C, 7% DV Calcium, 6% DV Iron

Per slice unsweetened - 140 Calories (38 Calories from Fat), 4g Fat, 0.7g Saturated Fat, 21mg Cholesterol, 170mg Sodium, 22.7g Total Carbs, 1.2g Dietary Fiber, 4.6g Sugars, 3.6g Protein, 2% DV Vit A, 1% DV Vit C, 7% DV Calcium, 6% DV Iron

Dump in the liquids
Dump in the dry ingredients
Press start and it magically becomes bread :) I love my breadmaker! This pic also shows what I mean about cutting the loaf down the middle to make short, fat slices instead of wide, skinny slices.
For non-breadmaker, mix together the dry ingredients
Stir in the liquid ingredients. Dump in a pan or crockpot and bake.
I had chili in the crockpot and cornbread in the breadmaker so, instead of spending time in the kitchen, I got to hang out with this little cutie pie :) Life is good.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Clean Eating Shrimp and Veggie Saute (or Clean Eating Shrimp and Grits)

Makes 6 serving, about 3/4 cups each
This is tasty and quick to throw together. We have only ever eaten it served on top of Cheese Grits which takes it from being pretty good to being holy-cow-I-love-this-dinner good. You could definitely sub chicken for shrimp (Anthea, I know you will!) and it is still delicious. You could also change around the veggies depending on what you have available. 

  • 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail off (or 1 lb chicken cut into bit sized pieces)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic (or 3 cloves finely chopped)
  • 14.5 oz can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained (or 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes)
  • 4 or 5 leaves of fresh basil or 1/2 Tbsp dried
ONE: Season shrimp with chile powder, salt, and pepper. Heat 2 tsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot add half of the shrimp. Cook 2 minutes without stirring or until browned on the bottom. Flip them over and brown the other side, about 2 more minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with another 2 tsp oil and the rest of the shrimp. (It takes a little longer to cook them in two batches but not crowding the pan will give them space to brown instead of just steaming.)

TWO: Pour the remaining 2 tsp oil into the same skillet and return to medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and onion, 1/4 tsp salt, and a sprinkle of pepper, and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes.

THREE: Add garlic and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.

FOUR: Add tomatoes and their juice and cook until mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.

FIVE: Add shrimp with any juices that have accumulated on the plate and stir just until heated through. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

As I said above, I always serve this over hot Cheese Grits but you could certainly serve it over brown rice of whole wheat pasta as well. Freeze leftovers in 3/4 cup portions using the medium/large portions method to feed your freezer stash. I actually scoop leftovers of the grits into a container and then smush a serving of the shrimp and veggies into the top of it and freeze them both together.

Nutrition Info:
Per 3/4 cup serving made with shrimp - 139 Calories (51 Calories from Fat), 5.7g Total Fat, .7g Saturated Fat, 149mg Cholesterol, 314mg Sodium, 6g Total Carbs, 2g Dietary Fiber, 3g Sugars, 17.5g Protein, 10% DV Vit A, 22% DV Vit C, 4% DV Calcium, 16% DV Iron

Per 3/4 cup serving made with chicken - 211 Calories (94 Calories from Fat), 10g Total Fat, 2g Saturated Fat, 67mg Cholesterol, 208mg Sodium, 6g Total Carbs, 2g Dietary Fiber, 3g Sugars, 23g Protein, 11% DV Vit A, 22% DV Vit C, 3% DV Calcium, 8% DV Iron

Browning the shrimp
Cooking Zucchini and Onions
Cooking down the tomatoes

Clean Eating Cheese Grits

Makes 6 servings
This blog post is actually my sister's birthday present (Happy Birthday, Anthea!!). I have been making this for about 2 years but just never got around to posting it on the blog. It is actually printed out on a piece of paper and is all crusty and stained from overuse. Anthea probably calls me once a month to ask for the recipe and I tell her to look it up online from the site I got the original idea from and just modify it but then she can't find it online so she calls me back and then I dig it out of the recipe box and sometimes it's crammed way in the back so then I have a panic attack thinking I've lost the recipe but I realize I can just call Danielle to get it from her since she cooked it for us when she was our nanny and made a copy before she left... this is my rambling train of thought while I'm digging in the recipe box. Also, now that I've been doing this blog for a while, I am completely incapable of cooking anything that isn't posted on it. So now you know I do all my blog posting for the selfish reason of making my own cooking easier and more organized :)

Long story short, this post is way overdue (and I'm tired of Anthea calling for the recipe LOL!). These grits are seriously delicious. I am British and I was raised in New York so, no matter how you look at it, there is absolutely no time in my childhood where I ever ate anything called a grit. I will admit to being a snotty Yankee when we moved to Florida and vowing never to eat grits. Ironically, the only reason I cooked this was because my Auntie Anne, who is super posh and high class, actually came all the way from England to visit us in Pensacola and she said she wanted to try grits. (We also had breakfast at waffle house. Picture the Queen of England in Waffle House saying, "And what exactly is biscuits and gravy?" and then ordering it. Insane.) 

So I searched for a grits recipe that would be a bit more gourmet than just plain grits and fully expected it to be revolting. WRONG! This is so good we licked our plates clean and I have made it a million times since then. In fact the only people who won't eat it are my boys. I don't get it because it's basically cheesy porridge and they would live on cheese alone if I let them and eat porridge almost every day for breakfast. I think it's a texture thing for them. I chalk it up to them just being too British for grits hehehe. We have this with Shrimp and Veggie Saute on top, basically Clean Eating Shrimp and Grits. Yum :)

  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup whole grain grits/cornmeal (This is the tricky bit. Most packages of grits are not actually wholegrain. In fact I have never found something labeled "grits" that was. Instead I use coarse wholegrain cornmeal.)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
ONE: Bring water, grits/cornmeal, and salt to boil in a large saucepan, stirring occasionally. Once it's boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the grits are thick, stirring occasionally. (I keep cooking them until I can make soft peaks in the grits with a whisk like when you are whipping egg whites. It usually takes about 10 or 15 minutes.)

TWO: Preheat oven to 350 and coat an 8-inch-square pan with cooking spray. Stir the garlic powder and cheeses into the grits and dump it all into the prepared pan. I like to reserve a little bit of the cheeses to sprinkle on top with an extra sprinkle of garlic powder.

THREE: Bake, uncovered, until bubbling and crusty on top, about 45 minutes.

To make ahead of time, complete step one and two (without preheating the oven obviously). Cover the baking dish and refrigerate until ready to bake.

One serving is 1/6th of the pan. Freeze leftover servings using the medium/large portions method to feed your freezer stash.

Nutrition Info:
Per 1/6th of the pan - 148 Calories (56 Calories from Fat), 6g Total Fat, 17mg Cholesterol, 295mg Sodium, 16g Total Carbohydrates, 1.5g Dietary Fiber, 7g Protein, 3% DV Vit A, 0% DV Vit C, 17% DV Calcium, 5% DV Iron

Bring water, salt, and grits to boil
Cook until thickened
(this is an attempt at getting a picture of the grits forming soft peaks)
Stir in cheeses and garlic powder
Dump in a pan and sprinkle a little extra cheese and garlic powder on top
This is what my kitchen looks like right now since we are still unpacking and have no table yet, LOL! But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy a yummy, Clean Eating dinner! (The boys are eating Black Bean Salsa Soup from the freezer since they are weirdos and won't eat the grits. Just one more great thing about having a good freezer stash.)
(Anthea, it should show you how much I love you that I took the time to post this even though this is what my kitchen looks like. Although to be fair your birthday was almost a month ago hehehe)