Harvest Chili

On a cold and lazy weekend I just love to enjoy a big bowl of chili for dinner.  So that is exactly what I made last Sunday.  You know that I have my go-to family favorite chili recipe, but I decided to mix things up after seeing Milk & Honey’s recent post.  I’m glad I tried it because it’s nice to have options.

This chili definitely had some sweet flavor notes from the sweet potatoes but it was spicy too.  That is totally adjustable based on the type and amount of seasonings that you add.

Harvest Chili

inspired by:  Milk and Honey

Ingredients:

2 medium sweet potatoes {about 1.5 pounds total}, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

1 pound lean ground beef

1 large red bell pepper, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 large onion, diced

2 chipotle peppers, minced – I omitted these completely by accident

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained {I used about 1.5 cups dry pinto beans, that I soaked overnight and then cooked}

1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes

1 (14.5 oz) can hominy, drained  {You can sub corn or butter beans}

1 (46 oz) can tomato juice

1 (6 oz) can tomato paste

1 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

Saute the peppers, carrots, onion, garlic in a frying pan just until tender.  Add them to your large crock-pot.  Then cook the ground beef until no longer pink, drain it, and add to the crock-pot.

Also to the crock-pot add:  the pinto beans, hominy, chopped sweet potatoes, seasonings, stewed tomatoes, tomato paste and juice.  Stir everything together.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for about 5 hours or just until the potatoes become tender.

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Moroccan Chicken Stew

This meal was a step away from my comfort zone but I’m glad I went for it.  We loved it so much, it will be added to our regular rotation.  I’ve never made a specific Moroccan meal before and have only used curry powder a handful of times, but somehow I knew this would be good.  It has a great warm, spicy flavor.  Probably too spicy for some people but perfect for us!

I made a few adaptations, mainly substituting chicken breast tenderloins in place of the bone-in chicken thighs but that’s what I had on hand.  It cooked faster using the tenderloins as well.  I also added fresh basil and omitted the raisins but will use them next time.

Moroccan Chicken Stew

Source:  adapted from Campbell’s Kitchen {clipped from a magazine}

serves 4-5 large portions

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil

8 bone-in skinless chicken thighs {I used 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins}

1 large red onion, sliced

1 large bell pepper cut into 1″ pieces {I used some red and orange bell pepper}

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp curry powder

1 can condensed tomato soup {I added a little water to rinse the can}

1/3 cup golden raisins

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup silvered almonds {I used sliced almonds}

fresh basil – about 1 tablespoon, chopped

Directions:

Heat oil in a deep saucepan or dutch oven.  Add chicken {in batches} and brown on all sides; remove to a plate.

Add onions, pepper, and garlic to the pot and cook about 5 minutes, until tender-crisp.  Add cinnamon and curry and stir for one minute.  Stir in soup {and water} and heat to a boil.  Return chicken to pan.  Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes or until chicken in cooked through. Stir in chickpeas and raisins.  Then stir in the almonds and basil.

Serve over couscous or brown rice.

Enjoy!

Peperoncini Beef

This is a crock pot recipe that could not be any easier!  It has a very minimal ingredient list, it slow cooks all day, and you have a delicious meal ready when you get home.  Although it does call for an entire jar of peppers, don’t be afraid that it will be too spicy.  Its really not.  Just a little tangy!

Peperoncini Beef

Source – adapted from Crock Pot 365

1 beef roast – any cut that is roughly 2 pounds {I think mine was a rump roast}

1 jar {approximately 16 oz} peperoncini peppers, liquid and peppers {mild to hot is your choice}

1 package of dry ranch dressing mix {can substitute onion soup mix or just seasoned salt and pepper}

Place everything in the crock.  The meat can even be frozen!  Turn it to low and cook for 8 hours.

Shred the meat before serving.  The peppers are edible, just watch out for the stems.

Serve on deli rolls or toasted buns with cheese if you wish.

Southwest White Chicken Chili

White chili is not something that ever really intrigued me in the past.  It never looks that appetizing in pictures and I always overlooked it.  I now realize I was making a mistake.  I had no idea what I was missing!

This chili, while vastly different from my traditional chili, is very good and very flavorful.  It had just the right amount of spiciness from the peppers, creaminess from the soup, and heartiness from the chicken.  It is a real winner and I’ll definitely make it again.

This picture looks like chicken and dumplings, doesn’t it?  Next time, I’ll cut the chicken into smaller pieces.  🙂

Southwest White Chicken Chili

source:  adapted from Campbellskitchen.com

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 large chicken breasts, cut into small cubes

4 tsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

pinch of red pepper flakes

1 large onion, chopped

2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 can reduced fat condensed cream of chicken soup

1 soup can of water

1.5 cups frozen whole kernel corn

1 can white beans {Canellini or Great Northern}, rinsed and drained

1 cup of low sodium chicken broth – optional {use more or less to reach desired consistency}

Directions:

Heat oil in a deep soup pot over med-high heat.  Add the chicken, onions, pepper, and spices.  Cook until chicken is cooked through, stirring often.

Add soup, water, corn, beans, and chicken stock.  Heat to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer at least 5 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning and add more broth accordingly.

Can serve with shredded cheese on top, but we didn’t.

Taco Stuffed Shells

I was planning on making my Beef Taco Bake one night, but at the very last second I decided to use pasta shells instead of hard tacos shells.  It was a good decision!  But, I totally confused Tim.  He had asked earlier in the day what was for dinner and I told him the taco bake and when I served him the stuffed shells, he was very confused.  Anyway, we enjoyed them very much and I stashed 1/2 in the freezer for a night when I’m short on time.

Just a note about freezing meals that is probably common knowledge already but oh well.  Cover the dish with plastic wrap and write the date, item name, and baking directions directly on the plastic wrap with a sharpie, then cover with a layer of foil and place in the freezer.  That way, the directions are on the meal and you don’t have to guess about the baking instructions in a few months when you (or your husband 😉 ) pull it out to prepare for the night.

Just one note on something I’ll change next time.  I thought it could have been just a little saucier, so I’ll add some salsa (maybe 1/2 cup) to the mixture before stuffing the shells next time.

Taco Stuffed Shells

Ingredients:

1 can refried beans

1 can whole black beans

1 tablespoon hot sauce

1 small onion, chopped

2 jalapeno peppers, minced – optional (can sub one green bell pepper)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 can Mexi-corn, drained

1/2 can black olives, drained and coarsely chopped

1 pack (1/4 cup) taco seasoning mix & water that it calls for

1 pound lean ground beef

1 package large pasta shells

3 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided

For serving:

lettuce

sour cream

scallions

salsa

Directions:

1.  Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine refried beans, black beans, and hot sauce in a bowl.  Spread evenly in two 8 or 9- inch square baking dishes (0ne for now and one for the freezer).  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese per baking dish.

2. Cook pasta.

3. Meanwhile, cook beef in large skillet until no longer pink with onion, peppers, and garlic.  Pour off fat.  Then stir in taco seasoning and water.  Simmer over low heat until thickened.  Then stir in Mexi-corn and olives and turn off the heat.

4. Spoon the beef mixture into the cooked and drained pasta.  Arrange in the baking dishes.  Cover with with foil, and bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes.  Remove foil, top with remaining cheese, and bake another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Sprinkle with scallions and/or shredded lettuce and serve with sour cream on the side.

Coconut Red Curry Lentil Stew

I don’t think I have ever seen a recipe on a blog one day and made it the very next day!  So, this was a first.  When I saw Cara post this, I immediately knew that it would be the perfect thing to make for our next dinner.  I knew with a few adaptations based on what I had on hand, it would suit us perfectly.  And it did!  It was perfectly delicious on a chilly night.

I didn’t really notice the coconut flavor, which was sort of disappointing but the warm curry flavor made up for it since it was certainly not lacking flavor overall.  I’m sure the coconut milk added some creaminess, so it was definitely a necessary ingredient. Surprisingly, the lentils retained some bite even after cooking so long.  I was really worried that they would be complete mush.  But, I was happy to be wrong!

Coconut Red Curry Stew

Source: adapted from Cara’s Cravings who adapted it from 101 Cookbooks

1 cup yellow split peas {I used green}

1 cup red split lentils {I think I used brown}

7 cups water

2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 stalks of celery, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger {I used about 1 tsp ground ginger}

2 tablespoons red curry powder

2 tablespoons butter

8 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced {I used one small white onion, chopped}

1/3 cup golden raisins

1/3 cup tomato paste

1 14-ounce can coconut milk

1 teaspoon kosher salt

one small handful cilantro, chopped

toasted coconut, for garnish

Optional: 3oz raw shrimp per serving, peeled and deviened, shells removed

Start by rinsing the split peas and lentils. Put them in a bowl, add enough water to cover, and stir around. Drain through a mesh sieve. Repeat until water runs clear.  Place the rinsed lentils in a crockpot with the water.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, toast the curry powder until it is fragrant and has darkened a bit. Transfer to a small dish, add the ground ginger to it and set aside.

Heat the butter in the pan, add the onions, celery, and carrots.  Saute for two minutes, stirring constantly until softened.  Then add the raisins and stir.  Then add the tomato paste and cook for another minute or two.  Off the heat, whisk in the coconut milk and the toasted curry powder & ginger. Pour the coconut milk mixture into the crockpot, and season with salt.

Cover and cook on high for 6 hours. {I cooked it on low for 10 hours.}

If desired, season the shrimp with salt and pepper and cook by desired method until just opaque.

Add the shrimp to the top of each serving of stew.  Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Patties

This recipe was intended to be vegetarian which I’m sure would have been terrific, but I had to add some chicken since T is far from being vegetarian.
Ash at Veggie by Season had a great suggestion to make these into burgers, but we just ate them plain.  Additionally if you make them into mini patties, I think they would be great appetizers or as sliders too.   It’s nice to have versatility.
If you do want to make them vegetarian, omit the chicken obviously and use a whole can of chickpeas, or just follow the link to her blog.
Buffalo Chicken Chickpea Patties
adapted from:  Veggie by Season
Ingredients:
half of a 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1/2 c. rolled oats
1/4 c. buffalo sauce, plus more for serving
1 egg white
1 small yellow onion, grated or finely minced
1 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper
For serving:
Buffalo sauce
Ranch or blue cheese dressing
Carrot Sticks
Celery
Buns, lettuce, tomato and crumbled blue cheese, if served as burgers
Directions:
Add chickpeas to a bowl, use a potato masher or fork and mash until about 2/3 of the chickpeas are pasty and 1/3 are in pieces or whole.  Add the shredded chicken.
Add the buffalo sauce to the chickpeas and chicken.
Add half of the oats to a food processor, pulse to create a crumb, add to the chickpeas.
Beat the egg white in a small dish to a froth, add to the chickpeas.
Grate onion into the chickpeas, finally add the garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Use a spatula and fold mixture, combining ingredients well.
Heat a griddle over medium, spray with nonstick spray or add 1 tbsp. EVOO.
Use a 1/3 measuring cup or large ice cream scoop to portion out chickpea mixture onto griddle, this yields about 7 patties, or more.
Cook patties for 5-7 minutes, until crispy and brown, flip gently and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
Serve immediately to retain maximum crispness.

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