Lightened Up Sunday: Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Turkey Chili

I’m always looking for a way to jazz up a classic recipe. Whether it’s giving chicken soup a spicy island spin (recipe here) or sweet & savory flair to a classic broccoli slaw (recipe here). So it should come as no surprise that the Classic Sunday chili was about to find itself a new (and healthier) look!

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An unexpected produce delivery left me with some vegetables that I thought would go just perfectly in a lighter yet spicy & sweet version of that basic chili. Who doesn’t like a lil’ spice with their sweet :)

Roasted butternut & sweet potato turkey chili

Plus who can resist the smell and the sight of this on a freezing cold winter Sunday?!

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Not me my friends. Not me at all.

This recipe is super flexible and uses some interesting ingredients you may have never tried adding to the pot.  Coffee in chili? Sure why not. Chipotles in adobo too ya say? Sure thing, got ya covered.  Ground white meat turkey lightens things up and black beans are a switch up from the expected kidney bean chili usual. And if you’re tired to listening to me with all these recipe orders, go ahead and use whatever veggies you like too, who says you always have to follow the rules anyways ;)

Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Turkey Chili

- 1/2 onion (chopped)
- 1 green pepper (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 generous tbslp chili powder
- 1 generous tbslp cumin
- 2 chipotles in adobo, chopped
- 2 cups water
- 25 oz can black beans
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 7 oz tomato sauce
- 1/3 cup brewed coffee
- 1 butternut squash (whole)
- 2 white (or regular) sweet potatoes (whole)
- 2 zucchini (cubed)
- basics (salt, pepper, olive oil)
- hot sauce, to taste

1) Sauté onion and green pepper in 1 tbslp olive oil for 5 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add ground turkey, garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotles in adobo, salt & pepper and continue to cook until turkey is almost done.

2) Next add water, beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and coffee to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover and turn down to simmer while you roast the veggies.

3) Put sweet potatoes and butternut squash onto a baking sheet into a 350F oven. Bake for 30 minutes while chili simmers and gets delicious.

4) Remove from oven and let cool. Remove peels and chop into medium sized chunks. Also chop the zucchini. Add veggies to pot and simmer 10-20 minutes until they cook all the way through. If you need any extra spice throw in some hot sauce here too, I know I did :)

Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, green onion, etc – you know the drill!

Sweet & Salty 3 Ingredient App

Happy 2015 to you guys!! I just returned from what I can only say was a most perfect way to ring in the new year…

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Cool winter beach days full of great people, delicious food (hello freshly caught oysters!), and fabulous times :)

Amidst all the festivities there was one simple easy “recipe” that really stayed on my mind and one that I just had to share with you!

It’s so easy that you might just laugh when you see it. But. Trust me. This easy app does not lack in flavor. Seriously, SO good!!

3 ingredients. I mean how can you go wrong here? (And how have I never thought of this before?!)

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Simply fry up some bacon. Crumble into small pieces. Sprinkle over a block of softened cream cheese. Then drape in honey.

Serve with your favorite crackers and you have yourself a pretty magical party app if I must say so myself. That salty sweet combo plus one of my favorite food (groups? ;)) cream cheese is just the trifecta of delicious right there my friends.

So there you have it. In the event that you aren’t app’ed and dip’ed outta your mind from all the holiday dining quite yet, give this one a try! And even if you are, this might just change your mind :)

Sauerkraut & Noodles, a Christmas Eve Tradition

Happy Holidays to all of you! Christmas isn’t so far behind us that I can’t share a little Christmas Eve family tradition with ya, right?

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Christmas Eve is a big deal in our house. I mean, a BIG deal. Christmas who? (But really)

We base our food spread off the Polish tradition of Wigilia. Seven dishes are served (we show our creative counting side here ;) ) and a pescatarian theme. No beef, chicken, pork, you catch my drift.

This year’s menu may have been one of the BEST yet. Here’s what we had!

- Mom’s homemade crab cakes
- Pierogi with green onion butter
- Mushrooms sautéed in white wine
- Shrimp cocktail
- Fresh greens w/ avocado, red onion, & mint
- Appetizer spread above (see, creative counting!)

But the recipe that stands closest to my heart and the one I can’t recall a Christmas Eve without is this one. And one I want to share today with you!

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Sauerkraut and Noodles

- 1/2 package small noodles (macaroni, mini shells, etc)
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 can sauerkraut
- 3 tbslp butter
- salt & pepper

1. Boil noodles until done. Drain.

2. Sauté onion in 1 tbslp butter for 5 minutes. Add sauerkraut and season with salt and pepper. Cook another 5 minutes.

3. Stir noodles and rest of butter into the sauerkraut pot. Add additional butter as necessary.

These noodles are best when they have some time to sit on a warm stove once combined for just a bit. Make them ahead if time and you won’t even have to think twice about them!

They’re also a perfect main dish meal if you top with some kielbasa, chicken sausage, or something similar.

Happy holidays from our fam to yours, however you may be spending it :)

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