Black Bean Chili

This winter has been especially cold and rainy. During times like these, I gravitate towards noodle soups or just soups in general, stews, and chilis. You know, the comforting stuff! I found this particular recipe in a Cooking Light magazine, which is extra points in my book. Yummy AND “light”? YAAAAAAS.

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I made some tweaks to the recipe, but nothing substantial. I like my chili thicker so I eliminated the water. Also swapped one can of black beans for one can of diced tomatoes because tomatoes > beans. I mean, I know this is called black bean chili, but come on, FOUR cans of black beans?! WHY?

Oh, and a word of caution… When I first made this chili, I interpreted “3 canned chipotle chilis in adobo sauce” as 3 cans of chipotle chilis instead of 3 chipotle chilis. Oops. Don’t make the same mistake as I did. I love spicy foods but that was almost unbearable! I use 1 can now 😊

I make: Chipotle Turkey Chili

I love one pot wonders! They make life so much easier, don’t they? This recipe was a winner in my book since it required minimal ingredients (most of which I already had in my pantry) and minimal prep/cooking time.

The recipe doesn’t call for this, but I ALWAYS season my ground meats before cooking. I treat every ground meat the same: add a bit of sugar, garlic/onion powder, cornstarch and soy sauce. I mix everything together to fully incorporate and let it rest for about 10 minutes.

Adapted from Cooking Light’s “Fresh Food Fast Weeknight Meals” Cookbook

(yields ~5-6 servings)
Ingredients:
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp garlic power
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp canola oil
1 large poblano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 cups water
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
2 (16 oz) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16 oz) jar mild salsa

Directions:
1. Season ground turkey: Put ground turkey in large bowl. Add sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, cornstarch and soy sauce. Mix in one direction until everything is incorporated. Set aside for 10 minutes.
2. Heat canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
3. Add ground turkey and poblano pepper. Crumble ground turkey and cook until browned.
4. Stir in water, chipotle powder, pinto beans and salsa. Cover and bring to a boil.
5. Mash beans lightly with a potato masher until soup is slightly thickened.

This chili was flavorful and hearty! I can’t wait to make it again during winter, perhaps during one of our Mammoth trips 🙂

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Bon appetit!

I make: Thai Beef Salad

In an attempt to eat “healthy” and cut out carbs at night, we made our version of thai beef salad over the weekend. I say attempt because this recipe does have a good amount of sodium, so we are going to try to balance this out by monitoring our sodium intake throughout the day.

(yields about ~8 servings)
Ingredients:
4 green onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh basil
2 lemon grass, cut into half inch pieces
6 thai green chilis, seeded and minced
2 limes, juiced
3/4 cup fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon garlic chili sauce
1/2 cup of white sugar
2 pounds (1 inch thick) beef (I used top sirloin)
1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil
1 head Boston Bibb/butter lettuce, cut into 1 inch pieces (or torn)
1/2 English cucumber, sliced
1 pink cherry/grape tomatoes, halved

(mint and cilantro can also be incorporated; I just don’t like either :))

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, stir together green onions, basil, lemon grass, thai chilis, lime juice, fish sauce, sweet chili sauce, garlic chili sauce and sugar. Adjust flavor, if necessary. Set aside.
2. Trim off excess fat around the beef, leaving about an 1/8 inch. Put beef into a ziplock bag and pour in about 1/2 of the fish sauce mixture (or just enough to coat the beef). Marinade for an hour in the refrigerator.
3. Remove from refrigerator and allow to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. Brush beef with canola oil before placing on broiling rack and broil for approximately 4-5 minutes on each side, or until medium/medium-well. Let beef cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting into thin strips ACROSS THE GRAIN.
4. Combine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and beef strips. Add as much of the reserved fish sauce mixture as you’d like (a little really does go a long way). Toss and serve.

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This recipe also works on the grill, but I actually prefer the broiler in terms of taste and it is also less time-consuming than the grill.

Bon appetit!