Slow Cooker White Turkey Chili + Easy Corn Muffins

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Happy snow day to those affected by the winter storm!

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I woke up to a delicious breakfast…

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…and yes…SNOW! The funny twitter hashtag I’ve been seeing is #snOMG, which I think is pretty awesome, though I didn’t actually use it today.

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First things first, I had a nice, cozy mug of hot coffee.

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Then, I moved on to breakfast. As soon as I saw that I had leftover raspberry topping yesterday after making those tasty pancakes, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it – swirl it into oatmeal!

I made a basic bowl with 1/2 vanilla rice milk, 1/2 water and chia seeds so the raspberry sauce really took center stage. Nevermind snOMG, this stuff was omg-good! I must make this sauce again soon!

Many of my friends got snow days off of work, but since I have the ability to work from my home, I also had the ability to work today. I should probably have at least taken a break to go play in the snow, but I was pretty busy today. No snow playing for me!

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Anywho, shortly after breakfast, I got dinner started. It always seems weird to work on dinner after breakfast, but that’s what you gotta do when you’re using your…slow cooker! What a life saver these things are, right?

I’ve been loving chili for winter weather, but decided to do a lighter version than my previous slow cooker chili – white chili!

The last time I made white chili, it used chunks of chicken, which I enjoyed that day, but didn’t like as leftovers. I think re-heated chicken tastes weird, but for some reason the ground kind seems to re-heat better. I was actually going to make white chicken chili till I got to the grocery store and realized they only had ground turkey in the meat section. They had dark and white meat turkey, but I ended up going with white meat.

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I put lots of veggies and beans in my chili – yum!

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And some organic chicken broth.

Add some spices and turn on your machine. Done-zo!

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Lunch looked kind of like another breakfast – I made turkey spinach breakfast cups!

These breakfast cups really are great for leftovers. Here are all the leftovers I put in today’s lunch:

You can follow this turkey veggie breakfast cup recipe and change up the mixins.

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Remember to use a plastic spatula or plastic knife, work around the outside edges and carefully remove the cup.

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We enjoyed ours with steamed broccoli. Yum!

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Great use for that leftover creamed spinach!

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And for lunch dessert – two chocolate chip cookie dough balls.

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We’re enjoying an old-school, family favorite tea in the Chic house – Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger. Growing up, we always had the Celestial Seasonings sampler pack of teas in the house. Lemon Zinger was one of my favorites. I love the bright taste. Sleepytime is another classic – one of my all time faves.

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After work I whipped up some homemade corn muffins. They’re so easy and tasty. After making that All Recipes version a few times, I decided I wanted to tweak them just a bit to make them less sweet and not quite as crumbly.

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Chili and corn muffins = perfect snow day food.

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Slow Cooker White Turkey (or Chicken) Chili

I love using the slow cooker on my busy (or lazy) days. One of my favorite things to make in the slow cooker is chili. I’ve been enjoying a beef chili for awhile, but decided to create a lighter version. This one uses ground turkey, but you could easily substitute ground chicken or even a combination of the two. Serve this with corn muffins (see recipe below).

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey (I used white meat, but dark would probably be ok)
  • 1 15-ounce can Great Northern beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 15-ounce can Navy beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 15-ounce can Cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 4-ounce can fire roasted green chiles
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrot (I use baby carrots, but large should be ok), chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash cayenne (careful it’s hot!)

Directions:

  1. Cook turkey over medium heat till cooked through. (You can probably just skip to step 2, but I prefer to go with step #1 first. :))
  2. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  3. Cook over low heat for 7-8 hours.
  4. Enjoy!

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Easy Corn Muffins

Adapted from this Sweet Golden Cornbread recipe on AllRecipes.com

For years and years, I made corn bread using boxed mixes. Jiffy was a family favorite after I fell in love with it at a friend’s house. But, nowadays, I prefer to make things from scratch so I can control the quality of the ingredients and keep yucky preservatives out. Not to mention this is almost as easy as using a boxed mix! These corn muffins are just barely sweet and even include some whole wheat flour. You could easily go 100% all purpose if you want. Drizzle a little honey over a warm muffin for a sweet treat.

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups corn meal
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 individual apple sauce (preferably no sugar added) or 1/2 cup
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F and spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray (or line with cupcake papers).
  2. Whisk together corn meal, all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together apple sauce, sugar, oil, and egg till egg is distributed. Whisk in milk.
  4. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients gently, careful to not over mix. Batter will be lumpy.
  5. Evenly distribute in muffin cups.
  6. Bake 14-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.
  7. Enjoy!

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Be sure to check out my Top 10 TCL Recipes of 2010!

***

How awesome is this quote my friend Michelle tweeted:

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. When you are seeking to bring big plans to fruition, it is important with whom you regularly associate. Hang out with friends who are like-minded and who are also designing purpose-filled lives. Similarly, be that kind of a friend for your friends.

~Mark Twain

***

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Time to get ready for bed!

What’s your favorite snow (or cold) day food? By the looks of my Facebook friend’s dinners, comfort food rules!

Top 10 TCL Recipes of 2010

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I know it’s a bit late for this, and I had hoped to post this during the last week of December, but…better late than never, right? I’ve had my list jotted down for awhile now, but finally got around this weekend to putting together the full post.

Here are my top 10 Favorite TCL Recipes of 2010. Let’s count them down, shall we?

10 – Quick Candied Pecans

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Traditional candied pecans use eggs, but these are much simpler (and they’re vegan, too!). Thusly, they are easier to make and increase and decrease in batch size. I love these on salads or put out in dishes at dinner parties for snacking. Click here for TCL’s Quick Candied Pecan recipe.

9 – Marinated Kale

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I first tried marinated kale when I bought some already prepared marinated kale at the grocery store (either Healthy Home Market or Earthfare). It was love at first bite. I love how flavorful this dish is and how easy it is to pack for lunch on the go. There aren’t many foods I like to eat cold, but this is one of them! Not only does marinated kale make brown bagging it a cinch, but it’s super easy to make, too. Click here for TCL’s Marinated Kale recipe.

8 – Quinoa Burgers

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Hubby and I are meat eaters, but we also appreciate vegetarian/vegan fare. This is especially handy when we’re entertaining and half of our guests are non-meat-eaters. I wanted to create a burger recipe that would be edible for my vegan friends, but delicious for those used to cheeseburgers. Bring on the Southwest Quinoa Veggie Burger!

7 – Green Tea Soup

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Green tea soup was another love-at-first-bite dish, though definitely the most unique. I first had this at the Samovar tea lounge in San Francisco when I was having afternoon tea with my friend Rachel just after the Foodbuzz Festival ended. I knew I had to re-create it back home. Turns out, green tea soup is easier than I thought it would be to make. I even called it a non-recipe because you can easily make this dish with leftover cooked vegetables, rice, and whatever else you have on hand. Behold – Green Tea Soup Non-Recipe.

6 – Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

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The Southwest Quinoa Breakfast Bowl (click for recipe) was another Foodbuzz-Festival-inspired dish, after a few of us fell in love with the quinoa bowls at Cafe Gratitude. Since then, I’ve also enjoyed fried eggs over herbed quinoa and cous cous when I don’t have time to make the steamed kale and tahini sauce. Either way, eggs and quinoa are a great way to switch up your breakfast routine.

5 – Breakfast Cups

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I love making breakfast cups for many reasons. They’re great to use up leftovers (throw in lunch meat, cooked turkey, leftover cooked vegetables, whatever!). Breakfast cups are a nice hands-free breakfast – prepare and then work on something else while they bake away. These little guys are also very versatile – you can do them savory or sweet. Click here for the Coco-Loco French Toast Cups or here for Turkey Vegetable Breakfast Cups.

4 – Individual Breakfast Crisps

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I haven’t made these as often lately because I was making them with fresh fruit from the farmer’s market, but Individual Breakfast Crisps can easily be made with frozen fruit, too. I love these crisps because I feel like I’m eating dessert for breakfast, even though the sugar and fats are toned down to make this more healthful for starting your day. These crisps are so simple to put together and can be made with a variety of fruits and fruit combos. Let them bake while you get ready for the day. Click here to view the Individual Berry Breakfast Crisp.

3 – Balsamic Roasted Chick Peas

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I fell in love with roasted chick peas after trying the recipe I saw on 5-Ingredient fix. Balsamic was my flavor contribution and update to the original recipe by Claire Robinson. I love these guys for a snack or for entertaining – they’re great for dinner parties and pot lucks and are great served at room temperature. Click here for the TCL Balsamic Roasted Chick Peas recipe.

2 – Green Monster Muffins

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Green Monster muffins hold a special place in my heart. These little guys are so unique, and I’m so proud of my little creation. Not only are the muffins unusual, they’re delicious, too! I’ve loved reading all the wonderful comments from people telling me how much they enjoyed baking these and from all the moms who have tricked their kiddos into eating spinach thanks to the muffins. Hazzah! :) Click here for the Green Monster Muffin recipe (regular) and here for the Vegan Green Monster Muffin recipe.

1 – Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

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When I was on my third of fourth batch trying to re-create Annie the Baker’s famous cookie dough balls (a Foodbuzz Festival star), and coming to the realization that I still hadn’t gotten the recipe right, I started to wonder why I was still trying. Perhaps it was my own stubbornness that kept me going, but I knew I could come up with a recipe if I just kept trying my hardest. After turning my kitchen into a mini America’s Test Kitchen with experiment after experiment, I finally made it – only 7 test batches in total. lol. I figured a few people may try out my recipe, but I was blown away by the response! Reading all the comments and emails about how much everyone loved my recipe made (and still makes) my heart glow with such happiness! Click here to view the chocolate chip dough ball recipe and be sure to check out the other flavors!

***

I just want to say thank you so much to everyone who has tried one of my recipes. I love trying new recipes, tweaking them, and developing my own from scratch, and sharing them with all of you is such a joy! You’ll never know how much your sweet comments make my day. I’ve loved reading about the girl whose mom made a double batch of roasted chick peas for a holiday party, the mom who wrote it to say her kids thought “Green Monster Muffins” sounded cool so they ate them (spinach and all), and the girl who said she and her roommates make the dough balls almost every day!

Thank you all for helping me make 2010 such a tasty year!

I can’t wait to see, test, and taste what’s in store for 2011! Here we go!

Reader question: What’s your favorite or most memorable TCL recipe from 2010?

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