Chili and bowling


Have you ever been to a bowling tournament? Me either. In fact I would have bet money that I wouldn’t be caught dead at one of these. But here I am. Supporting my future hubby. He made it to the regionals and if he does well here he moves on to the next round in Las Vegas.
Do you have any preconceived notions of bowlers? I did. And for the most part they are dead on. There is still the cliche elderly woman rolling around her O2, the Ron Jeremy lookalike and the man who I swear is still playing Risk on Friday night. Some people don’t fit the mold though. Like the frat guys and the soccer moms. Quite the sight.
Carver did very well, we haven’t heard where he placed but when we left he had the second highest score.
On our way out I scarfed down about 1/2 cup of turkey chili with a dollop of light sour cream and a diet coke. I knew I’d be hungry before we made it home and didn’t want to eat the bowling alley nachos so I stashed a bottle of water and an energy bar in my purse. 3 hours later I was grateful for thinking ahead.

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oh Columbus


There’s something about October. What’s not to love?? Football- college for me, NFL for Carver; Halloween, the onset of fall, sweater-weather… Historically October has been a very good month for Carver and I. We met in October, baseball playoffs are in October, did I mention the sweaters?? October is when my cardigan collection gets to come out – granted I find ways to sneak in sweaters year round, but in October I don’t look out-of-place. October is also a time to breakout the soups and stews, oddly enough these are also things I cling to year round. When Carver and I started dating it was clear my cooking and eating habits would need to change. I had spent 20-odd years not eating beans or chili, among other things. I have yet to meet a man who doesn’t like, if not love, these items so for Carver I jumped right in (well truth be told it was at least 8 months before I was on board with the dietary changes). In the years since then I have made chili many times; some successes and some failures. The first chili I made for him was based on a ‘recipe’ from Donna and it turned out great. Others along the way were so-so, but they got eaten so they weren’t horrible. Yesterday I got that feeling in the pit of my stomach that feeling that can only be squashed with something warm and comforting. Something so warm it comforts your soul. I went to the store and wandered around like a degenerate and aimlessly grabbed a two-pound bag of crisp baby apples and three sweet yellow peaches among other items. My goal was to bring the apples to my office so I could have them at my beck and call and make a peach crumble with homemade molasses cookies. The apples were a complete success – I had one already today. And the peaches – well they have had a day to ripen more and I have gained a day to get the necessary ingredients. That’s the thing about cooking in someone else’s kitchen. All these ingredients I assume I have because they are staples for me, that most people don’t have on hand. Unsulphered molasses…  So stay tuned for cookies and peaches. For now you get chili. Are you sitting down?? I made BEEF chili, not chicken or turkey. Yes that’s right, I decided to treat my taste-testers with some saturated fat. That’s true love.

Beef Chili

  • 1 pound ground beef, 97% lean
  • 1 medium bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • 28 ounces unsalted, diced tomatoes
  • 1 can low-sodium kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ medium red onion, diced
  • ½ chili seasoning packet
  • ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Spray a large skillet with non-stick spray and heat over medium-high heat. Brown beef and break up in to bite-sized uniform pieces. Once cooked through add ½ cup broth and seasoning packet and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and let cook for 2 minutes; remove from heat. Spray bowl of slow cooker with non-stick spray. Transfer beef and sauce to slow cooker and turn on to hot and set for 3 hours. Return the skillet to the stove and add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. Then add in peppers and onion and cook over medium-high heat until onions are translucent and peppers are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add remaining ¼ cup broth and scrape brown bits from skillet with a spoon or spatula. Add vegetables and broth to slow cooker and stir. Add tomatoes and beans to slow cooker and stir again; make sure all ingredients are well combined. If you are home and able to I give this a quick stir every hour, but you don’t have to do this.

This will yield 6 servings. It makes a great dinner when paired with a mixed green salad and slice of jalapeño cheddar cornbread. Or lunch with some cheddar goldfish. yumm


Snowy afternoon


I might as well be snowed in – I am able to get out but it is so disgusting out that I have hunkered down for the afternoon/evening. I decided the snow storm warranted a warm bowl of chili and a piece of cornbread.

The chili recipe is relatively new to my arsenal but it has taken hold, I hope you will give it a try and enjoy it as much as we do. The cornbread is actually a first for me. Normally I buy a Jiffy mix and prepare that, but on my mission to eat almost entirely homemade I thought I would give this a try.

Turkey Chili


In a large skillet with 2t vegetable oil, brown 2lb ground turkey breast and 1 medium yellow onion (diced). Transfer the meat (without any fat) to a slow cooker. Add 28oz crushed tomatoes, 15oz kidney beans, 15oz black beans, 1 medium jalapeño (diced), 1 packet chili seasoning (low-sodium), 2 diced plum tomatoes, 1c water; stir to combine. Before serving add the zest and juice of one lime and 1/2c chopped cilantro. Put the top on the slow cooker and cook on high for at least 90 minutes. You could also brown the meat the night before serving and combine all ingredients in the slow cooker the next morning- in this case I recommend cooking on low for 5 hours. My slow cooker has a wonderful timer and the temperature switches to warm when the time expires. This recipe yields 16 servings and freezes very well. Points Plus: 3 (I’ve topped it with 1T reduced fat shredded cheese.)

Cornbread


In a medium bowl combine 1/2c + 2T whole wheat flour, 1/4c + 2T corn meal, 1/4t salt, 2T sugar and 1t baking powder. Make a well in the center of the bowl.  Add 1/2c skim milk, 1 egg white and 2T vegetable oil. Mix until just combined. I baked these in mini muffin pans, a wonderful tip for guaranteed equal portion sizes. Bake them at 400 degrees for 14 minutes, rotating half-way through cooking. Let them cool for 2-3 minutes and serve warm. Two mini muffins per serving, serves 9. Points Plus: 2



what’s a girl to do… with an empty kitchen?


My kitchen is in a pretty sad state right now… On the 86 list currently: beer, diet coke and cookies. I know these aren’t the healthiest things but they are my little treats throughout the day. I’m getting into dangerous waters because on our endangered list are: lean protein, fruit, and granola bars. And beyond that the last package of chicken we have would not defrost in a timely manner so we opted for Thai food tonight, chicken tomorrow. The take out put me over my normal point allotment for today but so long as I don’t make a trend of this or overeat like crazy for the next few days this will not make much of a difference. I put a lot of focus on snacks today so be sure to check out the Snack Attack page.

Today’s Food Journal

Breakfast: 1/2c oatmeal, 1/2c coffee

Lunch: 1c turkey chili, 2t sour cream, 1 chocolate chip cookie, 1/2 large orange, 2c black tea

Dinner: 2 chicken satay, 1t peanut sauce, 1c drunken noodles, 1 chocolate chip cookie, 1 miller lite

Snacks: 1 tall skim latte, 1 large banana, 4 chocolates

Lemon Chicken with Broccoli (adapted from Weight Watchers)

  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 12 oz chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ cup vegetable broth, low sodium and fat free
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 ½ cups broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

On a plate, combine 1 ½ T of flour, ¼ t of salt and pepper; add 12 oz chicken and turn to coat. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning as needed, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes; remove to a plate. Put 1 cup of broth and garlic in same skillet; bring to a boil over high heat, scrapping up browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Add broccoli; cover and cook 1 minute. In a small cup, stir together remaining 1/2 c of broth, ½ T of flour, and ¼ t of salt; add to skillet and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cover and cook until broccoli is crisp-tender and sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in chicken and lemon zest; heat through. Remove skillet from heat and stir in parsley and lemon juice; toss to coat.

Yields about 1 cup per serving. Points Plus: 4