Cooking

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I flew out to Tennessee last weekend and stayed for the first little snow (2-4 inches was nothing!), but just missed Jonas. The boys were snowed in and apparently Carl is a regular old snow dog! This boy could have survived Alaska!

Before I left Tennessee, I made this slow cooker chili for Q. It is one of my favorite cold weather meals. I probably make it once a week during the winter months. Who doesn’t love a warm pot of chili on a cold day? I love the ease of the slow cooker (dump it and forget it), and how easily this recipe freezes and reheats (hello next week’s lunches). Feel free to add another can or two of beans (Q likes light beans) and even more chicken broth if you like a more broth-y soup. The slow cooker accounts for changes and additions and the chili will still turn out great!

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Snowed-In Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Lime slices
  • Avocado
  • Sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Mexican cheese

Directions:

  1. In a medium, heavy-bottomed pot (like a Le Creuset), heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Stir in the onion, sprinkle a pinch of salt and a grind of fresh pepper over the top, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add to the slow cooker.
  2. Pour remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil into the skillet. Add the turkey, pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper, and cook until brown, 4 to 6 minutes, breaking up the turkey with a wooden spoon as it cooks. (The turkey doesn’t have to be fully cooked, since it will finish cooking in the slow cooker, just browned). Add to the slow cooker.
  3. Pour the canned tomatoes, black beans, pinto beans, and chicken broth into the slow cooker. Add the chili powder and cumin. Add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Stir and cover. Cook on high for 3-4 hours. Serve over brown rice and top with a squeeze of fresh lime, avocado, sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese.

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Goodbye Gluten

by Koko on November 17, 2015 · 5 comments

in Cooking, Gluten-Free, Recipe

IMG_7151My last night of gluten :(

Yes, it’s true, it is time for gluten and me to part ways. Here’s how the sad story all started: about two years ago, I started getting what felt like food poisoning once a month. It sucked. So last month I went to a food allergist, who said that after 52 needle pricks on my back, there were no conclusive results. He thought maybe I had a sensitivity to yeast, and probably histamines (red wine, strawberries, chocolate), but he wasn’t totally sure. I was upset, but didn’t feel like I had a good answer as to why my tummy was so upset.

So I researched, asked around and found a fantastic nutritionist: David Allen. I met with David, told him all of my issues and he set me up right away by pulling 13 vials of blood from me and doing a saliva test (and some other gross ones). He came back a week later with my results: highly allergic to gluten. WHAT?! Yup. My body just doesn’t like gluten and apparently doesn’t process it well. I pouted the whole day, and then got to researching. Did you know gluten is in soy sauce? I didn’t! Also all the good stuff like pasta, bread, tortillas, baked goods. :(

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Lunch looks a lot more like this now.

David also left me with this fun 2-week cleanse to clean out my gut (post on that coming up later this week). Cleanse = no carbs. So that made the transition to being gluten free that much easier. I’m on day 8. It’s been less than fun, although I have had a lot of help with food ideas from a chef at work. So yup, there’s that. Depressed Koko who can’t have gluten anymore (minus my birthday and maybe special occasions because let’s be honest it is ME, the gluten lover here). Q even looked at me over the weekend and said, “This couldn’t have happened to a worse person.” And I believe it. But I am keeping a good attitude about it and hoping to see changes all around without having gluten in my life. And hey, at least it isn’t histamines that I am allergic to- so red wine, you and I are besties again!

Oh, and all the air popped popcorn I can eat on this cleanse. WIN

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{ 5 comments }

Acai Bowls

by Koko on October 12, 2015 · 0 comments

in Breakfast, Cooking, Recipe

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Acai bowls are both ruining and ruling my life right now. Each morning last week I woke up, went to the gym (whatever ClassPass class I pick that day) and immediately followed my workout with an Acai bowl from Backyard Bowls. This fun routine lasted exactly a week, at which point I realized I had spent $50 on fruit smoothie bowls. Face palm to the face. (Quincy don’t be mad!).

After 5 smoothie bowls in a row, I decided to try my own at home to save my bank account and some time in the mornings. And for the hefty amount of about $2.50 per homemade bowl, my inner frugal self was happy again. It’s really not much different than my usual protein shakes, just a little thicker and with fun toppings (ohhh toppings!). Have some fun with your bowls with different fruits and toppings!

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Blue Apron

by Koko on September 23, 2015 · 0 comments

in Cooking, Recipe

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There is nothing I love more than cooking for Q, but sometimes the planning and prep kills my passion. I also fall into ruts easily: turkey chili/Mexican chicken bowls/grilled chicken and rice become weekly staples without me meaning them to. Doesn’t everyone?

Recently when I flew home to Tennessee for a weekend, I knew that I wanted to cook every night, but I didn’t want to think about what to cook. Q and my solution: Blue Apron. Blue Apron is a a meal delivery service, but instead of sending you pre-made, pre-packaged meals, you get the ingredients and recipes to make your own meals.

We had used Blue Apron once before a few years ago and loved it (first review is here), so we thought it would be fun to do again this time. We love it because it takes the thinking out of meal planning and makes cooking fun and easy. We always split the prep work and cook together, which I love, and the meats and produce are of a super high quality.

The food is interesting and delicious and we are constantly rating our favorite meals (it’s always a tie). This week we made:

*Spiced Meatballs with Garlic Toasts & Summer Squash Salad

*Stir-Fried Ginger-Basil Chicken with Tinkerbell Peppers and Coconut Rice

*Seared Salmon & Panzanella with Corn, Shisito Peppers & Thai Basil

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We love it so much we are considering ordering it once a month to the house to make cooking and meal planning that much more fun and easy.

In a nutshell:
* Every week, Blue Apron delivers a box with ingredients and recipes for three meals.
* You can choose between six meal choices (some vegetarian/fish/red meat/chicken/etc.)
* There’s no commitment, so you can cancel anytime.
* A box with three meals for two adults is $59.95 with free delivery.

The good news is: if you want to try Blue Apron, you can get your first two meals free with this discount link!

 

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