Tag Archives: turkey

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

After a very long summer, temperatures have finally dropped down to the 60s. For those of you with “real seasons” this might seem like a joke, but for us Californians, 61 degrees is considered jacket weather. And I am proud to say, I actually put one on the other day (although before I knew it, the sun came out and it was warm again…but still, it was nice to “pretend” it was autumn for a bit).

As much as I would prefer the temperatures to stay at 75 degrees so I can run around in shorts and a t-shirt, there is something so sweet about the crisp autumn air. The green leaves have begun their transformation to yellow, orange and red, and the wind has picked up just enough to hear it rustling through the trees. It’s beginning to feel a lot like fall which means the weather is just right for a nice warm bowl of chili. And with Thanksgiving only 13 days away (yes, I am still counting), the addition of pumpkin makes this chili even more fun and festive.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped

2 bell peppers, chopped

1 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 pound ground turkey

1 (14.5 ounces) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid

1 (15 ounces) can pumpkin purée

1 cup water

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

Ground black pepper, to taste

1 (15 ounces) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained


Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeño and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add turkey and cook until browned. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, water, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and add beans. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes more. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.

Recipe slightly adapted from Whole Foods Market

I wish I could take credit for this delicious meal, but it was my lovely friend and neighbor who made it for us. One of the things I love most about where we live is doing impromptu family style meals with our neighbors. And since this recipe serves six it is the perfect dish to share with others.

For toppings, we went with a dollop of sour cream, a handful of shredded cheddar cheese and some chopped fresh cilantro. But feel free to get creative! Sliced green onions are always a favorite or if you really want to get wild, add some crumbled bacon :) The sky is the limit. Oh, and don’t forget to pair it with your preferred corn bread recipe. We served ours with corn bread muffins dressed with butter and honey. A nice sweet compliment to the heat of the chili.

Your turn: What is your favorite meal to prepare when the weather gets chilly? Do you have any special toppings that you like to add to your chili? Looking forward to reading your responses :)


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What I Ate Wednesday #13

Every four years, we as American citizens have a responsibility to exercise our right to vote for the president of the United States (in addition to other things…).  Today, Harper and I took a stroll down to the polls to make our voice heard (in our Chucks of course…)

I hope you were all able to take some time out of your day to collect a cool sticker and make a difference in our country’s history.  It’s fun to rock the vote!

And after all that hard work, there was lots of yummy food to be eaten.  So let’s take a look at the food that fueled my tummy on this special election day.



Side of Bacon

It’s been a while since I have enjoyed this delicious and ridiculously easy to make breakfast.  I love that with only a few ingredients and 25 minutes (all of which take place in the oven), you have a protein packed meal that can go sweet or savory.  I drizzle mine with pure maple syrup and serve it with a side of bacon (which I also cook in the oven).  It’s a a pretty great way to start the day :)

Snack #1:

1 Pear

Handful of Raw Almonds

I love nothing more than biting into a juicy pear.  And while I am not normally a fan of the skin, this skin wasn’t too bad.  After having Gestational Diabetes, I learned to pair my carbs with fat and protein, so I grabbed a handful of nuts to accompany my sweet mid morning delight.  A lovely autumn combo :)


Tropical Iced Tea

Fettuccine Bolognese

Gorgonzola Walnut Salad

In order to celebrate Harper’s first time voting, we decided to pick up food from our favorite local cafe.  Harper loves “sketti” and I love salad and iced tea. So needless to say it was the perfect ladies lunch.  I make a mean homemade bolognese myself, but when I don’t have time to sit over the stove and cook, this hits the spot.

Snack #2:

Chobani Strawberry Banana Greek Yogurt

After winning a box of Chobani yogurt from Savor Life’s Flavors Giveaway, I have a fridge full of Chobani goodness, and more than a few flavors to choose from.  Strawberry Banana is one of my favorites and it serves as a great snack to get me through until dinner time.


Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Cornbread Muffin

I wish I could take credit for this AMAZING meal, but I can’t.  My lovely friend and neighbor whipped up this seasonal dish for our family and boy was it special!  I will be getting the recipe and sharing it with you shortly.  But until then, you can drool over the pictures and imagine how gooooood it is :)

In fact, this dinner was sooooooo good, it has me wishing Thanksgiving was right around the corner.  Instead, I have to wait a little over 2 weeks to enjoy my favorite holiday of the year (it’s true, I have an official countdown).

Which reminds me…what will you be cooking up for Thanksgiving?  Looking forward to reading your responses.

Happy WIAW!

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Clean Eating: Round 2/ Day 14

I did it!  I finished :)  I succeeded in 28 days of clean eating.  I feel fantastic and am super glad that I decided to embark on this journey.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t’ want a large piece of dark chocolate right about now, but I have a pantry full of goodies that will help me create a clean eating dessert.  My goal is to whip something up tomorrow.  Stay tuned for a recipe.

Just because my meal plan is finished, doesn’t mean my clean eating journey is over.  I have learned so much these last 4 weeks I plan on carrying over the recipes, tips and tricks into “real life”.  But first, I am going to combine all of the leftover meal ingredients and create some of my own combos this week.  No wasting around here :)

But before I go raiding my fridge, here is a final look at today’s delicious eats…


3/4 cup Greek yogurt mixed with 1 tbsp unsalted peanut butter topped with 1/4 cup Muesli, 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds and 5 grapes, halved

Snack #1:

1 bottle coconut water

1 cup sliced pineapple

7 walnut halves


Banh-Mi Style Sandwich:  Asian Slaw mixed with 1/4 cup Greek yogurt and juice 1/2 lime.  Top 1 Ezekiel Burger Bun with slaw and 1/2 cucumber thinly sliced and 3 oz cooked ground turkey.

Snack #2:

2 cup mixed sliced strawberries and blueberries

10 raw, unsalted almonds


Chicken and Sweet Potato Toss:  3 oz chicken, cooked, 1 sweet potato, peeled, baked and chopped, 1 cup broccoli, chopped and steamed, 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced, and 1 sprig of thyme sautéed with olive oil.

Highlights:  There is nothing more delicious than a bowl of fresh berries.  Tastes so good it almost seems naughty.  Add a little protein with a handful of nuts and it’s a perfect way to curb your hunger in the afternoon.  Yum!

Lowlights:  No lowlights today.  Went out with a bang!

Thank you to everyone who supported me through this journey.  I appreciate your encouragement.  It always feels good to have people in your corner :)  This will be the last of my clean eating posts.  However, I have had so much fun participating in Jenn’s WIAW, I am going to continue to post my eats on a weekly basis.

Hope you all have a fabulous Labor Day!

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Clean Eating: Round 2/Day 10 & 11

With only a few more days left on my Clean Eating Journey I have to say, my feelings are bittersweet.  “Bitter” because having a plan is always helpful to guide you in making the right decisions, giving you new ideas and making meal time mindless.  But what will be sweet about closing this chapter is that my kitchen will be clean again :)  With 5 extensive meals a day, my fridge is chock full of food (to the point where things fall out every time I open it).  Also there seems to be an everlasting sink of dishes (no matter how many times I run the dishwasher…full!).  It has also been very time intensive and therefore I spend most of my evenings cooking for the next day until the wee hours of the night.  By now, I am a bit overtired and in need of some rest.  The bed is calling my name.  So before I fall asleep at the keyboard, let’s take a look at my most recent collection of meals…

1.  Breakfast:  1 cup Greek yogurt, 15 grapes, halved, and 1/2 cup Muesli.

2.  Snack #1:  1 apples, sliced with 1 tbsp peanut butter.

3.  Lunch:  1 serving Chimichurri Steak and Sweet Potatoes with Creamy Avocado-Apple Salad and 3 cups lettuce, 1/2 cucumbers, sliced, 3 cherry tomatoes, halved, 2 tsp red wine vinegar and 1 tsp olive oil.

4.  Snack #2:  Banana and bottle of coconut water.

5.  Dinner:  1 serving Crispy Panko Chicken with Garlic Smashed Potatoes & Peppers (recipe below)

Highlights:  Dinner was definitely the highlight of the day.  The chicken was delicious.  Crunchy and moist and full of flavor (thanks to the Dijon which brought a nice kick).  The potatoes turned out great and I am excited to have learned how to roast them (something I have never tried before…usually too busy mashing).  The peppers brought a nice sweetness to the meal.  I couldn’t help but fill up my fork with each component before launching a big bite into my mouth.  I am a firm believer in creating a sampler platter with each mouthful :)

Lowlights:  Freddie and I both agreed that breakfast kind of ended up tasting like paste.  The Muesli was a bit dry and when mixed with the yogurt turned into something you might want to hang wallpaper with.  But the grapes were pretty good!

1.  Breakfast:  Sweet Mango Smoothie (1/2 frozen mango, peeled, pitted and diced, 1/4 cup cooked oatmeal, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/4 cup crushed ice, 1 tbsp vanilla protein powder, 1/2 tsp honey) and 2 large egg whites, scrambled with 1 oz Swiss cheese.

2.  Snack #1:  Avocado-Tomato Toss (1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved, 1/2 cucumber, chopped, 1 oz avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped, tossed with 1 tsp olive oil)

3.  Lunch:  3 oz deli turkey, 1 tsp Dijon on 1 whole wheat English muffin served with Asian Slaw (1 cup shredded green cabbage, 1/2 cup shredded celery root, 1/2 cup shredded carrot, 2 tsp rice wine vinegar, 1 tsp sesame oil, 5 Thai basil leaves, chopped)

4.  Snack #2:  1 cup diced pineapple, 1 banana, 14 walnut halves.

5.  Dinner:  Loaded Potato (3 oz ground turkey sautéed with 3 oz tofu seasoned with 1/4 tsp Chinese five-spice powder and sautéed in 1/2 tsp olive oil until turkey cooked through served on 1 sweet potato, baked) and 1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli, steamed and seasoned with salt and pepper and tossed with olive oil.

Highlights:  Today’s highlight was a tie between breakfast and dinner.  The mango smoothie was super refreshing and delicious.  And I love the idea of a loaded sweet potato.  The turkey/tofu mixture was an unexpected, yet scrumptious topping.

Lowlights:  As much as I had hoped the Asian slaw would be the perfect side dish, it was a bit boring and bland.  But I am not giving up on it.  It has potential.  It is just about finding the right thing to jazz it up a bit.

Crispy Panko Chicken with Garlic Smashed Potatoes & Peppers


1 lb baby redskin potatoes, scrubbed well

4 whole plus 2 chopped cloves garlic, divided

12 sprigs fresh thyme, divided

1 tbsp olive oil, divided

Sea salt and ground black pepper

4 tsp Dijon mustard

4 4-oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs

1 cup sliced yellow onion

1 1/2 red, yellow and/or green bell peppers, sliced


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  In a roasting pan, toss potatoes, 4 whole cloves garlic, half of thyme, 2 tsp oil, salt and black pepper.  Roast on lower oven rack, stirring halfway, until potatoes are tender and beginning to brown, about 45 minutes.

2.  About 30 minutes before potatoes are done, spread Dijon on all sides of chicken and season with black pepper.

3.  On a parchment -lined baking sheet, spread panko.  Bake on center oven rack, stirring halfway, until golden, about 5 minutes.  Press all sides of chicken into panko.  Arrange chicken on sheet and bake until cooked through, about 20 minutes.

4.  Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat remaining 1 tsp oil on medium.  Add onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes.  Add bell peppers and sauté for 2 minutes.  Add remaining thyme and 2 chopped cloves garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Add 1/4 cup water, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender and liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes.

5.  Meanwhile, strip leaves from thyme in roasting pan and sprinkle over potatoes, discarding stems.  Transfer potato mixture to a large bowl and roughly mash with a potato masher.  Serve chicken with smashed potatoes and bell pepper mixture.

Recipe from Clean Eating

This was Freddie’s favorite meal yet.  It was a great, clean take on comfort food.  Baked, breaded chicken, garlic potatoes…right up his alley!  I am sure he will be requesting this meal a lot :)

As we head into the holiday weekend, I am excited to finish off strong.  There are some super yummy meals lined up that I can’t wait to indulge in.  And if all goes well, I might have to whip up another clean eating dessert.  Because what is a holiday weekend without a little sweetness?

Happy Friday everyone!

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Clean Eating: Day 2 & WIAW

2 days down and 12 to go.  And I’m feeling good so far.  Hungry…but good.

But honestly, I do feel clean.  Very clean on the inside :)  I don’t feel weighed down or foggy.  I don’t feel full and lazy.  I feel energetic, healthy and great!  Just a tinge hungry…

Since I am documenting my eats for the next few weeks, I have decided to participate in a blog link up called What I Ate Wednesday or WIAW.  It’s a fun and exciting link party thrown by Jenn of Peas and Crayons where bloggers from all over the blogosphere share their delicious eats for a day.

This month’s theme is Summer Staples.  When I think of summer, I think of fruit (surprised?).  And drinking a nice cold smoothie filled with fresh and juicy fruit is a great way to stay cool in the summer heat.  Enter today’s breakfast…


Green Berry Shake:  Blend 1 cup mixed greens, 1 cup blueberry, 1 cup milk (I mixed cows milk and almond milk), 1 tbsp flaxseeds, dash of cinnamon and 6 ice cubes.

1 egg, hardboiled

Snack #1:

2 organic lightly salted brown rice cakes, 1 tbsp unsalted peanut butter, 1 banana and 8 oz organic low-fat milk


2 sprouted corn tortillas each topped with 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 1/2 oz turkey and a handful of mixed greens

1 cup organic black bean vegetable soup

Snack #2:

1/2 grapefruit and 1 tbsp flaxseeds


3 oz chicken, seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika

3 oz sweet potato, baked

2 cups spinach sautéed in 2 tsp olive oil with 1 clove garlic, minced

Biggest success of the day…

Hardboiled eggs.  I made perfect hardboiled eggs.  I have made hardboiled eggs before, but this hardboiled egg was the best I have ever tasted.  It has been a while since I hardboiled an egg so I googled a how to and follow this “recipe”.  It was perfect!  I highly suggest giving it a try…unless you have your own magical way to make hardboiled eggs, in which case…Please share :)

Since tomorrow is my weekly CSA link party, I won’t be posting my eats.  But I will make sure to post Wednesday’s meals on Thursdays post.  Double the pleasure, double the fun.  Can’t wait until Thursday?  If you want a sneak peek, follow me on Instagram (inherchucks).

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Turkey-Basmati Rice Meatballs with Bok Choy

As we head into the weekend, a lot of people have Super Bowl 46 on their minds.  I happen to be thinking about bok choy, and how it’s one of my favorite vegetables.  (Sorry football fans, not too big into pro-sports…)

I became familiar with bok choy back in college.  I had just started to experiment with cooking and was inspired by one of my co-workers to give bok choy a chance.  I found it easy to prepare and yummy to eat and it has been on my “nice” list ever since.  TOUCHDOWN!  (Sorry, I felt compelled to give at least one football reference in this post…it’s my American duty.)

This recipe came about in an attempt to introduce Freddie to bok choy.  My ongoing challenge is to prepare vegetables in which he is unfamiliar in a way that he will enjoy.  So by pairing it with meatballs, I knew I couldn’t lose.  TOUCHDOWN!



1 cup water

1/3 cup uncooked basmati rice

1/4 plain breadcrumbs

1/3 cup chopped green onions

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1/4 pounds ground turkey

2 large egg whites

1 garlic glove minced

Cooking spray

Bok Choy:

1 large head of bok choy

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1 tablespoon peeled grated fresh ginger

1 garlic clove minced

1 cup water

3/4 cup fat-free chicken broth

3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons dry sherry


To prepare meatballs, bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan.  Stir in basmati rice; reduce heat, and simmer 12-15 minutes or until rice is almost tender.  Drain; cool.  Combine rice, breadcrumbs, and next 6 ingredients (through garlic).  Shape mixture into golf ball size meatballs.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat; coat pan with cooking spray.  Add meatballs; cook 5- 7 minutes, browning on all sides.  Cover and reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes or until done, turning often.  Remove from heat; keep warm.

While the meatballs cook, prepare bok choy.  Roughly chop stems and leaves of bok choy.  Rinse under cold running water; drain well.  Slightly steam bok choy in a rice cooker or steamer basket.

While bok choy is steaming, heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1/4 cup green onions, ginger, and 1 garlic clove; sauté 30 seconds.  Combine water and next 4 ingredients.  Bring to a boil and cook for 3-5 minutes.  When the bok choy leaves are beginning to wilt and the stalks are slightly tender, add boy choy to the skillet and cook for 5-10 minutes.  The longer you cook the boy choy in the liquid the more flavor it will absorb.  Just be careful not to overcook it.  Serve with meatballs and extra broth.  Garnish with sesame seeds or sliced green onion if desired.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light via MyRecipes.com

The original recipe calls for jasmine rice.  I normally do use jasmine rice when I prepare this dish, but I didn’t realize I was out of it until I was already in the midst of getting dinner ready.  So I substituted the basmati rice instead and it turned out just fine.  They also suggest adding some red pepper flakes.  But I am not a fan of heat.  So I omitted those all together.

Besides being super delicious, this dish is special to me because it reminds me of when I was pregnant with Harper.  Diagnosed with gestational diabetes (GD), I had to be careful about my carbohydrate intake.  So with only 18 grams of carbs/serving, this dish was perfect.  Plus, it is much more exciting than a boring piece of protein with a side of veggies.  The flavors in this dish are explosive.  The ginger adds a bite of spice which is complimented by the sweetness of the sherry.  And when you add moist and fluffy meatballs paired with crisp and crunchy greens to soak up all that goodness…the result is magical.  TOUCHDOWN!! (ok…last one…I promise!)

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Turkey Cutlets with Corn

It has been almost two weeks since Thanksgiving and I am still on the turkey train.  I have been enjoying turkey sandwiches, turkey lasagna and now, turkey cutlets.

I fell in love with this recipe over the summer.  At the height of their season, we were receiving weekly deliveries of corn in our box.  Even though we were happy to eat grilled corn on the cob nightly, we were excited to try something new.

Like most of the recipes I make, this dish is healthy and easy.  The turkey cutlets are a nice blank canvas for the complexity of the sauce.  The sweetness of the corn paired with the tanginess of the Dijon adds an unexpected “pop” of flavor to the dish.


1 1/3 lb of turkey cutlets

Salt and pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot, finely shopped

1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 cup frozen corn kernels

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


Sprinkle cutlets with salt and pepper.  Warm butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until butter is foaming.  Cook cutlets until browned, turning once, 3 to 4 minutes.  transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

Add shallot and bell pepper to pan and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 3 minutes.  Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil, scraping browned bits off bottom of pan with a wooden spoon.  Add corn and mustard and continue to boil, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens a bit, 2 to 3 minutes more.  Place cutlets in skillet and turn to coat with sauce.  Add chopped parsley and any accumulated juices from turkey plate to skillet; stir.  Serve turkey with sauce immediately.  Yields 4 servings.

Recipe slightly adapted from All You via MyRecipes.com

I choose to serve this dish with a side of steamed broccoli and a butternut squash/sweet potato mash.  The mash worked well to soak up all the yumminess of the sauce.  And of course you can never go wrong with the simplicity of steamed broccoli.  If you are having trouble finding turkey cutlets (I got mine at Trader Joes), or prefer to use another protein, pork tenderloin or chicken cutlets would both work well as a substitute.

So, if you are in need of a turkey fix, without the fixings, go ahead and give this recipe a try.  It is a great way to use a traditional ingredient in a non-traditional way.

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Z is for Zu-CHEE-ni

Who doesn’t like a good burger and fries?  May not be the “best” choice, but it sure can hit the spot!  Wouldn’t it be a dream come true if you could find a healthy burger and fries that was just as delicious?  (ok…maybe not “just” as delicious…but pretty darn good!).  Well what do you know…here it is :)

I found this recipe when Freddie and I first got married.  Freddie is a true burger connoisseur.  As his wife I wanted to prepare meals that he enjoyed, but with ingredients that were nutritious.  And this was the perfect compromise.

I happen to LOVE zucchini (which, by the way for the sake of this post must be pronounced zu-CHEE-ni…because that is how my grandma always said it and you couldn’t tell her otherwise).  It is so versatile.  You can steam it, roast it, grill it, fry it, bake it…make a burger and fries out of it!  The addition of the zucchini to the burger helps it to stay ultra moist (especially since you are using turkey, which has the tendency to dry out).  And since we are on the zucchini train, why not pop some zucchini fries in the oven while you make your burgers…makes for a delicious and nutritious treat!

Turkey Burgers with Grated Zucchini and Carrot


3/4 point ground turkey (I always use extra lean, but any ground turkey will do)

1 medium zucchini, grated

1 medium carrot, grated

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3/4 teaspoon dried thyme

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 egg

1 tablespoon olive oil


In a large bowl, combine the turkey, zucchini, carrot, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and egg.  Form a mixture into 4 patties.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Cook the patties, turning once, until no trace of pink remains, 4-5 minutes per side.

Toast buns of your choice and dress burgers with your favorite condiments.  I like to put ketchup, cheddar cheese and avocado on my burger (although I forgot to pick up the avo at the store today…but it was just as delish!)

Recipe slightly adapted from Real Simple via MyRecipes.com

Zucchini Fries 


2-3 zucchini

1 egg white

1/4 cup fat-free milk

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Cut zucchini into 3-inch sticks.  Whisk an egg white into a small bowl, and add milk.  Combine Parmesan and seasoned breadcrumbs in a separate bowl.  Dip zucchini sticks into egg mixture, and then roll in breadcrumb mixture.  Coat a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.  Place zucchini on sheet.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe slightly adapted from Health via MyRecipes.com


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