Let me start by saying that I do not particularly enjoy cooking and I do not consider myself a fabulous cook by any means. My family is also fairly picky and they usually do not eat leftovers. However, the following recipes are a huge hit for everyone in my family. While these can be made anytime of year, I typically make them during the fall.
Recipe #1: Turkey Chili
The thought of ground turkey used to gross me out. My mom used to make turkey burgers and I did not like the smell and I thought the color of the meat was weird as it’s much lighter than ground beef. I always refused to eat her turkey burgers, which was very rude of me (sorry Mom!). However, one day, a friend of mine introduced me to turkey chili and I was really surprised at how good it was, so I decided to embark on my own journey to find a chili recipe to try.
I found one and tweaked it a little bit. My family absolutely loves it. They will also eat it left over (gasp!). It does require a little bit of time to prep, but I will do that the night before if I make it during the work week or I will prep early in the morning if I make it on a weekend. You can always swap out the ground turkey for ground beef, but I prefer to use turkey for a healthier option. Please don’t let this long list of ingredients intimidate you; I usually despise recipes that have a ton of ingredients, but I promise, this one is worth it!
Pam cooking spray or olive oil
2 lbs ground turkey
½ yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of minced garlic (I buy this in a jar in the produce section)
2 (10 oz.) cans of mild Ro-tel (you can also use original Rotel)
3 (8 oz.) cans of tomato sauce
½ cup beef broth
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 ½ tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp granulated sugar
½ tsp ground coriander
Salt and pepper (I just sprinkle some on and eyeball it)
1 (15 oz.) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (these are optional; I usually add them)
1 (15 oz.) can light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (these are optional; I usually add them)
Toppings of your choice (Fritos, sour cream, cheese, olives, jalapeños, chopped tomatoes, avocados)
1. Saute the chopped onions over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, then add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds longer. Pour onions/garlic mixture into a crockpot.
2. Cook the ground turkey in the same skillet and stir occasionally until fully cooked. Pour into the crockpot.
3. Add Ro-tel, tomato sauce, beef broth, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cocoa powder, sugar, coriander, salt and pepper to the crockpot. Stir until everything is evenly mixed.
4. Cover with lid and cook on low heat 5-6 hours or high heat for 2½- 3 hours.
5. This is optional, but you can add in the kidney beans for about 5 minutes before serving, just long enough for them to heat. My daughter doesn’t like the beans, so I take some out for her before I add the beans.
6. Serve with the toppings of your choice.
Recipe #2: Tex-Mex Crockpot Chicken
This recipe was posted in a Facebook group a few years ago but it did not have a name, so I have given it one. It is super easy and I can make it as soon as I get home from school and it will be ready by the time soccer practice is over. I also like that it can be served with rice or tortillas. My husband and son prefer to make burritos with it and my daughter and I eat it with rice. Again, they will also eat this left over, which is shocking!Ingredients:
1 ½ – 2 lbs. boneless chicken
1 can sweet corn, drained
1 can black bean, drained
1 ½ cups of salsa of your choice
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Put chicken in the bottom of the crockpot and dump everything else on top. Stir to evenly mix.
2. Put the top on and cook on high 2-3 hours or cook on low for 5-6 hours.
3. When it is done, shred the chicken and serve with rice, tortillas, or the toppings of your choice.
Recipe #3: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
Please don’t be disappointed that the third recipe I am sharing is a dessert because it can actually make for a great breakfast, served warm with whipped cream or Cool Whip and a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. This is worthy of sharing because my family is not a fan of anything pumpkin flavored, but they love this chocolate chip pumpkin bread. A friend of mine shared this with me before my son was born and I have been making it ever since. I usually make it during the week of Thanksgiving to share with my extended family, as they usually request it. The following recipe makes two loaves.
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
1 ½ cups (one package) chocolate chips
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
2. In another large bowl, beat the eggs. Then add the sugar, pumpkin and oil.
3. Stir in the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in the chocolate chips.
4. Pour into two greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.