Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hearty Taco Chili

This is a really good dish. I make it all the time. I add a little extra stuff to make the recipe bigger so there are more leftovers. It's very filling. (I do two cans of the beans)

Hearty Taco Chili

2 Pounds Ground Turkey Meat (Recipe calls for Beef but we try to not eat a lot of red meat)
1 Can Kidney Beans - Rinsed and Drained
1 Can Pinto Beans - Rinsed and Drained
1 Can Black Beans - Rinsed and Drained
1 Can Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies, undrained
1 Can Tomato Sauce
1 Small Onion (I don't put onion in mine)
1 Envelope Ranch Salad Dressing Mix (I use Uncle Dan's)
1 Envelope Taco Seasoning (I use the organic packet at Safeway)
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
2 Cans Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1 Can Chopped Green Chilies

(Corn chips, sour cream and shredded chedder cheese, optional)

1. In a large skillet, cook turkey meat over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Add beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, onion, salad dressing mix, taco seasoning and pepper.

2. In a blender, combine diced tomatoes and green chilies; cover and process until smooth. Add to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

3. Serve with corn chips, sour cream and cheese if desired.

Now, I change up this recipe a little bit.

A. I always add two cans of each bean.
B. I don't cook for 6 hours on low - I cook it on high for about an hour or two.
C. I make white rice to mix into the chili once it's done. I cook the rice in my rice cooker. (Sticky Rice)

Friday, June 4, 2010

6 Things You Probably Didn't Know You Could Freeze

I found this article last year in my Better Home and Gardens Magazine. Thought I'd pass it on.

6 Things You Probably Didn't Know You Could Freeze

1. Eggs - Lightly beaten eggs, beaten yolks, or whites can be frozen, but not an egg in its shell. Store in lidded ice cube trays. (One egg fills two cubes.)

2. Cooked Rice - Spread cooled rice on a lined baking sheet. Rub with a small amount of vegetable oil so grains separate. Freeze, then transfer to a freezer bag.

3. Ginger Root - Wrap peeled ginger in plastic, then put in freezer bag. Ginger grates well while still frozen.

4. Cheese - Cut hard (Parmesan, pecorino) and semi-hard cheeses (Chedder, Swiss) into 1x4 inch blocks, wrap in plastic, then put in a freezer bag. Grate hard cheeses while frozen; thaw others in the fridge.

5. Butter or Margarine - Store in a freezer bag, in its original packaging, for up to six months. Thaw in fridge. Don't freeze whipped butter.

6. Nuts - Store in airtight container or freezer bag for up to six weeks. Use right from the freezer for recipes - no need to thaw.

My mom has always put butter in the freezer so of course I do it! And I've always seen her freeze walnuts.

Hope this helps some of you out with saving money so you can buy stuff while it's on sale and freeze it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Here's a great healthy snack that is REALLY easy to make and very yummy.

Peanut Butter Protein Balls

1 Cup Natural Peanut Butter (creamy and chunky)
1 Cup Honey
1 Cup Old-Fashioned Oatmeal
1 Cup Sliced Almonds
Cinnamon to Taste

1. In medium-size pot, heat honey and peanut butter on stove over medium heat until texture is runny.
2. Mix in nuts, oatmeal, and protein powder.
3. Stir until all ingredients are well coated.
4. Let mixture cool in fridge.
5. Roll into bite-size balls.

Kids will really like this snack also. Devin loves these. However, he and Chad like to keep them in the freezer.

(I will take a picture of these and add it to this post next time I make them.)

Preserving Food at Home

I have some time tonight so I'm finally going to post some great articles and recipes.

I came across this in my Family Circle Magazine. It's a great book to use for those of us who are looking to save money and eat better. Here's a list of great books to guide you through canning your garden:

"Preserving Food at Home" by Judy Chadwick

"Well-Preserved" by Eugenia Bone

"The Complete Book of Pickling" by Jennifer MacKenzie

I haven't bought any of these yet but I do plan on buying the first one. I have already put my garden in. I am SO excited that I finally got to put a garden in. I planted tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, squash, celery, red peppers, hot peppers, corn, pumpkins, chocolate mint, spearmint, and strawberries. I also have cilantro growing back from last year. I didn't realize that herbs came back every year but my cilantro might be an exception.

Here's the garden before I planted in it. Chad tilled up an area for me and put down some good soil. It's right off the back deck, behind the pool and next to our pond. Great location.Here's the garden after I planted everything. I have since done more work out there. I planted a few more plants. I have also put a fence up to keep our dogs out. I will have to take a picture of it once the weather gets a little better.

For those of you who don't have room for a garden and want local fresh product that isn't from the grocery store check out You can find produce in your area from farmers.