Friday, March 26, 2004

Easy Turkey Chili

Ha! I laughed out loud when I recently re-read this 2004 column; it's being published online in 2013 for the first time, some nine years after written. I wrote then, "It's silly, perhaps, but only recently did I discover frozen vegetables."

I'd forgotten this, coming late to frozen vegetables. It's no wonder that when I started writing A Veggie Venture about a year later that for the first month, I experimented mostly with frozen vegetables. And today, as fascinated as I am with new ways to cook fresh vegetables, I still stock frozen vegetables. When it comes to value and convenience, there's no rivaling frozen vegetables.

So the recipe for Easy Turkey Chili calls for an entire pound of frozen bell peppers – though if you've got fresh on hand, sure, use them, they're great too.

Easy Turkey Chili, extra-easy with frozen vegetables and canned beans. | Weight Watchers PointsPlus 4 | KitchenParade.com

It’s silly, perhaps, but only recently did I discover frozen vegetables. For too long, unless a vegetable was fresh, it wasn’t worth serving.

The transformation happened over a simple supper when a friend served steamed green beans topped with a little butter alongside chicken and rice. Simultaneously sweet and salty, the beans tasted so good – when I learned they were frozen, call me hooked!

Now I regularly inspect the frozen vegetable section in the grocery stores.

Favorite finds are sugar snap peas, baby Brussels sprouts and strips of bell pepper. The pepper strips include more reds and yellows than greens and are actually cheaper than fresh peppers – so I use a whole pound in this colorful EASY TURKEY CHILI.

But it is no wonder our country’s waistline is expanding – while the vegetable sections are small, the pizza and ice cream areas are huge! Still, the vegetable variety is more than enough, especially mid- to late-winter.

Would someone please pass the green beans?

ALANNA's TIPS: Substitute a pound of chicken breasts, chopped in one-inch pieces, if ground turkey isn’t available. Three or four tablespoons of chili powder may seem like a lot – and it is. But chili powders vary immensely by manufacturer so do taste as you cook so not to under- or over-do your family’s heat tolerance. Vinegar in chili? Yes, it cuts the density, the very ‘beaniness’, of fiber-packed beans.

EASY TURKEY CHILI RECIPE RECIPE

Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time-to-tale: 50 - 80 minutes
Makes 10 cups
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 3 – 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 15 ounces canned diced tomato
  • 15 ounces canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15 ounces canned hot chili beans
  • 15 ounces water (just fill one of the empty cans)
  • 16 ounces frozen pepper strips (or 2 green, red or orange peppers, cut in narrow strips)
  • 8 ounces frozen corn (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional)

Place water in a large Dutch oven on medium high. Add onion, garlic and chili powder. Combine well and stir occasionally until onion is soft and fragrant.

Add turkey, breaking up with a spatula, and stir occasionally until meat is fully cooked. Add all remaining ingredients except cilantro.

Cover and bring to a boil. Adjust heat to maintain a simmer and let simmer for 30 – 60 minutes. When ready to serve, add cilantro. Freezes well.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cup: 176 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 20mg Cholesterol; 446mg Sodium; 25g Carb; 8g Fiber; 0g Sugar; 16g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS WW Old Points 3 & Points Plus 4. CALORIE COUNTERS 100-calorie serving, 1/2 cup; 50-calorie serving, 1/4 cup. This recipe has been 'Alanna-sized'.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

More Favorite Chili Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
White Chicken Chili Chocolate Chili Crockpot Chili with Spicy Sausage
~ more chili recipes ~

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© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2004, 2013 (online) & 2015



Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Very Very Green Green-Pea Soup

Do you keep a bag of inexpensive frozen peas in the freezer? Me too! First, they're handy when a soup or stew needs a dash of color at the end. But the real reason? They're a major supper saver! Add a few pantry ingredients and you won't believe the great soup that starts with a simple bag of peas. Really!

Oh. And for my fellow procrastinators? The very very green color makes this soup perfect for an impromptu St. Patrick's Day meal.

Very Very Green Green-Pea Soup | frozen peas plus a few pantry ingredients, a quick, warm, soul-satisfying soup | easily made vegan, Weight Watchers PointsPlus 3 | Kitchen Parade


COMPLIMENTS!
"... it was fantastic! .. I'm keeping this recipe on hand for when I'm pantry-diving before payday!" ~
"This is fabulous! It's good by itself, but it's wonderful with the egg!" ~ acr


In 1912, my London-born maternal grandfather emigrated to Canada. He arrived on St Patrick’s Day and some times I wonder what he'd think of the rowdy revelries that headline festivities nearly a century later. He loved a party: he’d likely have thought he’d reached the Promised Land!

Grandpa S was a foodie of the first sort, enjoying simple food cooked well and the pleasure of gathering 'round the table with family and friends.

To delight kids and grown-ups alike, this week serve an All-Green St Patrick’s Supper that includes a Very Green Salad, spinach topped with green pepper and broccoli bits and, oh dear, green goddess dressing. Dessert? That would be Mean Green Gelatin, lime jello with green grapes.

SERVING IDEAS My favorite way to serve this soup is with a hot poached egg on top, How to Poach a Perfect Egg. It's easy!

For something less rustic, almost elegant, let the blender run for a good minute or two for a very very smooth soup. Then add a cup of light cream and serve in small portions as a starter.

In addition, if you can remove the skins, you’ll net only four cups of soup but the smooth creaminess will create a moment of sheer, if silent, appreciation. I use a metal, cone-shaped device called a china cap or chinois. Look for one in good kitchen stores and online at Amazon. I inherited my mother's, she used it for tomato juice. A food mill may work too.

VERY VERY GREEN GREEN-PEA SOUP

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Makes 6 cups
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 4 cups chicken stock, No-Big-Deal Homemade Chicken Stock or not
  • 16 ounces (424g) frozen green peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large, heavy pot on medium high, melt the butter. Add the onion and ginger and sauté until soft, really letting color develop. Stir in the cardamom and let cook for a minute. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the peas and simmer, uncovered, until the peas are very tender, about 10 minutes.

In batches, purée in blender until very smooth, about a minute per batch. (For safety with hot liquids, fill blender no more than half full, see the picture below!) You can also use an immersion blender but the soup will be decidedly more rustic and fibrous. (Check the texture of the top photo, I used an immersion blender for it.)

Return the soup to the pan and and bring back to temperature. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

The soup can be made ahead and refrigerated. Good news, it freezes well too.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per cup alone/with an egg: 128/200 Calories; 4/8g Tot Fat; 2/3g Sat Fat; 16/17g Carb; 3g Fiber; 247/317mg Sodium; 9/221mg Cholesterol; 7/13g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 2/4 & WW PointsPlus 3/5

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

A Humble Bag of Peas: Supper Saver


Trader Joe's frozen peas

A hazard of food writing, whether online or in print, is the constant hunt for new recipes, ones we're really proud of whether spectacularly simple or simply spectacular.

Once a recipe is published in Kitchen Parade, it's rare for me to revisit it more than once every couple of years. But by five o'clock on Friday, the first Friday of Lent, the weather was miserable and my spirit not much better. Refrigerator leftovers didn't appeal; being newly committed to counting points (again), I nixed the temptation of a pizza delivery.

Then magic struck, for all the ingredients for this simple soup from a 2004 column were already on hand: peas in the freezer, onion in the pantry, spices and oil in the cupboard, eggs in the fridge. (Take stock: don't you have all the ingredients too?)

Still, because our tastes and styles do change, I wondered, Could a soup this simple taste as good as I remember? It can! It did! The green color makes it perfect for St. Patrick's Day but it worked beautifully as a meatless supper for Lent too. And if you too are counting Weight Watchers points? That's supper in four points, a cup of soup and a poached egg.

Now that's something to feel proud of.

MANY THANKS Many thanks to Dinner a Love Story for permission to use her photo of Trader Joe's peas – which, by the way, are excellent!


Take Care with Hot Liquids in a Blender



Hot liquids can explode when you put them into a blender. The best case is that the liquid spurts all over your kitchen, a real mess to clean up. The worst case is that you or others nearby are burned by the hot liquid. This is why extra care must be taken. Here's how to blend hot liquids safely. Even if you've done it many times, this is one time to pay particular attention, to take special care.

Fill the blender no more than half full, even a third full. (This is the most important step.)
Put the lid firmly in place, then place a towel over the top. With one hand, firmly hold the lid tight onto the blender.
With the other hand, select the lowest power setting. As the blender starts, use both hands to hold the top of the blender on tightly.
Transfer the blended liquid to another container, then repeat the process with the remaining hot liquid.


More Simple Soup Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Easy-to-Elegant Asparagus Soup Laura's Healthy Carrot Soup Quick Cauliflower (or Broccoli) Soup
~ more soup recipes ~

Quick Links to This Page

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~ Be Very Careful with Hot Liquids in a Blender ~

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© Copyright 2004, 2007 (online), 2009 & 2015 (republished) Kitchen Parade



Friday, March 12, 2004

Baked Chicken with Herb-Roasted Potatoes

Back in the day, this was my mom's favorite quick chicken recipe. It was comfort food for cool Minnesota nights, warming her kitchen, filling the whole house with the enticing aroma of roasted chicken and potatoes – and in just a couple of hours, filling our bellies too.

The recipe couldn't be simpler. Just brush chicken with sour cream and toss potatoes with mustard, herbs and a little olive oil. Then bake them side by side. Tonights's Supper? Really, it's that easy.

Recipe updated & republished 2015 to remember my mom on what would have been her 85th birthday ...

Baked Chicken with Herb-Roasted Potatoes, easy-easy baked chicken and potatoes. | Weight Watchers PointsPlus 6 | KitchenParade.com


COMPLIMENTS!
"... it was delicious." ~ Jessie


Your best recipes – where do you find them?

My own bookshelves hold dozens of cookbooks. The basement houses who-knows-how-many back issues of cooking magazines. An invaluable food website is Epicurious, where every-day home cooks critique recipes from Gourmet, Bon Appetit and other food magazines. The Food Network is entertaining and reliable for tips for new tools and techniques. NPR broadcasts the radio program The Splendid Table on Saturday afternoons: I often plan an hour’s kitchen time then, to listen.

But in the end, our standby recipes, the ones we make again and again, often originate with family and friends. They are time-tested dishes that feed grown-ups and kids alike day in and day out, mostly simple to prepare and served without fuss.

Back in 2002, four generations and three nationalities of family from my mom’s side collected hundreds of favorite recipes for a family cookbook. Here, I’ve combined two recipes from our cookbook, a baked chicken recipe of my mother’s and a roasted-potato recipe from my cousin Diane. Together or separate, these recipes are so easy, so good. What do you think, is this Tonight’s Supper?

ALANNA's TIPS Leg quarters are meaty and often inexpensive. Still, use any chicken parts, even a whole chicken cut into pieces. (My recipe for Grilled Balsamic Chicken includes a video showing how a butcher cuts ups up a whole chicken.) I usually buy one package of thighs and another of drumsticks but breasts work well too. The chicken looks better and stays slightly moister when baked with the skin on. That said, chicken skin really adds to the calorie count so mostly I take it off, especially for breasts and thighs.I do leave it on for the drumsticks, it's just harder to take off. To avoid cross-contamination, once a spoon or knife has touched the uncooked chicken, don’t return it to the sour cream container. Especially for a quick meal for a small group, it's handy to combine a couple of pieces of chicken and potatoes side-by-side on the same sheet pan. When stirring the potatoes, stir in the chicken juices too.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. In 2009, Kitchen Parade celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special collection of my mother's recipes. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

TONIGHT’S SUPPER?
RECIPE for BAKED CHICKEN with
HERB-ROASTED POTATOES

Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Serves one to many!
    BAKED CHICKEN
  • Chicken pieces, skins on or off (see TIPS)
  • Sour cream (low-fat is great, non-fat is not)
  • Salt & pepper
    HERB-ROASTED POTATOES
    (enough to serve 4)
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning or another herb of choice
  • 1 pound medium-size red-skinned or Yukon gold potatoes, skins on
  • Generous salt & pepper
    TO SERVE
  • Lemon wedges, for squeezing over potatoes, optional
  • Fresh herbs, for garnish, optional

Set oven to 425F/220C. Line one or two sheet pans with foil for easy clean-up.

CHICKEN Without crowding, spread chicken pieces on a sheet pan. Brush chicken pieces evenly but lightly with sour cream, using about a half tablespoon for a leg or thigh, for example. Season generously with salt and pepper.

POTATOES Mix mustard, oil, garlic and herbs in a bowl. Cut potatoes into bite-size pieces, stir into mustard mixture, really stirring deeply to distribute the mixture well, covering all sides of each potato piece. Arrange potatoes on a shallow pan lie a sheet pan in a single layer. Season generously with salt and pepper.

BAKE AT HIGH TEMP FOR 30 MINUTES Place chicken and potatoes into oven on one or two oven racks. (If using two sheet trays, put chicken on the upper rack.) Bake for 30 minutes.

BAKE AT LOWER TEMP FOR 1 HOUR Reduce heat to 300F/150C. Taste a potato piece, adjust the seasoning, then stir the potatoes well. If using two sheet trays, place the chicken on the lower rack. Bake for another hour.

TO SERVE Transfer to a platter. Squeeze lemon wedges over the potatoes and sprinkle fresh herbs over top.

MAKE-AHEAD When we're going to have a houseful for the weekend, I often bake two trays of chicken and potatoes ahead of time. It reheats beautifully, either by the plate in the microwave or covered with foil in the oven at 300F/150C for about 30 minutes.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Chicken Only Per Serving, assumes three ounces cooked meat: 146 Calories; 5g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 0g Carb; 0g Fiber; 100mg Sodium; 96mg Cholesterol; 22g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 3 & WW PointsPlus 3
Potatoes Only Per Serving: 101 Calories; 4g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 15g Carb; 3g Fiber; 99mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol; 3g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 2 & WW PointsPlus 3
Adapted from two recipes from my family's cookbook

More Easy Baked Chicken Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Baked Chicken with Fresh Peaches Champion Chicken Rainbow Chicken

More Potato Recipes


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© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2004, 2008, 2009 (online), 2015 (repub)