Crock-Pot Verde Turkey Chili

I originally published this post in November 2014. It’s been such a hit with friends and followers (and let’s be honest, with me too), that I decided to update the post and photos. Enjoy!

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When someone asks me for a recipe recommendation from my blog, the one I suggest the most is this chili. It’s made in the Crock-Pot so it’s basically no fail, and with minimal ingredients it’s cheap to throw together and relatively healthy.

Once the temperatures dip slightly, this recipe quickly gets thrown into rotation. The temps have yet to drop in Dallas, but it’s October so I’m ignoring mother nature and cooking what I seasonally want.

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Crock-Pot Verde Turkey Chili
yields 4-6 servings

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground turkey
1 can white navy beans
1 package frozen bell peppers
2 (12-16 oz) jars of verde salsa, I use Trader Joe’s
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
Topping ideas: Fritos, plantain chips, cheese, avocado, sour cream, greek yogurt, lime and cilantro

Directions:
Cook your turkey meat in a non-stick pan. Once your turkey is cooked through, strain it. Next, strain your beans. In your Crock-Pot, add the cooked turkey meat, drained beans, frozen veggies, salsa and seasonings. Stir to combine.

Set your Crock-Pot to cook 4-5 hours or high or cook 6-7 hours on low. Taste the chili and add more cumin and chili powder if necessary.

Top with your choice of toppings. Fritos and chili go hand in hand for me, but I love swapping the highly addicting (and my favorite chip) for a healthier option like plantain chips.

For a fun side-by-side to show you how things have developed after 6 years of blogging…Picture on the right, currently, picture on the left circa 2014 on my iphone3.

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And a note from my original 2014 post “it’s even better the next day.” Which 5 years later I can still attest to.

Annie

 

Pumpkin Pecan White Chocolate Cookies

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Pumpkin cookies let’s go. But not those cakey pumpkin cookies with the icing. I can’t with those. These are dense yet fluffy, soft and chewy, but crunchy with the addition of pecans.

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With a light pumpkin taste, but a heavy spice flavor, these Pumpkin Pecan White Chocolate cookies are everything I want in a “pumpkin cookie.”

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Pumpkin Pecan White Chocolate Cookies
yields 30-32 cookies

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips (you can substitute for chocolate chips, or seasonal pumpkin chips and cinnamon chips)
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth. About 1 minute. Add in both sugars and beat on medium for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. On low, stir in the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract until combined.

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Once the dough has almost come together, but still a little floury, add the pecans and white chocolate chips.

*I roughly chop my white chocolate chips (just like in my Perfect CCCs). It lends to a prettier, but more rustic looking cookie which I love.

Using a 1 ½ inch cookie scoop, form golf ball size balls of dough. Place them on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Do not overcrowd the pans. I got 12 balls of dough on a pan, at most. Rough the cookies up a bit so they have pecans and white choclate peeking out. Add a few more of each to the top of the cookies if needed. Optional, sprinkle the top of each cookie with flaky Maldon salt.

Bake for 9 minutes, rotating the pan around halfway through. Bake until just barely golden around the edges, the key is to not over bake these! Shy on the underdone side.

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Annie

Kale Quinoa Salad

While in Aspen, CO last week for our family trip, I found myself ordering kale salad after kale salad. Our dinners where indulgent, as they should be, so I tried to counteract them with a salad here and there for lunch. And I’d be lying if I said every time I ordered, said kale salad, it wasn’t also followed by a handful of french fries. The amount of kale salads and fries eaten on that trip…

Anyway, the kale salad hoopla was a must recreate situation the second I got home. 1. because I love some good travel inspiration for my meals and 2. because how better to slide back into healthy eating post vacay than with a kale salad? It has me being healthy and reminiscent!

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Kale Quinoa Salad
serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side

1 large bunch of lacinito kale
1 medium sweet potato
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
1/2 cup pecans
1/3 cup dried cranberries
olive oil
cinnamon

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 tbsp. grainy mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Chop your sweet potato into 1/2 inch cubes. Place on a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt and cinnamon. I love love love roasting sweet potatoes with cinnamon, but you can omit. Toss together and roast for 25 minutes. Check halfway through and toss around if needed. *When 5 minutes are left on the sweet potatoes, place the pecans on a roasting sheet and roast for 5 minutes making sure to watch that they don’t burn. Take out at the same time as the sweet potatoes. Roughly chop the pecans and set aside.

Now to de-rib your kale. Rinse and pat dry your kale. To de-rib, run a knife alongside the stem to detach the leaves. You can get a visual here. Layer all the kale leaves on top of each other and chop the kale into small pieces. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

In a mason jar or small bowl, add all dressing ingredients. Shake or whisk to combine.

To the bowl of kale add the cooked quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, cranberries, and pecans. Drizzle with a good portion of the dressing. Using a pair of tongs, give everything a really good toss until everything is coated in dressing. Kale is not a lettuce you can just pour dressing over the top. Your have to mix and toss and coat it with dressing.

Plate and serve with a bit of salt and pepper on top.

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Another favorite fall kale salad is my Fall Panzanella with Cornbread Croutons!

Annie

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Cookies

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Forget September 22, the day after Labor Day marks the start of fall in mine and most people's minds. I was at Whole Foods the other night and pumpkins are already out, the PSL made it's seasonal debut, and I am unapologetically sharing my first pumpkin recipe of the fall!

This recipe doesn't scream pumpkin but it does scream fall. Pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate and the secret ingredient, paprika, makes for a kickin' cookie (I had to). I originally made these a few weeks ago and everyone who tried them deemed that they must be remade once cooler weather crept in. Hello cooler weather, hello double chocolate pumpkin seed cookies!

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Double Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Cookies
yields about 32 medium cookies or 18 large cookies, adapted from Bon Appetit

Ingredients:
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. paprika
1½ cups light brown sugar, packed
1⅓ cups granulated sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 cup dark chocolate (you can use chips or buy a bar of dark chocolate and chop it up)
Maldon salt

Directions:
Place your pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and place on the upper rack of the oven. Then heat your oven to 350°. This is the best trick my mom taught me. Nuts and seeds brown perfectly in the same amount it takes for your oven to preheat. (About  8–10 minutes). Toss occasionally until golden. Let cool.

Meanwhile, whisk flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and paprika in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Reduce speed to low; add dry ingredients a little at a time, mixing until well blended after each. Stir in chocolate and pumpkin seeds.

If you want medium cookies use a cookie scoop (about 2 Tbsp.) if you want large cookies use an ice cream scoop (about 1/4 cup). Large cookies will be more bakery style, but for portion control reasons I go medium size. You can see both sizes pictured below. Place large cookies 3" apart and medium cookies 2" apart. Sprinkle with flakey Maldon salt and bake, rotating pans halfway through. 17–20 minutes for large cookies, 9-11 minutes for medium cookies. 

Happy pumpkin baking!

Annie

Bites of My Life

I'm confused. Today is Thursday, but it feels like Tuesday to me. With being in two different time zones over the past week and daylight savings time happening, my internal clock is off.

Over the weekend my family flew up to New York to see oldest sis run the New York Marathon! It was an incredible weekend celebrating her run, eating delicious food, catching up with friends, the whole fam and exploring new parts of the city. We got home in time for all the election drama, but with a three day week for me, I'm still working on adjusting. 

-#barre3halloween.
-I'm a sucker for Starbucks specialty cups. Last week they distributed these green cups, but today red cups are LIVE! Don't worry, I already got mine this morning!
-Easy, creamy, healthy, delicious butternut squash soup with savory granola. A must make recipe for this fall. 
-Flavor of the month = turmeric. Picked up this golden milk drink for sipping when I'm not making a homemade turmeric latte at home!
-The power went out one evening in our neighborhood last week. I was quickly reminded how dependent on electricity I am. No TV, no wifi, no oven, microwave, no netflix. It was harddddd.
-Went to Target for a work errand and walked out with a crock-pot. Why Target why????
-A few months late, but I can check off "take a coffee/latte class" off my Spring TDL. Disclosure none of these latte pours were done by me, it is as hard as it looks. 
-From ages 8 to about 14 I was highly obsessed with Hello Kitty. I had Hello Kitty calendars, water bottles, earrings, t-shirts, blankets, iPod covers, it was a lot. My heart skipped a beat when this filter showed up on snapchat last week.
-Barre 3 OKC turned 6 last Friday and I loved getting to join in the celebrations with a DJ led class  taught under strung twinkle lights. 
-Arrived in New York on Saturday and got straight to eating. We assisted in Claire's "carb loading" with copious amounts of truffle cheese and pomodoro bucatini. 
-Long waits altered our breakfast plans, but for the better I think. We ended up at a little French Algerian cafe with the best avocado toast and a massive curbside view to the marathon runners going by.
-Team Slarrrrrrr! Sis finished the marathon in 3:53:46. Blasted so fast!
-Creamy overnight oats, blueberries, cashew cream and granola. If only my local Whole Foods had a breakfast parfait bar like the Brooklyn Whole Foods did. So obsessed we went twice. 
-Ended our trip with some bubbly and an incredible dinner at Bobby Flay's, Gato. 
-If you go to NYC you must make an appointment at Paintbox. It's becoming a sister tradition, to fancify our nails when together in the city!

Annie