Fiery Turkey Chilli

Fall is all about comfort foods. Something about the cold weather has me wanting to curl up inside with a warm blanket and a warm cozy bowl of food, and this chilli hits the spot. This fiery turkey chilli is warming, spicy, hearty and delicious, it is the perfect thing to warm you up after spending an afternoon out at the pumpkin patch, trust me, that’s exactly what I did. I also love this dinner because everything is made in just one pot, so the clean-up is a breeze. My word of advice: triple the amount of chilli powder you make and store it in a mason jar, that way when you have a chilli craving next time, it will be ready, and trust me you will get cravings…

I serve this chilli with some guacamole, crackers and tortilla chips, but you can add any topping you want. A little cheese wouldn’t hurt either… let me know what you top your chilli with.

Ingredients:

For the chilli powder:
▪ 2 tbsp paprika
▪ 2 tbsp garlic powder
▪ 2 tbsp onion powder
▪ 2 tbsp ancho Chile powder (regular chilis powder is also fine)
▪ 1 tbsp cumin
▪ 1 tbsp oregano
▪ 1 tbsp black pepper
▪ 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
▪ 1 tsp cinnamon
▪ 1 tbsp salt

For the turkey chilli:
▪ 2 lbs ground turkey
▪ 2 large onions, diced
▪ 2 red bell peppers, diced
▪ 2 jalapeño peppers, diced (you can add less or more, depending on your desired level of spice)
▪ 5 large cloves of garlic
▪ 1 cup corn ( about three ears of corn)
▪ 1 cup black beans
▪ 1 cup red kidney beans
▪ 2 tbsp tomato paste
▪ 1 large can organic diced tomatoes
▪ 3 tbsp homemade chilli powder
▪ 1 tbsp avocado oil

Directions:
▪ In a mixing bowl, place all ingredients for chilli powder and stir well to combine. Store in an air tight container or mason jar for up to three months.
▪ In a large pot add avocado oil and ground turkey, cook until meat is browned; about 10-15 minutes.
▪ Add diced onion, bell pepper, jalapeño and garlic to browned turkey. Cook until translucent and fragrant.
▪ Once onions and peppers are soft add your homemade chilli powder and tomato paste, cooking for 3 minutes to toast spices and tomato paste.
▪ Add both beans and corn and coat in spices. Finally add diced tomatoes, place lid on and let simmer for an hour.
▪ If the chilli mixture is too thick you can add vegetable broth, chicken broth or water to thin it out.
▪ Once an hour has passed give your chilli a taste and adjust with salt accordingly. Enjoy!

Spicy sesame cucumber salad

Side dishes don’t have to be boring. I for one like to shake up my side dishes and serve different flavourful and textural components to compliment my meal. This salad is definitely not boring. The spice, salt and deep umami flavour of the sesame makes this full of punchy flavours. If you are not keen on spice don’t worry, this salad is equally as good without the jalapeño and chili sauce, however, if you do like spice then you can adjust the spice level by adding more jalapeños or chili sauce. Up to you! I like to serve this up with grilled meat or tofu, it’s even delicious by itself over brown rice. Let me know what you guys think and what you serve this yummy salad with!

Ingredients:

For the salad:
▪ 1 large English cucumber, cut in diamond shapes (or half moons)
▪ 1 bunch radishes (about 6), cut into quarters
▪ 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper
▪ 1 tbsp sesame seeds

For the dressing:
▪ 1 tbsp rice vinegar
▪ 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
▪ 1 tbsp avocado oil (or any other neutral tasting oil)
▪ 1 tsp Sriracha or other hot chilli sauce
▪ 1 tsp soy sauce
▪ 2 tsp honey or agave nectar
▪ salt to taste

Directions:
▪ In a small mixing bowl, place all ingredients for dressing. Stir well to combine, set aside.
▪ In a medium sized mixing bowl place chopped cucumber, quartered radishes, thinly sliced jalapeño and sesame seeds. I like to keep the seeds in my jalapeño peppers for added spice, however, you can remove them to tone down the heat.
▪ Pour dressing over chopped up vegetables, mix well to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes to let marinate before serving. Garnish with more sesame seeds, enjoy!

Sesame and Ginger Salmon Tartar

 


Fresh seafood is so delicious, there are so many ways you can prepare a beautiful piece of super fresh fish. One of my favourite “fancy” ways of preparing salmon is salmon tartar. Not only is it a beautiful and presentable dish if you are having guests over, but it is so simple to make and healthy. The most important thing to remember for this dish is that you absolutely need super fresh fish. Go to a store that specializes in seafood for this, or ask the person working at your grocery store seafood counter if the salmon is fresh enough to eat raw, and always make sure the piece of fish you are using doesn’t smell, like , well… fish, and has firm flesh. Another important thing to remember is to always keep your fish cold while preparing this dish, if you are leaving it out on the counter make sure to have your bowl of chopped up fish on ice. I serve this particular tartar with some simple butter leaf lettuce cups and toasted baguette. You could even eat it with a simple salad. This recipe makes two large dinner sized portions, or four small appetizer portions…or one portion, I’m not judging!

Ingredients:

For the Tartar:
▪ 1 6-8oz filet of salmon, chopped into a small dice
▪ 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
▪ 2 tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped
▪ 1 tbsp sesame seeds
▪ 1/2 a lime, juice
▪ 2 tsp sesame oil
▪ 2 tsp hot chilli sauce of your choice (add more or less, depending on your desired level of spice.)
▪ 1 tbsp cilantro stems
▪ 2 tsp soy sauce
▪ Salt to taste (soy sauce may be salty enough, add salt only if you feel it needs more seasoning)

For Serving:
▪ 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
▪ 1/2 baguette, thinly sliced
▪ 12 whole leaves of butter (Boston) lettuce
▪ 2 tsp sesame seeds
▪ 1/2 lime, quartered

Directions:
▪ In a mixing bowl add grated ginger, minced chives cilantro stem, and sesame seeds, set aside.
▪ Slice 1/2 a baguette into thin rounds, making crostini shapes. Place the bread in a 450 degree oven for about 5 minutes, to dry toast them. Once they are golden and crisp remove from oven and set aside. It is important to note that these toast really fast and can burn easily, so keep a close eye on your bread.
▪ Separate about 12 whole leaves of lettuce, wash and set aside.
▪ On a clean cutting board, chop salmon into a small dice, adding the fish to the bowl with the ginger, sesame, cilantro stem and chives. Once the fish is all cut and in the bowl add hot chilli sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and lime juice. Mix well to combine, taste and adjust seasoning.
▪ Top the Tartar with cilantro leaves and sesame seeds as garnish, serve with toasted baguette, lettuce cups and lime wedges. Enjoy!

Chocolate Almond Energy Bites

 

I don’t know about you guys but lately I’ve been feeling a serious decline in energy. Maybe it’s due to the fact that the days are slowly getting shorter and the cold is slowly starting to creep in. Or maybe it’s the lack of coffee in my life, either way, I’ve been needing a serious pick me up lately. I like to make simple grab and go snacks at the beginning of each week so that I always have healthy and nutritious options on hand. This also help me not grab a bag of chips or other junk food when I’m hungry and lacking the time to make something good. This week I thought to myself what better snack to make then energy bites, these little bite sized beauties will give me just the energy I need, and most importantly this is a snack where I can incorporate some chocolatey goodness. It’s a win-win situation! These are pretty simple to make if you have all the ingredients on hand; you just dump everything into a bowl, mix all together and then form them into small bite sized balls. This recipe is pretty versatile as well, so feel free to add your creativity. Let me know what you guys think, and I hope these snacks will give you the chocolate boost of energy you need!

Ingredients:
▪ 1/2 cup rolled oats
▪ 1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds
▪ 1/3 cup ground chia seeds (can substitute whole chia seeds)
▪ 1/3 cup puffed quinoa (or other small puffed grain or rice cereal)
▪ 8 pitted dates roughly chopped
▪ 2 tbsp good cacao powder
▪ 1/2 cup almond butter
▪ 2 tbsp honey (can substitute with agave)
▪ 1tsp good vanilla extract

Directions:
▪ Toast the almonds in a dry pan until golden brown and fragrant. Add the toasted almonds, oats, quinoa, chia and cacao into a bowl, stir well to combine.
▪ Add the roughly chopped dates, almond butter, honey and vanilla. Mix well until mixture is completely combined and you are able to form small balls.
▪ Form into 12 bite size balls (Optional: you could roll them in crushed almond or toasted coconut at this point). Allow them to chill in the fridge for an hour to completely set and keep its shape.
▪ Note: if the mixture is too dry add a bit more almond butter to help it come together.

Fall Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

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Although I named this dish “Fall” beet and goat cheese salad it is not entirely a fall dish. It is a perfect dish to transition us from the warm summer days to the cooler nights reminding us that fall is right around the corner. It is a cold beet salad with all of the rich delicious flavours of the fall. This salad is a big hit in my family and is always on our thanksgiving table, we also enjoy it on many other occasions throughout the year. Not only is it delicious, but beets are insanely good for liver health so it’s a great salad to help detox from one too many glasses of wine we may have consumed over the summer. I am guilty as charged.

If you don’t like goat cheese you could easily replace it with feta or no cheese at all. Good roasted beets are also so versatile that you could top them with almost anything and they will still be delicious, I sometimes top these beets with an orange and tarragon dressing or with some delicious dried cranberries. That recipe is particularly festive for the holiday season. Either way, add your creativity to this recipe and let me know how you modified it. I am always looking for new and innovative ways to enjoy beets.
For the roasted beets:

▪ 8 large red beets washed well (make sure to scrub them to get all the gritty sand off of the beets)
▪ 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
▪ 1/2 cup water

For the dressing:

▪ 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
▪ 1/4 cup maple syrup (the good quality stuff, you can also substitute this for honey)
▪ 2t bsp dijon mustard
▪ 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
▪ 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
▪ 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
▪ salt and pepper to taste.

For the topping:

▪ 1/4 cup store bought toasted pumpkin seeds
▪ 1/4 cup crumbled goats cheese
▪ 1/4 cup fresh dill sprigs
▪ 1 big pinch of flaked sea salt (optional)

Directions:

▪ In a large baking dish placed washed beets, red wine vinegar and water. Tightly cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about two hours (until beet is tender enough that a knife could pass through it easily).
▪ Once the beets are out of the oven, set them aside to cool. Once cool to the touch, peel skin using a pairing knife or vegetable peeler. I would personally recommend wearing gloves to do this, that way your hands won’t be stained red for a few days.
▪ In a mason jar place or mixing bowl, place all ingredients for the dressing. Shake/ mix well to combine.
▪ Slice the beets into thin rounds and place them on a nice plate. Dress them liberally with the vinaigrette, and top with pumpkin seeds, goats cheese, dill and sea salt. Enjoy!

Time Saving Tip: If you do not feel like waiting the two hours for the beets to cook, Costco sells Organic whole beets that are already cooked (and they are delicious). This recipe would also work with super thinly sliced raw beets, however the texture and flavour would be different but still good.