Turkey Chili

As I sit here and write this blog post, I’m waiting for two dozen cookies to cool off so that I can throw them away.  cookiefailHashtag cookiefail.  I will be the first to admit, a baker I am not.  If you look at the top of the page and scroll over “Recipes”, you will see very little under the desserts section.  Cookie baking has never been my thing.  Cookie eating on the other hand?  Well, that’s a different story.  It’s probably a blessing that I’m not great at baking cookies.  On Monday, I tried out a new cookie recipe and they turned out fabulously!  And on the first try too!  The only problem with them was, they were a little crumbly.  So this time around I added more butter and, well?  Not so good.  For the next batch I added a little less butter and a tad bit more C4C flour and they’re looking much better.

As much as I enjoy being in the kitchen,  cooking is more of my thing.  The star entree of the week has been the turkey chili that hubs requested for Monday.  It was a definitely a chili kind of day…14 degrees?  That calls for chili.  I was browsing recipes online and either we didn’t have the right kind of peppers or it didn’t sound good to me.  So I decided to “wing it” and see what happens.  Verdict? So good, the recipe is worth sharing :-)  I was successful at something this week!

Turkey Chili
Ingredients

  • 3lbs ground turkey meat
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp Chili seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp Cumin
  • 2 heads of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 medium red onion chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 3 15oz. cans tomato sauce
  • 2 15oz cans kidney beans
  • 2 15 oz cans pinto beans

Directions
Place ground turkey in a stock pot and brown the turkey.  Season it with italian seasoning and chili powder.  Add in the garlic, onion, and peppers.  Stir until soften.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Bring to a boil and then place on simmer for about 45 minutes.  You can choose to garnish it with cheese and sour cream if you wish.  We tried a little bit of gorgonzola and it was amazing!

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I’m off to finish the rest of my cookie baking!  Wish me luck, I’ll be needing it ;-)

Special shout out!  I’d like to thank the peeps over at For Two Fitness for making me a brand ambassador.  I am honored :-) I am a HUGE advocate for exercise, especially when growing a little bambino (IF okayed by your doctor of course!).  I sported their super cute and comfy exercise tops while I was pregnant with Madelyn and will be proud to put back on my “Sweating for Two” when the time is right ;-) Head over to their website and purchase something for that pregnant person you know in your life or for yourself!

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WOAH BELLY!!!!

Oh, Snap!

This past Saturday we got out of drill early because of the family Christmas party.  Because this is a rarity, LC and I didn’t know what to do with ourselves so I suggested we venture out to Sports Authority.  Damage done:   
 
New running shoes.  Hubs and a friend of mine swore by their Zigs and I was in the market for new running shoes with lots of ankle support.  These babies delivered.  I ran 3 miles outside today free of ankle pain.  Things are looking up and I think 2012 is my year for the Chicago marathon :-)  I really love these shoes.  They’re light in weight, yet offer a lot of support for my weak ankle.  Win & win.

 

Mondays around here are normally meatless, but tonight I was craving fish.  Inspired by How Sweet it Is, I created Gingersnap crusted salmon.  Deliciousness. 
Everytime I see gluten-free cookies at Trader Joe’s, I feel the need to purchase and try them.  I’ve finally reached my cookie limit.  The gingersnaps were my first purchase.  Although they were really good, I could only eat so many of them.  One day, I was browsing blogs & came across a recipe for gingersnap crusted salmon.  A solution for too many gingersnaps.    
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Here’s how I made this awesome salmon.  I beat two eggs in a bowl and dipped the salmon in them.  I crushed up the rest of my gluten-free gingersnaps (about 10 cookies).  Seasoned with Mrs. Dash, pepper and sea salt.  Then, I baked the two salmon fillets  at 400 for about 30 minutes.  Served with rice & asparagus.  Perfect Monday night dinner, and now I know what to do with those leftover cookies (a rare occurrence in our house).  
I’m off to relax & watch Water for Elephants! I’ve been waiting since forever to see this movie! I loved the book so I’m hoping the movie doesn’t disappoint.  Have a great night!   

2 Broke Girls Slam the need to be Gluten-Free

The week that I found out that I should be following a gluten-free diet, my grandma sent me a care package.  I opened it up and inside I found a beautiful, hand crocheted Christmas tree skirt & a container of mouthwatering, sugar cookies with pecans that taste oh so amazing.  My heart sank.  Knowing that these cookies couldn’t stay in my sight, I left some for my husband to snack on and then I took the rest to the girls at work.

When I brought them to work I just told the girls ‘hey my grandma made cookies & I brought them to share! Eat up!”  I didn’t say anything about my gluten sensitivity.  Towards the end of the day, I noticed that there were still quite a few cookies left and I told them they could take more and that I wanted them to be gone at the end of the day.  One of my co-workers asked why I wasn’t eating them (an unusual ocurrance for me, as I am a cookie monster).  I told her that I found out recently that I should be following a gluten-free diet because of some health issues.  Her response, “Ugh, I think I need to start following that diet.”  To which I just turned around and said nothing. 

The weekend before I left, hubs took me to one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago, Carnivale.  I absolutely love this place.  They have amazing food, an upbeat atmosphere and the best sangria I’ve ever had.  I was nervous to go here because they don’t have a gluten-free menu but since it is Latin based, I was sure that I’d be able to find something to eat.  Our server came to the table and I said politely to her, “I have to be gluten-free, what on the menu do you recommend?” She had just started working there so she asked me what entrees I had in mind and she would go back and check with the kitchen.  Fair enough.  So she comes back and asks  me, “Well how sensitive to gluten are you?” I gave her a blank stare. What kind of question is that?  My husband could see the look on my face so he stepped in and said nicely, “She can’t have it at all so if you can find out what she can have we would greatly appreciate it.”  Note to self: I really need to get better at this because when things like that happen, I feel like I’m being a troublesome customer.   

In the three weeks I’ve been deployed, I’ve lost a noticeable amount of weight.  This is not a result of having to live a gluten-free lifestyle, this is the result of having limited options in the dining hall & an increase in my workouts because there’s nothing else to do and it helps pass time.  Yes, my goal was to come here and shed some el b’s, but definitely not like this because how I’m eating now isn’t maintainable.  So the fact that this episode of 2 Broke Girls just play off a patron’s need to be gluten free as masking an eating disorder really struck a nerve with me. 

The same co-worker who made the comment about the GF diet e-mailed me and asked how things were going.  So I was just explaining to her how it was here & how the food situation was.  (I just want to note, she’s not a random co-worker her and I are pretty close so I felt comfortable in telling her this)  To which she once again responded, “Ohh I forgot that you can’t have gluten, that must be so hard.  Maybe I need to start following that ‘diet’.”  To which I then explained to her this isn’t something I chose.  People with food allergies don’t choose to have food allergies.  And there’s still plenty of “junk” food that’s gluten free: cupcakes, cookies, pasta, etc.  I also explained that gluten is in a lot more stuff than what people realize and not just the obvious (breads, carbs, etc).  I think she finally understood after I explained it a little more in depth.

I think it’s hard for people to understand those who have to follow certain diets for “health reasons.” I get asked, “What will happen if you have it?” I simply reply with, “I will get sick”. There’s a lot more to it and there’s still a lot that I’m learning myself.

But I’m curious, for anyone else that has to follow a gluten-free diet, have you ever had this type of encounter where people just think you’re doing it to lose weight?  If so, how do you deal?