crockpot chili

A Valentine’s Date and a Recipe

Logan has had a cold this week, which means he’s not sleeping well, which means we aren’t sleeping well….! I’ve been exhausted all week. So I was super surprised on Saturday morning when I went to the gym and had energy for days! It was a great workout! I did 30 minutes of strength training–body weights, free weighs and kettlebells, and then 30 minutes on the elliptical.

I could have kept going, too, but I had things to do! I went to the store to get groceries and then home to make this dinner:


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 10 servings

Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories per serving: 231



  • 1.3 lb (20 oz) 99% lean ground turkey breast
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (4.5 oz) can chopped chilies
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can small red beans, drained
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • For the Topping:
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro for topping
  • optional toppings, shredded cheddar, avocado, sour cream, etc


  1. Brown turkey and onion in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through.
  2. Transfer to the slow cooker with the beans, chilies, chickpeas, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder and cumin, mixing well.
  3. Cook on high 6 to 8 hours or low 10 to 12.
  4. Garnish with onions, cilantro and tour favorite toppings.

I’ve made several Skinny Taste recipes before and they were always really delicious.

Our friends had a baby last month (their third!!) and we signed up for their meal train dinner. It was so amazing when we had Logan and friends and family made us meals. It was so so so helpful and generous and we ate some really great food.

Originally we were going to do Michael’s mac n’ cheese but our friends are dairy-free at the moment so I decided to make them chili. I’ve been craving chili for awhile now.

I browned the ground turkey and onions. (I added a teeny bit of spicy ground pork for some flavor.)

The recipe called for three different beans — one being chickpeas! So odd. But I went with it and it turned out to be a really good addition. I did black beans, red kidney beans and garbanzo beans.

I mixed it all and it cooked in the crockpot all day. It smelled really good.

After lunch Logan took a nap and I decided to take a nap, too, and ended up sleeping for over 2 hours!! Catching up on sleep after four days of no sleep, was awesome.

When it was done cooking I packed everything up and we went to our friend’s house to take them dinner and meet the new baby! NEW BABY SMELL!! Oh my gosh the baby is sooo teeny tiny and adorable. I cannot believe that Logan was ever that tiny. It’s crazy. (Especially considering Logan decided to walk this week.)

So for the meal train I took our friends the pot of chili, a loaf of French bread and all the toppings: cilantro, chopped red onion, green onion, shredded cheese, avocado and sour cream (for the kiddos who aren’t dairy-free). Also in the bag was a bottle of wine and some homemade gluten-free brownies (from Bob’s Red Mill). 😀

We spent a little bit of time catching up and snuggling with new baby and then went home to get Logan to bed and open a bottle of wine for us:

There was just enough chili left over for Michael and I to have dinner, too. My one complaint about the recipe was that it said there were 10 servings in there but really, it was more like 5 or 6 generous servings. I guess she made the servings small to keep the calories low.

Ok I kind of loved this chili. It was so good! Lots of flavor and texture. I enjoyed the chickpeas, too. At first I thought they were weird to add to chili but the texture was great. The beans weren’t mushy.

This recipe is a winner! I would make it again for sure.

On Sunday I went swimming and then Michael and I got to go out for a Valentine’s Date Day. Michael’s sister babysat this guy:

I planned our date for this month. Our date started with lunch. We went to Ten Barrel Brewery. I’ve never been and it was a cool place with a fun vibe. We both got the Pearl IPA.

It was a pretty decent beer.

Michael got the personal sized pizza and the salad lunch combo:

The crust wasn’t anything special but the flavor of the sauce and the spicy pepperoni were really tasty. I got the Seoul Sandwich which had Korean steak with sauce, pickled carrots and shredded cabbage on it. It was really, really tasty! The meat had a fabulous flavor to it. I would have liked it a little spicier but it was a really delicious meal otherwise.

Next up was the highlight of our date day: A mini spa day! We went to Sole 2 Sole Reflexology in North Portland. I didn’t know what to expect because I’ve never tried reflexology before.

It was such a good experience! We both LOVED it! We were in a semi-private back room with two chairs. We sat down in our side-by-side chairs and then we soaked our feet in barrels of hot water while the therapists massaged our arms and hands. They also put some hot neck wrap things on us. Those were nice.

Then they dried our feet and started the foot and leg massage and reflexology. It was SO GOOD! I get massages once a month (thank you insurance) but they rarely spend that much time on my legs or feet, which is a bummer. So this was a really nice treat because it was a full hour on your feet and legs!

The reflexology part was really interesting. Hard to describe, but nice. It was a lot of pressure-point massage and the massage therapist did some massage around my knees, which was really nice.

Michael fell asleep. 🙂 I dozed in and out of very deep relaxation. It was so nice. The place was great and I would totally go back again. Michael enjoyed his surprise Valentine’s date and he said had he’d known what I had planned he would have run extra miles on Saturday to really get the full benefit of the massage. 😉

It was a great date and we went home to be with the baby and just hang out for the rest of Sunday. Kinda lazy, which was nice.

Superbowl Chili

I love chili. I love crockpot chili even better! I’ve mentioned it before but long ago I found the perfect chili recipe and somehow lost it and could never find it again. 🙁 I’ve tried every recipe I’ve come across that sounded even remotely close to that recipe but still haven’t found the perfect replacement.

This is the recipe that I based my recipe on. I made some changes because I am still trying to recreate that old recipe.

Slow Cooker Chili

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 7 hours

Total Time: 6 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 8-10



  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, chopped (*add more for extra smokyness and heat)
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (**see below for substitution ideas)
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
  • 1 cup beer or beef broth
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. (Or if you are using this Crock-Pot slow cooker, heat oil in the ceramic stovetop-safe bowl on the stove over medium-high heat.)
  2. Add the ground beef, onion and garlic and cook for about 7-10 minutes or until the beef is completely browned, crumbling the beef with a spoon as it cooks.
  3. Drain about half of the excess fat. Then transfer the beef into the bottom of a slow cooker. (Or transfer the stovetop-safe bowl back into the slow cooker.)
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, and stir to combine.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours.
  6. Taste, and season with additional salt and pepper or seasonings if need be.
  7. Serve warm, with desired toppings.
  8. *I used about 3 chipotle peppers, but did not add any extra adobo sauce.
  9. **If you don't like kidney beans, you can also substitute in black beans, pinto beans, or great northern beans.

A little while ago Michael and I went to a friend’s house for lunch and games and they made a really tasty chili. She used chunks of beef instead of ground beef and I loved the idea. So when I decided to make chili for the Superbowl I did a combination of ground beef and chunks of beef. I seared the chunks of beef in a skillet (it was less than a pound) and then added it to the crockpot. I browned the ground beef with onions, garlic and I added some celery to it, too.


The recipe said you could use any beans you wanted so I used what I had on hand. Great Northern beans and chili beans. I almost always have various cans of beans in my pantry at all times but for some reason I didn’t have very much over the weekend! Thankfully the Great Northern beans were something the blogger suggested as a substitution! (And apparently I need to stock up on my kidney beans.)


It cooked in the crockpot all day (about 7.5 hours total). I did not really watch the Superbowl. I’m not a football fan (in fact it’s my least favorite sport) and I loathe watching sports on TV…but I joined Michael for the game. I spent most of it reading and watching some of the commercials, occasionally watching and nodding when Michael said something important happened in the game. 😉

Bella and Fat Kitty weren’t too excited either.


Anyways, dinner was finally ready! The chili was hearty and filling.

I’m not really sure how the author of this recipe came up with the servings sizes…I halved the recipe and it made a TON of food. I cannot even imagine how much food it was if I made the whole recipe, which supposedly made 8-10 servings. With my portions I got 7 servings out of this!

photo 3

I froze some of the leftover chili and saved some of it for quick dinners for later in the week. The calories were a little bit too high for me to take for lunches. With my alterations and re-calculations of the servings I got 550 calories.

I liked the smokey flavor of the chili but it wasn’t spicy at all. I tend to prefer spicy chili. Michael said the chili was “okay” but he’s not a huge fan of chili. (Which I totally don’t understand. Chili is delicious!) I liked it. I liked the addition of the chunks of steak; I’m glad I added some celery and I think instead of adding sugar to this I’ll add some chopped up carrots instead to sweeten it. Or I’d leave the sugar out.

photo 2

Oh! And I also got to use a jar of my own canned tomatoes from the garden last summer! I topped the chili with cheese and a scoop of sour cream because I put sour cream on everything I can.

photo 1

While I really liked this chili, it wasn’t THE recipe. I’m not sure what it needed to be that magical recipe I lost years ago. It was good enough that I’d happily make it again (but make it more spicy) and I’d serve it to a group of people but…the search still continues.