crockpot dinner

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

I love chili. It’s healthy and hearty and it’s a filling meal. I used to have an amazing chili recipe for the crockpot but lost the recipe. All attempts to locate that recipe have failed and I’ve never been able to recreate it. That being said, it hasn’t stopped me from trying other recipes. I got this one in the mail with my Fred Meyer coupons (Kroger for the rest of the country I think). I had all the ingredients on hand so I tried it this past weekend.

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Serves: 4-6    |   Calories: about 257 depending on serving size

Ingredients:

1 TB vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper

1 clove minced garlic

1 lb ground turkey

1 can diced tomatoes

2 cups pumpkin puree

1.5 TB chili powder

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 dash salt

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

sour cream

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion, peppers and garlic until tender.

2. Stir in turkey and cook until evenly browned.

3. Pour meat mixture and veggies into crockpot.

4. Mix in tomatoes and pumpkin and add seasoning.

5. Cover and set on low. Cook 4-5 hours.

6. Serve with shredded cheese and sour cream.


I did make a few alterations to the recipe. First, I added a can of pinto beans. The recipe did not call for that but I think chili needs beans. And I am so glad I added them! They were a great addition.


I used a Walla Walla sweet onion and one small white onion from my garden. As for the garlic, it called for 1 clove minced. Well, I tend to think that most recipes are too light on garlic so I added three cloves (and that honestly wasn’t enough).


I used lean ground turkey from Costco. We usually have some on hand in the freezer (great for making tacos, enchiladas and turkey burgers). Another change to the recipe: I added more spices than what was called for.


There’s no better aroma than cooking veggies. Yum. While that was cooking in the skillet I dumped the beans, tomatoes and pumpkin into the crockpot.


When the veggies were done I added them to the crockpot and then cooked the turkey separately. My skillet wasn’t big enough to do it all at the same time. I added the ground turkey meat to the crockpot, mixed everything and added the spices. The extra spices I added: a dash of basil, rosemary, “savory” and onion powder.


I also added a splash of cabernet. Just a splash because I didn’t want to overpower the original flavors with the wine. I cooked it for about 5 hours in the crockpot.

When dinner was ready, I toasted Michael and I some bagel thins with cream cheese to go with dinner. It just felt like a comfort food kind of night.


I love bagel thins. They satisfy my bagel cravings without busting the bank on my calories. I also had one glass of wine with my dinner (seen above). We’d spent the afternoon catching up on American Horror Story, The Walking Dead and during dinner we watched Dexter!


The chili was served! I added some shredded Colby Jack cheese and a dollop of sour cream on mine. The chili was really thick, not too liquidy at all despite the above photo. But it wasn’t too thick either. Just right.


I think one of the reasons I like chili so much is because it’s yet another thing I can add sour cream to (addicted!). 🙂 The even better news: Michael HATES chili. With a passion. He won’t eat it, he hates the flavor and textures. It’s on his list of “never eats” (along with oatmeal) yet he had a bite and really liked it! So he had some for dinner. I was so happy that he liked it and was able to eat it.


You would think that the chili would be really sweet because of the pumpkin but it wasn’t sweet at all. It was delicious! Definitely a winner.


The above calculations do NOT include the cheese or sour cream. It’s calculated from the recipe but also not including the beans I added. So if you add beans to the recipe I’d add about 50 calories to each serving. My brother the cook suggested I add whiskey to the recipe. Next time.

I’m excited that I have yummy leftovers for lunches this week!

QUESTION: Do yo have a favorite chili recipe? What about your “will not eat” list? What’s on that?

 

 

 

 

 

Crockpot London Broil

London Broil Slow-Cooker Recipe

1-2 pounds of flank steak

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of tomato soup

1 package dry onion soup mix

Directions:

Place meat in the bottom of the crockpot. In a medium bowl, mix together the two cans of soup. Pour over the beef chunks and sprinkle the onion soup mix on top. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

What I love most about this recipe is how SIMPLE it is. I always have the ingredients on hand. It’s 4 ingredients total and takes 5 minutes to prepare. It’s the perfect meal for the crockpot when you just want to come home from work and have dinner ready. I decided to make this recipe on Saturday night because it was so easy to do.


I usually spray the inside of the crockpot with PAM just to make it easier to clean. The recipe calls for 2 pounds of meat but I usually just do 1 pound (sometimes even a little less).


I get the beef that’s already cubed for making stews and rinse it, dry it and then drop it into the crockpot.


I mixed the soups together in a bowl but to be honest you can make this recipe even easier and skip that step. In a rush you can totally just pour the cans into the crockpot as is and let them mix together in there.


I sprinkled the onion soup mix package on the meat and then poured the soup mixture on top.

I add a lot of freshly ground black pepper as well. There’s no need to add extra salt because the onion soup mix is pretty salty.


Turn the crockpot on low and let it do it’s magic! I prepped everything after the gym on Saturday and then left the house for most of the day to see my friend Robyn and run errands. By the time I got back to the house 6 hours later the whole smelled warm and inviting with the aromas of crockpot food. YUM.

According to this calorie counter recipe analysis, the recipes is about 331 calories a serving (not including the rice or noodles).


I cooked the rice in my rice cooker. I realized at the last possible moment that I did not have quite enough brown rice so I supplemented with a little bit of whatever rice I could find in our pantry.


We happened to be babysitting our friends’ 6 month old baby Saturday night. I’m glad that I decided to make something easy in the crockpot while we watched the baby for the first time. I don’t think we could have (sanely) made a complicated dinner AND babysat.


The baby (Norah) “helped” me while I made the rice. She was a bit fussy whenever I left the room so she came into the kitchen with me and kept me company while I got the started in the cooker.


The crockpot was basically done. The rice cooked for about 25 minutes and then I started steaming the carrots. When the carrots were cooked I added a little Goddess Dressing to them. I really could have just tossed the carrots into my dish with the rest of dinner but it had been too long since I had some Goddess Dressing.

So Norah was finally sound asleep in the other room and we both had a glass of what little red wine we had left.


Dinner was finally ready! After hours of sitting in the house smelling the dinner cooking….tempting me…taunting me…it was finally ready. I topped the rice with the gravy and the chunks of meat.


It was hearty and felt like comfort food. The meat was so soft it fell apart when I put my fork in it. Perfect dinner!


The original recipe also called for chopped mushrooms but since I don’t like mushrooms I leave it out. I’ve often wondered if I could put chopped carrots into it and whether or not that would add something to the recipe or just ruin it. I haven’t been brave enough to give it a try.

Try this recipe on a weeknight when you know you’ll be too tired to cook. It will be a lifesaver. AND it’s tasty!

QUESTION: Have you ever made something like this? What’s your go-to crockpot recipe?