Being Mrs. Pierce

Life as a wife, hiker, wanna-be chef, book-lover, traveler, and now, mom

Slow Cooker Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili January 11, 2015

Filed under: Cooking — skpierce12 @ 8:56 PM
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While looking for slow cooker recipes for my 2015 Cooking Challenge, this Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili on the Skinnytaste blog first caught my eye because of the pumpkin among the ingredients.  I am a BIG pumpkin fan.  Then seeing that the recipe called for 2 lbs of ground turkey, I was sold. I’ve had 4 lbs of ground turkey (don’t ask me why) in my freezer needing cooked.  This would cut that number in half.


I prepped the chili this morning and left it to cook on low while we went to my in-laws’ house for the Cowboys game. Typically I avoid slow cooker recipes that require ingredients to be pre-cooked on the stove, as that seems counterproductive to the point of using a slow cooker — hands-off cooking with only one dirty dish at the end.  Yet browning the meat and sautéing the onions for this recipe wasn’t too much of a pain.


I purposely avoided telling my husband that there was pumpkin in the chili–especially after the Cowboys lost this afternoon. While John will eat and even enjoy pumpkin-based treats, they are more of the Starbucks or baked-good variety. He’s definitely not as enthusiastic (okay, obsessed) about pumpkin as I am.  I hoped that the chili would be so delicious that he wouldn’t care what its ingredients were.


Sadly, this was not the case. The chili was bland, bland, bland. I added salt. I added chili powder. I added more chili powder. The chili was still bland. It also was thick — nothing like the picture on the blog. I stirred in more chicken broth and sprinkled some cilantro on top. It was the best I could do. John and I both gave it 2 stars. We’ll eat the leftovers so as not to be wasteful, but I will not be looking forward to those dinners very much.


I now have 3 slow cooker recipes made towards my January slow cooker challenge.  The Balsamic Pork Tenderloin remains solidly in the lead!


Southwest Meatloaf Minis (New Recipe #99) December 7, 2013

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Last weekend I was in the mood for some comfort food, so I selected the Hungry Girl’s Southwest Meatloaf Minis for our Sunday night dinner. These meatloaves are a variation on the Hungry Girl’s Turkey and Veggie Meatloaf Minis, which we endearingly call “meat cupcakes” at our house. The southwest version nixes the broccoli slaw but adds black beans, corn, cheese, and a good deal of heat courtesy of the jalapeño peppers and cayenne.


I very much enjoyed the southwest meatloaf minis, but not quite as much as the original meat cupcakes. John and I gave the southwest version 3.5 stars. The meatloaves are good leftover, too. The recipe yielded 10 cupcakes, which was the perfect amount for 2 people for 2 dinners, as each night I ate 2 and John ate 3.  We did not add any of the listed optional toppings, although John did eat his meat cupcakes with a little extra ketchup.


Southwest Meatloaf Minis

½ cup diced red bell pepper
½ cup diced onion
1¼ lbs raw lean ground turkey (7% fat or less)
¾ cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup seeded and finely chopped jalapeño peppers
¼ cup quick-cooking oats
¼ cup fat-free liquid egg substitute
¼ cup frozen sweet corn kernels, thawed
¼ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
3 TB ketchup
¼ cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese
Optional toppings: salsa, fat-free or light sour cream, hot sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 10 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan with foil baking cups, or spray them with nonstick spray.

2. Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat. Cook and stir bell pepper and onion until softened and lightly browned, 5 – 7 minutes.

3. Transfer cooked veggies to a large bowl. Add all remaining ingredients except ketchup and cheese. Mix thoroughly.

4. Evenly distribute mixture among the 10 lined or sprayed cups of the muffin pan. Evenly top with ketchup, about 1 tsp. each. Bake until firm and cooked through with lightly browned edges, about 35 minutes.

5. Sprinkle meatloaves with cheese. Bake until cheese has melted, about 2 minutes.

Yield: 5 servings (serving size: 2 meatloaf minis). Per serving, 6 PointsPlus.


Sloppy Joe Stir-Fry Slaw (New Recipe #88) November 25, 2013

Filed under: Cooking — skpierce12 @ 7:47 AM
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Back in September, I had to put my blog on hiatus during the back-to-school deluge of work. While I was not posting during that time, I did manage to keep cooking (for the most part), and I even tried out a number of new recipes (on the weekends). Many of the new recipes I attempted during that period were short on required ingredients and time, including the Hungry Girl’s Sloppy Joe Stir-Fry Slaw. Rereading the recipe two months later, I am a little surprised that I ever picked out this recipe to make! The word “Manwich,” if I were in a normal state of mind, would have kept me from reading any further in the recipe and certainly from actually cooking it. Yet cook it, I did.


The best part of the recipe, by far, was its quickness of preparation; the Sloppy Joe mixture was hot and ready to go within 15 minutes. I served the slaw on whole-wheat slider buns with Baked Kale Chips on the side. The recipe was not a successful one, however, as neither I nor John liked the flavor of the Sloppy Joe sauce, which unfortunately pervaded the entire dish. Even the presence of broccoli slaw, which I love, was not enough to save it.  We gave the recipe 2 stars, and I doubt I will ever make it again (unless addled by beginning-of-school-year-brain, of course).


Sloppy Joe Stir-Fry Slaw

8 oz raw lean ground turkey
One 12-oz. bag (about 4 cups) dry broccoli cole slaw
1 cup Hunt’s Manwich Original Sloppy Joe Sauce

1. Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat on the stove. Add turkey and use a spatula to break it up. Cook and crumble until browned and fully cooked, about 8 minutes.

2. Add slaw and sauce to the skillet and stir to mix. Continue to cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce is hot and slaw has softened.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 cup). Per serving, 3 PointsPlus.


Turkey, Potato, and Sage Patties (New Recipe #74) August 18, 2013

Filed under: Cooking — skpierce12 @ 3:21 PM
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After my last batch of turkey breakfast patties turned out well, I have been eager to try this veggie-heavy version of the same concept from my mom’s WeightWatchers in 20 Minutes cookbook.


I grated the potato as directed, but I used my electric chopper on the onion. I needed to soak up quite a bit of liquid from the bottom of the bowl at this point in the preparation process.  Then I dived in with my own two hands to get the ingredients mixed up and formed into patties.  It took me 3 batches to get all 16 of the patties cooked, but I did not need the full 4 minutes on each side for the patties to be cooked through.


I especially enjoyed the presence of the potato in these patties, although that also meant needing ketchup on the side. I gave the recipe 3 stars, as the patties were good (but not great). The recipe yields a huge batch, and unfortunately, John and I discovered that they do not hold up very well as leftovers, either refrigerated or frozen.  Next time, I would half the recipe and/or wait until I have company to help me eat them all up at once.


Turkey, Potato, and Sage Patties

2 baking potatoes, peeled
1 large onion, peeled
1 lb lean ground turkey breast
2 egg whites
2 TB Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dried sage
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
4 tsp canola oil

1. Grate potato and onion into a large bowl. Add the turkey, egg whites, Worcestershire sauce, sage, salt, and pepper; mix until well combined. With damp hands, form the mixture into 16 patties.

2. Heat 2 tsp of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the patties, in batches, and cook until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes on each side.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 2 patties). Per serving, 4 PointsPlus.