Sunday, November 24, 2013

Savory, pumpkin-apple chicken chili

Fall is my favorite season of the year. Cool air. Vibrant trees. Leaves dancing in the streets. And best of all, pumpkins and apples!

When asked to demo another recipe at the Springfield Farmer's Winter Market, I wanted to incorporate tastes of the season. Inspired by a cherry-peach chili recipe that my husband sampled while in Traverse City back in October, I decided to make a pumpkin (un-spicy) chili. It tasted fine, but my husband decided it needed something "more," so he went outside and picked a few tart apples from a tree in our yard. I cut them up and added them in, and they absolutely made the dish (thanks, husband)! That's how the pumpkin-apple chili was born.

2 pounds ground chicken (or turkey)
1 large red onion, peeled and chopped
1-2 heads garlic, peeled and minced
coconut oil (or other cooking oil)

3 C chicken or vegetable broth
3-4 C pumpkin puree
4 C black beans (cooked or canned)
1 tsp sea salt

2-4 tart apples, peeled and chopped (don't peel until needed)
4-6 pie pumpkins, rounded gourds or squashes (option)

  1. Add a few tablespoons of oil to a frying pan over medium-high heat. Sauté onion, garlic, and ground meat (about five minutes to brown on all sides). Reduce heat to medium, and cook for another fifteen minutes (stirring occasionally).
  2. While meat is cooking, add chicken broth, beans, pumpkin puree and salt to a stock pot. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently.
  3. When the meat is done cooking, strain the fat off, and scoop the contents into the stock pot. Mix thoroughly. Cook fifteen minutes.
  4. If you'd like to serve the chili in pumpkins or gourds, remove the tops, scoop out the seeds, and have them ready to go! (OPTIONAL)
  5. Peel and cube the tart apples (Northern Spy are my fav), and add to the stock pot for the last five minutes of cooking. Stir well.
  6. Serve in the pumpkins/gourds, or normal bowls :)

*Vegan potential -- use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and either omit the chicken/turkey, or sauté tofu as a substitute (allow an extra ten-twenty minutes to cook the tot firmly, if desired).

Thursday, November 21, 2013


8 Roma (or 4 Beefsteak) tomatoes, peeled, de-seeded, and diced
1/4 - 1/2 head of garlic, minced
1/4 red onion, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2-4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped (or 2 tsp dried)
1 tsp organo (or 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped)
sea salt & black pepper to taste

1. Combine ingredients in covered container, stir or shake well
2. Refrigerate 4-12 hours prior to serving for best results (taste improves as it marinates)

Easy, and SO delicious!

This bruschetta makes a great salsa, or can be used to top spaghetti squash instead of using a sauce!

If you're not adhering to a gluten-free or Paleo diet, feel free to warm a baguette in the oven and serve the bruschetta over top, old school!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Coconut oil pan-fried breakfast plantains

2 plantains (sort of ripe but still firm)
1 sweet onion
Sea salt
Coconut oil

1. Peel the plantains. Cut into small cubes.

2. Peel onion and slice/cut to preferred shape (I like large chunks).

3. Heat 2-6 tablespoons of coconut oil in frying pan on medium heat.

4. Add plantains, push around and coat well with oil. 

5. Add the onions. Cook 5-10 minutes, moving contents around to prevent burning. Cooking too long will provide a nicer crunch, but the plantains will dry out a bit inside. I find best results by calling it quits once the plantains and onions show first signs of looking translucent.