White Turkey Chili

White Turkey Chili

After a week of temps in the 80’s, spring decided to return with temps in the 40s and with the chill in the air something that warms the belly was called for. So we decided that the Sunday which according to our new menu plan was special meal day and what better than a steaming hot bowl of chili.


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 pounds ground turkey breast
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 (16 oz) jars of Salsa Verde medium heat
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles, drained
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and finely sliced
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (15.5 oz) cooked Great Northern small white beans, drained
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • 7 tsp. grated Monterey Jack cheese, for garnish (optional)
  • 7 tsp. sour cream, for garnish (optional)

White Chili ingredients


Heat ½ of the oil in a large pot over medium high heat.

Add turkey and cook, stirring often, until browned. Transfer to a bowl and return pot to heat.

Add remaining oil, bell pepper and onion and cook until softened and not brown.

Return turkey to pot and add coriander, cumin, oregano and salt. Stir well to combine.

Add bay leaf, salsa verde, chiles, jalapeños and broth, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 45 to 50 minutes.

Gently stir in beans and cook for 35 minutes more.

Ladle chili into bowls and garnish with cilantro, cheese and sour cream, if you like.

Lyn’s Blueberry Oatmeal pancakes

Lyn’s Blueberry Oatmeal pancakes

Sunday morning the newspaper, waffles, pancakes or even eggs and bacon what could be better? We have made these plenty of times before each time the memory never lets us down. With this much oatmeal, you can expect it to be pretty hardy. Two of these fills me up for most of the morning but I cheat and have a third they are just so good. I caught Lyn sneaking another this morning, at least she did not put pepper on them she is a pepper head after all.   You can cook the entire batch then freeze them, separated by parchment or wax paper and warm one for a quick breakfast of breakfast for supper.


  • 8 Tbsp. powdered buttermilk and 2 cups water or milk  you can substitute with 2 cups real buttermilk
  • 1 ¾ cups quick-cooking rolled oats
  • ½  cup oat flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt

Warm maple pancake syrup

  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ to ½ cup frozen blueberries.
  • Chopped walnuts


Mix together all ingredients in a blender let stand in frig for a short while or if hunger plow ahead.

Heat a griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat until a drop of water skates over the surface and lightly grease. Pour about a ¼ cup for each pancake onto the griddle. Cook until bubbles form on the surface, the edges are dry and the bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Turn once, cooking the other side until golden, about 1 minute. Serve immediately, or keep warm in a 200° oven until ready to serve.

To make the warm pancake syrup, combine the blueberries in a small saucepan or microwave-proof bowl. Heat

Serve immediately top with chopped walnuts.

Makes 6-12 pancakes

Lyn's oatmeal pancakes ingredients

Double click to enlarge pictures

   Lyn's oatmeal pancakes pulse to mix   Lyn's oatmeal pancakes let's eat

Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast with Red Wine Sauce

Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast with Red Wine Sauce

What does one do with a chicken breast that you took out of the freezer and had no plans for. My wife had mentioned stuffing chicken with feta last week so I guess that was my main influence. This was a real cook from the gut, open the frig and see what I have kind of creation. Boy you would think that with our new plan of a theme a day cooking I would be a little more organized but then some of my better meals came from the gut. Ok feta, red pepper, onions, mushroom, red wine, lemon and cherry tomatoes. Here we go!


  • 1 Chicken breast bone in with skin
  • About ¼ cup minced red bell pepper
  • About ½ cup feta crumbled
  • About 1 Tbsp. Dried Greek oregano
  • About 3-4 mushrooms roughly chopped
  • Fresh ground pepper (for my wife the pepper head)
  • 1 small onion quartered
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
  • About 1 cup red wine
  • Cornstarch and water combined.


Preheat oven with rake in middle to 450

In a small bowl mix pepper, feta, oregano, pepper together well.*

Rinse and thoroughly dry chicken

Sprinkle salt (lightly) and pepper all over the chicken

Gently loosen the skin on chicken with finger or fat end of butter knife to create a pocket.

Stuff the feta mixture into the pocket and then stick mushroom under skin on top of the feta.

Place in roasting pan (I used a corning ware dish) and drizzle olive oil over chicken.

Add the onions and tomatoes, enough red wine to cover the bottom and lemon juice.

Place in oven and turn heat down to 350

Cook until instant thermometer reads about 165 about 40 minutes. I started checking around 20 minutes because I was paranoid of drying out the chicken.

I crisped the skin by turning on the broiler for about 8-10 minutes still on middle rack.

Watch it though I kind of…what do they call it now on TV when the burn something. Oh ya look how beautifully caramelized it is!

Set chicken aside, pour the drippings into sauce pan add cornstarch bring to boil reduce heat slightly and simmer until thicken.  When it boiled I had to add more cornstarch to thicken a little more. Pour over chicken when plated.

Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast Prep 1  Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast Prep 2   Feta stuffed chicken breast prep 3

*Steve note: You could mince the mushroom and mix with feta but to tell you the truth I forgot them and stuck them in after. That’s what happens when you empty from frig to counter then move to preparation area and forget something.

Lamb Stew with Spring Veggies

Lamb Stew with Spring Veggies

Lyn had been wanting a stew which was unusual for her she is not much of a stew person. Years ago we had made an Irish lamb stew but for the life of us could not remember where we saw it. So we must have look at a dozen recipes and I came up with this which was heavily influenced by Wholefoods. This stew came together easily, simmering on top of the stove for a couple of hours made another day of growling tummies.


  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds lamb stew meat, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  •  1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 pound small red or white potatoes, halved or cut into chunks
  • 1 cup fresh peas or frozen green peas, thawed
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (About 1 scallion)

Double click to enlarge


Combine flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl or plastic bag. Add lamb and toss to coat well.

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium high heat.

If needed working in batches (setting aside first batch in bowl), add lamb and brown on all sides set all lamb aside for a moment. Add the garlic and cook until you smell about 15 seconds to 1 minute.  Add chicken broth, wine, rosemary and oregano. Stir to combine add the lamb and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Stir in carrots and potatoes. Cover and continue to simmer 1 hour longer.

Stir in peas and mustard and simmer 3 to 10 minutes or until peas are just cooked through (frozen peas do not take as long to cook).

Ladle stew into bowls and garnish with green onions.

Lamb and Veggie Stew with bread

Note from Steve: The only thing I might change is using fresh springs of oregano and rosemary and removing the stems after cooking.

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Corned Beef

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Corned Beef

As I mentioned in my last post International Night – Makeshift Chili and Quesada we are working on a new idea for planning meals at least for us, and although Saturday is supposed to be fish night I went with corned beef and Guiness in honor of St Patrick’s Day. My son used to go crazy for corned beef NY York style deli sandwich so thick that you had to attach hinges to your jaws. In my family we call that a “Muriel Saver Sandwich”. She and Dagwood had that in common.

Anyway I tell you 60 minutes into the dish and the house started to smell soooooo good my stomach started to growl and the end results were great. We had tried Dijon mustard and brown sugar glaze a few years ago and I think I like that slightly better but this one was really good.


  • 1 Tbs. Peppercorns
  • 1 Tbs. Mustard Seeds
  • 4 bay leaves crushed
  • 1 cinnamon Stick broken into pieces
  • 2 tsp. whole cloves
  • ½ tsp. red-hot pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp. ground allspice
  • 4 lb. corned beef brisket first cut (we prefer low sodium) you can use whatever cut you prefer.
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic crushed (depending on size)


  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup chili sauce
  • 4 tsp. horseradish drained


Place oven rack on bottom third and preheat oven to 350

Combine the first 9 ingredients in a plastic storage bag and crush with rolling pin.

Empty into Dutch oven and place corned beef (I rinse but your choice), fat side up add the garlic and pour in enough water to cover with water. Discard the spice packet that comes with the meat. Cover and place in oven for 3 hours turning meat halfway. I used the Le Creuset Dutch oven and I am still trying to get used to cooking with so I turned the oven down to 300 at half way point. Any hints on using these are welcomed.

In a small bowl combine the 3 ingredients for glaze

Remove beef from oven, move the rack to middle and preheat to 450

Line a baking sheet with foil and place the cooked corned beef fat side up.

Brush about ½ of glaze over the top and sides of the corned beef. Roast in oven for 15 minutes brushing with remaining glaze about half way through. Glaze should start to caramelize.

Let stand cover loosely for 5-15 minutes before slicing against the grain.


Now we chose to serve with smashed garlic potatoes and oven roasted Brussels sprouts but you could choose to go more traditional with cabbage wedges and some carrots on the second turning but you may have to adjust cooking time up slightly.

Lyn found this in Woman’s day magazine

International Night – Makeshift Chili and Quesada

Beet Greens & Fresh Baby Corn In Fiery Red...

We came up with a plan bought a fancy dancy calendar to plot it out.  Frist we were going have each day have a planned meal Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, there was even spots for snacks I did say fancy dancy did I not. Our theory was that with the week planned out this way we could easily draw up a shopping list. As we looked at it reality began to sink in, I have oatmeal every morning and a salad for lunch the only thing that changes up for me is dinner and maybe breakfast on the weekend. Lyn was in a similar situation so dinners it was. I felt or Lyn felt I felt stifled being held to a specific dish I am a more of a cook from the gut kind of guy, open the cabinets and see what I have.  So we settled for dinner theme of the day Mondays is Sandwich night, Tuesdays leftovers, Wednesdays Vegetarian, Thursday International, Friday breakfast, Saturday is fish except its St. Patrick’s this Saturday so corn beef and Genesis, Sunday – special whatever hits our fancy while shopping.

So let me tell you since we decided this on Sunday night when Thursday came and I panicked on the way home what the heck did I have in the house that would qualify? I got home open both the freezer and frig wide and stared. My eyes caught 2 frozen chopped sirloin burger patties,½ Red bell pepper, onions, some left over tomatoes sauce, cheddar cheeses,  3 whole wheat wraps, baby portabella mushrooms, kale, 1 scallions mmmmmm…..the bell went off in mind Chile and Quesada with some of that left of guacamole Lyn made.   I was not sure how this would come out so I did not measure of take pictures.

I grabbed the patties and semi defrosted in the micro wave, in the meantime I sautéed about a ¼ of a cup of the onions roughly chopped and ¼ of a cup of the red peppers for a few minutes added the meat and broke it into small pieces while browning. When it was browned I added a good double pinch of chili powder, ancho pepper powder, Mexican oregano,  a couple of good shakes of cayenne powder, salt and pepper. Then I added the tomatoes sauce maybe was about a cup and half. Brought to boil and simmer over low it was reduced about half a nice thicker side chili.

While that was simmering I chopped the scallion, 3 mushroom, cilantro and small piece of leftover chicken and shredded the cheddar (divided). I placed all ingredients on ½ of the whole wheat wrap folded and heated up in a nonstick fry pan until the cheese was melted then top with some of the cheddar cover with top to melt the cheese.

I had planned to serve with some of the guacamole but Lyn came home in the meantime and we munched on it with some chips.

I have to say and she will back me up this came out really good that I am kicking myself for not writing it down or taking pictures. Oh well there is always next time.

American Chop Suey and a bonus Mom’s receipe

Everyone has their own comfort foods, I have many but one of my favorites is American Chop Suey. Last summer when out to lunch with my Brother and Nancy the special of the day was American Chop Suey both my brother and I let out a gasp and our minds were made up. It was a disappointment not what Mom used to make, the taste in my mind was not met. I believe Mike felt the same way. For years I have tried this combination and that never matching my mom who swore she did not remember it had been years since she had made it for us. Then one day I came real close and have stuck to it since changing it ever so slightly every time I make it since I cook from the gut. My wife is not a fan of American Chop Suey so it is not made that often but it was today. Oh ya read below this recipe see what I found.


  • 1 lb. lean Ground beef
  • 1 onion chopped roughly
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper cored, seeded and chopped
  • 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 lb. box Elbow macaroni
  • Salt, pepper, oregano, basil, red-hot pepper flakes to taste
  • Ketchup (optional, not for me)


In a fry pan cook hamburger, onion, and celery until meat is browned and the veggies are limp but still have some crunch left. While browning chop up the beef into small chunks. Drain off the grease.

Crush tomatoes by hand over the pan, pour in the juice from the can and the tomato sauce.

Add whatever spices you are comfortable with. I use salt, pepper, oregano, basil, (I suppose a short cut could be Italian seasoning mix) a good pinch of crushed red pepper flakes depends on your hotness taste. Add the chopped green pepper at this point I feel it kept them a little crunchier but I suppose you could add in the first step.

Bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes.

Meanwhile, bring five quarts of water to a boil, add the macaroni, and cook for about five minutes. The pasta should be aldente, not thoroughly cooked. Drain, return to pot and add the contents of the other pan. Gently simmer for five minutes to finish cooking the macaroni and to let it absorb the liquid.

Remove from heat, and put it to the side. I find that letting it sit for at least a half hour lets the flavors really come together I also stir occasionally to help cool and not over cook the pasta.

Ok now I was raised to top with ketchup when served but this is strictly optional, it just does not taste right to me without, what can I say?

Mom’s American Chop Suey (The card was numbered 87)

Mom passed in February and while cleaning out her condo my wife came across a little tin that had Mom’s recipes and there it was American Chop Suey. Now there is no way to know if this was what I had grown up with and how she may have morphed it but here is her recipe.

Maybe someday I will try this but for now I really like mine.

The index card had this information.

2 cups of elbow macaroni cooked 9 min and drained.


  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tbsp. salad oil
  • 1 lbs. chopped beef
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. Accent, salt, pepper

Drain fat and add:

  • 1 can tomato sauce (Hunt’s)
  • 3 cups tomato puree #2 ½ can (does this mean 2 and ½ cans)
  • ¼ tsp. instant bouillon
  • ½ oregano
  • Sprinkle with salt

Cook 10 minutes

Add cooked macaroni; simmer covered 1 hour

Mrs. Lawrence (Harriette) Pearlman – anyone remember her?

Orange Flavored Chicken but Healthier

Orange Flavored Chicken but Healthier

When I first tasted orange flavored chicken in Texas I loved it, goodbye General Tso’s chicken and swore I would master making it. I kept orange peels in the freezer at all times to add to the dish. I was never able to master it, came close but then I found Trader Joe’s Orange flavored chicken and for a frozen brand it was pretty darn good and yes I became lazy. You could add peppers, stir fried vegetables with a bed of brown rice and you had an instant meal well almost instant it took about 40 minutes to cook. My wife showed me Hungry Girl’s recipe the other day and I liked what I saw I was always looking for healthier alternatives.  So here it is heavily influenced by Hungry Girl who has inspired me many times in the past.


  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 10 oz. raw boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/8 tsp. each salt and black pepper
  • 1 small egg or 1/4 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar-free orange marmalade
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. maple sugar or she suggests Splenda (granulated)
  • 1 tbsp. reduced-sodium/lite soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp. chopped ginger
  • Dash red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 chopped scallions, whites and crisper greens  about ¼ to ½” size


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Place flour in a plastic bag or shallow dish. (See below for optional directions)

Place chicken in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Top with egg substitute and toss to coat.

Place flour in plastic bag and divide chicken into 3 portions, shake chicken pieces to remove excess egg and place in bag and shake to coat with flour. Shake off excess flour and evenly lay chicken pieces on the baking sheet. You can fold some flatter pieces in half so cooking in even


Place flour on shallow dish and a few pieces at a time shake chicken pieces to remove excess egg and coat with flour. Shake off excess flour and evenly lay chicken pieces on the baking sheet. You can fold some flatter pieces in half so cooking in even.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

In a medium bowl, whisk broth with cornstarch until cornstarch has dissolved. Add marmalade, vinegar, sweetener, and soy sauce, and thoroughly whisk.

Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat. Cook and stir garlic and ginger until slightly softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth mixture and red pepper flakes. Cook and stir until well mixed and slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat, add chicken, and toss to coat. Serve topped with scallions.

    Orange Chicken