Month: February 2018

Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Is everyone else as confused by the weather lately as I am? The last two days, Boston reached about 70. In February. And now today we’re only maybe hitting 40, and there’s light snow-ish-ness. I’m definitely not complaining about the mini heat wave, but it’s weird to have such crazy fluctuations. The grey weather, though, makes me happy to stay inside all day (since it’s my day off today, anyway), not actually get out of sweatpants, and instead slowly cook my way through a few projects for the day. While listening to Otis Redding, because honestly that just makes any day better. I spent the morning reading, made a individual portion dutch baby smothered in fruit, a bit of lemon juice, and some maple syrup for breakfast, and then made Gimme Some Oven’s Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce in preparation for making this stuffed pepper recipe to share with you all. I was totally planning on just buying it, but a: the grocery store was out yesterday when I stopped in for it, and b: this way I could leave out the garlic that I oh so sadly can’t eat anymore (if you do make her recipe, and unlike me actually can eat garlic, please please do add it!). Win-win in the end, I think.

 

Anyway, this is one of my go to recipes any time of year.  Cozy enough for winter, but still light enough for summer. And somehow, I never posted this last summer, when I was making it allll the time. Especially later in the summer, when our poblano plants went crazy and we had so many amazing, crisp poblano peppers that held up so well to being baked. They stay crunchier than bell peppers, and have such a great delicate flavor to them that goes so well with the filling. They are more difficult to stuff, just because of the shape of them, and harder to top with melt cheese, but if you treat them sort of like enchiladas and just smother the whole pan of peppers, it works out juuust fine!

I don’t know if I’ve ever made exactly the same version of these more than once. The basic ingredients are always more or less the same: ground turkey, black beans, corn, either jalapeño or chopped green chiles (Hatch, from the can, because they’re tasty and so easy and I’m lazy), sometimes either chopped tomatillos or tomatoes, spices, and a bit of liquid of some sort. I love them with enchilada sauce, but they’re also great with just lime juice and maybe a bit of chicken stock. I always use chili powder, lots of cumin, oregano, maybe a bit of dried coriander, and salt and pepper. Obviously more or less of the spices, depending on whether or not I’m using enchilada sauce as well. But I taste a million times, to make sure I’m satisfied. Isn’t that the key anyway, and honestly one of the best parts of being the one cooking? Sometimes I seriously wonder how anything actually makes it to plates, considering how many times I ‘check’ on it. Trust me, this filling alone is so tasty you won’t want to wait for the bell peppers to cook!

Turkey Enchilada Stuffed Peppers

February 22, 2018
: 4
: 20 min
: 1 hr
: 1 hr 20 min

Flavorful, filling, and endlessly changeable, these stuffed peppers are perfect any night of the week.

By:

Ingredients
  • 4 bell peppers, tops removed whole, seeds and ribs removed
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, minced
  • 1T oil (olive oil or vegetable)
  • 1lb ground turkey (I prefer at least half dark meat)
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2C corn
  • 1/2C chopped tomatoes or tomatillos
  • 1-2T cilantro
  • 1C enchilada sauce (see the link above for GImme Some Oven's recipe)
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/4C shredded cheese (Monterey jack, mexican blend, your choice)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sour cream and chopped cilantro for topping
Directions
  • Step 1 If making your own sauce, do that first! I love the recipe from Gimme Some Oven, and it can be changed to suit your tastes.
  • Step 2 Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the turkey, cook until brown, then season with salt and pepper.
  • Step 3 Add the jalapeño, and sauté for 2 minutes until soft.
  • Step 4 Add the corn, tomatoes, and black beans, stir until combined.
  • Step 5 Pour in the enchilada sauce and mix through, then add the cilantro and lime juice. Taste, and add salt and pepper or other spices if necessary.
  • Step 6 Place the bell pepper in a baking dish so that they sit upright, and stuff thoroughly with the turkey mixture. Top with the shredded cheese (roughly 1T on each pepper), replace the tops, and place in the oven.
  • Step 7 Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, until the peppers are cooked through and the cheese is melted.
  • Step 8 Remove from the oven, try to wait until they’re cool enough not to burn your mouth when you take a bite, and top with sour cream and more cilantro.
  • Step 9 Enjoy!

 

Chocolate Oat Banana Muffins

Don’t you love when something just works? You try something new with no real expectations, and you end up with something fantastic? That’s what these chocolate oat banana muffins were for me. I needed to use up the leftover bananas and wanted to do something a little different than my usual go-to of Joy of Cooking’s banana bread. I wanted to use oats because it feels more like a healthy breakfast treat. It may not be true, but I can pretend, right? I also wanted to make them chocolate, since I’ve been seeing chocolate banana bread everywhere and just had to make some myself. But not chocolate chip chocolate, I mean good cocoa powder chocolate. Unsweetened, dark, delicious.

As always, I found a recipe to use as a starting point. In this case, it was a chocolate oat banana bread from Jenna at A Savory Feast (the link to her recipe is here). So simple (which by now you should know is right up my alley), and looked so tasty. I added some almond meal because I wanted the extra flavor, used brown sugar because it added depth and a molasses quality, and some lemon zest and cardamom because they’re some of my favorites, and a: banana bread requires lemon and b: chocolate and oats both are made better with a hint of cardamom. They’re even quick enough that I can (technically) make them in the morning before work. Seriously, like 10 minutes of work, then into the oven for 20-25 minutes, and that’s it.

I’ve made these twice now, because the first batch was ridiculously good but I wanted to see if I could make a healthier version. The first round, my coworkers (AKA my usual taste testers) thought they were delicious, super light, and somehow felt simultaneously rich and healthy. Round two: also delicious, less sweet, and even more like a good breakfast choice. Kind of like Sunday brunch vs. week day morning. I honestly can’t say which I prefer, because both are so good, which means both versions are below. And bonus (for some people): they just happen to be gluten free (and the richer version is dairy free, too).

 

Chocolate Oat Banana Muffins (Sunday brunch version)

February 1, 2018
: 12
: 10 min
: 25 min
: 35 min

Chocolately, tasty, and surprisingly light, these are perfect for breakfast or a snack. Try them topped with butter, peanut butter, raspberry jam, or a dollop of yogurt (or even whipped cream?).

By:

Ingredients
  • 1C (or more) old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2C almond meal
  • 1/2C brown sugar
  • 1/4C white sugar
  • 1/4C cocoa powder
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1/4t baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of cardamom
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1 egg (room temperature)
  • 1/3C oil (I use coconut oil, melted)
  • 1/2t lemon zest
  • 1/2t vanilla extract
Directions
  • Step 1 Heat the oven to 375. Prepare a muffin tin by thoroughly oiling the cups or using liners (I always use vegetable oil, no liners).
  • Step 2 Put the oats in a food processor and grind into a loose flour. The finer you grind it, the denser the muffins will be. I prefer it to be a good mix of very fine and mostly whole oats.
  • Step 3 Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Step 4 Mash the bananas in a second bowl until smooth. Add the egg, oil, vanilla, and lemon zest. Stir until well combined.
  • Step 5 Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients, and stir until thoroughly mixed.
  • Step 6 Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 full.
  • Step 7 Cook for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick or knife comes out clean.
  • Step 8 Cool for at least 5 minutes before removing from the tin.
  • Step 9 Enjoy!

Chocolate Oat Banana Muffins (Weekday morning version)

February 1, 2018
: 12
: 10 min
: 25 min
: 35 min

Chocolately, tasty, and surprisingly light, these are perfect for breakfast or a snack. Try them topped with butter, peanut butter, raspberry jam, or a dollop of yogurt (or even whipped cream?).

By:

Ingredients
  • 1C (or more) old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2C almond meal
  • 1/2C brown sugar
  • 1/4C cocoa powder
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1/4t baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of cardamom
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1 egg (room temperature)
  • 1/3C greek yogurt (I prefer Siggi's plain skyr)
  • 1/2t lemon zest
  • 1/2t vanilla extract
Directions
  • Step 1 Heat the oven to 375. Prepare a muffin tin by thoroughly oiling the cups or using liners (I always use vegetable oil, no liners).
  • Step 2 Put the oats in a food processor and grind into a loose flour. The finer you grind it, the denser the muffins will be. I prefer it to be a good mix of very fine and mostly whole oats. Use enough old fashioned oats to end up with 1C oat flour.
  • Step 3 Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Step 4 Mash the bananas in a second bowl until smooth. Add the egg, yogurt, vanilla, and lemon zest. Stir until well combined.
  • Step 5 Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients, and stir until thoroughly mixed.
  • Step 6 Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 full.
  • Step 7 Cook for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick or knife comes out clean.
  • Step 8 Cool for at least 5 minutes before removing from the tin.
  • Step 9 Enjoy!