Tag Archives: chili

A Healthier Side of Chili

P1060572It’s been ages since I’ve updated this blog!   And of course with my New Year’s Resolution of a healthier lifestyle just a flash-in-the-pan behind me, I can’t forget how much I’ve ignored my readers this past year. I apologize and hope that you will all be satiated with a delectable dish for a cold winter’s night–Chili.

Ok, so it’s not all that cold this afternoon in Southern California, but I’m banking on the fact that our weather will flip-flop back to its fogginess in a few days anyway.  And who doesn’t love to whip up a bowl of chili after a busy day at work? Yes, in just 30 minutes or less!

I know most people think of chili as something that simmers away all day, and there are certainly some great slow cooking recipes out there that work magic, but so many of them have you prep way too much before you turn on the machine. I hate that! I mean, really, who wants to get up earlier just to get dinner going before you head out for the day? My kind of slow cooking is really dumping it all in and letting it all work its own magic….ok I’ll admit it–slow cooking is for my way too hectic days where I know I will be too lazy to cook at the end, and I want to avoid going the fast food route.

So if you are craving a little chili, but don’t want to waste your slow cooker day (mine is Wednesday, btw) give this recipe a try. I think you’ll really enjoy the fresh flavors and the added vegetables that give it a slight sweetness.

Shopping List:

1 pound ground beef, I prefer 7-15 % fat organic

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 medium zucchini, quartered and diced

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1-28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes

1 tablespoon of chili powder

2 teaspoons of cumin

2 teaspoons of ancho chili powder

salt to taste

Suggested toppings: sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, red onion, black olives, radishes, tortilla chips, corn chips…ok, so basically anything you like.


1. In a large sauté pan, sauté on medium-high heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil with the garlic until the garlic begins to brown.

2. Add the ground beef to the pan and brown it for approximately 5 minutes until it is mostly cooked. A little pink is still ok, since you will continue cooking it from this point.

3. Push the meat to the edges of the pan, and add the zucchini and corn to the center, and then let it cook for 5-7 minutes until the meat and vegetables are nicely caramelized.

4. Reduce the heat on the pan and begin to season dish with the cumin, the chili powders and the tomatoes. Let this simmer at low for another 5-7 minutes. Then taste it! You might want to add some salt or of course your favorite hot sauce. Now it’s ready to enjoy with any (or none) of those yummy toppings.

Serves: 4-6


Chili Crusted Scallops with Peach Remoulade


Chili-crusted Scallops with Peach Remoulade

In my “experiment with flavor” (which I have subjected my family to) I have attempted to introduce a previously foreign or disliked item into the mix. This time around I was successful in rewiring the subject. In this case my husband was the unwitting target.

He’s always claimed that he doesn’t like scallops, but he loves all other seafood — and most other meats for that matter. So, I figure he’s just never had good scallops before. Now, I, on the other hand really like scallops. They seem like a less fussy version of lobster to me. There’s no shell to crack and their flavor is so buttery who can really pass them up?

Ok, so I’m not really sure what a remoulade is but it sounds like a fancy word for sauce to me and that’s what this is a simple pan sauce to enliven any poultry or fish entrée. Feel free to use it with some grilled chicken or as a condiment on a turkey burger. It works great.

Shopping List:

1/2 lb. of sea scallops

1/2 cup of ripe, peeled and diced peaches

1/2 an orange, squeezed

1/3 cup chicken or veggie stock (I used reduced sodium)

1 tablespoon red onion, diced

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon butter


1. In a small saute pan over medium heat, add the red onion, peaches, orange juice and stock. Bring this mixture to a simmer, then reduce it to low heat to keep warm. It will start to thicken and look like a jam almost.

2. In a separate saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Meanwhile open the package of scallops from the fish counter and dry them off. Lay them all flat on that white paper they come in and sprinkle the chili powder on both sides of the meat.

3. Now that the butter is melted, go ahead and plop those big babies in that loveliness and watch them sizzle a little. Don’t move them in the pan for at least 3-4 minutes, so they get a nice crust to them.

4. After that flip ’em and let them sit another 3-4 minutes, again a crust should form (otherwise the heat is set too low). Check that they are opaque in the center and serve them on top of the peach sauce “remoulade”.

This serves two.