Tag Archives: tex-mex

Turkey and White Bean Chili


The timing of this chili post, when the weather is just beginning to warm up in London and most of the States, may seem a bit odd.  However, let me explain.


I’ve been wanting to post my favorite chili recipe for this entire winter.  Originally I’d thought to tie it in with the Superbowl.  Football and chili, a classic combination.


But Sticky Glazed Chicken Wings won out.  Fast forward a few months and May is upon us and I’m sorting out what to make for our Cinco de Mayo celebration.  And it hits me…. chili would be perfect.


This Turkey and White Bean Chili has a secret ingredient that gives it some Mexican cred…..cocoa powder.  It’s a bit like a molé sauce.  It’s best topped with sour cream, cilantro/coriander, avocado, cheese and a squeeze of lime.  All favorite ingredients in Mexican cooking.

Make a batch, or a double-batch, keep it warmed on the stove, and let guests ladle up their own bowls.  Set out all the toppings and you’ve got yourself a Cinco de Mayo chili bar.  Olé!


1 year ago:  Cilantro Lime Tequila Spritzer with Jalapeño

Turkey and White Bean Chili (serves 4)

Note:  This recipe makes 5 cups (1.25 liters).  If you like more beans in your chili, add another can.  You can also substitute dried beans for the canned beans.  Place ½ cup dried cannellini beans in a medium saucepan, cover with 2” / 5cm cold water and add a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer until the beans are fully cooked, about 3 hours.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 lb (500 grams) ground turkey/turkey mince

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 bay leaf

½ tablespoon cocoa powder

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

14 ounces (400 grams) canned/tinned whole peeled tomatoes

2 cups (475 ml) water

3 tablespoons tomato paste/puree

15 ounces (400 grams) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Toppings:  Fresh cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped onion, sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, avocado slices, lime wedges

Heat oil in a medium or large pot over medium-low heat.  Add onions and sauté until soft and beginning to brown, stirring often, about 7 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.  Add oregano and cumin and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.

Add turkey, increase heat to medium-high and cook until no longer pink, breaking up with a spoon, about 8 minutes.  Stir in the chili powder, bay leaf, cocoa, salt and cinnamon.  Add tomatoes with their juices and break up with a spoon.  Add water and tomato paste, stir well, and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes.

Add beans to chili and simmer until flavors blend, about 10 minutes.  Serve chili with desired toppings; add a bit of water if too dry, especially when reheating.


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Tex-Mex Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing


While perusing Pinterest a few days ago I came across this recipe, re-pinned it to my “Recipes to Make” board and when I got a head of cabbage in last week’s veg box, gave it a try.  And I’ve been making it nearly every day since.


My feelings about Pinterest are conflicted.  I love looking at the gorgeous food photos – could get sucked into it for the better part of an afternoon if I let myself.


But I often find the picture much more appealing than the underlying recipe.  I’ve had more #pinterestfails than I can count.


This recipe is the exception.


The pinner insisted it was her “salad of the summer” and she “craved it every day”.  And that creamy cilantro dressing, well, it just drew me in.


So I made the recipe and it is seriously delicious (more-ish, as they say here in the UK).  It’s not a dainty side salad, it’s a hearty entrée salad…a meal in itself.


Food snobs, you may need to step away for a minute while I make this next confession.  It totally reminds me of the Cheesecake Factory’s Santa Fe Salad which was probably my favorite dish for most of the mid-to-late 90’s (I moved to Chicago in 1995 and a Cheesecake Factory had recently opened in the John Hancock Building, which became a required stop for all of my out-of-town guests and I was all-to-happy to oblige them).


So give it a go and see if you get as addicted as I am.


Tex-Mex Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing (makes 4 servings)

Note:  The dressing can be made a few hours ahead and the salad ingredients can be chopped and tossed together (with the exception of the avocado) a few hours ahead as well.  Toss the salad with the dressing and chop and add the avocado when you are ready to serve.  Since this salad has cabbage rather than lettuce it can be eaten as leftovers the next day without being a soggy mess, though may not look as pretty (avocado will probably turn a bit brown…but still tastes fine).

For the dressing:

2/3 cup (12 grams) cilantro/coriander leaves

5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) olive oil

3 tablespoons Greek yogurt

3 tablespoons lime juice

3 teaspoons honey

1-2 teaspoons hot sauce (or more if you like spicy things)

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

For the salad:

1/2 white or firm green cabbage, finely chopped (about 4 cups or 400 grams)

1 red pepper, chopped

1 avocado, chopped

1 ear sweet corn, kernels sliced off the cob

15 ounces (400 grams) canned/tinned black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 chicken breast, cooked and chopped

To make the dressing:  Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor (I used my NutriBullet) and blend until well-combined.

To make the salad:  Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl.  Toss with the dressing and serve.

Adapted from simplyrealhealth.com


Filed under Main dishes, Salad

Fish Tacos with Tomato and Avocado Salsa


It’s Taco Tuesday!  I’ll admit I’m not very good at keeping to a routine meal schedule.  The best I can do is get the family together at the table most nights for dinner, though rarely at the same time…it can be 5:30, 7:30, sometimes creeping to 8:30.

But somehow Taco Tuesday started a few years ago and for nearly a year we had ground turkey (turkey mince) tacos every Tuesday for dinner.  The kids loved it, I knew they’d eat it, it was easy, healthy – slam dunk.  But then when Libby, my oldest, became vegetarian last year, I stopped making them.  And Taco Tuesday went on hiatus.


Until now…..I’m bringing it back with fish tacos.  I’ve been making this recipe for nearly a decade, but kind of forgot about it for the past year.  And when I made it this week, it was such a huge hit that I knew I had to post it.


I know the concept of fish tacos throws a few people off, and just doesn’t seem right.  But give them a try, and I promise you’ll be a convert.  Happy Taco Tuesday!

Fish Tacos with Tomato and Avocado Salsa (serves 4)

Note:  Best with corn tortillas, but if those aren’t available, which is often the case in the UK, use flour tortillas.

1 lb.(approx 0.5 kg) white fish fillets, such as cod or tilapia

Juice of 1/2 lime

Salt and pepper

8 corn tortillas

¼ cup (25 grams) crumbled feta cheese

For the tomato and avocado salsa:

2 tomatoes, chopped

2 avocados, chopped

3 tablespoons lime juice

Handful of fresh cilantro / coriander, chopped

2 teaspoons chopped mild green chilli (e.g. jalapeño)

For the lime and garlic drizzling sauce:

2 garlic gloves, finely chopped

3 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon chopped mild green chilli

Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.  Place fish in single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper and squeeze juice of 1/2 lime over it. Place fish in the oven and bake until just opaque in center, about 8 minutes.  Let rest for 5 minutes then flake the fish with a fork and place in a medium bowl.

Meanwhile, make the tomato and avocado salsa:  Mix tomatoes, avocados, 3 tablespoons lime juice, coriander, and 2 teaspoons green chilli in small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.

Make the lime and garlic drizzling sauce:  Mix garlic, 3 tablespoons lime juice, and 1 teaspoon green chilli in a small bowl.

Wrap tortillas in foil and place in oven once fish has finished baking.  Keep tortillas in oven until heated through, about 15 minutes.

Place the fish, salsa, drizzling sauce, tortillas, and feta on the table and let everyone help themselves and make their own tacos.

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Filed under Main dishes