Archive for November, 2018

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Thank you to CT Academy member, Elizabeth Williams, RD of New England Nutrition for submitting this blog.

Who else is excited that slow cooker season is back!?  It may still have felt like summer the past couple days, but I couldn’t resist pulling my Crock-Pot out this week and doing some large batch cooking.  Life outside of work has slowed down a bit the past couple weeks, but things are about to get very busy again so preparing large meals with lots of leftovers is going to be lifesaving.  We have friends visiting from across the country, a wedding, Halloween festivities, and finally Disney World for the Wine and Dine race is fast approaching.  Training for a race this late in the year has been tough because I run in the morning before work, but it has become so dark out!

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Chili is something that I make throughout the fall and winter.  It is one of my favorite meals to make because it can be prepared so many different ways, saves well as leftovers, and is great for serving at parties.  Chili is often thought of as a high sodium food, but you can reduce the content by using low sodium canned or even dried beans.  I used fresh tomatoes and a low sodium tomato sauce.  I topped my chili with a sprinkle of shredded cheese and used Greek yogurt as a high protein and healthier sour cream substitute.  We have a very large variety of hot sauce at our house, which I used to give it an extra kick.

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The chili contains lean proteins, both from meat and plant based sources from the ground turkey and beans.  Choosing lean sources of protein more often is important for health.  Saturated fat in the diet should be limited to protect heart health because it can contribute to raising “bad” LDL cholesterol.  Consuming lean proteins, especially plant sources such as beans, lentils, and nuts may help to raise “good” HDL cholesterol.  Plant sources of protein are also higher in fiber, which can have positive benefits for weight management and blood sugar control or prevention of diabetes.  Consuming adequate protein is important for maintaining lean muscle mass, however the majority of Americans consume adequate and even excessive protein so protein supplements are often not needed in the diet.  If you can get adequate nutrients through food, then this should be the first choice.

This was the first of many batches of chili that I will be cooking this fall/winter.  I am always looking for other ideas, so please comment and share any of your favorite chili recipes or ideas.

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Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground turkey
1 white onion
1 bell pepper, diced
2 cups fresh tomato, diced
1 can low sodium black beans
1 can low sodium cannelloni beans
1 can low sodium tomato sauce
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Pepper to taste

Optional toppings: Shredded cheese, Greek yogurt, hot sauce

1. Heat olive oil in skillet. Cook ground turkey and onion until turkey is cooked thoroughly with no pink and onion is golden brown.
2. Add cooked turkey and onion to slow cooker.
3. Rinse beans well using a strainer.
4. Add bell pepper, tomato, black beans, cannelloni beans, tomato sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and pepper to slow cooker.
5. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours.
6. Serve hot with desired toppings.


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Thank you to CT Academy Member, Elizabeth Williams, RD  from New England Nutrition for sharing her blog post.

Happy Halloween weekend!  We did our celebrating last weekend in Salem and Friday night we had a wedding so we spent most of the rest of this weekend at home.  Instead of going out for Halloween last night I was in bed before 9:30.  I almost never get 10 hours of sleep, so my body clearly needed it.  This morning I woke up and finished my final week of training for the Disney Wine and Dine 10K and half marathon challenge.  I am headed to Orlando for the Disney Wine and Dine Half marathon this coming Thursday and I am beyond excited for my first Disney World experience!  I am especially thrilled to have the opportunity to run TWO races through this magical place.

I am back to pumpkin recipes this week, but since I have had more than my share of sugar recently I made a healthier version of a dessert/breakfast.  As usual I traded the white flour for whole wheat flour to get in some extra nutrients and fiber.  With Halloween this week and traveling coming up, I still need to keep up with good nutrition before two races.  My favorite part of baking is actually sharing with others, which is helpful so that I don’t eat all of my baked goods.  Sharing also allows me to get feedback because sometimes it can take a few tries to get it right when making a healthier alternative to a treat.

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I added peanut butter to these muffins to increase the protein content.  Protein is often lacking and carbohydrate is excessive in many breakfast foods such as cereal, oatmeal, toast, bagels, and well… muffins.  Protein and fat take longer to digest than carbohydrates.  The combination of healthy fat and protein from the peanut butter makes these muffins much more filling.  A good nutritious breakfast includes whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fat making these muffins a great option.  The best part is that it will feel like you are eating dessert!

This muffins will be a perfect post workout (second) breakfast throughout the week.  Hope you all have a spooky and fun filled Halloween and of course enjoy treats (everything in moderation)!

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Pumpkin Peanut Butter Muffins

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp cloves
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 can pumpkin
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, cloves, baking powder, salt) together in a medium bowl.
3. Combine all wet ingredients (pumpkin, eggs, canola oil, honey, peanut butter, vanilla extract) in a second bowl or mixer.
4. Slowly mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients until mixed thoroughly.
5. Spray muffin tin with non-stick baking spray.
6. Add mixture into muffin tin and fill cups evenly.
7. Bake muffins for 20 minutes and insert toothpick into muffins. If toothpick doesn’t come out clean bake for another 2-5 minutes.
8. Cool muffins and enjoy!

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