Eating My Way Through

Spicy Turkey and Black Bean Chili with Corn Bread and Honey Butter October 28, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Lunch,Soups — Nikki Wegner @ 1:40 pm

Now that I am officially only a few radio ads away from the end of political season I thought it was time to start posting again.  Though I have been baking and cooking over the last month, that is where my energy for non-work things that don’t involve alcoholic beverages end. Sad, but true.

So to kick-off the blog restart here are some recipes for chili and corn bread! The chili comes from me playing with/combining my favorite things from other chili recipes into one. I used ground turkey and beef broth, but if you are a vegetarian, simply subbing vegetable broth and tofu could work great! The corn bread is a favorite recipe of mine, and is definitely not a sweet version, so I usually top mine with some homemade honey butter.

To start spray a large skillet with cooking spray and add in onions, shallots and sugar, and cook for about 5-10 minutes until the onions are nice and caramelized then add in the green pepper and stir frequently so everything doesn’t burn. Feel free to use red or yellow peppers here. They tend to give me heartburn, because I am really a 75-year-old woman, unfortunate, yet true.

Onions and Peppers

Onions and Peppers

Once cooked, put the onion and pepper mixture in a large dutch oven or soup pot. Then re-spray the skillet with cooking spray, and add in the ground turkey and garlic, cooking until done.

Add the turkey to the pot, along with the corn and black beans and spices.


Turkey Goodness

After stirring until everything is well combined, add in the tomatoes and broth and stir. Let everything come to a boil then reduce to a simmer, covering partially with a lid.

Chili Simmering

Chili Simmering

While your chili is cooking, start the corn bread! Pre-heat your oven and spray a square baking dish.

Then in a large bowl combine the dry ingredients: cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and baking sod. Whisk together with a fork, then make a well in the center.

Dry Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: buttermilk, corn, egg whites and oil.


Wet Ingredients

Wet Ingredients


Combine the wet ingredients with the dry by pouring the mixture into the well, then stir until combined.

Pour into your baking pan and smooth the top.


Corn Bread Ready for Baking

Corn Bread Ready for Baking


Bake the bread for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean!


Corn Bread

Corn Bread

Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then cut into squares to serve with your chili!


The chili should be done simmering, right about the time that your cornbread is done cooling.


Spicy Turkey and Black Bean Chili

Spicy Turkey and Black Bean Chili


Remove the honey butter from the fridge and serve with the bread for a complete meal.

This meal would be great for a Saturday or Sunday football game-watching party! (Packers or Badgers preferably.) You can cook it up before your guests arrive, so the chili is finishing simmering as the corn bread is cooling! The chili is a bit spicy, and you can cut that down or make it even more by adjusting the amount of chili pepper you use. Or just serve with some cold beer, which I’ve found always helps with the heat of spicy things ;)!

Spicy Turkey and Black Bean Chili (own recipe)

1 yellow onion, diced

1 shallot, diced

1 tsp sugar

1 green pepper, diced

1 lb ground turkey

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 14-oz can black beans, drained

12 oz sweet corn, frozen & steamed

1 Tbsp ground chipotle chili pepper

1 Tbsp ground chili pepper

1 tsp oregano, dried

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

28 oz can tomatoes, diced

1 ½ cup broth (beef if you are adding the turkey, vegetable if you want to make it vegetarian!)


Spray a large skillet with olive oil cooking spray and heat.

Add in onions, shallots and sugar. Cook 5-10 minutes until caramelized, add in green pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Stirring occasionally so everything doesn’t burn!

Transfer to a large dutch oven pot or large sauce pan.

Re-spray the skillet, then add in the turkey meat and garlic, cooking until browned. Sprinkle with salt if you want. Once fully cooked, drain any excess fat, then add the meat mixture to the large pot.

In the pot, add the black beans, corn, and spices. Mix everything together until coated with the spices.

Add in the tomatoes and broth. Bring everything to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer, then partly cover with a lid for 30 minutes.

Serve with sour cream, cheddar cheese, scallions, whatever you want!

Yields 6 servings.

Corn Bread with Honey Butter (adapted from Weight Watchers)

1 cup uncooked yellow cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

14 3/4 oz cream-style corn, canned

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 large egg whites (feel free to use egg white substitute)

2 tsp oil, corn or vegetable

8 tbsp light butter

3 tbsp honey


Pre-heat your oven to 400° and coat an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray.

While the oven is preheating, soften the butter in the microwave, add the honey and stir until combined. Return to the fridge to set while the cornbread cooks.

Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a large bowl and mix well until combined with a fork. Make a well at the center of the mixture and set it aside.

In a smaller bowl, combine the buttermilk, corn, egg whites and oil.

Add the liquid mixture into dry ingredients, pouring it into the well you made, then stir until well mixed.

Pour the batter into the baking pan and smooth the top.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool the bread on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before serving.

Yields 8 servings.


Blue Cheese Stuffed Turkey Burgers with Green Beans and Shallots October 13, 2010

Filed under: Dinner,Veggies — Nikki Wegner @ 12:42 am

Quite often, probably once a week I am not going to lie, I get a craving for a juicy burger and a batch of crispy fries. There is something about the combo that gets me every time!

Not so recently as let’s be honest, I haven’t been great at posting lately, I made these great Blue Cheese Stuffed Turkey Burgers, and I paired them with some green beans to satisfy my need for something a bit crunchy and crispy! Originally this already pretty healthy recipe called for using ground beef, but I substituted ground turkey to make the meal even leaner but still full of protein.

To start, you saute the chopped onions for a bit until they are nice and tender, and then you let them cool.

In a large bowl, you combine the ground turkey with the onions, breadcrumbs, water and egg whites. I also added Worcestershire sauce to the mixture. Growing up my mom always made what I called “special burgers,”  I was such a creative child right? Her secret ingredient was always Worcestershire sauce, so I figured I would give it a try in this recipe. And just like mom’s, the addition made the patties juicy and gave them something a little special. Maybe if you’re lucky I will share her recipe with you at some point!


Burger Pattie Mixture

Burger Pattie Mixture


Once you have the burger mixture prepared, divide it into 8 equal portions and shape into 1/2-inch thick patties. Spoon about 1 oz of blue cheese into the center of 4 of the patties.


Pattie with Blue Cheese Filling

Pattie with Blue Cheese Filling


Cover each pattie with one of the four remaining burgers, and seal by pinching the edges together.

Place the patties on the grill.


Turkey Burger on the Grill

Turkey Burger on the Grill


Cook the burgers for about 4 minutes on each side until cooked through.

While the burgers are cooking you can make the green beans.

First, saute the shallots in a skillet with some butter an a little bit of sugar.


Shallots Cooking

Shallots Cooking


Then add in the green beans and salt and cook until the beans are tender.


Green Beans with Carmelized Shallots

Green Beans with Shallots


Once the burgers and green beans are done, simply plate and serve!


Blue Cheese Stuffed Turkey Burgers with Green Beans and Shallots

Blue Cheese Stuffed Turkey Burgers with Green Beans and Shallots

This meal was great for a post-work dinner. It was super easy to prepare, but was different enough to still feel like a bit of a cooking adventure. It also satisfied my burger and fries craving with probably half the calories!


Blue Cheese Stuffed Burgers (adapted from Cooking Light)

Cooking Spray

1/2 cup Vidalia onion, finely chopped

1 lb ground turkey

3 tbsp panko breadcrumbs

2 tbsp water

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 egg white

1/4 cup blue cheese

4 sandwich thins

Tomato and Lettuce for topping


Spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray and heat

Saute onions until tender, about 5 minutes

Remove from heat, let cool

In a large bowl, combine the onions, turkey, breadcrumbs, water, Worcestershire sauce, and egg whites;  stir well

Divide  in to 8 portions, shaping into 1/2-inch think patties

Spoon 1 tbsp cheese into the center of 4 patties and top with the remaining patties

Press edges together to seal

Prepare grill and spray with cooking spray

Grill 4 minutes on each side until fully cooked

Place on buns with, serving with tomatoes, lettuce, etc

Yields 4 servings

Green Beans and Shallots

1 lb green beans, trimmed

2 tbsp light butter

4 shallots, thinly sliced

1 tsp sugar

1/8 tsp salt

1 tsp lemon zest


Saute shallots in butter

Add in green beans and salt, saute about 5 minutes

Sprinkle with lemon zest

Yields 4 servings