pine nuts

Harvest Chili

This is the ultimate harvest chili. It’s loaded with autumn vegetables and goodness such as sweet potatoes, onions, apples, and turkey. It looks like the prettiest fall tree color-changing picture (in abstract food form) ever! It’s really healthy, so some of you are going to love that. For the rest of you, don’t let that hold you back because it’s also delicious. It’s a little spicy, a little sweet, a bountiful treat. And if I may, I think the ground turkey could easily be substituted with leftover Thanksgiving turkey… which would be awesome. Just sayin’.

As organic as possible:

2 large Orange sweet peppers, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces

2-3 canned Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, roughly chopped

4 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped

2 pounds ground turkey

1 large Onion

1 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground Black pepper

1 Tbsp Chili powder

1 Tbsp Cumin

1/2 tsp Oregano

1 – 15 oz can Pinto beans, rinsed and drained

2 – 14.5 oz cans Red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 – 14.5 oz can diced Tomatoes

4 cups Chicken broth

1 Tbsp sugar* (I think this adds balance, but if you prefer healthier leave it out)

2 Sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces

2 medium tart Apples (such as Granny Smith)

*Spicy Chipotle seasoned Pine nuts (Recipe follows), Optional

Place orange peppers, chipotle peppers, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Set aside.

In a large Dutch oven brown turkey with onion, salt and pepper. Drain excess fat (but a little left is okay). Add pepper-garlic mix, stir and cook about 5 minutes. Then add tomatoes, pinto and kidney beans, and chicken broth. (Side note: This much can be made ahead and allowed to simmer as long as needed until about 35 minutes before serving.)

Stir in sweet potatoes and apples. Bring to boiling and reduce to simmer, about 25-30 minutes until sweet potato is tender. Taste for seasonings. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, about 5-10 minutes before serving. Top with Spicy Chipotle Seasoned Pine Nuts (Optional), or corn chips. Enjoy!

Spicy Chipotle Pine Nuts

2 Tbsp Butter

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp Water

1 tsp ground Chipotle chili pepper

1 tsp snipped fresh Rosemary (or 1/2 tsp dried)

1/2 tsp Celery salt

1/2 tsp Garlic powder

1 1/2 cups Pine nuts

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325ยฐ. Line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper. Set aside. In a small saucepan melt butter, add Worcestershire sauce, water, chipotle pepper, rosemary, celery salt, and garlic powder. Simmer over low heat for about 2 minutes. Stir in pine nuts and remove from heat.  When well coated, spread onto prepared baking sheet and bake about 10-15 minutes (shaking pan a couple times in-between), until lightly toasted. Sprinkle with salt while warm. (Side note: Nuts can be prepared ahead of time and stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. They are delicious on their own, and would be a nice addition on top of a salad too!)

This recipe has been adapted, tweaked, and changed from a Chipotle Harvest Chili recipe I found a few years ago in a Midwest Living Magazine. I think it’s perfection.

If you were going to use leftover turkey, I would sautรฉ onions in 1 Tbsp olive oil for a couple minutes. Add pepper-garlic mixture and let cook 5 minutes more. Then add turkey with the tomatoes, broth, etc., and follow the remaining instructions.



Spicy Pesto Perfecto

Aunt Leann makes amazing pesto, the dilemma is like a chef she doesnโ€™t write down measurements. She was very sweet to give me her best estimates, and I tweaked them slightly according to taste; which basically means I added more Parmesan and pine nuts. Yum! Our family is not afraid of a little heat, so the cayenne adds a nice kick and the lemon really brightens the up the dish! Also known as Aunt Leann-ish Pesto, the result is as follows:

As organic as possible:

2 cups tightly packed Basil
1/4 cup tightly packed Mint
1/4 cup tightly packed Parsley
1/2 cup Pine nuts
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
The zest and juice of 1 Lemon
1/4 cup White Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp course Salt
1 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Cayenne
1/2 cup Olive oil (give or take according to preference)

1 pound Linguine (or pasta of your choice)

Roughly chop the the basil, mint and parsley and place into a food processor. Add pine nuts, parmesan, lemon juice and zest, vinegar, salt, pepper and cayenne. Put the lid on the processor and pulse a couple times. Slowly drizzle the olive oil in until somewhat liquified, but still thick. Taste! If need be add more vinegar, cayenne, salt, etc. It should have a strong flavor! You can use it right away or let it sit in the refrigerator until dinner time. Itโ€™s a great recipe for making ahead!
Cook noodles according to package directions and strain. When ready, add pesto to hot noodles and toss. Add freshly grated Parmesan as desired for serving. Enjoy!

(Psst, pesto makes a great sandwich spread too.)