Everyday Meals / Food

Taco Turkey Bowls

02.02.14

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Today, my boyfriend, Matt, and I (Sam) decided to be spontaneous and take advantage of the beautiful winter weather we’ve been having here in California. We have been wanting to have a picnic for some time now and I’m so happy we finally did it! (Yay us!)

I think the reason we have not done this sooner is because having a picnic seems like so much work. First, you have to plan what you are going to make. Then, you have to cook it. After that, you have to scrounge around for containers and pack it all into something that allows you to transport it to your destination of choice…It just seems daunting when you have so much homework and other obligations to do.

However, I’m happy to report that it was not hard at all. Seriously, it was so simple and I’ll tell you how to make sure your picnic is effortless and fun! Besides, taking the time to enjoy good (healthy) food, great company, and beautiful weather is incredibly rejuvenating.

1. Prepare simple food. We chose to make food that we enjoy. For our picnic, we made “Taco Turkey Bowls” which are incredibly easy to make and very satisfying. The base is made with sautéed veggies. We had zucchini, cauliflower, and peppers on hand so that’s what we used. Then, we topped them with extra-lean ground turkey, avocado, and tomatoes. Seriously so good! Then, I chopped up some fresh veggies which we dipped in hummus…okay, I know that is not Paleo but we aren’t strictly Paleo-just gluten and dairy-free. If you are, you can choose a dip that you like. For dessert, we had honey tangerines with dark chocolate (chocolate dipped strawberries would be nice too.) Finally, to make it extra special, we grabbed a cheap bottle of organic wine. We are college students so $6 wine is fine by us! (Recipes below.)

2. Transport your food in the container you will eat them in. We put our food into the bowls that we ate out of. This made it easy to eat when we got to our picnic location and it cut down on the amount of containers we had to bring. Also, we did not have a cooler so we used one of those crates that you get at Costco when you check out to transport our food. The containers fit perfectly and it was easy to carry. We topped with a zip lock bag filled with ice to keep our food safe.

3. Dress properly and bring only the necessities! If you are going to picnic near an ocean, like us, make sure to bring an extra jacket and blanket…the wind can be chilly! We went to Montana de Oro which is a National Park on the Central Coast. We knew we would be climbing and hiking after our picnic so we dressed in casual hiking clothes. If you take your location into consideration, your experience will be more enjoyable! We brought a large towel to sit on and a blanket to keep us warm. Matt let me bring wine glasses because I don’t like drinking out of plastic but he did nix my flowers and vase idea. (Now looking back I realize that was definitely NOT a necessity haha…thank goodness I’m dating a practical man…although they would have been pretty.)

As always, sending you PEACE and LOVE without the GREASE!

Taco Turkey Bowls
 
Author:
Ingredients
Turkey
  • ½ pound organic extra-lean ground turkey
  • 1 Tbsp. white onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2-3 Tbsp. salsa
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Sautéed or steamed Veggies:
  • 2 cups vegetables of choice (we used a combo of zucchini, peppers, and cauliflower)
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
Toppings:
  • ½-1 avocado
  • Cherry tomatoes, diced
  • Optional: salsa, salad dressing, green onions.
  • Chop all ingredients.
Instructions
Turkey
  1. Heat olive oil on medium in a med-large skillet. Mince onion and garlic, add to pan when heated. Sauté until translucent. Add meat and cook until no redness remains. Add seasonings. Set aside.
Sautéed or steamed Veggies:
  1. Chop veggies into bite-size pieces.
  2. Heat a med-sized skillet with olive oil. When hot, add the veggies.
  3. Sauté until soft but still a tad crunchy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Assembly
  1. To assemble:
  2. Place sautéed veggies on the bottom of your bowl, layer with meat, and top with toppings of choice 🙂
  3. Pack into containers, grab your wine, picnic blanket, snacks and sweaters and start your adventure..."Have food, will picnic!"

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Food / Soups & Salads

Turkey White Bean Chili

01.13.14

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Living in Southern California, it is easy to wake up every morning and think, it is really wintertime? With high’s of mid-70’s, we are pretty fortunate to not have to deal with the gloomy skies or to bundle up to brave the cold each day just to venture outside. Actually, we can actually be outside comfortably without a sweater! With winter “hidden”, deep down we have to remind ourselves that it is in deed January, and we are still entitled to enjoy a cup of tea in the afternoon, sit by the fireplace when the sun goes down, and eat warm, cozy things like the homemade chili Bee’s mom often makes.

It’s that one meal that can be stored in the fridge and heated up again and again, only getting better over time! Perfect easy fix to make over the weekend, if you know you’ll be in a time crunch for the week! Or in our case,  it’s one of those things that is easy to save individualized frozen tupperware containers to bring back to school to stick in the freezer, for an instant, home-cooked meal back at school. Yum!

Bee’s favorite way to eat this is:  topped with diced avocado, cilantro, and a little bit of cheese (if you are not dairy-free!)

As always, sending you PEACE & LOVE without the GREASE!

Turkey White Bean Chili
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soups & Salads
Ingredients
  • 4 cans white beans
  • 1 package lean ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions (chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 (4 oz cans chopped mild green chilis)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin (or a couple more if you want more zing)
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (or a bit more if you want more punch)
  • 6 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth!)
Instructions
  1. Begin by cooking ground turkey in a little olive oil in a large saucepan or pot, when cooked, set aside. (Omit this step if you want to go veggie!)
  2. Sauté onions in olive oil in a large pot over medium heat for about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in garlic, green chilis, cumin, oregano, cloves, and cayenne pepper and sauté for about 2 more minutes.
  4. Add cans of white beans and stock to the pot and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 mins.
  6. Add the ground turkey back to the pot at the end until it all heats up.

 

 

Breakfast/Brunch / Food / Snacks

Gluten Free Hearty Granola

01.06.14

IMG_3711Winter time to most brings mittens, fireplaces, and snow shoveling. I (Bee) however have spent many more Christmas’s in flip-flops and sunshine than anywhere else. Currently in Southern California, during the holidays, I love waking up to the warm sun glaring through my window each morning, being able to comfortably walk through the house to make my morning coffee, and sitting outside on the deck to enjoy my favorite meal of the day, on the patio. Sure I love a snow-ski vacation, but, to me, being able to leave it behind after a few days, is worth the journey traveling to it.

My mom recently made this wonderfully hearty, healthy granola filled with good-for you things, but has the perfect crunch. Let’s just say it’s been consumed faster with me here.. so I decided to make some more, with my own twist.  (See note below for gluten allergies!)

My favorite way to enjoy it… with fresh berries and almond/coconut milk, on top of vanilla or plain greek yogurt or oatmeal.

As always, sending you PEACE and LOVE without the GREASE!

Gluten Free Hearty Granola
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: Makes 2+ large jars full, approx. 3½ lbs.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups rolled oats**
  • 1⅔ cups chopped pecans
  • 1½ cups oat bran** (simply ground up rolled oats)
  • ⅓ cup slivered almonds
  • 1⅓ cups sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds (or use a mixture of the 2)
  • ⅓ cup flax seeds
  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • ½ cup hemp seed hearts
  • ⅓ cup + 1 tbsp vegetable oil (olive or flax oil)
  • 2½ cups craisins, raisins or cherries
  • 1½ cups chopped dried apricots
  • ⅓ cup liquid honey
  • ⅓ cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • dash of cinnamon
Instructions
  1. In large bowl combine oats, pecans, bran, almonds, sunflower/pumpkin/sesame seeds (not chia or hemp yet); pour in oil and stir to coat.
  2. Spread on 2 parchment paper lined baking sheets; bake in 325F oven, stirring every 10 minutes or until golden (I find total of half hour does it).
  3. Combine honey, vanilla and orange zest; zap in microwave till warm (about 20 sec. in my micro).
  4. Transfer granola back into large bowl. Add fruit and honey mixture; stir into granola until well combined.
  5. Toss in chia and hemp seeds, toss well again. Let cool completely before storing in an air tight container.
  6. **Note (Be sure the rolled oats and oat bran are certified gluten free!)
  7. **Note: Try to buy organic seeds/nuts etc. whenever possible.

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