Fire Roasted Jalapeno Turkey Chili

fire roasted jalapeno turkey chili. get the recipe @  #healthy #recipe #chili #spicy

Remember last week when I said Mother Nature doesn’t care about you. Well, I’m changing my statement. Not only does Mother Nature not care about you, she straight up hates you… or maybe she just hates me.  I’m trying to write this post before the next winter storm hits. This week’s storm will be a combo of snow, rain, thunder and wind. No breaks from Mother Nature by any means.

Last week when we got snow, my husband was asking for chili. Who am I kidding, he’s always asking for chili. But this request was as man as it gets. He said, “Meghan, can you make chili? But not girly soupy chili. More like traditional meat chili..but I also wants beans.” I’m sure I shot him a you-think-my-chili-is-soupy-and-girly-look. Then I realized that most of my chili recipes have been more on the healthy & girly side. 1 point for the husband.

fire roasted jalapeno turkey chili. #chili # healthy #recipe  @

I think I met my husband’s request by “manning up” my recipe. For starters, I doubled the amount of meat I usually use. You can use any kind of ground meat — I picked ground turkey. I added a lot more heat by fire roasting jalapenos. (ahem, fire roasting as in blistering the skin with a gas stove burner.)  And instead of using stock as my main form of liquid, I used beer. It doesn’t get any more manly than that.

I must say, I loved this chili. It was beefy and spicy. This chili is very versatile. It can be eaten as a chili or you can use it to make nachos or chili cheese hot dogs. Or maybe chili burritos. The recipe variations are endless!

fire roasted jalapeno turkey chili  @  #healthy #chili #recipe

My husband was very happy with the Fire Roasted Jalapeno Turkey Chili. He had two helpings on Friday night and finished off the rest Saturday afternoon. (this recipe makes 6 hearty serving.) I’m sure he’ll be asking for this chili after shoveling the latest havoc Mother Nature drops on us Tuesday afternoon. Riley is already surveying what’s fallen in the past hour.

 photo (20)


Fire Roasted Jalapeno Turkey Chili


  • 2 Jalapenos
  • 2 lb Ground turkey, beef or chicken
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 oz beer, any kind you like to drink
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 (10 ounce) can Rotel tomatoes with chili peppers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
  • Shredded cheese, for garnish
  • Diced onions, for garnish
  • Chips
  • Crackers


  1. Over a gas burner or under the broiler, char the skin of both jalapenos. When charred, put jalapenos in a ziplock bag and set aside till cool. When cool, chop jalapenos. Keep seeds and ribs if you like spicy chili. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot or dutch oven, brown meat along with the onions and garlic. Drain excess liquid when cooked.
  3. Add to the meat mixture – chopped fire roasted jalapenos, tomato sauce, Rotel, beans, 2 tablespoons of chili powder, 1 tablespoon of cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and white and black pepper. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add beer, Worcestershire sauce along with another 1/2 teaspoon each of cumin and chili powder. Simmer for 2 hours.
  5. Serve with your favorite toppings – shredded cheese, chips, crackers, and onions
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meghan sig

Oven Roasted Squash, Sweet Potato and Carrot soup

The Tasty Fork - Oven Roasted Squash, Sweet Potato & Carrot Soup #healthy #dairyfree #soup

I’m going to be a total girl and talk about the weather… The high temperature on Tuesday was in the single digits. SINGLE digits. And with the wind chill, it felt like -13 degrees. Yes, it’s subzero in Chicago. No one wants to go outside and even inside our home, I can’t seem to get warm enough. I feel like the little kid from The Christmas Story – I have on so many layers and can’t keep my arms down. But I heard it’s going to be in the upper 20′s by the end of the week. Things are heating up.

When it’s cold outside, I try to warm myself up anyway I can. I’ll take a hot shower but then get cold when I’m drying off. I’ll look at our Hawaii pictures to “mentally” warm up, however, that never works. All it does is make me wish I lived in Hawaii. Working out is a temporary fix but commuting to & from the gym really makes we wish we had a home gym. Plus, I think my Mom told me being sweaty and going outside in cold weather makes people sick. (Or is this an Old Wives’ Tale..??)

Oven Roasted Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato & Carrot Soup  I  The Tasty Fork #healthy #vegetarian #dairyfree #soup

Soup is something that never fails to warm me up. And when it’s really cold, I’ll go above & beyond to warm the belly. Something as easy as roasting vegetables can really change the taste of a recipe.  Roasting vegetables sweetens and intensifies the flavor instead of losing it into water like steaming or boiling does. And I love standing by the oven when it’s pumped up to 400 degrees. :)

Eating Oven Roasted Squash, Sweet Potato and Carrot soup is equivalent to getting into a warmed bed with a heating pad and being wrapped in a blanket like you’re a burrito. While I was eating dinner, I wasn’t thinking about how cold my feet felt or that another manicure would not save my cuticles from the extremely dry air. All I could focus on was how amazing this soup tastes! Roasting the veggies added a caramelized flavor and the soup had such a creamy texture. I couldn’t believe it was dairy free!

Oven Roasted Veggie Soup #healthy #dairyfree #soup The Tasty Fork

After writing this post, I’ve come to the realization if I need to distract myself from being cold, all I need to do is eat this soup. Luckily for me, this recipe makes a TON. Hopefully I’ll have enough leftover to make it to the weekend warm up!

meghan sig

Oven Roasted Squash, Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

  • 1 butternut squash (about 2 lb), peeled, seeded & diced into cubes
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled & diced into cubes
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into 4 wedges
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 granny smith apple, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with foil. Divide squash, potatoes, carrots and onion between baking sheets. Drizzle oil, salt & pepper over the veggies. Toss veggies to coat. Roast until lightly brown, about 25 minutes. Stir veggies around the 15 minute mark.
  3. In a soup pot, combine oven roasted veggies & vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Puree the soup by using an immersion blender or a blender working in batches. Taste and season with salt & pepper. Bring soup back up to a simmer.
  5. In a skillet, toast pine nuts. Remove nuts from skillet. Spray skillet with cooking spray. At a medium heat, saute apple cubes for 3 minutes. Set aside.
  6. When soup is ready, ladle into bowls and top with pine nuts, apples and parsley.

Oven Roasted Squash, Sweet Potato & Carrot Soup - The Tasty Fork #healthy #dairyfree #soup

Recipe Makeover — Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

Christmas is less than a week away!!! I finished my holiday shopping on Monday. (Thank you, Amazon!) I had everything shipped to my in-laws houses, so fingers crossed all of the gifts will be there when I arrive this weekend.

I really do try to eat healthy during the week and get to the gym 5-6 days/week. It’s an active effort everyday and trust me, there are days when I think to myself, “It would just be easier to pick something up to eat.” Or, “Gosh, I have so much work to do. I should just skip the gym.” But I know that’s just my lazy inner self just getting the best of me. There are a few strategies I use to keep me on track.

  1. Packing a gym bag in my car prevents me from coming home and keeping me there.
  2. Find others who can be support you and help you to be accountable — Find a gym buddy. Sign up for classes. Write down in your planner when you’ll be going to the gym each day.
  3. Plan meals ahead of time and look for healthy substitutes.

I can’t help you with making sure to pack a gym bag everyday, but I can help you with a getting involved with a community and healthy meal planning. Emily from Sweet Bella Roos has started an online community called Counting Cupcakes. (How cute!!) This group is for anyone who wants to start (or continue) to live a healthy lifestyle. There will be a weekly newsletter which will feature a healthy recipe, a sweet treat recipe and a weekly meal plan. Click on the cute lil cupcake to sign up!


When you look at your favorite recipes, try to find new ways to make it better for you. Add more vegetables so you get fiber and stay full longer, skip butter & cream and use olive oil & skim milk instead, use fresh herbs and seasonings instead of salt or fat. It takes some practice, but I know you can do it.

There is a local restaurant in town and they have the best chicken & rice soup I’ve ever had. It’s creamy and delicious. I really wanted to recreate it at home and make it a lighter option. I added vegetables & brown wild rice. Instead of cream, I used skim milk and reduced fat cream cheese to give it a creamy texture. It totally worked! And since I made it at home, it wasn’t loaded with salt and I wasn’t tempted to dunk a huge loaf of bread into the soup. (this restaurant gives you huge portions and a loaf of bread which every order. It’s a total calorie bomb.)

Recipe Makeover Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup the Tasty Fork

I know with Christmas & New Years right around the corner, you might not be in the mood for a soup makeover recipe, but pin it and come back when you’ve started your new years resolution to get healthy. It doesn’t taste like a “diet” meal, which is important to me! :)

Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice (I used Uncle Ben’s and included the spice packet.)
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups skim milk
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 to 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups cooked skinless boneless chicken breasts, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Parsley, chopped for garnish


  1. Cook rice according to package directions. When cooked, set aside. 
  2. In a large dutch oven, bring the heat to medium and add oil. When the oil is warm, add onion & thyme. Stir & cook for 2 minutes. Add celery, carrots, and garlic. Saute for another 5 minutes. Add potatoes and stock; bring to boil. Cover pot; reduce heat to a simmer until potatoes are tender.
  3. Combine milk and flour; stir with a wisk and make sure there are no clump. Pour milk mixture into soup and let simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in cream cheese. When all of the cream cheese has dissolved, add in rice & chicken. Let all of the ingredients fold into the soup and warm up. Taste and season with salt & pepper if needed. Garnish soup with parsley.

Tomato Based Vegetable Soup

Tomato Based Vegetable Soup

Christmas is less than two weeks away and I’m already entering sugar coma status. Holiday lattes start off my morning. Everyday seems like a cookie swap party at work…and it’s rude to turn away treats people have baked, right?? And for the past few nights, I’ve been having these as dessert – they’re sooo addicting. I know I’ll have to make more once they’re gone.

Since I’m eating so much sugar, I’m really trying to balance out my diet with some healthy meals like this soup. It’s filled with vegetables and has a rich tomato base. If you like tomato soup, you’ll want to try this! By blending a can of diced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and basil, each bite you take is full of flavor. Not even a pinch of salt went into the soup!

If you’re a sugar addict like me, make this soup so you can enjoy all the holiday treats the season has to offer.

Tomato Based Vegetable Soup

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced
  • ½ tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz. can small white beans or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes. Get the ones that aren’t packed in oil. They come packaged in a resealable bag, can be found in the produce section.
  • 8 basil leaves, torn plus more for garnish
  • 8 oz bag baby spinach


  1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook 1 minute, or until garlic is fragrant. Stir in onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, and thyme.  Cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until onions are soft.
  2. Add broth, 1 can tomatoes, and beans. In a blender, add remaining can of tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, torn basil leaves and 1/2 soup liquid. Purée until smooth. Add more soup liquid to get the consistency you want.  Stir mixture into soup, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Add baby spinach and simmer 1 minute more. Remove pan from heat, and stir in basil garnish.

Creamy Mushroom Chowder with Bacon

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Something really exciting happen to me. Pillsbury’s social media team shared my Biscuits, Sausage & Gravy Casserole on their Facebook & Twitter pages. The amount of activity I got on my blog and Facebook has been so amazing! I’m so thankful for all of my new visitors. I can not stop smiling. :) It’s really nice to be recognized and know people love my recipes. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Creamy Mushroom Chowder with Bacon @ The Tasty Fork

For all of my soup lovers, I got a great chowder for you to try. And guess what? You won’t find a touch of cream in this recipe. (just reduced fat sour cream.) The chowder get’s it thick consistency by adding diced potatoes and using an immersion blender. I’d say it’s healthy but the night I made this I was craving bacon….which is like every night. If you’re vegetarian or looking to cut calories, you can omit the bacon.

Like most of my week night meals, this soup will be ready for you to eat in less than 40 minutes. I enjoyed this chowder with some crusty bread. It’s great for dipping and rounding out the meal.

Creamy Mushroom Chowder with Bacon The Tasty Fork

This chowder has everything I love — Veggies & bacon. Creamy texture. Lots of flavor. Quick ready meal.

I hope you give it a try!

Creamy Mushroom Chowder with Bacon

  • 8 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 10 oz container sliced mushrooms, cleaned
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups stock (I used beef)
  • 2/3 cup reduced fat sour cream
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Parsley for garnish
  • Crusty bread


  1. In a large cast iron dutch oven or stock pot, cook bacon pieces. When the bacon has browned, remove pieces and set on a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
  2. In the same pot, add onions to the bacon fat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add garlic and continue to stir & cook for 5 minutes. Pour mushrooms and cook until slighty soft.
  3. Add potatoes and stock. Add more stock if the potatoes aren’t covered with liquid. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Using an immersion blender, puree half of the chowder. (You can also use a blender if you don’t have an immersion blender.) Add sour cream. Stir to incorporate into soup. Add bacon to the chowder. (I saved a couple pieces to garnish.) Taste chowder, add salt & pepper if needed. When you’re ready to serve, garnish with parsley and warm bread.

Creamy Mushroom Chowder with Bacon via The Tasty Fork

Beef & Butternut Squash Stew

Wow – Thanksgiving weekend flew by so fast! I can’t believe it’s over. I woke up on Monday morning feeling completely drained and wishing I had one more day to relax. I probably should have gone to bed earlier on Sunday night….but I got sucked into a terrible Lifetime Movie, Liz & Dick. Everything about it was just bad, but I was laughing at all of Lindsay Lohan’s ridiculous turbans and bad makeup. I wasn’t alive for the Liz Taylor era, but I don’t think she looked as haggard as Lohan did playing her. Oh well, it was a train wreck and I wasted 2 hours watching it.

Since Thanksgiving is over, I need to stop eating like it is Thanksgiving. No more leftovers. No more desserts. When I was brain storming what I wanted to make, the thought of poultry or potatoes never crossed my mind. I wanted beef. Beef Stew. Beef Stew with lots of veggies and herbs.

I know stews are a dime a dozen, but this beef stew was so flavorful! Do not skip on the fresh rosemary or thyme. Dried herbs just wouldn’t provide as much taste to this delicious meal. You hardly need any salt, so use fresh herbs! I also used some pinot noir — I know you can usually substitute stock or water if you’re looking for a non-alcoholic option to deglaze your pan, but this is another element I wouldn’t change. Buy a pinot noir you would drink and cook with. Buying a crappy wine just to cook with will give your stew a crappy taste.

I’d make this beef stew on a weeknight if you’ve got some time to spare because it needs to simmer for an hour. If you don’t have that kind of time, make it on the weekend and warm it up during the week. The stew gets more flavor the longer it sits.

In Tasty Fork news, I’m in the process of under going a make over!! Meg from VintPrint Designs is creating a new blog design and moving my page to I’m hoping this process will be seamless, but you never know. If there are any interruptions, I hope it will be brief. Once the make-over is complete, expect a fun giveaway to celebrate. :)

Beef & Butternut Squash Stew

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 pounds stew beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup pinot noir
  • 1 pound butternut squash, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3 to 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped flat leaf parsley


  1. In a large soup pot heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, garlic, rosemary, and thyme and saute until the onions are tender, about 2 minutes. Toss the beef cubes in salt and pepper and flour. Turn up the heat to med-high and add the beef to the pot. Cook until the beef is browned and golden around the edges, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add wine. Using a wooden spoon, gently stir up all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the butternut squash and sun-dried tomatoes and stir to combine. Add enough beef broth to just cover the beef and squash. Bring the stew to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Season the stew with additional salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

Inspired by Giada De Laurentiis

Loaded Beef Chili Verde

I woke up on Tuesday morning to ice on my car. ICE. What??!! I now have to start getting up a little earlier just in case I have to clean off my car?? I’m sooo not ready for this. I just got used to idea that I have to blow dry my hair because summer is gone. Umpf.

My office at work is always cold. The facility usually stays around 50 degrees. That’s the best temperature for herbs. I have a space heater snuggled up against me, but it’s never enough. By the time I got home from work, all I wanted was to be warm. Like overly warm. Fuzzy socks, yoga pants, sweatshirt – check! And nothing warms me up more than a bowl of hot chili.

I like to call this recipe green chili because it gets a lot of its flavor from salsa verde. You don’t need to make this, it should be available if your grocery store. It could be called a few names — salsa verde, tomatillo salsa or green salsa. It’s not a spicy salsa, so don’t be scared to try it.

But since I am a spicy girl, I added some serious spice to this chili. Hot chili powder, cumin and paprika. Go easy on the spices if you don’t love heat like me. Chili gets hotter the longer the chili sits. Don’t say I didn’t warn you….

The BEST thing about chili is it’s easy to make it your own. If you don’t want ground beef, try using ground turkey or chicken. Add more vegetables, like a variety of beans or frozen corn. Have a toppings bar.

This is a great weekday recipe. It comes together quick and full of flavor. When you need some extra warming up, this Loaded Beef Chili Verde recipe should do the trick!

Loaded Beef Chili Verde, makes 6 cups

  • 1 pound 93%-lean ground beef
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Up to 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • Up to 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 16-ounce jar green salsa
  • 1 14 oz can beef broth
  • 1 10 oz can Rotel (diced tomatoes and chilis), drained
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Toppings – diced avocado, cilantro, cheese, sour cream, chips. Pick you favorites!


  1. Cook beef, bell pepper and onion in a large saucepan over medium heat. Meat will take about 8 to 10 minutes to cook. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin and paprika. Stir frequently to distribute seasonings.
  2. Stir in salsa and broth. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in canned tomatoes and beans. Cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Taste — add salt & pepper if needed. Top with your favorite topping for chili.

Vegetarian Recipe: Corn, Sweet Potato and Poblano Chowder

How is everyone’s sugar hangover today? Are you in the need of some healthy food to detox? Well look no further..

As a child, I loved trick or treating and my favorite candy to get was Snickers. I was the type of kid who would save the “good” candy, like only allow myself to eat a few pieces a day. We always had sweets in our house, but there was something about Snickers candy bars. I wanted to keep those treats around for as long as I could.

As an adult, I rarely buy candy bars. “Too much sugar, too many calories” always runs through my mind as I’m gazing at candy in the check out line at the grocery store. But with it being Halloween season, I caved and bought 3 bags of treats — Kit Kats, Milky Ways & Peanut Butter Cups.

And guess what? We had 5 trick or treaters. Guess who lost all will power and ate a TON of candy?? (This is an obvious answer.)

Today I’m feeling the effects of a sugar coma… and the best way to get rid of my sugar guilt is to eat something healthy. Hello Corn, Sweet Potato and Poblano Chowder.

It might be hard to believe, but this is a healthy chowder. No cream or loads of butter. An easy way to give this chowder a thick consistency is to  puree a bag of frozen corn with some stock. Not only will give your chowder a creamy consistency, but it gives the soup a sweet taste. I couldn’t believe a bag of frozen corn had so much flavor!

Make this soup when you’re looking to stock up on some veggies into your meals. This recipe makes a lot, but luckily, it gets better the longer it sits. Freeze smaller portions or enjoy it for lunch for a few days.

When it comes to eating healthy, I don’t want to feel like I’m eating rabbit food. This is the type of chowder you can feel good about eating…and maybe have a piece of Halloween candy for dessert. :)

Corn, Sweet Potato and Poblano Chowder, makes 8 cups

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed and diced
  • 2 bags of frozen corn (16 oz), defrosted
  • 2 32 oz cartons of stock (veggie if you want to keep this soup vegetarian)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 poblano peppers, seeds removed and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • cilantro for garnish


  1. In a stock pot, add olive oil. When the oil is at a medium heat, add onions, garlic and jalapenos. Stir and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. In a blender, add 1 bag of defrosted corn and 1 cup of stock. Puree until smooth. Add more stock if needed.
  3. When the onions are soft, add flour and cumin. Stir consistently for 2-3 minutes. Slowly add the rest of the open container of stock. Stir to make sure there are no clumps (from the flour).
  4. Add potatoes. Add 1 to 2 cups of stock. Bring to boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. When the potatoes are cooked, add 1 bag of defrosted corn, poblanos and carrots. Stir in the corn puree and 1 cup of milk. Bring back to a simmer. Taste and season with salt, pepper and cumin. Garnish with cilantro.

Smokey Chipotle Black Bean Soup

Well, hello Fall.

I will admit, I’m happy to see you. I’m ready for jeans, cute boots and chunky scarves. If you’re a follower of my Pinterest page, you’ll see I have a one track mind for all things fall.

Has anyone tried Meatless Monday? I’ve got some Veggie Friends out there who told me about this concept. Going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. All good things in my book.

I made this Smokey Chipotle Black Bean Soup on Monday and I was sad when the Hubby finished it off on Tuesday. This recipe will definitely be in rotation a lot for me this fall & winter. The smokey-ness from the chipotle peppers and cumin just warmed me up. Pureeing a small portion of the soup allowed thick chunks of peppers and black beans to make it a hearty meal, but not weigh me down. Also, this soup comes together really fast which is great for a weeknight meal.

So when you’re planning your meals for next week, skip the meat on Monday. This soup will make you forget about anything mooing, snorting or clucking any day of the week.

Smokey Chipotle Black Bean Soup, serves 4 -6

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-4 chipotle peppers in adobo, diced & with sauce
  • 2-3 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 (29 ounce) canned black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 4-5 cups of vegetable stock or water
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cilantro
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • Greek Yogurt


  1.  Warm a soup pot to medium heat. Add olive oil, diced onion & the peppers. Saute until the onions are soft. Add garlic and chipotle pepper, stir for 2 minutes. (You may want to add a few chipotle peppers at a time, depending on your spice level.)
  2. Add black beans, cumin and lime juice. Stir until the cumin distributes.  Taste and add more cumin or chipotle peppers if needed. Pour in stock/water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. If you have an immersion blender, blend about 1/4 of the soup. If you have a blender, puree about 1 cup and add it back to the pot. If you want a smoother soup, feel free to puree more. Simmer for 5 minutes. Give it a taste – add S&P if needed.
  4. When you’re ready to serve, top soup with cilantro, diced tomatoes and a dollop of greek yogurt.
  5. Go back for seconds :)

Smoky Buffalo Style Chicken Chili

Eating chili in May isn’t something I usually do. Chicago has been hit with rainy and gloomy weather the past few days. While the rain came down on Sunday afternoon, I was curled up on the couch enjoying this amazing chili.

It’s smokey. It’s cheesy. It’s crunchy. It’s like a nacho chili bowl.

I’m not going to go into great detail about this chili. We all know what chili tastes like… but there are two elements in this chili which make it a stand out. Pureed chipotle chilis and blue cheese. Never thought blue cheese would end up in my chili, but in this recipe it totally worked.

And like most chilis, it tastes even better the longer it sits. You’ll enjoy the leftovers.

Monday Night’s Dinner…YUM

Smoky Buffalo Style Chicken Chili, serves 4-6

  • 2 tablespoons EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 2 pounds ground chicken
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 – 4 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped or grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 small can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • A couple of handfuls thin blue-corn tortilla chips
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 3/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • Pickled jalapeno chile pepper rings for garnish


  1. Heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the meat and cook to brown, stirring to crumble. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 10 minutes or so.
  2. Place the chipotles and adobo sauce in a food processor or blender and puree. Spoon 2 to 4 rounded tablespoons into a small bowl and combine with the tomato sauce to make a chipotle-infused tomato sauce.
  3. When the vegetables are tender, stir in the chile-tomato sauce and chicken stock. Simmer for a few minutes to thicken and combine the flavors.
  4. Meanwhile, switch on the broiler and position a rack in the center of the oven. Arrange 4 bowls on a baking sheet and fill with the buffalo chili. Top with an even layer of the tortilla chips, cheeses and jalapeno rings. Broil for a couple of minutes to brown the cheese and crisp the chips.