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Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

sheet pan chicken fajitas

Sheet Pan dinners are all the rage. They are like last year’s kale recipes. Remember when every recipe seemed to have kale in it? Everything has it’s time, and for one pan, oven-baked dinners, that time is now. And nobody is happier than I am! I mean, really, what’s better than putting everything on a single tray, plopping it in the oven, and ending up with a flavorful, well-seasoned, spiced-up, healthy dinner? Nothing. Well, at least that’s how I feel now… I can’t wait to see what the next “in” thing is. So, if you want to jump on the sheet pan dinner bandwagon, you have to try these sheet pan chicken fajitas.

I love Mexican food. But, I try not to go out to eat it too much. It’s dangerous! All those chips… and margaritas… ugh… I have little self-control when it comes to this kind of deliciousness…

So, I healthy things up and make my Mexican meals at home. I used grain-free almond tortillas to wrap up these sheet pan chicken fajitas. And I added turmeric to the spice mix. And lots of scallions. Yup, this is not only delicious, but it’s healing too!

It’s funny, when I was younger I think my recipes were more complicated than they are now.  I guess I got wiser as I got older. This dinner is so easy, yet it tastes as good as my fancy-schmancy Mexican recipes. As a matter of fact, I just told my daughter that she needs to try this one out when she’s cooking at her college house.  Of course, if I was the one cooking at college, I’d be adding some margaritas to the dinner…

For another great sheet pan recipe, try my Roasted Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner.

sheet pan chicken fajitassheet pan chicken fajitas

Here are some of the healing ingredients in these awesome sheet pan chicken fajitas:

Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first. For example, if you have a lot of burning stomach acid, you should avoid chicken for awhile…

Bell peppers help with indigestion. If you are feeling bloated and full from over-eating a lot lately, consuming bell peppers will help reduce this feeling. They are also good for blood circulation and research has shown that they are good for people with a low appetite or anorexia. It used to be common in China to use green pepper tea to soothe indigestion.

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

sheet pan chicken fajitas

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
Author: 
Recipe type: chicken, one-pan meal, baked, simple
Cuisine: Mexican, dinner, paleo, whole30, grain free, dairy free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This is the easiest, most delicious Mexican dinner you can make. It's awesome -- better than at your favorite restaurant! And, it's all made on one pan in the oven!
Ingredients
  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs (preferably organic), cut into bite-size pieces
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 scallions, sliced into thirds
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced (any color)
  • grain-free wraps, for serving (or any kind of wraps or tortillas that make you happy)
  • 1 avocado, sliced, for serving
  • ½ cup coconut yogurt mixed with the juice of 1 lime and a sprinkle of sea salt, for serving
  • hot sauce or salsa, for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  3. Spread chicken out on the pan.
  4. Add the oil and spices to the chicken and toss well.
  5. Add the bell peppers and scallions and toss again.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  7. Heat the wraps/tortillas if you like. (I hold mine in a tongs over my gas burner, and char them a bit.)
  8. Remove tray from oven and set it on a trivet or dish cloth on the table. Yup, serve it right in the cooking pan.
  9. Serve the wraps/tortillas alongside and let people make their own.
  10. Serve with avocado, salsa, hot sauce, coconut crema, or whatever makes you smile.
  11. Enjoy!

sheet pan chicken fajitas

Vegan Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers

These vegan slow cooker stuffed peppers are so easy!

vegan slow cooker stuffed peppers

I have finally learned to love my slow cooker! Yup, it’s a red letter day. I always loved how easy it is to use it, but honestly, my food was really inconsistent when I used it. I would have to make a recipe many, many times before I finally got it right. I mean, dried out meat is pretty gross…

I feel like a lightbulb finally went off over my head: When I cook vegan food in my cooker, it’s almost always awesome. It’s funny how things work out; I’ve been trying to eat more and more vegan meals, and now my handy-dandy slow cooker has become my partner in crime.  And these vegan slow cooker stuffed peppers are so delicious, so simple, so satisfying, so filling, and so healing — OK, I know, too many adjectives… but, they really are awesome.

I was inspired to make this version of vegan slow cooker stuffed peppers when I saw Lindsay at Pinch of Yum, post her genius recipe.

Let me tell you, even if you think you don’t like vegan food, this recipe will change your mind. Nobody missed the meat at all when I served these peppers. They have a slight Mexican taste and are filled with beans and buckwheat and an amazing enchilada sauce. I sometimes get asked to suggest vegan foods to serve to non-vegans… this recipe now tops that list!

If you’re looking for another great slow cooker vegan recipe, try my Slow Cooker Vegetable Minestrone.

vegan slow cooker stuffed peppers

Here are some ways this recipe for slow cooker vegan stuffed peppers will heal you:

Bell peppers help with indigestion. If you are feeling bloated and full from over-eating a lot lately, consuming bell peppers will help reduce this feeling. They are also good for blood circulation and research has shown that they are good for people with a low appetite or anorexia. It used to be common in China to use green pepper tea to soothe indigestion.

Buckwheat lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and it’s high in fiber. And, because buckwheat is also high in magnesium, it is the perfect food to combat heart disease. I’ve been substituting buckwheat groats in recipes that call for pasta or rice, or even quinoa… it makes a great risotto, so try it!

In Chinese medicine, black foods are known as the best foods to strengthen the body and nourish the blood. We recommend them for many people who suffer from chronic lower back pain, knee pain and infertility. Black beans have the highest amount of antioxidants of any bean, they are high in fiber and are good for the heart.

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Avocados are one of my favorite foods, both for their health benefits and because they taste great. In Chinese medicine, some practitioners recommend avocados to raise the sperm count. I like them because they are good for anemia, dry skin, palpitations and hot flashes due to menopause.

Cilantro is also known as Chinese Parsley. It is good for the common cold, indigestion, and energy flow in the body. An old Chinese remedy for the common cold and even for measles was to drink cilantro and mint tea. Cilantro is one of those herbs you either love or hate; I’m a lover…

vegan slow cooker stuffed peppers

Vegan Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers
Author: 
Recipe type: Slow Cooker, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Pinch Of Yum
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
No one will miss the meat in these stuffed peppers. They are filled with Mexican-spiced beans and buckwheat, and they are awesome!
Ingredients
  • 4 large bell peppers, tops cut off and seeds cleaned out
  • 1 cup raw buckwheat groats (you can buy these)
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-oz can refried beans (I used refried black beans, but choose what you like)
  • 1-1/2 cups mild enchilada sauce
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup vegan pepper jack cheese (I tried a new soy-free one: "Follow Your Heart" brand, and it was awesome), shredded or thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, sliced
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the raw buckwheat groats, all of the beans, the enchilada sauce, chili powder, turmeric, garlic powder, and half of the cheese.
  2. Pour ½ cup of water into the bottom of your slow cooker.
  3. Fill the peppers with the stuffing mixture.
  4. Stand the stuffed pepper up in the slow cooker.
  5. Let the peppers cook on high heat for 3 hours.
  6. Open the cooker and sprinkle the remaining cheese onto the tops of the peppers. Cover and leave on the warm setting so the cheese melts. I left mine like this for about an hour.
  7. Remove the peppers to plates and top with avocado, cilantro, and lime slices.
  8. Enjoy!

vegan slow cooker stuffed peppers

Saucy Peach Chicken

This saucy peach chicken is made with peach preserves so you can make it even when fresh peaches are not available!

saucy peach chicken

Are you like me in that even though you are an adult, you still go through “phases”? I remember when my kids were young, I would hope that so many behaviors were “just a phase”. Well, now I’m a lot older and I hope a lot wiser, but I still go through phases.

Thankfully a lot of my phases are centered around my cooking and my eating, so nothing too bad can happen. Unless of course it’s a really fattening phase…

The phase I seem to be in now is a cooking with fruit phase. I don’t know what it is, and I didn’t even recognize that I was doing it until recently, but every recipe I’m cooking lately has fruit in it. I’ve been using all versions — fresh, frozen, jarred… I’m Stacey and I’m addicted to fruit.

Also a few months ago, everything I was making was vegan. Now, I’m in a chicken mood. I stopped trying to figure out why these food moods come and go, and I just assume that my body craves what it needs so I just go with it!

The last recipe I posted was a recipe for orange chicken that used the whole entire orange — rind and all — it’s so good: Orange Peel Chicken.

Today’s recipe uses fruit in a whole different way. There’s no fresh fruit in this recipe, but there’s a whole jar of amazing peach preserves in it. I got the idea for this saucy peach chicken recipe when I was reading one of my favorite food blogs: Half Baked Harvest. The sauce for this chicken is a fruity combination of the preserves mixed with the healthy equivalent of a Russian dressing. This is awesome and simple and so amazing, you have to try it!

saucy peach chicken

I just love when a recipe tastes decadent but really is good for you:

Peaches moisten the body; they can alleviate a dry cough, help with dry mouth, and can be good if you are experiencing constipation. In Chinese medicine, we have an herb that is made from the peach kernel (Tao Ren). This herb is great for constipation and some menstrual problems. Isn’t it great when something so delicious is also so healthy?

Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first. For example, if you have a lot of burning stomach acid, you should avoid chicken for awhile…

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Chili powder is rich in vitamins A and C and also in essential minerals. Spicy pepper is one of the most nutritious spices available. Consuming small amounts gives you a great source of potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium. Spicy peppers have also been shown to ease the pain of some types of arthritis and muscle soreness.

Raw apple cider vinegar is one of the most amazing ingredients available today. My husband and I really do take a big spoon of it every day along with our other supplements. It helps you maintain a healthy alkaline level in your body, detoxifies the liver, and is good for your heart. This vinegar helps intestinal function, much the way probiotics do. It also acts as an antacid and can help break down mucous in the body. In this recipe I only used a teaspoon of it, but I really think it would be could with a lot more. The next time I make this, I will keep adding the apple cider vinegar by the 1/2-tsp to see how much I can add and still have it taste so amazing!

saucy peach chicken

 

Saucy Peach Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: chicken, poultry, main course, simple
Cuisine: recipe inspired by: Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
The sauce for this chicken is so delicious, you will want to make it time and time again... and it's healthy!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F convection setting or 425°F regular bake setting.
  2. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with coconut oil.
  3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and arrange it in a single layer in the baking dish.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour them over the chicken.
  5. Bake until the chicken is cooked through and starting to get a few brown patches on the top. (Mine took 35 minutes on the convection setting.)
  6. Enjoy!

saucy peach chicken

Perfect Baked Fish Fillets

Sometimes you just want perfect baked fish fillets… here’s how to do it.

Perfect Baked Fish Fillets

Since we moved into our new apartment I haven’t been cooking much fish. This is a hardship for me because I truly love seafood. But the first time I made fish here, the smell lingered for days. It was so bad that I couldn’t imagine how to fix this, so I ignored the issue and just didn’t cook it here again.

This week I decided, enough is enough… I really want my fish! Not only did I make this recipe once, but I made a version of it 3 times. Not only didn’t it smell bad, but I was able to perfect the recipe.

I learned a few things about myself: One is that sometimes I can be not too bright — it turns out the reason the seafood smelled so badly the first time was that it was Thanksgiving, and I cooked a huge platter of many different kinds of seafoods for a ton of people. Any person using her brain would have realized you can’t cook 10 pounds of seafood in a small apartment without some lingering smell! The second thing I learned is that I really do like my fish cooked simply. Simple flavors and simple cooking methods. I made this fish first with lots of awesome aromatics and spices… it seemed like it was going to be great… but, all I could taste were the spices, not the fish. By the time I finished perfecting this perfect baked fish fillets recipe, it was cooked so simply that the freshness of the delicious fish was able to shine and I was able to top it with some awesome fresh garnishes that really made it look and taste great.

Sometimes it takes a few mistakes to get things right. And, these were some happy (OK, maybe not happy, but not so bad) mistakes.

This fish is ever so slightly crusted with a mixture that keeps the inside moist and tasty and gives a great texture to the outside of the fillets. It is so easy to make that it’s perfect for a weeknight meal, and it’s versatile enough that you can garnish it with whatever makes you smile.

By the way, here’s the recipe that made my house smell: Seafood Salad With Garlic Oil.  I’m giving it to you because it’s so delicious, and I promise that if you are not making as much as I had to make for Thanksgiving, it won’t linger in your house!

Perfect Baked Fish FilletsPerfect Baked Fish Fillets

Why is this so good for you… let me count the ways:

Fish is great to eat if you feel like you need more energy. It’s also helps with diarrhea and hemorrhoids. I used cod for this recipe, but almost any fish would be delicious with this preparation and creamy mustard sauce. Red Snapper, like many fish varieties, is good for the cardiovascular system; it helps protect against heart attacks and strokes and can help regulate blood pressure.  It’s also very low in calories… so have a nice big piece!

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Tapioca is a starch that comes from the cassava plant. It’s not really a flour in the traditional sense; it’s grain and gluten free. It’s good for your circulation and your digestion. Oftentimes I will make recipes with tapioca flour — it seems to crisp things up well — it certainly works well on this fish.

Perfect Baked Fish Fillets

Perfect Baked Fish Fillets
Author: 
Recipe type: seafood, fish
Cuisine: American, Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
These really are the perfect baked fish fillets. They are very slightly crusted giving them a great texture and juiciness. They are simple enough to make for a weeknight dinner and they are so healthy!
Ingredients
  • ¾ lb red snapper fillets (or whatever white-fleshed fish you like), cut into 4 pieces
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 hot red pepper, sliced for garnish
  • 2 scallions, sliced, for garnish
  • lemon slices, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F convection setting, or 425°F regular bake setting.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Place a rack on top of the sheet.
  3. Season the fish with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the tapioca flour in a shallow dish or pie plate. Season the flour generously with salt and pepper. Stir in the chili powder and turmeric.
  5. Coat each piece of fish in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess.
  6. Place each coated fillet on the rack that's on top of your baking sheet.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for about 22 minutes, or until cooked through.
  8. (Note: mine took 22 minutes on the convections setting. All ovens cook differently, so check yours often; if you are using the regular bake setting it may take a little longer, depending on the thickness of your fish.)

 

Perfect Baked Fish Fillets

Pork Chili With Bok Choy

This pork chili with bok choy has a great traditional chili taste will some awesome added extra healing ingredients!

pork chili with bok choy

Chili is awesome. It’s warming and delicious and there are about a bazillion different ways to make it. Yes, a bazillion.

I love to open the fridge and put whatever catches my eye into my chili pot.

Right now we are in the process of moving, so sometimes it’s challenging to cook dinner, because half of my things are in the new place and half are in the old place. Sometimes when I start cooking dinner, I forget what’s where and I end up using kitchen tools that really don’t work for the job I need. But chili makes it easy… one pot… no special tools.

There are white chilis and red chilis and hot ones and mild ones. There are meaty versions and veggie versions. There are ones that are sweet and ones that are tangy. OK, now my mouth is watering and my mind is already coming up with another pot I have to make. Soon.

And, it just so happens to be football season now. There’s no better tradition than a big pot of chili for the upcoming playoffs and Superbowl…

When I created this chili I looked in my crisper drawer and saw a few heads of beautiful fresh bok choy. Yes, I know, bok choy is not a traditional chili ingredient, but I figured what the heck, let’s try it.  And the combination of bok choy with pork is just perfect. I’m telling you, this amazing veg is perfect in this meaty chili. I decided not to put any beans in this pot so the bok choy would stand out more, but feel free to add beans if you’re in that kind of mood.  If you’re in the mood to try another really unique but amazing chili, try my Sweet Potato Chili With Goji Berries next time.

pork chili with bok choy

I bet you didn’t know chili could be so healthy, but here are the stats for this one:

Pork strengthens the digestive system, helps with constipation, and can moisten a dry cough and other dryness in the body. It’s also good to strengthen your qi and give you energy.

In Eastern medicine, bok choy is used to quench thirst, aid digestion, prevent constipation and treat diabetes. It is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate and fiber. And there are only 20 calories in one cup of Bok Choy. So, it’s good for you, it’s easy to prepare, and it tastes good.

Bone broth is filled with bone marrow and essential fatty acids — these things promote optimal brain health. It also contains glycine, which is an amino acid that helps with memory, concentration, stress, and focus.  You can make your own bone broth, but you don’t have to anymore. Bone broth is now available in tons of markets. (See the recipe below for the awesome ready-made bone broth I used in this soup recipe.) It’s sold in boxes just like chicken or vegetable broth. The glucosamine in bone broth can reduce inflammation and strengthen the bones. It’s also great for your skin, hair, and nails. This is a great thing to use for a quick soup base, or to just sip on during the day. Sometimes I’ll have a hot cup of bone broth first thing in the morning for a quick healing pick me up.

Hot peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable and they are good at fighting off the common cold. So, if you like spice, as I do, use a generous amount of whatever hot peppers you like. And feel free to add more chili powders or spicier ones if you’re a spice-a-holic. The main component of hot peppers is capsaicin. Capsaicin actually works with your body and mind to make you feel happy. It’s also good for reducing swelling and can relieve arthritic joint pain. If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before eating too many hot peppers because they can actually raise the blood pressure in some people.

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Bell peppers help with indigestion. If you are feeling bloated and full from over-eating a lot lately, consuming bell peppers will help reduce this feeling. They are also good for blood circulation and research has shown that they are good for people with a low appetite or anorexia. It used to be common in China to use green pepper tea to soothe indigestion.

I also added some raw Chinese Herbs to the pot. My favorite thing about cooking things like soups, stews and chilis, is that it’s a great vehicle for my Chinese herbs because they get lots of time to infuse their healing capabilities into my food. I added Huang Qi (Astragalus) and Shan Yao (Chinese Yam) for energy.

pork chili with bok choy

Pork Chili With Bok Choy
Author: 
Recipe type: chili
Cuisine: mexican, american
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This is a great bowl of healthy chili. It's spicy and refreshing at the same time. The bok choy is an amazing addition! Touchdown!
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lb ground pork
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 2-inch piece of a hot pepper, minced (I used an Anaheim chili)
  • 3 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • ½ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 28-oz can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken bone broth (This is a good organic one)
  • 2 medium heads of bok choy, sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • raw Chinese herbs (I used Shan Yao and Huang Qi) (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the pork and saute until most of the pink color is gone.
  3. Stir in the onion, bell pepper, garlic, hot pepper, salt and pepper to taste, chili powders, cumin, and turmeric. Stir until the meat is coated with the spices and continue cooking and stirring for about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in the can of tomatoes and the chicken broth. Add raw Chinese herbs if using. Bring to a boil. Add the bok choy, cover the pot, and cook 20 minutes. Then, uncover and cook an additional 20 to 30 minutes, or until the chili is the consistency you like.
  5. Ladle into bowls and top with avocado.
  6. Enjoy!

Spicy Chickpea Turkey And Tomato Stew

This spicy chickpea turkey and tomato stew is so warming and healing!

Spicy Turkey, Chickpeas, And Spinach-9643

Why is it that a big pot of spicy stew makes me smile so much?

Do any of you feel the same way?

Whether it’s chili or hot and sour soup or a spicy meat and veggie concoction, just the smell of it makes me happy. Maybe that’s why a huge pot of chili is often on my stove. Or, maybe it’s because I love football and all of the traditional foods associated with the game.  I’m sure it’s partly because a big pot of simmering goodness is the perfect foil for my Chinese herbs.

But it’s mostly because it’s just so yummy! And warming! And filling!

Whatever the reason, this stew came together because I had a hankering for chili, but it wasn’t football Sunday. So, what’s a cook to do? Lots of times, I just make the chili anyway, but this day I felt like something a little different… more like stew I thought… or maybe a touch Moroccan… I just felt like taking regular chili to another level… a little more gourmet if you will (does that sound too snooty???). Since I was only cooking for a few people instead of a regular big football crowd, I figured I’d experiment. And a successful experiment it was!

I love cooking down the aromatic ingredients and then shoving (literally shoving) as many leafy greens as I can into the pot and watching them melt into the gooey goodness in the pot…

Spicy Turkey, Chickpeas, And Spinach (spinach)-9583

“Pots of stuff” or “stews” are great because you can add in whatever you like and whatever your body needs at that point in time. Here’s some of what I put in this gorgeous pot:

Turkey is a healthy meat. Make sure you buy organic, pasture-raised turkey for the highest nutritional benefits. Recent research has shown turkey helps lower the risk of pancreatic cancer; however I did read some research that suggests that if you eat the skin along with the meat, some of this value is reduced, so don’t eat too much skin — this recipe uses ground turkey so it has no skin involved… Turkey also has a great protein-to-fat ratio, so it keeps you feeling full with less potential for weight gain. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B and selenium.

In my acupuncture practice, some of my favorite conditions to treat are stress, anxiety, and depression. I’m also always looking for foods that will add to the effectiveness of these treatments. Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular…

Most people think of Popeye (am I dating myself??) and iron when they think of spinach. It is true that spinach contains iron, but it’s this vegetable’s lesser-known qualities that really hold my admiration. Spinach contains a substance that helps eliminate prostate cancer. It’s also great for your bones and also for memory loss. Diabetic patients may find that eating spinach helps combat excessive thirst and can even be good for night blindness. Spinach can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium, so calcium-rich foods should be avoided when eating this leafy green.

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections. This recipe has canned chopped tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes — double whammy!

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; the onion can actually draw the toxins out of the body!

Chili powder is rich in vitamins A and C and also in essential minerals. Spicy pepper is one of the most nutritious spices available. Consuming small amounts gives you a great source of potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium. Spicy peppers have been shown to ease the pain of arthritis and muscle soreness.

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

I love to add my Chinese herbs to anything that simmers on the stove for awhile. This time I added some Bai Shao. Bai Shao is white peony root and it’s great for yin deficiency (think menopausal symptoms…). If you want more info on this herb, just ask…

Spicy Turkey, Chickpeas, And Spinach (pot)-9633

 

Spicy Chickpea, Turkey, And Tomato Pot
Author: 
Recipe type: stew, chili, one-pot meal
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ground turkey, chickpeas, and spinach cook in an amazing, spicy tomato sauce... so warming!
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric (just found this one-- I'm buying it for next time!)
  • ½ tsp (or more if you like more spice) chipotle chili powder (here's one I use a lot)
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika (this one sounds good - let's try it!)
  • 20 oz canned chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup sliced sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 5 oz baby spinach
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute 2-minutes.
  2. Add the turkey, season with salt and pepper, and stir for about 3 minutes, or until it is starting to get some color.
  3. Add chili powders, turmeric, and smoked paprika. Cook, stirring, until no longer pink.
  4. Pour in canned tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes.
  5. Add chickpeas and bring pot to a boil, then reduce heat to low and add the spinach. Let the spinach wilt and stir until it is all well combined.
  6. Cover and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes or until it's hot and smelling amazing.
  7. Ladle into bowls. Enjoy!