Monday, February 3, 2014

I can eat THAT???

With all my food sensitivities, sometimes it feels like I can't eat anything but a short list of foods...white rice, turkey, black beans, carrots...and THAT'S IT!

I go to restaurants and the serves probably think I'm OCD or have "issues" because I order something super plain and emphasize that my food can't touch anything else...actually had an incident at a restaurant this past week where the server didn't quite understand what I was saying. He thought I just didn't want my food touching so he asked if I wanted the chicken and vegetables on separate plates...that made me a bit nervous, but no worries, it ended up being a great meal!

Anyway, the point of this post was not to lament the lack of food I can eat or the fact that I appear to have weird eating habits (note I said APPEAR...haha). Instead, I wanted to celebrate how much I CAN actually eat!

I've had about 2 weeks now of feeling good! The Gastrocrom has been really good, and my stomach has calmed down quite a bit. Overall, I've had the best couple weeks that I've had in a long time! As a result, I've been actually enjoying cooking and trying new food combinations (within reason of crazy obscure ingredients here).

One dish that I made recently was a Black Bean Sweet Potato Turkey Chili. Now I've had chili many times, I eat black beans and turkey often, and I've recently added back sweet potatoes as being an approved food. BUT, I've never had them all together. Plus, the recipe that I used had a lot of ingredients.

Typically I'm a 5 ingredient or fewer recipe person - TRANSLATION: if there is a long list of ingredients, I'm not even going to try it. But my boyfriend had gotten a new slow cooker for Christmas and it sounded so good, so we decided to try it.

Black Bean Sweet Potato Turkey Chili


  • 3 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 4 tsp garlic powder 
  • 2 bell peppers, diced 
  • 1-2 jalapenos, minced
  • 1lb ground turkey breast 
  • 2 teaspoons cumin 
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt 
  • ½ teaspoons pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon oregano 
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika 
  • 1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes 
  • 1 28 ounce can tomatoes (not drained) 
  • 2 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed 
  • 28 ounces chicken broth 
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree (make sure you’re not using pumpkin pie filling :) 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

  • Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil and add garlic, bell peppers, and jalapenos. Saute for about 5 minutes, until veggies are tender and fragrant. Add to slow cookerIn same skillet, heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. 
  • Add turkey and cumin, salt, pepper, oregano, chili powder and smoked paprika. (note: the meat will taste very seasoned when done. Keep in mind these seasonings are not to flavor just the meat, they will season the entire pot of chili, so they are intentionally strong!) Cook turkey until no longer pink.   
  • Add to slow cooker. Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beans, broth, pumpkin, cinnamon, and cocoa powder to slow cooker and stir to combine. Place lid on pot and cook for 4-6 hours on high, or 8-10 on low. Slow-cookers vary greatly in temperature and cooking times, but really, the important thing to note is if the sweet potatoes are tender.
  • When done, turn off heat and let chili sit with lid off for 10-15 minutes to thicken. Season with additional salt to taste before serving. 
Some points to notice...First, this recipe is gluten free, dairy free, onion free, low fructose, low fat, kosher, cardboard, oh wait...JUST KIDDING, there's not really any cardboard taste or otherwise in here. Second, and the point I'm trying to make, there are 18 ingredients in this recipe...EIGHTEEN!!! That's more ingredients than I think I've used some one dish! That's an accomplishment in and of itself!!!! And it even tasted great! I liked it more than my boyfriend was a bit sweeter than a typical chili which threw us both for a loop. I'm not usually someone who likes sweet dishes, but I enjoyed this a lot. We made this one evening before we went snowboarding and it was the perfect dinner before heading out into the cold.

As I said earlier, the point of this post was to focus on what I CAN eat rather than what I can't. This dish isn't the only thing in the past couple weeks that I've made that I can eat that is outside my comfort zone of rice, black beans, turkey, and PB2 sandwiches. I might have to be a bit more creative than someone who can eat anything, but that's okay....CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

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