Tequila White Chicken Chili

LIke spicy? Add an extra jalapeño to the pot.

Next to my reading chair I typically keep a big, messy stack of books and magazines; sometimes the Sunday NEW YORK TIMES rests there until the next Sunday rolls around. In the pile are that month’s book club books (I try and keep up with three book clubs plus a cookbook club, though I often don’t succeed) along with another new one or two someone’s told me about or loaned me. If I’m really lucky, and I often am, I also keep a precious something I can read piecemeal, a tiny bit at a time when I need to get off my feet or have an extra 10 minutes before needing to stir a pot or leave for an appointment.

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Friday Fish: Crab Chili

Looking for St. Patrick’s Day Ideas? Just plug “St. Patrick’s Day” into the search window and find my favorites including Irish Soda Bread with Potato Soup, Salmon on Colcannon, Colcannon Soup, Traditional Kerry Apple Cake, and more.


 Chili has to be among the most favorite and iconic American meals. Yet when I check that out, I find regular old, B-flat chili — the kind many of our mothers made and we still make year-round — doesn’t come up on the list. Green chile is there and so are flat enchiladas and fajitas.  But I truly don’t know anyone, from nearly non-cooks to chefs–who doesn’t have some sort of a pot of chili in their regular repertoire. There are simply now many, many sorts of chili because it soothes the soul and makes us feel rich, full, and as if there’s just plenty eat around here. A good way to feel.

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Slow Cooker Pumpkin-Black Bean Chili with Alyce’s Green Onion Cornbread

img_3024The blog, along with Dave,”the babies,” and I, will be on vacation until late in October. Until then, make my easy Slow Cooker Pumpkin-Black Bean Chili. Happy Fall!

I’ve been making pumpkin chili off and on for years now…  It seems to be my fall go-to for chili because ,#1 I’m not happy unless there’s chili in the freezer and, #2 making different kinds of chili changes up the menu and wakens the palate. Today’s version creates a pretty smooth, but not-too-spicy chili that doesn’t taste pumpkiny, but still has all the potassium, fiber, nutrients, and overall  health goodness pumpkin offers. Pumpkin is also low in calories: go, pumpkin!  If you are partial to chunky Pumpkin-Chicken Chili, try my stovetop version made with boneless chicken thighs and lots of vegetables like zucchini, along with both pureed and chunks of pumpkin.  Continue reading

Cocoa-Chickpea Chili — Lusty Vegan Fare


Disclaimer June, 2014 :  I  have used the term “lusty vegan” in my blogs without knowing a book by that name was going to be published; I naively thought it was my own phrase.  Just so you know.  Not a thief!

I’m on the road, and don’t have much time for a post.  Thought I’d share a lovely, spicy, perky, round and warm chili I made right before I left Colorado for Louisville and St. Paul where we saw our daughter Emily and are now packing up the last of our hundred-year-old Minnesota house, respectively.

This chili is made to fit into Mark Bittman’s Vegan Before Six, which is not new, but is still a solidly healthy eating program.  This sweet, simple life enables me to eat a carnivorous dinner (with wine), but keeps me on all plant foods until I begin to cook the evening meal each day.  I won’t say I’m religious about it –it’s harder when traveling, but not impossible — but I’ve stuck to it more often than not.  You might also think of it as an easy way to eat more vegetables and fruit…and you can change the meals around when you need to.  For instance, if you’re out for breakfast with friends and splurge on an omelet, you have a sumptuous salad for dinner that night.  Flexibility is the key; feeling great is the goal. Continue reading

Ina Fridays–Main Courses–Chicken Chili for Two

I once heard a woman say, “You can’t make chili for two people.”  As I began to write today, thinking about that conversation did make me do just a little bit of research…because I often make chili for one or two!

Chili is American, isn’t it?  That much we think we know, but read on.  There’s also the  beans or no beans dilemma.  “If you know beans about chili, you’ll know there are no beans in chili,” Texans say.  Minnesotans go, “Huh?”  when you quote the beans line.  Then there’s the meat.  There’s chili and there’s chili con carne.  After a while, you start wondering what is in chili.  Today, there are as many variations as there are cook-offs, parties, and so on.  Chili is served regularly at Super Bowl, Halloween, and at neighborhood or church gatherings.  Here’s an interesting bit of chili lore from whatscookingamerica.net–just for fun:

According to an old Southwestern American Indian legend and tale (several modern writer have documented – or maybe just “passed along”) it is said that the first recipe for chili con carne was put on paper in the 17th century by a beautiful nun, Sister Mary of Agreda of Spain. She was mysteriously known to the Indians of the Southwest United States as “La Dama de Azul,” the lady in blue. Sister Mary would go into trances with her body   lifeless for days. When she awoke from these trances, she said her spirit had been to a faraway land where she preached Christianity to savages and counseled them to seek out Spanish missionaries.

 It is certain that Sister Mary never physically left Spain, yet Spanish missionaries and King Philip IV of Spain believed that she was the ghostly “La Dama de Azul” or “lady in blue” of Indian Legend. It is said that sister Mary wrote down the recipe for chili which called for venison or antelope meat, onions, tomatoes, and chile peppers. No accounts of this were ever recorded, so who knows?

Whoa!  Gives me a chill or two.  But what about your chili…just for one or two?  I often make Ina Garten’s chicken chili (among others–I love Silver Palate chili for a crowd) from Barefoot Contessa Parties.  It’s on page 232 and serves 12. But as I made it last week, it seemed a perfect meal for this blog.   To begin with, it’s made with chicken breasts (skin removed after cooking) you’ve either just roasted or have in the frig from yesterday’s dinner–or even the rotisserie chicken from the store– and it also includes vegetables that cook quickly–onions and sweet peppers.

That makes it healthy, wealthy, and wise--and fast for chili.  Secondly, it doesn’t have beans so while you have less starch (and that sort of fiber), you also have more vegetables and less calories.  I do, truth to tell, often make a pot of beans alongside it… so that we can have beans and cornbread another day.

But you needn’t make beans; it’s great on its own.  Or there might be a can of some sort of beans on your pantry shelf (I hope) and you can use those should beans be needed.  While I look at the recipe for six (see Food Network link above/below) or twelve (in Ina’s book) and just cut it down by intuition/taste while cooking, I’ve tried to get approximate measurements for a smaller batch here. Do please consider this a guideline only and use your own judgement and tasting abilities.  While I think of it:  I also often add chopped zucchini and/ or mushrooms. Your frig might contain other wonders you’ll think of adding.  But, enough of all this.  Let’s stop talking chili and start making it.   Here’s the recipe with great thanks to Ina, who’s one of my heroines:

Ina Garten’s Chicken Chili cut down to– two servings

  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 1T good olive oil, plus extra for chicken
  • 1 clove garlic, minced  
  • 1 1/2 red bell peppers–or yellow (or a combination) cored, seeded, and large-diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Tiny pinch dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • Tiny pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 t kosher salt, plus more for chicken
  • 1 28 oz can whole peeled plum tomatoes in puree, undrained
  • 1/8 c minced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 – 1/2 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For serving:

  • Chopped onions, corn chips, grated cheddar, sour cream  (beans optional)


Chicken Breasts:  (I do these first)Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, (45 at altitude) until just cooked. Let cool slightly. Separate the meat from the bones and skin and cut it into 3/4-inch chunks. 

Meanwhile, begin the chili:

Cook the onions in the oil over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Crush the tomatoes by hand or in batches in a food processor fitted with a steel blade (pulse 6 to 8 times). Add to the pot with the basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Taste and adjust seasonings. Add baked chicken and simmer another 10 minutes or so.  Serve hot and, if you choose, with beans or toppings listed above.  Let leftovers cool completely before covering well and storing in the refrigerator for 1-2 days only.

Cook’s notes:  If you’re cooking gluten free, check the canned tomatoes and the chili powder for an ingredients list or make your own: chili powder.   If using canned beans, the same is true; check your labels or make your beans from a trusted source from scratch.

WINE:  My friend Drew Robinson has convinced me that a Syrah (all Syrah–not a blend) drinks well with something like chili.  Many folks like a barely sweet-laced beer.

DESSERT:  You’ve been so good eating a light chili, I think something warmly chocolate would be lovely.  Cinnamon chocolate chip cookies or chocolate-cayenne dipped butter cookies.  Maybe just a cup of Mexican hot chocolate topped off with a splash of Kahlua?  
Check out Ina’s whole recipe on the Food Network site here.
Watch the video of Ina making this chili here.

Who’dve thought of looking in a party book for recipes for one or two beautiful people like you?  Never know.

The first Friday of the month, food bloggers from many parts of the world join together in posting a favorite Ina recipe.  This month we have Main Courses; next month we’re cooking Dessert! 

Stop in and see what all of our fine writers are cooking up today or any day:

*Not all writers will blog Ina every week–there’s work, vacation, family–but take a peek anyway. Some bloggers will post the following day due to time change or work/family commitments.

Are you a food blogger? We’d love to have you every month or even once in a while! Email Alyce @ afmorgan53@yahoo.com to join the group or link in to join us occasionally (click on blue oval link button at bottom and follow prompts) only if you’re blogging Ina! No other posts, please?! 

                                              If you like this, you might like…

Alyce’s Pumpkin-Chicken Chili

Have fun cooking and taking care of yourself, and if you have time, listen up to a young singer named Jeremy Anderson. You can download his music here.  Guy does all his own tracks…sometimes 12.  On itunes, too.

Alyce — Back in Colorado with 300 boxes, no ipad cord, and a computer that is crashing daily
 ( portions published previously on my blog dinnerplace.blogspot.com)

College CHILI FRITO Updated

When Dave and I were in college, the cafeterias did their best to serve food that was wholesome and healthy (a salad bar appeared at student request), but that also made a teenager’s heart sing rather than sink.  As I spent a couple of years there cracking eggs–this is true–I know better than some.  Saturday nights were “steak nights,” and you seldom missed that meal, even if you had eaten all day long that day or were out at the lake at a kegger.   It was there I first heard the words London Broil or realized steaks could have sauces.  In the house where I grew up, good steak didn’t need sauce; it simply wasn’t done. (Groan.)  You wouldn’t ruin a gorgeous piece of midwest beef like that.  Looking back, of course the cafeteria steaks probably needed sauce.  The rarely-seen (ha) summer ribeye at home was fine with only a bit of garlic salt with pepper and a nice big crunchy salad right out of my Dad’s garden.  Mayonnaise was the dressing of choice.

This is Lincoln Hall.  I lived in Washington, it’s nearby exact twin.


Current dorm room–exactly the same as mine in 1971.  Some things don’t change. The site does say the rooms were renovated in the ’90s.  Hm.

I don’t remember a lot of the meals I ate at the cafeteria, though I can see the room clearly if I close my eyes. I do know for a fact we had real scrambled eggs because any eggs with broken yolks went in the scrambled egg vat.  But one meal that has stood out in my mind all these years was something called “Chili Frito.”  In 1971, Chili Frito wasn’t a familiar concept on the western Illinois border near Keokuk, Iowa.  Chili, yes.  Fritos, of course.  But Chili Frito?  Well, today you know immediately what it was: a bowl of Fritos topped with chili and maybe cheese. You probably call it “Frito Pie.”  We loved it. If there was Chili Frito for dinner, we were cheering in the halls of the dorms and we made it to dinner almost as if it were steak night.

What’s for dinner tonight? Anybody see?  …  “CHILI FRITO!”  “Oh, my God.”  (We spelled it out back then.)

The precursor to the ubiquitous plate of nachos (that we’d never heard of), it was luscious–crunchy, tomatoey, full of chili powder and loaded with cheese.  Remember, we had just gotten our first Jack In The Box tacos–our first– in the south-western Chicago suburbs around 1970.  Chili Frito was IT.

Over the years, I occasionally would throw some leftover chili on top of Fritos for my kids with a smile of remembrance, but only when the chili pot was almost empty or there was no time to cook something else.  I never made Chili Frito from scratch that I can think of, though I remembered it fondly.  In the intervening years, I had chili with spaghetti in it at friends’ houses or Chili Mac at Dave’s folks’.  I lived in places in Europe where was no chili at all and I spent four years in San Antonio where if you knew beans about chili, you knew there were no beans in chili.  As you might remember from other posts.

Last night, though, I had Chili Frito on my heart.  I had no idea what was for dinner, but it was dinner time.  The weather (another snow storm) had been awful; I didn’t even want to go to the garage to get something from the freezer.  I knew I had ground turkey and bison in my kitchen freezer that needed cooking  and that a bag of soon-to-be-stale tortilla chips (XOCHITL) was sitting looking forlorn on the floor of the basement pantry.  In the frig was a bag of already-grated cheddar leftover from a soup tasting.  And within about forty minutes, we were watching The Big Chill (which Dave had somehow never seen) and eating Chili Chips.  Without Fritos, I had to rename the dish.  It was all the same; we adored them and were happy as clams eating a nearly junk-food dinner.  Funny how food and movies kinda match sometimes. Or that comfort food is sometimes not from your mom’s kitchen, but from the college cafeteria.  I sang through the whole movie and I’m still mad they cut Kevin Costner out; he was the corpse in the casket.  (On the DVD version, are there out takes with him in it????)   Here’s how to make updated Chili Frito right before you put on THE BIG CHILL:

FIRST:  Make nearly instant chili or bring a couple quarts home from Wendy’s, I guess

In a 6-quart stockpot or Dutch oven, cook until softened over medium heat a chopped, large onion and a chopped red or green bell pepper in a tablespoon of olive oil flavored with a pinch of crushed red pepper, a tablespoon of chili powder, and a few grinds of black pepper.  Stir in a pound each of ground bison and turkey, as well as 2 minced garlic cloves. Add 2 teaspoons ground cumin, another tablespoon chili powder, and a teaspoon of ground black pepper. Cook, stirring, until meat is browned and nearly done. 

 Pour in a 28-ounce can of chopped tomatoes, a 6-ounce can of tomato paste, a cup each of red wine and water.  Stir in 2 tablespoons each Dijon-style mustard  and lemon juice, as well as 2 teaspoons dried dill weed and a teaspoon each of granulated sugar and kosher salt.   Stir and bring to a boil.  Let cook five minutes or so and pour in two cans of drained beans such as pintos, black beans, or kidney beans.  Let cook 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in 1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives (optional.) Taste and adjust seasonings.   Add more chili powder or shake in hot sauce if needed.

  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and fill a 9-inch x 13-inch rectangular casserole with tortilla chips (8 ounces or so)
  • Ladle chili generously over all the chips (about six cups) and top with about a cup of grated cheddar cheese.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted to your liking.  Serve hot, of course, with milk, which is how we ate it in college.  Ok, beer, though I only drank beer once in college.  That was enough, you see.
  • 6 servings
  • Dear God, I promise we’ll have grilled white fish the next three days. But there is still chili left for lunch.  Love, Alyce
Two-Dog Kitchen

Go away, winter; you’re bothering me.
… … … …




38 Power Foods, Week 27–Soy Beans– Three Bean Chicken Chili (With Edamame)

In the winter,  I make a big pot of chili just about every month. (If you follow my blog or are a regular reader – THANK YOU!!!! –  you know this.)  Leftovers fill the freezer for lunches or suppers before choir on Wednesday nights.  I’m happy to make chili  for supper for friends with no apologies. I make vegetarian chili, turkey-lentil chili, Texas chili (no beans), Silver Palate chili, and Ina Garten chili.  Last year I once or twice made Tuxedo Chili, a Food52 winner–simple, healthful, and quick (ground chicken/two colors of canned beans), but filling and yummy.  Mostly it’s just Alyce chili–a bit or a lot different each time.

Alyce’s Turkey-Lentil Crock pot Chili
 When soy beans came up this week as the power food for our blogging group, I didn’t immediately think chili.  No.  I kept picturing the salted and spiced soy beans I ate during rough menopause moments. (TMI)  Or the veggie burgers I order if we go to the bar for supper. (The menu says, “You shouldn’t, but if you HAVE to.”)  Once, a friend made spaghetti sauce with soy crumbles and insisted it tasted just the same as beef. (Not like beef, but it was ok.)  Occasionally we’ll eat roasted edamame for a snack or starter.  (A small portion is better for your digestion system–a word to the wise.)  I thought of the soy milk I drank on a phase of vegan til 6 (like Mark Bittman.) I visited a thick tomato cream soup with soy milk.  Nixxed that, too.  I adore tofu stir fry or fried rice. Nah; I’ve done that.  And, oddly enough, I grew up across the street from a huge field where soybeans were planted alternately with sod. (Soy bean crops are often used in this way to create healthier soil.)  In other words, soybeans were an instant outdoor snack when I was a kid. Not anything like the tomatoes we snuck, salt shaker in hand. My memory is that we snarfed them up right out of the dried pods later in the summer and into fall.  All of these thoughts futzed around, seemed lame, and led nowhere.  Truth to tell, once in a while it appears there’s not much new under the sun food wise (not really true and new approaches are always appearing) and what’s a blogger to do when it’s so cold?
This is my side yard and those tall, bent “trees” are my 100-year old lilacs.
 So——- I simply did what I wanted to do anyway, which was to make quick chili for dinner  and have leftovers for a couple of days.  Except I just added a little bit of great edamame, which are fresh green soybeans. Surely you could skip the chicken, add a couple of cups of zucchini and/or yellow squash and make a totally vegetarian chili that was full of protein if you’d like.  Chili is, to say the least, forgiving.  Try this:

three-bean chicken chili (with edamame)
8-10 servings

  • 2 1/2 – 3 pounds boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces, and salted/peppered*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 each red and yellow bell peppers, 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 large yellow onions, 1/2-inch dice
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2  28-ounce cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 6-ounce can (about 5 tablespoons) tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped or 2 tablespoons dried
  • 1 cup each red wine and water
  • 1 tablespoon each:  Dijon-style mustard and lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can each black and pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup shelled edamame (fresh green soybeans)**
  1. In a 10-12 quart stockpot, brown chicken in the oil in batches, removing to a large bowl.  Set aside.
  2. Add peppers and onions to pot; cook, stirring 5-10 minutes until softened. Add garlic; cook one  minute.
  3. Pour in tomatoes and stir in tomato paste; add spices.  Pour in water, wine and stir in the mustard and lemon juice.
  4. Season with the salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add reserved chicken, beans, and edamame.  Simmer 15 more minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  6. Serve hot with any or all:   tortilla chips, chopped onions, chopped avocado, plain yogurt,  grated cheese and/or cornbread.

*If you cut your chicken when it’s still partially frozen, it’s much easier.  Chicken thighs are luscious, often on sale, and are generally much cheaper than breasts.  I think they make better soup or chili.
**Use thawed, frozen edamame if you can’t find fresh.

{printable recipe}

 About Edamame–A Full Protein!

A 1/2-cup serving of shelled edamame contains only 100 calories, with 3 g of unsaturated fat and 8 g of protein. It also provides 4 g of fiber and is a good source of calcium, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, thiamin, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K. Edamame doesn’t contain any cholesterol and has very little sodium.

One thing:  I read most soy beans are genetically modified.  Just so you know.

Our blogging group:

I blog with a great group of writers every Friday where we cook our way through the list of foods from Whole Living Magazine’s Power Foods:  150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients:    Read more  at these sites today or sometime in the future (Not everyone posts this week.): 

Minnie Gupta from TheLady8Home.com

Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink

TWO-DOG KITCHEN and around the house…

Miss Gab and Tucker while I made the chili:


I’m re-reading Dorothy Sayers this winter. (Dorothy, 1893-1957, was a fine British mystery writer as well as a Christian scholar and the first woman to graduate from Oxford.) I’m cuddled up reading while the weather’s like this.  A  great big tall mug of mixed green and mint teas sits beside me.  Have His Carcase is a great read if you like finely-crafted mysteries.
Read an old book,

38 Power Foods, Week 22 — Brown Rice — Chili and Brown Rice with Spinach Salad

BTW, those are still cherry tomatoes from our garden on November 8.

While chili is a quintessential American fall meal, it is often eaten as is.  Just a bowl.  Just a spoon.  Just you and your chili.  

Fall in our ‘hood–tiny, dried crabapples against a St. Paul blue sky.

The chili mostly stands alone, I guess.

Or at least just with chips, cheese, onions, sour cream….or on hot dogs or fries.  Ha.

(Election Day Turkey-Lentil Crock-pot Chili--my last post–is one of Michelle Obama’s favorite meals… well–Turkey Chili is, at any rate.)

 But I like chili in all kinds of ways and with lots of different things.  I grew up with chili poured over a burger at the Dog ‘n Suds where I car hopped.  My Mom’s “Irish Chili” was full of the quarts of tomatoes she canned each summer.  It was a whole lot of tomatoes.  College at Western Illinois University brought Chili Frito over at the cafeteria for Washington and Lincoln Halls.  I loved it!  Why hadn’t I thought of it?  As years went on, my chili changed repeatedly.  After all, I lived in Europe where they didn’t know from chili.  I lived in San Antonio where if you knew beans about chili, you knew there were no beans in chili.  (I mentioned that to some Minnesotans once.  In concert, they all went, “WHAT???”)  I lived with The Silver Palate Cookbook and made their “Chili for a Crowd” forever…well, actually I still it make with variations. Later I moved on to Ina’s Chicken Chili–one of my favorites.  In other words,  these days I make several different kinds of chili (mostly my own–whatever happens to go in the pot), but one of my favorite chili meals originated one day when there wasn’t quite enough vegan chili to go around…

So I made some brown rice and a little salad.  For grins, I put it all in the bowl together.  Now I do it all the time.  Gives your mouth a break from the heat and provides more whole grains and greens.  It also lowers the cholesterol and calories of a chili meal so I can have it more often with less guilt.

Here’s the base for my vegan chili.

So here’s how I made this chili with brown rice today…using the leftover Election Day Crock-Pot chili and some brown rice I let cook this morning while  I walked the dogs.

“Come on, Gab.  Get the leash and let’s go, huh?”

alyce’s brown rice and chili with spinach salad

For each serving:

1 cup fresh spinach
1 shallot, sliced
Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Drizzle of Olive oil
Cherry Tomatoes 

1/2 cup lightly salted and peppered cooked brown rice mixed with 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 cup chili (I like the chili I just blogged–full of hot Italian sausage and lentils as well as beans, but use any chili you’ve got or buy some Wendy’s chili to take home if you’re stuck.)

To assemble:

1.  In a large shallow bowl (a pasta bowl is fine), add spinach to one corner.  Top with half of the sliced shallots and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Squeeze lemon over the greens and drizzle with oil.  Add cherry tomatoes at side.

 2. Add rice to one side of the bowl and chili to the other.  Garnish with rest of shallots and a few tortilla chips.


brown rice– tips and info……….

Brown rice takes about 45 minutes to cook at sea level, but quicker versions are available.  Some markets even sell frozen cooked brown rice.  You can also make brown rice in your crock-pot and freeze small portions for future use.  And, yes, you can make brown rice in your microwave.  You don’t save a lot of time, but a few minutes.  The directions are on the rice bag.

Rice field

  As our Power Foods group moves through the 38 Power Foods (click to order book), you’ll gather we’re up to brown rice this week.  The main food for over two-thirds of the world’s population, rice is sacred to many people.  Rice is a complex carbohydrate high in protein.  Did you know Arkansas is the largest rice-producing state in the U.S.?  If you were raised by southerners in the United States, you grew up eating a lot of rice.  Rice and gravy (or butter), rather than potatoes and gravy, were the standard at my family table.  My sister-in-law, who’s Korean, keeps a rice pot hot pretty much 24-7.  If her children are hungry between meals, they know where to go without bothering her.

Nutrients in
Brown Rice
1.00 cup (195.00 grams)
Nutrient%Daily Value





Calories (216)12%

chart courtesy whole foods
       Brown Rice is Healthy!  As only the hull is removed off brown rice, we have a much healthier grain to eat that actually works against cholesterol in our bodies with its larger component of fiber.  You can read all about it here, but you’ll see with just a little bit of research that eating foods like brown rice works toward protecting us against heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, muscle spasms,  migraines, and many other things.  Tryptophan?  But of course.  Eat turkey and brown rice and you’re much more likely to sleep well!  And best of all, if you’ve ever been on Weight Watchers, you know a cup of brown rice is four points and white is five.  Who wouldn’t take the brown?  With a few exceptions, I use brown rice instead of white rice for nearly everything.  I draw the line (usually) at fried rice, but that’s a VERY occasional meal and I sometimes even use brown rice for that. 
(rice field photo courtesy producer’s rice mill)

       Leftover brown rice?  Make extra.  Always.   Rice is good food!  Then you can….  Add milk and a little sugar for breakfast.  Stir into some scrambled eggs with cheese and green onions. Add to a burrito.  Stir up a stir fry for a topping. Warm well and add a teensy bit of butter and lots of pepper to eat with cooked squash.  Make a patty, fry it up and make a hole in the middle.  Crack an egg into the hole. Cover and cook 2-3 minutes.  Add to soup or stew.  Cook up Thai curry.  In fact, there are so many ways to use brown rice that I know several people who just cook up a great batch every weekend and eat off it all week with whatever. The simplicity, cost,  and health benefits of brown rice appeal greatly to those who don’t cook much and to those who cook often.

       One of the favorite posts on my other blog (Dinner Place–Cooking for One) is “Help!  I’ve Got Leftover Take-out Rice and Don’t Know What to Do With It.”  Click and check out the recipe; it works just as well with brown rice.

Brown Rice for Breakfast in Colorado Springs:

Smiley’s…on Tejon in Colorado Springs

       There is absolutely the very best breakfast to be had in Colorado Springs at a tiny place downtown on Tejon called SMILEY’S.  Now funky, spunky Smiley’s has all kinds of breakfasts and lunches (as well as incredible baked goods–pie and homemade whole wheat bread for their toast, for instance), but each day they have specials.  We’re not talking eggs and bacon.  We’re talking lovingly designed, gorgeous breakfasts.  One favorite in the fall is a halved acorn squash filled with a mixture of brown rice, cumin, cheese, and scrambled eggs.  I’m going to try and fix it for breakfast this morning without a recipe.  If I turns out, I’ll add the picture here.  (I’m also working on a brown rice dessert for the soup cookbook.  Be patient.)  photo courtesy smiley’s


Join our blogging group!

 I blog with a great group of writers every Friday where we cook our way through the list of foods from Whole Living Magazine’s Power Foods:  150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients:    Read more about tasty papaya this week at these sites: 

Ansh – SpiceRoots.com  
Minnie Gupta from TheLady8Home.com

Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink

The sun shining on my brown rice.
 please help

Hurricane Sandy Relief:  Donate to Food Bank for NYC


Sing a new song,

all photos copyright Alyce Morgan, 2012 (except where noted)~please ask for permission to use~i’m likely to give it, but like to know where my pics go

Election Day Turkey-Lentil Crock-Pot Chili

If you’re like me, you’ll be all over MSNBC Tuesday night like icing on wedding cake.  Like blue on jeans.  Like red on Merlot.  Like chocolate on chips. Oh well, whatever you’re on, you might want something done and done to get you through that long night.  Just, please, God…let be over and clean and obvious.  No hanging anythings and the Ohio machines all working fine.

I already made my chili and froze it. I just run that 4 quart container under hot water in the morning til it “pops” and then gently slide the frozen chunk into my crock-pot on “low” for the whole day. (Make sure and add a little water to the crock-pot before the frozen chili.)   But since you didn’t know ahead of time….  Try this spicy, filling crock-pot chili that only asks you to….

1.  Saute two onions, four cloves of garlic, 1 red bell pepper, 1 green bell pepper, and 3 stalks of celery ( all chopped) in 2 tablespoons olive oil.  (I do all the chopping in the food processor.)

2.  Brown 2 pounds turkey Italian sausage (1 pound each hot and sweet or to taste.) in another skillet.

To speed things up, I do it at the same time.

 Pour the vegetables and meat into a 6 quart crock-pot and add:

2 28-ounce cans chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon each:  dried basil and oregano
1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin and fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons each:  Dijon-style mustard and lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional (if you didn’t use hot Italian sausage)
1/2 cup red wine (or chicken broth)
2 cups water
1/2 cup green or brown lentils (well rinsed and picked over)
1 15-ounce can each:  black beans and pinto beans (drained and well rinsed) 

Stir well, taste and adjust seasonings.  Turn crock-pot to low and cook 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.  Serve hot with tortilla chips and grated cheese.

two-dog kitchen and around the ‘hood

                    please help

Hurricane Sandy Relief:  Donate to Food Bank for NYC   …  right after you vote!

On the back porch:  still ripening cherry tomatoes Dave picked 3 weeks ago.

African chard from Wendy’s garden.  I’m eating this in my egg-white omelets.

Basil growing in the south DR window.

My eastern garden smoke bush.

Burning Bush–great fall color

More of Wendy’s sage–picked last week and in water in a glass.

Up close chard. Still eating from the yard in November.  Thanks, God.

Sing a new song,

Sorry to be late in posting…I hate leaving my blog sit stale.  Family illness has kept me away.  Things are on the upswing now…

And I’m so glad the election is (hopefully) about to be over.  Please pray for those without homes, heat, and power on the east coast.  Our daughter now has power in New Jersey, but many don’t.