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Spiced Black Bean and Turkey Soup

January 8, 2010

Winter is here in, in a BIG way, and based on the weather forecast for the rest of the country, chances are temperatures have been lingering well below average no mater where you are. It’s so terribly cold here that even making a trip to the grocery store (which for me is less than a half a mile) takes an extra kick in the pants, usually from my stomach growling ‘feed me!’

Not all too long ago, I used to be intimidated by the idea of making soup. Something about soup, in all its deliciousness, seemed intimidating. But truth be told, soup is one of the easiest meals to make. Of course I’m going to give you the recipe of this Spiced Black Bean and Turkey Soup, but don’t get frustrated thinking you need all the ingredients listed; make do with ingredients in your pantry.

This soup recipe makes enough for 4-6 people. Since there’s no way I will be able to eat that much soup before it goes bad, I’m freezing half in case friends drop by and I need a homemade meal quick. Anyone else out there have a great soup recipe or family favorite they go to when the temperatures drop?


*1 (32 oz.) container reduced-sodium chicken broth
*1 can white beans or butter beans
*1 cup milk
*1/2 tsp. ground marjoram or oregano
*1 tsp. salt
*1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
*1/2 tsp. paprika
*1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
*1/2 tsp. dried thyme
*1 tsp. dried parsley
*1 lb. ground turkey or ground chicken, browned
*1 can black beans
*1/2 cup sliced black olives
Extra parsley and paprika for garnishing (optional)


*In a blender, combine half of the broth and the white beans. Blend until smooth. In large pot, combine broth/bean mixture, remaining broth, milk, and spices. Whisk until well-combined.
*Heat mixture over medium-high heat until hot but not boiling. Add in ground turkey, black beans, and olives.
*Garnish with additional parsley and paprika, if desired.



Turkey Burgers with Broccoli Tomato Salad

September 23, 2009

Tired. The word of the day, week, and maybe even the month! It’s not so much the kind of tired that you feel when you had one night of bad rest, but rather, the kind of exhaustion you feel when that one night of bad rest becomes multiple nights and tasks and responsibilities pile up. I don’t have kids or a family, but I think I’m beginning to understand why so many moms resort to the help of take-out when exhaustion settles in.

But let’s be honest, take-out can be a minefield to navigate. Often expensive and unhealthy, sometimes getting back in the kitchen is truly the best option. Truth be told, it dinner doesn’t have to be an elaborate production. There are nights for that, and then there are nights when it’s just about nutrition and fuel, and if it tastes great, count it a bonus.

So while this may not be the definition of culinary brilliance, it does meet the basic requirements of a healthy, tasty, weeknight-friendly meal. A nice way to add a little extra weight to this meal would be to put the turkey burger on a whole-wheat roll with some typical burger toppings, like lettuce and tomato. The salad oh so good! Chopped broccoli, tomatoes, feta cheese, and a bit of balsamic vinaigrette make it super simple. Serve it cold and enjoy the leftovers for lunch.

Turkey Burgers:
*1 lb. ground turkey
*2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
*1/2 tsp. salt
*1 tsp. Italian seasoning
*1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Mix together the above ingredients and form into 4 patties. Grill or pan-fry over medium-high heat, 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until no pink remains. Place burgers on foil lined baking sheet. Turn oven to broil. Sprinkle the cheese over the four burgers and place broil for 2 minutes, until cheese is nicely browned.

Broccoli Tomato Salad:
*1 head broccoli, steamed and chopped
*4 medium tomatoes, chopped
*4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
*4 Tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette
*1/2 tsp. salt
*1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Mix together the above ingredients and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes, until chilled. Serve with turkey burgers.

The bottom line? Life is too short and cooking too fun to stress about weeknight meals. Let these recipes get you on the path to healthy, family-friendly cooking when time and energy is running low.