Saturday, January 23, 2016

Red Barn Chowder

With the temperature below freezing,  Joan prepared this old favorite for lunch.

Joan followed the recipe in her cookbook, Gooseberry Patch Homestyle Family Favorites. She substituted turkey sausage for Italian sausage. The Rotel tomatoes must have contained extra spicy chiles because the end product was zippy.

1 lb. ground ho Italian sausage crumbled
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 zucchini, quartered and sliced
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
28-oz. can stewed tomatoes
10-oz. can Rotel tomatoes with chiles
6-oz. can tomato paste
1 c. water
2 t. dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
1 c. canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

Combine sausage, onion, celery, peppers, zucchini and garlic in a large saucepan; saute until sausage is browned and vegetables are tender. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, water, basil, salt and pepper; cook until heated through. Mix in garbanzo beans; heat through.

Serves 8 to 10

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Maple-Roasted Chicken & Acorn Squash Recipe

With a winter storm in the forecast, Joan prepared this comforting recipe.

Total time:
    Prep: 15 min.
    Bake: 35 min.

1 medium acorn squash
4 medium carrots, chopped (about  2 cups)
1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 pounds)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 450˚. Cut squash lengthwise in half; remove and discard seeds. Cut each half crosswise into 1/2=in. slices; discard ends. Place squash, carrots and onion in a greased 13x9-in. baking pan; top with chicken, skin side down. Roast 10 minutes.
  2. Turn chicken over; drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 25-30 minutes longer or until a thermometer inserted in chicken reads 170˚-175˚ and vegetables are tender.
Yield: 6 servings.

Wine pairing:
Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sausage, Bean & Spinach Stew

A hearty slow-cooker stew that is not chili.


1    lb. dried white beans, such as great northern,
        rinsed and picked through
8    cups low-sodium chicken broth
1     onion, peeled and finely chopped
2     carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2     ribs celery, finely chopped
6    cloves of garlic
8     sprigs fresh thyme
1    bay leaf
    Parmesan rind (optional)
1    lb. sweet or spicy Italian sausage, casing removed,
        shaped into 1/2-inch meatballs
1     bunch spinach, trimmed
    Juice of 1/2 lemon
    Crusty bread, for serving


  1. In a large slow cooker, stir together the beans, chicken broth, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and Parmesan rind, if using. Cover and cook on high heat until beams are nearly tender, about 3 1/2 hours.
  2. Place sausage meatballs on top of beans. Cover, cook until the meatballs are no longer pink in the center, about 25 minutes.
  3. Discard the thyme sprigs, bay leaf and Parmesan rind. Stir in spinach, thencover and let stand until the spinach wilts, 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in lemon juice, season. Serve with crusty bread.
Serves     - 8 to 10
Prep         - 30 min.
Slow-Cook - 4 HR

Joan found this recipe the January/February issue of EveryDay with Rachel Ray. Joan used crusty rolls from BJ’s as a substitute for bread.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Tuscan Turkey Soup

This heartwarming soup will become a Winter staple.

Since there was a chill in the air, Joan made this soup for dinner. She substituted chicken breast for turkey breast. And she served the soup with cornbread.

Prep: 15 min.
Cook: 25 min.

1 tablespoon butter
3 medium carrots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups of water
3 teaspoons reduced-sodium chicken base
3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 package (16 ounces) potato gnocchi
2 cups cubed cooked turkey breast
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. In a Dutch oven, heat butter over medium heat. Add carrots; cook and stir 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. 
  2. Stir in water, chicken base and Italian seasoning; bring to a boil. Add gnocchi. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 3-4 minutes or until gnocchi float. Stir in turkey, peas and pepper; heat through. Top servings with cheese.
Servings: 6

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Santa Fe Turkey Stuffed Peppers

High in protein and fiber.

For the filling:
1/2 lb 99% lean ground turkey
3/4 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cups frozen corn
1 hot pickled serrano pepper, chopped (or jalepeño) more to taste 1 large diced tomato
1 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp chopped onion
2 tbsp chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 tsp cumin
kosher salt to taste

For the peppers:
3 red bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise
1/3 cup reduced sodium, fat free chicken broth
9 tbsp shredded reduced-fat Sargento Monterey Jack cheese 1 tbsp chopped scallions, for garnish

  1. In a large skillet brown the turkey and season with salt. When the turkey is browned, add onion, garlic, black beans, cilantro, serrano pepper, diced tomatoes, and cumin.  
  2.  Mix well and simmer on low, covered for 20 minutes.  
  3.  Remove lid, add corn and simmer an additional 5 minutes or until all the liquid reduces.  Preheat oven to 350°. Cut peppers in half lengthwise, removing seeds and stem.
  4.  Place peppers, cut side up in an oven-proof dish. Fill each pepper with 1/2 cup turkey mixture.  
  5.  Pour about 1/3 cup water or chicken broth on the bottom of the dish.  
  6.  Cover tight with foil. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until the peppers become soft.
  7.  Remove foil,top each with 11/2tbsp of cheese and bake uncovered an additional 5 minutes.  
  8.  Top with scallions and serve with reduced-fat sour cream if desired (optional). 
Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1/2 pepper • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts Calories: 160 • Fat: 3 g • Carbs: 19 g • Fiber: 4 g • Protein: 15.5 g • Sugar: 1 g Sodium: 119 (without salt) 

Serving Suggestion:
Joan served this dish with a fresh garden salad and Wegmans basmati rice. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

White Bean Chicken Chili

Joan removed her Crock-Pot from the cupboard
and made this hearty Gluten-Free chili.

15.8-oz. can Great Northern beans
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
2 c. chicken broth
10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach
16-oz. jar salsa
8-oz. pkg. shredded Pepper Jack cheese


  1. Combine undrained beans and remaining ingredients except cheese in Crock-Pot slow cooker; mix well.
  2. Cover; cook on LOW setting for 4 to 6 hours, until heated through.
  3. Stir in cheese until melted just before serving.
Makes 6 servings.


If canned beans don't agree with you, just drain and rinse them before'll be washing away any "tinny" taste too.