Monday, March 28, 2011

Enchilada Sauce

Enchilada Sauce
So here is my recipe for that super yummy enchilada sauce I mentioned in my Healthy Enchilada's post. I almost forgot to post this! I hope there weren't too many of you waiting!

This sauce totally makes that dish. I wasn't lying when I said I could eat it with a spoon, because I have, on multiple occasions. 

This sauce is super quick and easy to make and uses basic ingredients. I recommend making this ahead of time as prepping and rolling the enchiladas can be quite time consuming. Just throw all the ingredients together in a sauce pan, simmer, cool, and place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. If you want to keep it longer just freeze it! Freezers are awesome aren't they?!

Enjoy!

Enchilada Sauce

Ingredients:
  • 1 can (regular sized approx. 12-15 oz) of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of canola oil
  • 2 tbsp of flour
  • 4 tbsp of chili powder 
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp of onion salt
  • 1 tsp of cumin
Directions:
  1. Heat oil in a sauce pan and add the flour and chili powder. Sir until a lump free paste is formed. 
  2. Add all other ingredients and stir until sauce starts to bubble. Reduce heat to a low simmer.
  3. Simmer for 15 mins until the sauce has slightly thickened.
  4. If the sauce is too thick then add more water. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Trim Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Trim Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Spinach and artichoke dip has always been a guilty pleasure for me. An appetizer to be savored on a special night out or brought to a festive holiday party. There are large quantities of healthy spinach and artichoke in the dip but who am I kidding? It's basically cheese, cream, mayo, and more cheese.

This recipe caught my eye. I altered it to make it healthier and more accommodating to my taste. Now unlike your average spinach and artichoke dip, this dip definitely tastes and looks healthy. When you dip in, there will be no oozing cheese on your cracker but instead simply spinach and artichoke. But that's okay because it tastes awesome!

My sister, my mom and I finished this off in 3 evenings! My mom even wanted me to make another and freeze it so she could have one ready to be heated and served to guests. She loved how light this dish was. I never had the time to make a second batch but this recipe is so easy she can make it herself in a snap.

This is a recipe you can experiment with. Next time I will make it with garlic infused canola oil instead of olive oil, as canola oil is cheaper and has a higher ratio of those good poly unsaturated fats. I think I'll also cut down on the amount of oil some more and add more spinach. Maybe I'll even try cottage cheese instead of sour cream, or do a mix of both like I do in my Enchiladas. So many possibilities!

Trim Spinach and Artichoke Dip
adapted from One Haute Plate


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of frozen spinach that’s been thawed and squeezed of excess water
  • 1 can (15 oz) of artichoke hearts chopped
  • ½ onion diced
  • 1 cup of shredded parmesan cheese or Italian cheese blend 
  • 1/3 cup of low fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper for seasoning
  •  Panko breadcrumbs

Directions:
  1.  Mix the spinach, artichoke, onion, sour cream, Parmesan and olive oil together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Pour into a 9x9 inch baking dish and sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs
  3. Bake at 400F for 30 mins.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Healthy but Totally Delicious Enchiladas

Enchiladas!!
Pork, onion and black bean enchilada mixture
I LOVE THIS RECIPE!

It truly is so good that just thinking about it makes me salivate.

Low fat cottage cheese and sour cream, lean pork, black beans, onions, tomato-based enchilada sauce, sprinkle of cheddar cheese, whole wheat flour tortillas...this dish has all your food groups. And it's full of flavour without being full of fat and calories.

For me the enchilada sauce is what makes this dish so special. I could eat it with a spoon right out of the sauce pan...and secretly...between just you and me...I did. ;-)

This recipe can be thrown together rather quickly if you've already made the enchilada sauce and the tortillas. Just quickly saute the onions, add the black beans and pulled pork and cook until the meat and beans are warmed. I made my enchiladas really big and so only 5 fit in my dish. Next time I'll aim for 6 per dish, that way I can easy double the recipe in a second dish to accommodate guests. I think I'll also add a cup of corn to the meat mixture for some additional vegetables and colour.
Assembling the enchiladas.

Healthy Enchiladas

adapted from Allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cup pulled pork (recipe here)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 cup of corn *optional
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/8 tsp of red chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1 cup trim cottage cheese
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 12 (6 inch) or 6 large tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can red enchilada sauce or 2 cups of Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Heat oil in a skillet and cook onions until translucent. Add pork and black beans, chili powder, garlic and chili flakes. Cook until beans and meat are warmed.
  3. In a small bowl mix together sour cream and cottage cheese with the sea salt and pepper.
  4. Spoon half the enchilada into a greased 9x13" baking dish and spread it evenly all over the bottom of the pan. 
  5. In each tortilla place a spoonful of meat mixture, a spoonful of cottage cheese mixture and a bit of shredded cheese. Roll tortillas and place seam side up in the baking dish. 
  6. Top the enchiladas with any remaining meat and cottage-cheese mixture, enchilada sauce and remaining shredded cheese.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuna Meatballs



Tuna Meatballs
Tuna Meatballs
Another tuna dish...yummers!

We try and add fish to our diet weekly. The cost of fresh fish is particularly cost prohibitive lately and to fill in the long gaps between salmon and halibut I reach for some canned tuna.

Shawn loves meaty spaghetti. I'm not a fan of pasta and I definitely do not like meatballs. I found this recipe while searching online for recipes to help me use up my giant can of tuna. It seemed to be a great way to give Shawn his pasta fix while giving me a form of meatball that I might actually enjoy.

One bite and we were hooked! These little guys are sooooo good! They hold together well and are firm! Not mushy at all!

Shawn eats these with spaghetti and marinara sauce. I love to eat these with gnocchi and broccoli pesto or even on their own with marinara sauce and a side salad. Another healthy and totally yum meal!

*Recipe Note: I do a large batch, doubling or tripling the recipe. I then cook all the meatballs and freeze them for a quick and easy meal. Just defrost in the microwave or on the counter and then reheat in a skillet.


Tuna Meatballs

Ingredients: 
  2 160g cans of tuna or just under 2 cups of tuna
  ½ cup diced onion
  1 tbls of lemon juice
  1 grated carrot
  1/3 italian breadcrumbs (add more if balls don’t adhere well)
  1 egg

Directions:
Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix with hands and form into meatballs.
Cook in an oiled skillet until browned on all sides.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Quick and Easy Tuna Casserole

Tuna Casserole

I LOVE tuna casserole. It's my chosen comfort food. Yummy noodles and tuna, mixed with creamy mushroom soup, crisp veggies and cheese. What could be better?!


Massive cans of tuna we buy that are soooo cost effective!
I have a fancy pants version that I do for guests with leeks and expensive Swiss cheese. It's good. Really good. But so is this recipe. And this recipe is cheaper, uses easier and more pantry friendly ingredients, is lower in fat, and comes together in 15 minutes or less. So you won't be surprised when I tell you I make this version a whole lot more often.

I buy the massive 4 pound cans of tuna. Don't be afraid of these massive cans. They are much more cost effective than the regular smaller sized cans and if you are a tuna lover than you will have no problem finding recipes to use it all up. For me, one 4 pound can normally makes two casseroles for freezing, and a whole pile of Tuna Meatballs. I sometimes make tuna burgers but we've found we prefer the meatballs better.

This recipe freezes well and reheats with ease, so I recommend doubling or tripling the recipe and making two large casseroles; freezing one for a quick meal on a busy day.

Quick and Easy Tuna Casserole ingredients ready to be mixed.


Easy Tuna Casserole
by Kaitlyn McFadden


Ingredients:
  • 7oz of medium width rice noodles (half of a 14oz package)
  • 1/2 large onion finely diced
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper finely diced
  •  2 cups of drained canned tuna
  • 1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup (low sodium/low fat)
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp granular garlic
  • 1 tsp of onion powder
  • *can add an additional ½ cup of a preferred veggie (I like asparagus)
  • *OR add 2 handfuls of fresh baby spinach (Pictured at the top of the page)


Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook noodles in boiling water for 6-7 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent the noodles from continuing to cook.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  3. In a large bowl mix ALL of the ingredients together and pour into a lightly greased 9X13 inch casserole dish.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. 
Quick and Easy Tuna Casserole

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Beer of the Month - McMenamins Irish Stout on Nitro

McMenamins Irish Stout on Nitro
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I bring to you this evening an Irish Stout on this festive Irish holiday! This beer also happens to be my March pick for Beer of the Month!

McMenamins Irish Stout on Nitro
Tasting Notes:
This beer is dark black and perfectly opaque with a rich malty head. You smell dark chocolate and malt on the nose. This beer is extremely smooth and the taste is heavy roasted malt with a bitter edge. Those with a discernible palate may taste a hint of coffee.

Overall this beer has more flavour than Guinness. This stout also doesn't get tiresome to drink after one pint, so head over to a McMenamins before the end of March so you can try this beer. If you don't make it, well there's always next March!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kaitlyn's BBQ Sauce

Kaitlyn's BBQ Sauce
I've never been a fan of the store bought versions of BBQ sauce. I am not a fan of hickory or liquid smoke making my choices limited. So I did some research online and discovered that making your own BBQ sauce is easy. It's quick, requires basic ingredients, and best of all these recipes are flexible. You can omit and add flavours to your liking to create a recipe thats totally unique and completely to your taste. My BBQ sauce is a mix between the thick tomatoey Kansas Style and the mustard based Carolina Style.

This BBQ sauce is perfect for BBQ pulled pork. Mix this sauce with shredded pork, place in your slow cooker and simmer on low heat for a few hours until you are ready to serve dinner.

Kaitlyn's BBQ Sauce

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ¼  cup light brown sugar
  • ½  cup of cider vinegar
  • ¼  cup water
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½  teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • ¼ teaspoon of red chili flakes *optional
Directions:
Heat oil in a saucepan. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add remaining ingredients and reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes until thickened.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Guinness Cupcakes with Irish Cream Frosting

Guinness Cupcake with Irish Cream Frosting
Just in time for St. Patrick's Day here is a tried, tested, and true recipe for Guinness Cupcakes with Irish Cream Frosting!

I made these for Valentines Day but the Irish liquor theme is perfect for an adult St.Patrick's Day.  You could even dye the frosting green to make it more festive and instead of hearts, pipe some little shamrocks!

These cupcakes are so good! The bitter edge of the Guinness is perfectly balanced by the sweetness of the Irish cream.

*Recipe notes: The Irish cream frosting is really strong and literally the best frosting I've ever tasted. The alcohol evaporates overnight so make the frosting ahead of time if you don't want the frosting to be very strong.


Guinness Cupcakes decorated for Valentines Day
Guinness Cupcakes with Irish Cream Frosting
from Une-Deux Senses

Guinness Cupcakes
Ingredients:

1 cup stout beer/ Guinness
2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake tin with liners and set aside.

Combine Guinness and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the eggs and sour cream to blend. Add stout mixture and beat to combine. Mix in dry ingredients on low until incorporated.

Divide batter among cupcake liner about 2/3 full and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.


Irish Cream Frosting
Ingredients:

8 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature (1 stick)
3- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 - 8 tbsp. Irish cream

Directions:
To make the frosting, place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium high until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar until incorporated. Mix in Irish cream until smooth. Add more if necessary until frosting has reached a good consistency for piping or spreading. Frost the cupcakes as desired and enjoy!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Balsamic Chicken

Balsamic Chicken
Allrecipes.com is one of my favourite recipe websites. You can find a recipe for anything and their weekly emails provide me with a lot of inspiration and creative meal ideas. They have a whole section on their website that is dedicated to healthy meals. Low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie; whatever diet you are on, they have the recipe for you. 


I discovered this recipe while searching for low-calorie meals but this recipe is also low-fat and low-carb!! Thankfully, this recipe is far from being low on flavour. It is soooo good and only 200 calories per serving! The balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and herbs make this meal aromatic, savory, and full of robust flavour. It has become one of our favourite meals and it's on weekly rotation. Now that's saying something because at the moment all our other favourites are on a 2-3 week rotation. This meal also gets better overtime. So make sure there are leftovers because you might enjoy this dish more the second time around.


I hope you find time to make some Balsamic Chicken this week...I know I will!
Balsamic Chicken
Balsamic Chicken
from Allrecipes.com

Ingredients
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts. (We eat half a breast each and save the other half for left-overs)
  • ground black pepper 
  • sea salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Directions
1.   Season chicken breasts with ground black pepper and sea salt. Heat olive oil on medium heat in a medium skillet. Brown the onion, garlic and seasoned chicken breasts. Watch carefully so the garlic and onion don’t burn.
2.   Pour tomatoes and balsamic vinegar over chicken, and season with basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme. Simmer until chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear with a pot lid on, about 15 minutes.
3.   If sauce is still watery/thin remove the lid for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
4.   Serve over yummy brown basmati rice.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork
Ahhh. The long awaited pulled pork recipe! Now all of you who requested this have to make it in the next two weeks and report back to me on how delicious it is!!

Prepped Pulled Pork in the slow cooker
For those of you who didn't request this delectable dish, I bring to you today my famous Pulled Pork recipe! I mentioned my pulled pork awhile ago in my Vegetable Pork Pad Thai post. This is the recipe that brings you all that left-over pork that you can use in a million different recipes.

This is a basic recipe that slow cooks the pork to its melt-in-your-mouth state. It infuses the meat with delicate flavours so you can use it in BBQ pulled pork sandwichespad thai, curries, enchiladas, fajitas, nachos, spring rolls, casseroles, and one of my favourites...pulled pork pizza!

This recipe does take some pre-planning as you need a fully defrosted pork shoulder to place in the slow cooker right before bed to cook all...night....long...
Shredding the pork

Pulled Pork
by Kaitlyn Vriezen

Ingredients:
  • pork shoulder (typically 3-5 pounds)
  • 1 bottle of your favourite porter (I use Deschutes Brewery's Black Butte Porter)
  • 1 package of onion soup mix
  • 1/2 onion sliced large
  • handful of garlic cloves
Directions:
  1. Place pork shoulder in bowl of slow cooker.
  2. Pour the bottle of porter over the pork.
  3. Evenly pour onion soup mix on top of the pork and pat lightly.
  4. Place large slices of onions on top of the pork shoulder and scatter smaller pieces around the pork.
  5. Toss the garlic cloves in.
  6. Set slow cooker to longest, lowest temperature and go to bed.
  7. The next day: Leave the pork on the warm setting until you are ready to shred and use it. 
  8. Shred the pork with a fork and remove any remaining fat from the pork.
Alternate Recipe:
  • Cook it naked! Yes I've recently done this when I feel guilty about wasting a bottle of beer that was more expensive than the cut of meat I'm cooking. Just stick the pork in the slow cooker. Let it cook for 10 hours overnight and shred it like usual the next day. The only difference is the outside gets crispy, but we like it that way. The inside is still incredibly moist and tender.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken
Sweet and sour pork is one of my favourite Chinese dishes. It was always a top choice for take-out, until I discovered this recipe that allows you to make it at home, with chicken.  Now instead of treating myself to deep fried battered pork smothered in a sugary sauce, I can have lightly battered and browned chicken, baked in an oven with a home-made sauce. There is still sugar and batter but at least I can control the amounts. Plus it's baked, which makes me feel so much better about making this dish. It may not be the healthiest dinner, but when pared with brown rice and steamed vegetables it's much healthier than takeout. It's also cheaper too, which is always a bonus in our household!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Chicken:
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch (or less)
1 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp of canola or grapeseed oil

Sauce:
¾ cup sugar
4 tablespoons ketchup
½ cup vinegar (Rice wine vinegar works)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder mixed with sea salt

Directions:
  1. Cut boneless chicken breasts into chunks. Season with salt and pepper and place in a large bowl.
  2. Pour the egg into the bowl and toss the chicken to coat evenly. Sprinkle the cornstarch on the chicken a little at a time until coated evenly.
  3.  Heat oil in a large frying pan. Place the chicken in the frying pan and brown on both sides, not cooking the chicken all the way through (should take 2 minutes tops) Place in a single layer in a baking dish.
  4.  Mix sauce ingredients together and pour over chicken.
  5.  Bake for one hour at 350 degrees. Turn the chicken every 15 minutes or so.
  6. *If you like extra sauce, make another batch of sauce and bring it to a boil on the stove top. Stir constantly and let cook over medium heat until thickened and reduced - about 6-8 minutes.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

English Muffin Bread

English Muffin Bread

English muffins are my favourite breakfast bread. I'll take an English muffin smothered in jam instead of a bagel any day of the week. One draw back to English muffins is they are pretty finicky and time consuming to bake. This recipe is the perfect compromise.  Not only does the dough come together easy with no kneading, but you bake it together all at once in a convenient loaf pan. Plus, and this is an important plus, when toasted, this bread tastes like an English muffin!

Now this bread is not just great for breakfast; you can create some savory snacks with it as well. Spray a couple slices with olive oil.  Top the slices with diced tomato, onion, olives and garlic. Broil for a few minutes in your oven and...voila! You have brushetta! Do the same with minced garlic and you have garlic bread! There are so many options with this bread.

This recipe produces 2 loaves. I normally freeze the second loaf once its out of the oven and cooled. If you or your family are not big bread eaters then I recommend halving the recipe and then slicing the whole loaf once cooled. Then place the slices of bread in a Ziploc and freeze them. That way you can defrost/toast by slice instead of defrosting the whole loaf, allowing you to have a fresh slice of bread whenever you desire.

English Muffin Toasting Bread

5 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages (4 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups warm milk
1/2 cup warm water 

Directions:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt and baking soda. Add warm milk and water; beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat on high for 3 minutes. Stir in remaining flour (batter will be stiff). Do not knead. 
  2. Prepare two 9x5 inch loaf pans. Pour batter into the pans. 
  3. Cover the pans with plastic wrap, place them in a warm area and wait until the dough is doubled in size. This usually takes between 45 minutes and 1 hour.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden brown. 
  5. Remove from pans immediately to cool on wire racks.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Healthy Egg Salad Sandwich

Healthy Egg Salad Sandwich
An egg salad sandwich is not something I make often. I'm more of a tuna, turkey, or peanut butter girl. Occasionally I will have an egg salad craving and today was one of those days.

We are a mayo-free household. I try to cut down on as many bad fats and sugars as I can and removing mayo from our diets was so easy and pain free, we don't miss it at all. There are so many substitutes for mayo out there and other ways to enhance flavour without adding calories.

I use low-fat or non fat sour cream to replace mayo in sandwiches. You still get great creamy texture and flavor. I first started making our sandwiches mayo-free in secret. After weeks of,  "Yum! This is good!" I finally built up the courage to reveal my secret. The reaction I received wasn't the horror I dreaded or even the praise I hoped for. I got complete and utter apathy..."No mayo? That's nice. Can you pass the pickles?".

So hopefully I can get a few others as jazzed about ending their relationship with mayonnaise as I am, and I believe this simple recipe is the way to do it.

The sweet pickles are the true stars in this sandwich, they compliment the egg mixture so well. And when you sandwich them between two slices of lightly toasted American Sandwich Bread, you have egg salad perfection!


Healthy Egg Salad Sandwich
by Kaitlyn Vriezen

Ingredients:
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs
  • 2 tbsp of low-fat sour cream (or less!)
  • dash of your favourite mustard
  • 1 tbsp of sweet relish
  • sea salt and ground pepper
  • sweet pickle chips
Directions:
  1. Mash the eggs and mix the sour cream, mustard and relish with the eggs
  2. Season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper.
  3. Spread on lightly toasted bread and top with sweet pickle chips.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Blueberry Spinach Smoothie

Blueberry Spinach Smoothie
After my daily workout I need a boost. I've found that fruits and veggies are the best way for me to re-energize and move on to my next activity. However, chopping up a fruit salad or preparing a vegetable plate just seems to take too long. That's when I decided that smoothies are the way to go. Just throw in some frozen berries, frozen fruit, some yogurt or soy milk, a handful of baby spinach, blend, and you have a healthy satisfying snack that provides a boost for the rest of the day. And it took all of two minutes to prepare!

We buy a big bag of frozen blueberries and a bag of Spectrum frozen mixed fruit from Costco and that usually lasts us two months. That's $19.70 for two smoothies, approximately five days a week for two months! That is so much cheaper than Booster Juice, just as yummy, and you get to control the ingredients!

Spinach will affect the colour of the smoothie but not the flavour. If you or those you are serving are colour sensitive then be careful about adding strawberries as that combination will turn the smoothie brown. Blueberries or melon are your best bet. Blueberries make it purple and melons keep it green.


Blueberry Spinach Smoothie
by Kaitlyn Vriezen

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup soy milk or yogurt
  • 1 cup of blueberries or mixed fruit
  • 1 frozen banana
  • handful of baby spinach
  • *optional: splash of naturally sweetened lime juice. Any citrus juice will work.
Directions:

Blend to desired consistency. Adding more liquid if it's too thick.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Slow Cooker Venison Chili

Slow Cooker Venison Chili
I love gamey wild meats. It is physically impossible for me to pass up lamb when it's on a menu. I can't get enough of it! The same goes for duck, bison, venison, or even kangaroo! Unfortunately, my extreme love of wild meats is counteracted by my boyfriends extreme dislike of wild meats. So wild meats are left off our grocery list, leaving me to enjoy them when we go out to eat.

Fortunately for me, our neighbor is a hunter and he very kindly supplied me with some venison sausage and one pound of ground venison. The sausage is for me to savor whenever my boyfriend is out of town however the ground venison is way too much for me to consume myself.  So I decided to make something with the ground venison that we would both love. I decided on chili.

It worked perfectly! The strong spice and garlic from the chili hid the gamey flavor just enough that my boyfriend enjoyed it. I really liked this chili as well. Using the diced tomato with sweet onions added a sweetness to this chili that was refreshingly different.

I will definitely be making this chili again. It was both delicious and healthy, a win-win situation! I love those kinds of dinners. :)

Slow Cooker Venison Chili
by Kaitlyn Vriezen

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound of ground venison
  • 1 tbsp of yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp of canola oil (optional)
  • 1 tbsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2  large onion medium-diced (or 1 whole medium-small onion)
  • 1 can of tomato paste (or 1/2 cup ketchup)
  • 1 15 oz can of diced tomato with sweet onion (or 1 can plain diced tomato)
  • 1 15oz can of kidney beans 
  • 4 cloves of garlic whole or coarsely chopped
  • 3 tbsp of chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp of red chili flakes (use more if you want it spicy or omit if you want it mild)
Directions:
  1. Brown the venison in a medium sized frying pan with mustard, garlic powder and optional canola oil. Use a wooden spoon the break up the meat into small pieces.
  2. Once the venison is nearly cooked, add the diced onion and continue to cook until the onion is fragrant and just starting to turn translucent. Remove frying pan from heat and set aside.
  3. Add the venison mixture and all remaining ingredients to the bowl of your slow cooker. Mix together thoroughly.
  4. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8.
  5. Serve with cornbread muffins.