After falling off my Wheat Belly diet while I was on vacation, I finally got back on track. I know I gained several pounds while I was on vacation and right now I don't want to get on the scale. I am already feeling better now that I am wheat-free again, sleeping sounder and the muscle aches from inflammation are fading away.
Although I feel so much better when I don't eat wheat (in fact, the fewer carbs and grains I eat, the better I feel), I have to admit that I miss foods made with wheat for the sheer convenience factor. More planning is required to pack wheat-free lunches. Lately I haven't had time to do much cooking - I'm still not back in my regular routine after coming home from vacation. I need to go grocery shopping and re-stock my wheat-free pantry. We are expecting a cold front here in Chicago beginning tomorrow, so I am planning on making some soup, including "cream" of butternut squash soup (will post recipe next week) and doing some comfort food cooking.
Last weekend I made a big pot of southwestern chili with ground turkey, lots of vegetables, black beans and sweet corn. It is adapted from a chili recipe that I found in one of Rachael Ray's cookbooks and tweaked to remove or substitute for the elements that might contain wheat or gluten. I can't take spicy foods, so I make my chili mild and a little bit sweet. Feel free to adjust the heat, sweetness and seasoning to your taste preferences. The corn and beans add a couple of extra carbs to each serving, but I think it's worth it.
1 lb. ground turkey
1 T. chili powder
1 T. Montreal Grill Seasoning
1 T. cumin
1 t. Tabasco or hot sauce
1 t. liquid smoke
1 onion, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped (can be green, red, orange, or yellow)
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1/2 c. red wine
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 c. frozen corn kernels
Salt, hot sauce to taste
1-2 packages Splenda or Equal to taste
Garnishes: shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped onions, guacamole
Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat (I use a nonstick pan, so I don't bother with additional oil, but you can add 1 T. olive oil if you choose). Add the ground turkey, breaking the meat up with a spoon. Add the chili powder, grill seasoning, cumin, hot sauce, and liquid smoke to the turkey and cook until the turkey is no longer pink. Turkey has very little fat, so you shouldn't even need to drain the cooked meat. Add the onion and peppers and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the red wine and cook until the alcohol in the wine boils off and any bits that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan loosen up. Add the tomatoes, beans and corn, and heat until chili starts to bubble; reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt, sweetener, and seasonings to taste. Garnish as desired before serving. Makes about 8 large servings.
You can serve the chili immediately, but if you cool and refrigerate it overnight, it will be even better the next day. I like to serve it with a few tortillas chips, or if you like crackers with your chili, Trader Joe sells a rice and sesame cracker that is gluten-free and very tasty. Another good way to serve the chili is warm over chopped lettuce and salad vegetables, with a sprinkling of shredded cheese and a spoonful of sour cream or Greek yogurt on top.