What’s cookin’?

I’ve mentioned before that cooking does not come naturally to me. I want to learn to cook well, but that’s hard to do when you’re just cooking for one person. So, when I see a recipe that seems easy enough for my low-level cooking skills, I jump on it.

I saw this recipe for Outside-In Turkey Tamale Pie in a Hungry Girl e-mail recently. It was a crock pot recipe, and I remembered that the crock pot I received for Christmas was still in its box, in my basement. I like recipes that make a lot so that I can divide it into a bunch of containers and take them for lunches.

Here are the ingredients:

1 1/4 lbs. raw lean ground turkey
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup fat-free chicken or vegetable broth
One 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes with chiles
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 large green pepper, chopped (note: I added this after I looked at the mixture and thought it needed something green)
3/4 cup canned sweet corn, drained
1/2 cup canned kidney beans, drained
1/2 cup sliced black olives, drained
2 tsp. chili powder (note: I didn’t have chili powder, so I used 1 tsp. of cayenne pepper instead)
1 tsp. ground cumin

Bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat on the stove. Add turkey and spread it around to break it up a bit. Cook and crumble until meat is brown and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Drain any excess liquid and add turkey to the crock pot. In a bowl, combine cornmeal with broth and whisk thoroughly. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add cornmeal mixture to the crock pot along with all other ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Cover and cook on high for 3 – 4 hours or on low for 7 – 8 hours.

I cooked mine in the crock pot for a little over 3 hours on high. I stirred it occasionally so the cornmeal wouldn’t get clumpy. The recipe said it would yield 7 one-cup servings, but mine only yielded a little over 6. I divided it into 5 containers and kept a bowl for myself for dinner, and added a small spoonful to each until it was gone.

I have to admit – when it was done and I was dividing it into the containers, I tasted some and wasn’t impressed AT ALL. It didn’t have a whole lot of flavor, and I wasn’t in love with the consistency. I almost thought about throwing it out, to be honest. But I didn’t, figuring that it might be tastier after it was re-heated and/or I added some cheese.

I was right!

I brought some for lunch yesterday and re-heated it with 1/3 cup of WW shredded Mexican cheese on top. I also added a few shakes of Frank’s Red Hot and mixed it all up. It was SO GOOD. The turkey stuff was 5 points for 1 cup, and the 1/3 cup of WW cheese was 2 points – so all in all, a 7 point lunch. Not bad!

Also, I have the easiest recipe in the world to share. Take one box of this:

and one can of this:

Mix together and bake according to the directions on the muffin mix.

That’s it!

Each muffin is 1 point each (if you are doing WW). I made these for Easter dinner and they were a hit!

There’s a similar recipe which is 1 can of pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling) and 1 box of cake mix (you can use any kind, but I like spice cake or carrot cake). Mix well – initially you’ll think the two will never mix, but just keep stirring. Bake for 15-18 minutes at 350. Again, each muffin is 1 point each. Please note that canned pumpkin is REALLY hard to come by these days (I can’t find it in any local grocery store) because of problems with the most recent pumpkin crop, but if you live somewhere where it’s still in stores, stock up!

Are there any recipes that you are loving lately? Let me know!

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2 Responses to “What’s cookin’?”

  1. Jenn Says:

    I got that recipe a few weeks ago and was wondering HOW it was! I bet if you added more cumin (than the recipe calls for) and maybe a sprinkle of chili powder (or paprika like you did!) it would be divine. I don’t know if you like sour cream, but I always add FF sour cream to these types of dishes and that helps too.

    7 points is fantastic. I’m trying this and the muffin recipe ASAP.

  2. Becca Says:

    I actually bookmarked this recipe as well so I’m glad you reviewed it. Sounds like it’s definitely a “better on day two” recipe. I’ll have to try it.

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