Black And White Chili with Cornbread Waffles

black-and-white-chili

Original Blog Entry Dated July 10, 2013:

If you have ever trolled my Pinterest boards, you might be wondering what the deal is with the waffles. Obsession, right? I have been looking up all the different things that could be waffled, and have been a little bit amazed with everything I have found. Cookies, cakes, apple pies, grilled cheese, grilled peanut butter and jelly, hash browns, tater tots, brownies and cornbread (just to name a few). And I wanna try them all! This past weekend, the hubs gotme a waffle iron for my birthday. The next day, we broke in the iron with a meal I have always wanted to try: chicken n’ waffles. It was delicious, and just made me want to waffle everything in my kitchen even more.

chicken and waffles

So, on to dinner.

I am a big fan of making chili and cornbread. Not only is it a super easy meal to make, it is actually pretty good for you! I double the amount of beans, which is an excellent source of fiber. It also is the perfect dish to make if you are trying to get more iron in your diet. The ground beef and beans are high in iron, and the tomato sauce is high in vitamin c, which will help you absorb the iron. Even better, is this recipe translates really well into a crock pot meal, which is how I prepared it below.

 

Black and White Chili

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

ground beef

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 1 cup frozen bell peppers, chopped or half of a red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, undrained
  • 1 15 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

chili doneBrown one pound of lean ground beef in a pan with chopped garlic. Add onion. Cook until onions are tender. Transfer to a crock pot (using a slotted spoon, trying to not bring any drippings).  Add the rest of the ingredients to the crock pot and stir well. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Tastes delicious as left overs. Freezes really well too!

Note- I have also made this where I don’t cook the onion and garlic with the beef, and there was more of a crunch, which was delicious. Both ways work.

Now, on to the fun part!

cornbreadTo make things easy, I use the cornbread mix from trader joes. It is sweet and has whole corn kernels, which make a delicious combination.

Mix according to directions (you will also need 1 egg, 3/4 cup milk, and 1/2 cup vegetable oil in addition to the box). Preheat waffle iron, and cook a half cup of batter at a time.

They turned out beautiful! Simply delicious. Would go well with some honey butter too! Mmmm… Honey butter…

If you are a fan of “end pieces” then you’ll die over these cornbread waffles!

Coffee Rubbed Sirloin Steak with Mushroom and Kale Quinoa Pilaf and Broccolini

Coffee-rubbed sirloin, truffled quinoa pilaf with mushrooms and kale and a side of broccolini

Steak has always been one of my favorite foods. I’m not going to say that it is because it is the perfect vessel to chow down on A1 Sauce, but I am also not, not going to say that too. I am always so intrigued by steak toppings, and always am eager to try them, so I can compare them to my beloved A1 Sauce. You can imagine how excited I was to see the brand new product on the shelves of Trader Joe’s.

Another reason I love steak, is that the internal cooking temperatures aren’t as strict as they are with chicken (which I undoubtedly will overcook every time in fear of Campylobacter jejuni). You can eat a rare steak with little food safety risk. I didn’t follow any particular recipe for preparing the steak, just liberally rubbed the Coffee & Garlic BBQ Rub all over each side of the steaks and grilled them until they were medium rare.

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As for the side dish, I can’t think of a one I love more than rice pilaf, with its earthy, mushroomy flavors. I decided to try to make my own version with quinoa and truffle oil. If you thought rice pilaf couldn’t get more delicious, you have to try this!

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Mushroom and Kale Quinoa Pilaf

Ingredients:

1 C quinoa (tricolor)
2 C vegetable broth
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion or 1 shallot, diced
1 bag or container of mushrooms, sliced and roughly chopped
1/2 bag of kale, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp white truffle oil
1/2 Tbsp butter (again)
Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Cook quinoa in rice cooker with veggie broth. Meanwhile, add butter and olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Once it is hot, add diced onions and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Then add mushrooms, garlic  and kale and continue to cook, about 4 more minutes. Once all the veggies are cooked through, add the cooked quinoa, additional Tbsp of butter, truffle oil and salt and pepper and turn on low until ready to serve.

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As for the vegetable side (because I firmly believe that dinner is not complete without vegetables. It is just my thing), I chose Broccolini, just stir fried with a bit of salt and pepper (in the grinder). I like my veggies with a bit of a crunch, so this doesn’t take very long at all.


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** FARMER’S MARKET SPOTLIGHT**

photo 1 (12)There are very few items that Trader Joe’s does not carry, and I have to look elsewhere for them. One of my all-time-favorite ingredients is White Truffle Oil. One of my favorite brands is “Bristro Blends” which is a vendor at several local farmer’s markets. I also have tried their Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and Heirloom Balsamic Vinegar, both of which are staples in my kitchen. They are pricey (and I am very cheap, so this is saying A LOT), but are worth every penny. 

Quinoa Crust Quiche

Quinoa Quiche

My dietitian friend of mine, we’ll just call her Rachael,  has been having stomach issues for the past two years. After going to several doctors, her final diagnosis was IBS, which is usually the “we can’t find anything definitively wrong with you, so we’ll call it IBS so you stop showing up in our office.” Usually the treatment for IBS includes having a balanced diet, exercise and stress management. She did a bit of research on the Low FODMAP diet and after trying it for a few days, her symptoms finally went away and she felt “normal” again.

Since IBS is a very (very) common complaint and diagnosis, we gave the LowFODMAP diet a test run in my house a few months back. I found it very difficult to prepare meals for, because everything I use in almost all of my dishes were on the “no-no” list: ONIONS, GARLIC, WHEAT, LACTOSE, and many forms of FRUCTOSE (many fruits as well as high fructose corn syrup).  For those suffering from abdominal distress and pain, making a few slight dietary changes though doesn’t seem to be an issue.

One of my standard meals I make on an almost weekly basis is quiche. It is my “clean out the fridge” meal that is packed with veggies and I always have the standard ingredients. I also can whip up a crust in less than 5 minutes in my kitchen aid (Using this recipe from William’s Sonoma, but omitting the sugar). Quiche also happens to have an abundance of onions, garlic, wheat and lactose in it (well, mine does any way). I decided to attempt to make a pie crust out of quinoa, since wheat and wheat flour was not allowed.
And to my dismay, it actually turned out pretty good! I was surprised by how much I liked it.

Since I was doing things completely out of the box, I went all out and added some bacon, and used half hard boiled eggs and half raw eggs in the mix (normal quiche recipes don’t use hard boiled eggs)…and it turned out just fine!

So, here is what I did:

Quinoa Crust Quiche

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: moderate
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QUINOA CRUST:

  • 1 heaping cup of cooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients well and mash along the bottom  and up the sides of a 9″ pie pan. Bake for about 10 minutes. Leave the oven on, you’ll be using it again real soon.

QUICHE:

  • 3 strips of bacon, crumbled and cooked
  • 2 slices of swiss cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 big ole’ zucchini, shredded with a grater
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 tomatoes (enough to cover the top of the pie)
  • 1 oz goat cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (because of the FODMAPS diet, I used Lactaid)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

Directions:

On top of the baked crust, add bacon and swiss cheese. Cook the zucchini, basil and baby spinach for a few minutes in a pan (I used the same pan that I cooked the bacon in, just drained some of the bacon fat). Add cooked zucchini, basil and spinach to the pie. Mix together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and red pepper. Pour over the bacon, swiss cheese, zucchini, basil and spinach. Top with tomatoes and goat cheese. Pop it in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the quiche has set.

Serve along side a simple salad of greens mixed with equal parts Balsamic Glaze and Meyer Lemon Olive Oil with freshly ground sea salt and pepper.

Slow Cooked BBQ Chicken Pizza on Honey Whole Wheat Crust

Slow cooked BBQ chicken pizza on honey whole wheat crust from the Fearless Flying Kitchen

My husband has had a stressful week month year. The best way that I know how to provide comfort is through food. Pizza is one of my favorite meals, and I of course assume that it is every one’s favorite meals too. Normally, I purchase the pre-made whole wheat dough from Trader Joe’s. It is delicious and is a super easy weeknight meal. But I was in a mood to spoil, so I attempted my own version.

My favorite thing to make with the whole wheat crust is a BBQ chicken pizza. Now, I know half of you are probably grossed out right now. People have very strong opinions about BBQ on pizza. Love it or hate it, that is fine. I happen to love it. Mostly because I love just about anything on pizza.

I initially wanted to re-create a local favorite pizza served at Padres games: The BBQ Chicken Pizza.

For a while I would make this pizza with basic BBQ sauce , “Just Chicken,” red onion, cilantro and mozzarella cheese. Slowly I have been tweaking the recipe to BAM! Kick it up a notch. (did I just say that? Am I stuck in the late 90’s?)

Now, I make this pizza using leftovers from Honey BBQ Chicken Sandwiches and make extra sauce by combining BBQ sauce, Italian dressing, honey, and garlic powder. Then I chop the red onion and cilantro together and dice them pretty small, and then layer the red onion and cilantro in the mozzarella cheese It is pretty great!

honey whole wheat crust

But what really stole the show tonight was the home made crust. I thought back to a time in college, when we had to create a food product to market. My friends made a whole wheat pizza dough with flaxseed, and it was delicious. I called my friend, Rachael, and asked her what they did. She said to just take a basic dough recipe and do half whole wheat flour, half white flour and then add flaxseed.

Sounds easy enough.

But, of course, I can’t even just stick to one recipe.

Instead, I looked up about 10 different crust recipes and took a little bit from each one. I knew I wanted to use honey as a sweetener instead of sugar. I wanted to use 100% white wheat flour (as opposed to half white, half whole wheat). I wanted to add in the ground flax seeds to give an interesting texture and wanted to be able to make it in my kitchen aid.

I was able to accomplish all of that and, what-da-ya-know, it actually turned out! I love when that happens. I even had enough to freeze for a later time!


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I think my favorite part of the crust was the cornmeal on the bottom. I listed it as ‘optional’ in the ingredient list, but it really made it feel like a professional operation. So, without further adieu:

Slow Cooked BBQ Chicken Pizza on Honey Whole Wheat Crust

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Honey Whole Wheat Crust
  • 1 Cup BBQ Chicken (+ More BBQ Sauce as needed)
  • 1 Cup Mozzarella cheese (More as needed)
  • Handful Cilantro
  • 1 slice of Red onion
  • 1 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese

Assemble in the following order: BBQ sauce, BBQ Chicken, half of the cilantro and red onion, Mozzarella cheese, the rest of the cilantro and red onion, parmesan cheese. Bake at 425 for 12-16 minutes or until crust is cooked and cheese is melted.

photo 1 (10)

Honey Whole Wheat Crust

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups 100% white wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 packet (2 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp Cornmeal (optional)

Directions:
Dissolve honey, tbsp of flour and yeast in warm water. Stir and let activate over ~10 min. In the meantime, add two cups white wheat flour (or one cup white, one cup whole wheat) to stand mixer bowl. Add salt and flaxseed. Stir well. Create a well in the middle and add liquid once activated and frothy. Mix with dough hook by hand until combined, then attach hook to stand mixer and mix first on low, then ramping up to medium/high. Mix for about 6-8 min, until smooth and pulls away from the dough hook and sides easily. Add more flour or water a tsp at a time as needed. Once mixed, flour a work surface and divide dough in two. Work dough with hands into a ball. Rub a little bit of Olive oil on top of each ball and then cover with a clean, warm kitchen towel. Let rise for 45-60 minutes. Form into pizza with your hands (not a rolling pin. Let gravity do the work). Sprinkle cornmeal on parchment paper and place formed dough on top. Place desired toppings and then bake for 12-16 min at 425.

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Slow Cooked BBQ Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/3 cup Italian dressing
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 frozen chicken breasts

Directions:
Combine together. Cover chicken breasts with sauce and cook on high in the slow cooker for 2 hours and then on low for 4 more.
If you need additional BBQ sauce for the pizza, combine just the first 4 ingredients.

photo 4 (10)Served with Watermelon chunks and Broccoli Slaw