Tag Archives: legume

Sweet Potato and Carrot Turkey Chili

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Sweet Potato and Carrot Turkey Chili

*Vegan Optional*

paleo gluten free sweet potato carrot turkey chili quinoa bean kidney protein onion slow cooker

Again, I’m thinking about my poor freezing cold family and friends back home in Illinois. But anytime is a good time for chili but none more fitting than when it’s cold outside so I made this super nutritious, low fat chili, PALEO, gluten free and vegan optional chili.

The sweet potato and carrot give this chili a subtle sweetness and combined with the spiciness of the cayenne pepper and other seasoning, makes the tastiest combination. This is not your Dads chili.

paleo gluten free sweet potato carrot turkey chili quinoa bean kidney protein onion slow cooker

This chili is super easy, the only things you precook is the turkey and onion and you can cook them in the same pan. Then you dump everything else in your cooker, add the cooked turkey and onion and set the timer. Done and Yum!

You can easily make this vegan buy replacing the turkey with a cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water or by adding more sweet potato and carrot and an extra can of beans.

Sweet Potato and Carrot Turkey Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Paleo, Gluten Free, Vegan optional
Serves: 12 servings
  • 2 pounds organic ground turkey
  • 4 large organic carrots, peeled and chopped small
  • 2 large organic sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 1 inch cubes)
  • 1 large organic yellow onion diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 2 cans organic tomato sauce
  • 2 cans organic dark red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can organic black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried mustard
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • **Optional: 1 large jalapeno diced (include seeds for more heat, exclude for less heat)**
  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
  2. Add onion and saute until onion is translucent (about 5 minutes)
  3. Add turkey to the pan and continue cooking until turkey is mostly cooked. It will continue cooking in the slow cooker.
  4. Combine cooked turkey/onion mixture and all other ingredients in a 6 quart (or larger) slow cooker, stir everything until combined.
  5. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
  6. When the sweet potatoes are soft, it's done.


Baked Spicy Jicama Fries – Better Than French Fries

Baked Spicy Jicama Fries –  Better Than French Fries

jicama vegetable fiber root legume starch salad weight loss diabetic low glycemic

What the mutha-love is JICAMA? Pronounced “HEE-kah-ma”.  Apparently I have been blind to this vegetable. Here is few jicama facts I learned:

  • Technically a legume, grows on vines
  • Texture resembles potato, turnips and water chestnuts
  • Low in calories and carbs
  • Great for diabetic menus because it ranks low on the glycemic index
  • Lots of fiber. Not just any fiber – jicama’s fiber is infused with oligofructose inulin, which has zero calories and doesn’t metabolize in the body into sugar the way potatoes do.
  • Promotes good bacteria in the gut
  • Excellent source of vitamin C
  • Healthy amounts of potassium
  • Contains important vitamins like folates, riboflavin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, and thiamin, and the minerals magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese.
  • When purchasing, choose one that is firm with no soft spots or splits.
  • The skin is not edible so use a knife to cut away the skin and the tough fibrous outer layer.

jicama vegetable fiber root legume starch salad weight loss diabetic low glycemic

Ok now that we know the A – Z ‘s of jicama we can get down to the most important piece of information – no-guilt fries and I can use my beloved ketchup!


jicama vegetable fiber root legume starch salad weight loss diabetic low glycemic

Eating healthy can have it’s sacrifices but there ARE alternatives. Use jicama instead of potatoes and you have healthy french fries. And a reason to use that red sweet nectar called ketchup 🙂

You can use whatever spice suits your taste too. I love a seasoned fry with heat but you could try lime juice and paprika OR a little salt and pepper OR even try some cinnamon and coconut palm sugar and use organic maple syrup as your condiment for dipping. Just coat your “fries” in melted coconut oil first so that your flavoring sticks.

Baked Spicy Jicama Fries - Better Than French Fries
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Paleo, Vegan, Gluten-Free
Serves: 4
  • 1 medium jicama, peeled and sliced into "fries"
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, pour melted coconut oil over the sliced jicama fries. With your hands, massage coconut oil into each fry.
  3. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, cayenne, onion powder and paprika. Stir to combine.
  4. Toss spices over fries evenly.
  5. Place fries on baking sheet (line with parchment paper or use a non-stick mat).
  6. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes.
  7. Get out your ketchup and eat fries!


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Slow Cooker White Bean and Kale Soup – Gluten Free, Vegan

Slow Cooker White Bean and Kale Soup – Gluten Free, Vegan

white bean northern gluten free vegan kale soup crock pot slow cooker fiber soup protein

We eat this soup all year long. It’s very popular in our house and it just dawned on me that I haven’t shared it yet. Why should I keep this awesome soup to myself? It’s got so much going for it:

  • Gluten Free
  • Protein rich
  • Fiber Rich
  • Few Ingredients
  • Slow Cooker Simple
  • Reheats so good. The leftovers get better tasting each time
  • Includes KALE! Anything that includes kale is super awesome.
  • Makes enough for us to eat it all week long, which is especially good on busy days when we don’t have time to cook.
  • Vegan but can be adjusted easily for carnivores. (Cubed ham would be very tasty and chicken breasts would be so tender they would shred right into the soup with the twist of a fork)

white bean northern gluten free vegan kale soup crock pot slow cooker fiber soup protein

 { I always choose organics whenever available }

Slow Cooker White Bean and Kale Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Slow Cooker White Bean and Kale Soup
Recipe type: Slow Cooker, Protein, Vegan,
Serves: 8
  • 1 lb. dry northern beans
  • 1 large bunch of fresh kale (leaves removed from thick stems and leaves torn up into smaller pieces)
  • 7 cups water
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (or you can use all water, your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large crock pot except for the kale.
  2. Cook on low for 9 hours.
  3. Put kale in at hour 8 and continue cooking until kale is wilted to suit you. Some people like their kale wilted like spinach and some like it more sturdy. It's totally up to you.
  4. Makes awesome leftovers too.


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Navy Bean and Ham Soup – Slow Cooker Sunday

Almost every Sunday morning I prepare something new in the slow cooker.  It seems to have become a tradition. This Sunday was no exception so I thought I would start a series called “Slow Cooker Sunday”.

The hubby requested a Navy Bean and Ham soup and immediately I thought is that it can’t be very healthy so I did some research and found this great recipe on www.preventionrd.com. This recipe is very easy.  The only “extra” thing you have to do is soak the beans overnight then the next day add everything to the slow cooker.

Nicole at PreventionRD has some great healthy recipes on her site, I’ll be checking out more of them for sure. What’s even better is that she is a registered dietitian so she knows what she is talking about!

Navy Bean and Ham Soup – Slow Cooker Sunday

First of all, this recipe boasts some impressive nutritional stats.  Hearty, low-fat, high protein,

high fiber and filling.

navy bean ham soup slow cooker protein fiber legume crock pot organic

  • Serving size: 1 1/3 cup
  • Protein: 19.5 grams
  • Fiber: 15.7 grams
  • Fat: Only 2.3 grams
  • Calories: 208

Navy Bean and Ham Soup - Slow Cooker Sunday
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Hearty, low-fat, high protein, high fiber and filling soup.
Recipe type: Slow Cooker
Serves: 6
  • 2½ cups dried beans
  • 3 celery ribs, diced
  • ½ sweet onion, diced
  • 1 cube chicken bouillon, crumbled
  • 1 (15 oz) can low-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 oz 98% fat-free, reduced sodium, lean ham, finely diced
  • 1½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp pepper
  1. Soak dried beans in plenty of water overnight at room temperature.
  2. Drain beans and transfer to a crock pot; add enough water to cover the beans with about 1 inch of water.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the crock pot; stir.
  4. Cook on low for 9-12 hours (the longer the better).
  5. Stir before serving hot.


We love having leftovers all week for quick meals that we don’t have to think about.  You already know what’s in it, Just heat it up and you have an instant healthy meal.  From what I’ve read about this recipe, each leftover is better than the last.  

Stay tuned for the second in the series next week.  Maybe I should post these on Saturdays so you can make it on Sunday if you like and have food made for the week.

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Top 7 Favorite Healthy Snacks

Top 7 Favorite Healthy Snacks

Losing weight and eating healthy doesn’t have to mean no yummy snacky things.  Whether you want something crunchy, sweet or salty, there’s a snack for that.  Here are 7 of my favorite snacks that completely satisfy my urges!

1. Dehydrated veggie snacks –  We make ours in the oven or in our dehydrator.  Both ways work.  They also sell them at Whole Foods.  Just make sure to check the label for any hidden ingredients that may not be so good for you.  They are also great with Hellavu Good Greek Style Yogurt dips.


2. Kale Chips – We do make these at home too but I’ve recently found bradsrawfoods.com brand.  Their Pina Kale-Ada (Coconut and Pineapple) flavor is awesome.  I could and have almost eaten the whole container in one sitting.  The www.bradsrawfoods.com brand is USDA Organic, vegan, kosher, raw and non-GMO.

Kale is a rockstar when it comes to vegetables, it’s actually a super food.  By super I mean they top the charts as far as nutritional value.  Give them a try.

kale chips

3. Oven Roasted Chickpeas – I always have a stash of these in the house.  Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) can take on almost any flavor combination you come up with.  My favorite is a honey/vanilla/cinnamon mixture.  They are full of fiber and have a really good crunch.  They remind me of corn nuts.  Look for the recipe in future posts.

roasted chickpeas

4. Hellavu Good Greek Style Yogurt Dip – Let me start by saying that I do NOT like yogurt at all.  No way no how.  But…I LOVE this dip.  I love all the flavors but my favorite is the French Onion.  You would never know it had yogurt in it.  It’s low in fat and calories, only has 3 carbs and even has protein in it.

You can dip your veggies, veggie chips or parmesan chips in it.  I also use it as a dip for chicken and fish.

hellavu good greek style yogurt

5. Dry roasted pumpkin seeds – I especially like the Eden Organic brand because it is low sodium, has fiber, protein and is magnesium rich.  It’s also a good source of iron and zinc.  Plus it only has 2 ingredients, organic pumpkin seeds and Eden Portuguese Sea Salt.  The fewer ingredients a product has, the better.

Eden Organic pumpkin seeds

6. Parmesan chips – An all time favorite of mine.  I discovered a store bought brand at Whole Foods and went through them so fast that I figured I better learn how to make them myself.  They are the easiest snack to make by far.  Look for the recipe in future posts.

Parmesan Chips gluten free low cab high protein snack homemade the organic rabbit

7. Honey fried banana – Last but not least are honey fried bananas.  This simple recipe turns an ordinary banana into some crazy gourmet decadent dessert.  A great way to sneak in a fruit and some potassium too.  Look for the recipe in future posts.

honey fried banana cinnamon vanilla healthy snack potassium easy delicious rich dessert

Finding the right snack is half the battle.  Just because you may not like a particular good for you snack doesn’t mean there isn’t one out there that you won’t love.

Just some little changes that will make a big difference.

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