We have had some BIZARRE weather here in the East Bay Area of California these past couple of weeks. Some days, it’s so hot, I am hesitant to leave my house for fear of melting on the sidewalk. And other days, like today, the weather is 72 degrees at the high. Hello, Mr. Weatherman! Make up your mind already!
All this weird weather makes prepping for meals much more challenging than usual. When I think of a typical summer day, for instance, a hot bowl of turkey and a side of cornbread does not usually come to mind. However, when the temps are dipping into the sixties at night, as they have been, it seemed like the perfect thing to hit the spot.
My husband tasted this and declared it fantastic. Usually when I ask him what he thinks of a meal, I get a shrug and, “It was fine.” (He’s so fortunate that I keep feeding him! ). So, a “fantastic” meant “blog worthy.”
My mom emailed me today to say her neighbor gave her a hundred pound zucchini and that she needed some recipe ideas for using it. Mom, if you’re out there, here’s a way to use at least some of it!
This recipe was adapted from www.allrecipies.com.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 sprinkling chili pepper flakes (or more, to taste)
2 tablespoons tomato paste*
1 (14.5 ounce) can beef broth
1 (7 ounce) can salsa
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (7 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers (I roast my own and freeze them, so I just chopped a couple of the frozen chiles)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
sour cream and cheese, to taste
First, prep those ingredients.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble turkey into the pot, stirring with a wooden spoon to break apart as much as possible. Season with taco seasoning mix, coriander, oregano, chili flakes, and tomato paste, and mix until meat is evenly coated with seasonings. Continue cooking, reducing heat if necessary, until turkey is well browned.
Pour in beef broth, and simmer to reduce liquid slightly, about 5 minutes.
Add salsa, tomatoes, and green chilies, and continue cooking at a moderate simmer for ten minutes. Adjust the thickness at any time you feel necessary by adding water (or, alternatively, tomato sauce, which will give your soup a heartier taste).
While chili is still cooking, heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion and green bell pepper, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent and bell pepper is lightly browned. Add onion and bell pepper to the chili, and continue cooking at a very low simmer.
In the same skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, and cook stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Add the zucchini to the chili, reduce heat, and continue cooking 15 minutes more. Again, adjust the consistency with water as needed.
Ladle chili into serving bowls. Top with sour cream, green onion, and cheddar cheese, and serve.
*To see the best way to preserve tomato paste, click here.