Tag: bay leaf

No Bean Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili

A quick and easy chili made with ground turkey, sweet potatoes and spices – the perfect weeknight meal. It has just the right amount of spice to compliment the sweet potatoes without being too spicy for those of you who prefer a milder chili (you can of course bump up the heat if you wish).

I served this with some sweet potato chips which I found in the grocery store
and set out some chopped cilantro, scallions, sour cream and cheddar on the side as optional
toppings. Because this has no beans, it’s perfect for picky eaters (my youngest daughter is not a fan) and it’s also gluten-free and Paleo-friendly. This will be a part of my regular rotation, I highly recommend this one… enjoy!!

No Bean Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili
Servings: 5 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 5 • Weight Watchers Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 235 • Fat: 8 g • Carb: 14 g • Fiber: 2 g • Protein: 23 g • Sugar: 4 g
Cholesterol: 81 mg • Sodium: 578 mg (without salt)


  • 20 oz 93% lean ground turkey
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 10 oz can Rotel mild tomatoes with green chilies
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp cumin, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • fresh cilantro, for garnish


In a large skillet, brown turkey over medium-high heat, breaking it up as it cooks into smaller pieces and season with salt and cumin.

When meat is browned and cooked through add onion and garlic; cook 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the can of Rotel tomatoes, sweet potato, tomato sauce, water, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and bay leaf.

Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until potatoes are soft and cooked through, about 25 minutes stirring occasionally. Add 1/4 cup more water if needed. Remove bay leaf and serve.

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Lentil Salad

This healthy salad is made with cooked lentils and diced fresh diced carrots, celery, bell pepper, onion, parsley and lemon juice – perfect to make ahead for lunch for the week as the flavors only get better overnight. It’s also vegan, high in fiber, protein and only about 100 calories per serving.

I’ve LOVE making my chicken and lentil soup[1], but I was never really a fan of using lentils in a salad (I’m a picky legume eater). But the other day I bought a small lentil salad at my local health food store to try and take to the beach and really enjoyed it, but I paid twelve dollars a pound for it (for a small container). For that price I’ll make it myself for a fraction of what I paid, plus this makes a lot so you’ll get a few meals out of it. If you’re not a fan of lentils, you can use any legume such as white beans, chick peas or a mix.

Lentil Salad
Servings: 5 • Size: scant cup • Old Points: 1 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 102 • Fat: 3 g • Carb: 20 g • Fiber: 9 g • Protein: 7 g • Sugar: 1 g
Sodium: 255 mg • Cholesterol: 0 mg


  • 1 cup dry brown lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1/3 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 5 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper


In a medium saucepan combine lentils, bay leaf, and thyme. Add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered until lentils are tender but not mushy, about 16 to 20 minutes.

Drain lentils and discard bay leaf. Place in a large work bowl with carrots, celery, red pepper, red onion, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to combine and serve chilled or room temperature.

Makes 4 1/2 cups.


  1. ^ chicken and lentil soup (www.gordon-ramsay-recipe.com)

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Spaghetti Squash with Meat Ragu


Roasted Spaghetti squash topped with a simple-yet-delicious meat sauce simmered with tomatoes, onions, carrots and celery.

I originally posted this recipe way back in 2009, before I owned a decent camera and I just had to give this a photo makeover (the photo was so bad I’m surprised anyone made it at all). It’s so darn good you won’t miss the pasta, and think of all the calories you’re saving by making the swap! It’s also low-carb, clean, gluten-free and perfect for my paleo followers out there too!

The beauty of this dish is you can totally make this family friendly. I know my kids prefer to have their meat sauce with pasta (plus they need their carbs too) so I cook some pasta for them and serve this with spaghetti squash for my husband and I. It’s a very generous amount and extremely satisfying.

Of course, you can swap the beef for turkey if you wish, and you can certainly make the spaghetti squash in the microwave which is so much quicker. The sauce can be frozen for a later date and reheated when for a busier night. I’ve never tried freezing spaghetti squash, anyone out there know if I can? So there you go, a meal that can make the whole family happy – gotta love that!

Spaghetti Squash with Meat Ragu
Servings: 8 • Size: 1 cup squash, scant 3/4 cup sauce • Old Points: 3 • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 175 • Fat: 3 g • Carb: 19 g • Fiber: 3 g • Protein: 14 g • Sugar: 8 g
Sodium: 263 mg (without the salt) • Cholesterol: 40 g


  • 8 cups cooked spaghetti squash (from 2 medium, about 6 lbs total)
  • salt and fresh pepper, to taste

For the Meat sauce:

  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil 
  • (4 oz) 1/2 onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped  
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped 
  • 1 lb 95% lean beef  
  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (I prefer Tuttorosso)  
  • 1/4 cup white wine (yes, you can leave this out if you dont drink wine) 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • salt and fresh pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 400ºF. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and membrane. Season with salt and bake about 1 hour, or longer if needed on a baking sheet, cut side up.

If you prefer the microwave, cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and fibers and place on a microwave safe dish and cover. Microwave 8-9 minutes or until soft.

In a large deep sauté pan, melt butter and add oil. Add onions, celery
and carrots and sauté on medium-low for about 3 to 4 minutes, until
soft. Add the beef and season with salt. Brown the meat and cook,
breaking it into smaller pieces with your spoon until cooked trhough.
When cooked, add the tomatoes and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Add
wine and simmer until it reduces a bit, then add bay leaf and cover,
reducing heat to low. Simmer at least an hour, stirring occasionally.

When spaghetti squash is cooked, let it cool for about 10 minutes. When cool, use a fork to remove flesh, which will come out in spaghetti looking strands. Keep covered and set aside keeping warm until sauce is ready. Serve topped with meat sauce and grated parmesan cheese, if desired.

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