October 30, 2011

Cincinnati Chili with Teeny Tiny Spice Co of Vermont

(originally posted on Front Porch Reviews, my other blog)

I love cooking.  I love taking a variety of ingredients, mixing them together and seeing what I get.  Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose.  One of my biggest passions has been cooking with spices.  This year I started hitting up the local Farmer's Markets and it was there that I stumbled upon a company called Teeny Tiny Spice Co. of Vermont.  They make hard to find spice blends.  

Six O'Clock hit tonight and I didn't know what I was going to cook for supper.  Sundays in our household are Football Sundays, so I don't have much time to whip something up and run back to the TV before half-time is over.  I looked in my refrigerator and spotted a package of ground turkey.  I decided to whip up some chili, but what kind?  I remembered that Teeny Tiny Spice Co of Vermont had sent me a few containers of their spices for me to review.  What's not better than Chili and Football?  I didn't have any kidney beans on hand and I knew I needed to "beef" up the chili somehow.  I decided to pour it over some spaghetti.  This was my first time eating chili with spaghetti and it was delicious.  The whole recipe only took me 30 minutes from start to finish.

So....let me tell you about this spice blend called Chocolate Chili.  It's a combination of flavors from South America:  Organic Spices - Cocoa Nibs, Aji Amarillo Chili, New Mexican Chili, Aji Rancho Chili, Aji Rojo Chili, Juniper Berries, Oregano, Sweet Cinnamon, Aji Cereza Chili, Himalayan Pink Salt, Organic Vermont Maple Sugar, Organic Onion and Organic Garlic.  What an awesome blend of spices!  When I opened the container and sniffed, it was delightful.  I love mexican/southwest food.  I've never had chocolate mixed with my chili powder.  

From the side of the tin "Fruity and fiery chili peppers blend beautifully with rich cocoa nibs to create a unique chili mix.  Our rule of thumb is 2 Tbs of Chocolate Chili for a "normal recipe".

Now that I've made the chili and LOVED it.  I'll be making Chocolate Chili Brownies this week.


Cincinnati Chili with Spaghetti
6 servings

2 tsp canola oil 
1 lb uncooked ground turkey
2 medium onions, chopped
1 T Garlic Relish (you could use 2 cloves of garlic, minced)
2 T Teeny Tiny Spice Co. of Vermont Chocolate Chili (use more if you like it spicy)
14-15oz can diced tomatoes with jalapenos
1/4 C water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 cups cooked spaghetti
4 T low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded


Heat oil in large stockpot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the turkey and cook, breaking it up as the meat browns, 3-4 minutes.

Add 1 1/2 of the Chopped Onions.  Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onions start to soften.

Add Garlic Relish (or minced garlic) and Chocolate Chili Spice Blend

 Blend with meat and onion mixture

Add can of tomatoes and water

Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
While the Chili simmers, start cooking the Spaghetti.  

Portion the spaghetti out in 6 bowls.  Top each with 2/3 cup of Chili.  Sprinkle with the remaining onions and a generous tablespoon of shredded cheese.

You can find the Chocolate Chili Spice Mix at Teeny Tiny Spice Co. of Vermont.
Follow them on  Facebook also.
Make sure you sign up to follow my blog via email as I'll be reviewing a few of their other spice mixes also.  Plus, you won't want to miss my recipe and review of my Chocolate Chili Brownies.

October 24, 2011

Eating Healthy While on the Road

I'm heading to Washington DC (actually Alexandria, VA and Falls Church, VA) for the week for work. I've been sick for the last two weeks and my diet has gone out the window. I love cooking and while sick I spent a lot of time eating take-out (pizza, Subway, Chinese) or eating highly processed frozen meals. My body is craving a good salad.
Now that I'm feeling a little better, I have a business trip to take. I dread making the right choices while eating out. My co-worker has offered to split meals with me and hopefully we can keep each other accountable for what we consume. My first plan, upon grabbing my rental car, is to stop at a store to pick up some fresh fruit to have on hand for snacking. I am also packing some of my weight watcher snack bars and baked chips. My downfall though will be all of those great eateries that I don't have here in Vermont, like 5 Guys. OMG I love that place.

When you travel, how do you make sure that you stay on your healthy eating plan? Help me!!!!

~*~ Tamra ~*~

October 22, 2011

Free Rental from Redbox

"Redbox is the best - you can rent DVDs/Blu-Rays and in some places video games for $1 a night with no membership fees! You should try it out. If you click on my link and it's your first time renting online, they'll give you a free one-night online rental credit. And I'll get a free rental each time you rent via my link during the program." --Tamra Augostino

October 6, 2011

Steel Cut Oats with Apples

Steel Cut Oats with Apples

3 cups water
1 cup steel cut oats
3-4 apples (I used 4 small ones), peeled and diced
1 T cinnamon

Bring water to a boil. Add in the oats and apples. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 45 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed. Stir in cinnamon.

Serving size 1 Cup. I also topped mine with a bit of brown sugar (1 pt).

October 4, 2011

Pomegranate Orange Pork Chops

First off I need to apologize for my photo. I couldn't wait to sit down and eat this pork chop that I started eating before I realized I needed to take a photo. I am completely in love with Pomegranates. Add that to orange and I'm a woman in heaven.

This whole meal only took about 15-20 minutes to prepare. Quicker than ordering a pizza.

Pomegranate Orange Pork Chops
5 WWPP per serving

1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
1/4 tsp salt
4 (4oz) boneless center cut pork chops
cooking spray
1/2 cup pomegranate juice (plain or flavored - I used plain POM Lite)
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 T sugar
1 tsp grated fresh orange rind

Combine the first four ingredients together and sprinkle over both sides of the pork chops.
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Spray pan with cooking spray. Add pork chops and cook 3 - 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove pork chops from pan and keep warm.

Add pomegranate juice, vinegar and sugar to pan. Bring to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes until the sauce is reduced and becomes syrupy. Remove pan from heat and stir in the orange rind. Drizzle over the Pork Chops.

Serves 4

I served this Schwan's Baby Potatoes (WWPP 2) (microwave for 6 minutes) and Steamfresh spring vegetables (WWPP 2, this one came with a citrus sauce which added to the points value).

October 1, 2011

Beef Stir Fry

Beef Stir fry

I don't have a recipe for this because I just threw it together. I had sliced a sirloin steak into thin strips, adding in match stick carrots, zuchinni from our garden, package of frozen broccoli and an onion. Saute in a pan. then I added in asian chili sauce and some teriyaki sauce. Served over brown rice.

Cajun Beef Stew WWPP 6

Cajun Beef Stew

Weight Watchers Points Plus 7
Makes 4 Servings

1 pound boneless bottom round roast, cut into chunks
1 med onion, chopped in 1" pieces
1 large green pepper, cut in 1" pieces
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15.5 oz) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup reduced sodium beef broth
4 tsp Cajun seasoning
2 T cold water
1 T all-purpose flour
2 scallions for garnish (optional)

1. Place beef, onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic in a 5-6 quart slow cooker. Add the beans, tomatoes, broth and cajun seasonings; mix well. Cover and cook until the beef and vegetables are fork-tender, 4-5 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.

2. About 20 minutes before the cooking time is up, whisk the water and flour in a small bowl until smooth; stir in about 1/4 cup of the hot liquid from the slow cooker until blended. Stir the flour mixture into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high until the mixture simmers and thickens, about 15 minutes. Garnish each serving with the scallions.

You can serve this over egg noodles or brown rice. Be sure to add in the extra points plus for the noodles or rice. The photo above is shown without noodles or rice.