I love experimenting with meals that use fresh ingredients and contain a balance of lean protein, good fats, and carbs. Many of us with Cystic Fibrosis deal with malabsorption, so we have to take in more calories and nutrients than those without CF. While it may sound like we’re “lucky” for needing to eat more, it can be a challenge to get enough nutrition. Slow or poor digestion, medication side effects, and lung infections can affect the appetite, so it’s important to eat flavorful food.
The challenge is when you live with people who don’t need the extra calories or nutrients, or follow a low-carb or low-sodium diet, so I try to make the general meal with those issues in mind.
As a result, I like to cook meals that have layers of flavor.
I rarely follow recipes, and often just toss in the ingredients as the ideas come to me. That’s how I created this meal, which I didn’t know how to classify, so I named it Crazy Turkey Faux Chili Tortilla Soup. As I stirred in the ingredients, I took what I was “tossing” into the pan and measured it so I could provide a guideline for you. This meal is very flavorful, filling and pretty balanced nutritionally. It’s a perfect Winter meal!
You can use this recipe in four different ways:
- Turkey Tortilla “Soup”
- Turkey Chili
- Hard Taco or Soft Tortilla filling
- Dip for Tortilla Chips
Where applicable, I’ve noted additional ingredients or steps for your convenience.
1 lb. ground turkey (thawed)
2 Cans 14.5 oz. diced tomatoes
1 small can Corn niblets
2 tablespoons Light Tasting Olive Oil
1/2 medium Yellow Onion, chopped
1/2 medium Red Pepper, chopped
1/2 medium Cubanelle or Green Pepper, or 1 Jalapeno Pepper, or 1 Chili Pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
1 teaspoon Chili powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 teaspoon dried Chives
1 teaspoon of Lemon or Lime Juice
1 large Basil leaf (or 1/8 teaspoon of dried Basil)
Mexican/Taco flavored Cheese Blend
Tobasco (a few shakes) – optional
1 – 2 can(s) of precooked Beans
1 package of Knorr Mexican Rice Sides or 2 cups of Yellow Rice
2 cups of Water or Chicken Broth to cook Rice
1 Cup of Chicken Broth
1. Pour 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil into a medium or larger sauce pot and turn the heat to High (10/10).
2. While the pan is warming up, chop up the Onion and any Peppers and toss them into the oil. When it begins to sizzle, lower the heat to a little bit higher than Medium, or 6/10, and stir occasionally with a wooden spoon.
RICE DISHES – If you want Rice in your meal, fill a separate saucepan with Water (or Chicken Broth) according to directions, and turn the heat to High (10/10). I prefer either Knorr Rice Sides Mexican Fiesta Rice and Goya Yellow Rice. I suggest not using Rice if you’re making Soup, as it will absorb the liquid.
3. Once the Onions start to brown, add in the thawed Ground Turkey gradually, smashing it into smaller pieces with the wooden spoon while mixing with the Onions and Peppers.
RICE DISHES – The pan of rice should be boiling by now. Pour the rice into the pan, stir it a bit, lower the heat to Medium-Low (around 3/10), and cover it. Set your kitchen timer to 4 minutes, at which point you will stir a few times, then reset the timer again in 4-minutes increments. Repeat until there is no puddling of liquid. When done, remove the pan from the burner and keep the lid on.
4. Sprinkle in your dry ingredients: Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Chives, Salt and Pepper.
5. Stir every so often until the Turkey is cooked completely. The turkey is ready when there are no longer any pink spots.The texture should be similar to that of cooked Ground Beef – done on the outside and juicy on the inside.
6. Add in the 2 cans of Diced Tomatoes, the can of Corn Niblets, 1 teaspoon of Lemon or Lime Juice, pre-cooked Beans (if you are using them), a few shakes of Tabasco sauce (optional), and your Basil (either one large leaf torn into a few pieces, or 1/8 teaspoon of dried Basil).
Fresh Basil leaf – I sometimes buy a small package of picked basil fo $1.99. I prefer it when making my homemade tomato sauce, my hearty “Chickeny” Soup, and in Caprese salad.
For TACO SOUP: Slowly pour in a cup of Chicken Broth at this time.
8. Stir gently to distribute the ingredients evenly, and set your burner to a heat of Medium (5/10), and set your timer for 20 minutes to simmer. Stir contents and take a taste at the 10 and 20 minute marks. I usually simmer for 20 minutes if I want a quicker meal, but you can simmer it longer to deepen the flavor. I suggest adding time in 10-minute increments.
For RICE option: If you chose to add Rice to the meal, you can either stir the Rice into the pot at the very end, or scoop Rice into a bowl and pour the contents of the pan over it (great option for those monitoring their Carb intake).
Everything tastes better with Cheese! Serve with a sprinkle of Mexican flavored cheese on top.
For TACO SOUP: Do not drain liquid off when serving.
For CHILI, TACO FILLING or DIP: Drain using slated ladle when serving.
Ta-da! That looks (and tastes) really yummy! Let me know if you’ve tried this recipe and tell me what you think!