Lunch With Loni

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White Bean Chicken/Turkey Chili June 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lonislens @ 10:37 pm

Recipe Courtesy of: Ellie Krieger

Original recipe located at:

I made this for a chili cookoff at work…only I had some issues getting here and it wound up not making it into the competition.  Well I still put it out for everyone to try and you wouldn’t believe the number of e-mails I received saying it was their favorite and they wanted the recipe.

This was the first Ellie Krieger recipe I had tried.  She is on the Food Network and if you do a quick search on you can find a lot of recipes by her that are rated highly.  I like that she is a health-conscious chef, but you don’t feel like you’re eating a “light” chili.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 medium poblano peppers (about 4 ounces each), seeded and white ribs removed, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups) (I used several cans of green chilis this time I made it)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more to taste
  • 1 pound ground white meat turkey  (I used 93% lean ground chicken this time but I also recommend using a Jenny-O pre-seasoned package of “taco” seasoned turkey and adjust the other seasonings accordingly…I’ve made it that way and like how it adds a little color)
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans white beans such as cannelini, preferably low-sodium, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can hominy, drained and rinsed  This ingredient provoked a great deal of, “what exactly is hominy” questions.
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Recaito (I believe I have mentioned my love of this Goya cilantro cooking base product before…when in doubt, bust it out)
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek-style yogurt (I used plain yogurt)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Lime wedges
  • 4 small corn tortillas


I actually made this in the crockpot…but the original directions are below.  What I did was put the crockpot on high and add the olive oil, onions, celery and garlic…once the onions were clear I kind of moved those ingredients to the side and put the ground chicken in to “brown.”  I found out the hard way that if you don’t do that, the ground chicken (particularly with such a low fat content) tends to break down in the broth resulting in a less appetizing appearance.  I then added the seasonings, broth, beans and hominy and turned the crockpot down to low.  No “magic time” for cooking, but I always find that chili tastes better when it cooks low and slow.

I also sliced a couple of tortillas into thin strips and baked them in the oven (a quick spray of olive oil and shake of sea salt on top, 400 degree oven for 5 minutes does the trick) and used just a few to garnish the top.

Heat the oil in large pot or Dutch oven over moderate heat. Add the onion, celery, poblanos, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until the meat is no longer pink about 2 minutes. Add the white beans, broth and oregano. Cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.

Add the hominy and salt and more cayenne pepper, to taste, and continue cooking, partially covered, 10 minutes longer. Ladle into individual bowls and top each serving with 1 tablespoon of yogurt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cilantro. Garnish with a lime wedge.



Juicy Flank Steak in Mushroom Sauce June 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lonislens @ 10:29 pm

Recipe courtesy of:b011381

Original recipe located at:

My title is deceiving…I actually made juicy skirt steak in mushroom sauce.  Don’t turn me in to the food blog police.  I admit I am no beef expert.  In fact until about 6 months ago the only beef in our house was the occasional hamburger or steak (steak for my husband since I don’t eat it).  But every now and then I come across a recipe I want to try, like the Cuban Ropa Vieja, that calls for beef.  When I prepared that I purchased two packages of skirt steak and this one was in the freezer.  Someone on a forum online recommended this recipe so I gave it a go!  I don’t know if flank steak and skirt steak are interchangeable but they appear similar and it worked fine for us!

This was a tasty meal, although not very summer-appropriate (particularly considering the near 100 degree temperatures yesterday), but it makes for a great “comfort food” meal with good depth of flavor. 

I had cornstarch issues (didn’t dissolve very well in my water), so my liquid wasn’t gravy-like but it still was fine over the noodles I served it with.

1 1/2 pound Flank steak
1/4 cup Sauterne wine (Umm…I didn’t even look this up, I just threw 1/4 cup of Marsala in.  Probably completely wrong but it tasted good!)
1 tablespoon Soy sauce
1 clove Garlic — minced
1 can (10 1/2 oz. size) Beef broth
1 tablespoon Catsup
1 teaspoon Prepared mustard
1 tablespoon Instant minced onio(I don’t own “instant minced onion”—I put approx. 1 teaspoon of onion powder in as well as 1/2 of a Vidalia onion, sliced thinly)
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
2 tablespoons Water
1/4 pound Fresh mushrooms — sliced 


Place steak in crockpot. Combine wine, soy sauce, garlic, broth, catsup, mustard and onion; pour over steak. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Dissolve cornstarch in water; stir into pot. Add mushrooms. Turn to high; cover and cook on high 20 to 30 minutes.

I served this over buttered noodles.  The meat was very tender and juicy and had a great rich flavor to it.  I highly recommend using the onions.  Mushrooms and onions go hand in hand to me, and I think the thin slices of onions in the sauce were a good addition.


Lemon Ricotta Cookies June 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lonislens @ 10:24 pm

Recipe courtesy of: Giada de Laurentis

Original recipe located at:

Giada has yet to fail me.  I’ve tried four or five recipes of hers so far and they’ve all been favorites.  When I came across this recipe on another food blog I thought it would be a good chance to use the numerous lemons in my fridge–ever forget you have something and buy more of it, only to then realize you have a stockpile of about 6 lemons and no clue what to do with them all?

These cookies have a cake-like consistency to them, which I personally like.  I’m a fan of cake, just not frosting, and these are easier to eat.  Just make sure you have a napkin on hand because they are sticky!  My glaze definitely didn’t turn out like hers did although I used the same measurements, but that didn’t bother me. 



  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese (I used low fat because I purchased that by accident.  I haven’t tried them with whole milk but they seemed just fine to me!)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested


  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.


In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.


Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. Pack the cookies into a decorative container.

 Who needs a decorative container?  Sure, I thought of bringing a pretty platter in with me to work.  But I forgot.  And my co-workers didn’t seem to care that I served them up on paper plates. =p