Turkey & Black Bean Burgers with Avocado-Corn Salsa

I was looking for a good, quick dinner idea one night and remembered I had this recipe on file for a black bean cake. What I ended up with is a little more of a burger because I added ground turkey meat, but add some of that salsa and you’re gonna love it with or without the meat. Also, I should mention that the original recipe called for shredded pepper jack cheese (1 1/2 cups) to be mixed into the black bean mixture, which I didn’t do, but that sounds like an awesome addition!

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Turkey & Black Bean Burgers

1 lb ground turkey (or chicken or beef)

1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained

2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

1 T taco seasoning mix

1/2 cup Panko

1 large egg, slightly beaten

Salt & Pepper, to taste

1. Combine all ingredients using hands and form into patties.

2. Heat a little bit of oil in a skillet over medium high heat.

3. Gently place patties into hot skillet. They will be fragile. Allow to sear on one side so they will flip easily.

4. Cook through.

5. Serve with salsa.

Avocado – Corn Salsa

avocado, skinned and diced

1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 tomato, diced

1 tsp fresh cilantro, chopped fine

lime juice

salt & pepper

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Chipotle Chicken and Corn Chowder

This chowder is a great addition to your Fall/Winter recipes. It’s warm and comforting, and offers a little kick for those who like to take their meals up a notch.


Chipotle Chicken and Corn Chowder

1 can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, divided

2 T unsalted butter

1 poblano pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp thyme

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 T flour

3 cups whole milk

2 cups chicken broth

6 small red potatoes, peeled and diced

4 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded

4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded

2 cups cooked chicken, diced

2 cups frozen corn (or fresh)

1 cup crushed tortilla chips

2 T lime juice

fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish

1. Remove one chile from the can and mince it. Remove 1 tsp adobo sauce and set aside. Save and freeze remainder of chiles and sauce in can for another use.

2. Melt the butter in a large soup pot and add poblano, red bell, and chile pepper, along with the thyme, oregano, and cumin. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until peppers are softened. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute or until it becomes fragrant.

3. Stir in flour and cook 1 more minute. Slowly stir in the milk and the broth, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan.

4. Add the potatoes, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

5. Add the cheeses slowly, stirring to combine well, until melted.

6. Stir in chicken, corn, tortilla chips, adobo sauce, and lime juice. Cover and cook another 10 minutes on low.

7. Serve immediately. If you refrigerate leftovers the chowder may need to be thinned out with a bit of milk.

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Chicken Enchilada Soup #2

Yes, it’s another recipe for chicken enchilada soup. This one has fewer steps than the other one, but I still must clarify that both are delicious and worth the effort!

chix enchilada soup

Chicken Enchilada Soup (#2)

1 15-oz. can black beans, drained

10-oz. package frozen corn


1/2 cup chopped onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1 4-oz. can chopped green chiles

1 10-oz. jar enchilada sauce

1 can cream of chicken soup (healthy alternative)

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup chicken broth

2 chicken breasts, poached and shredded

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese

1) In large skillet over medium, heat oil and add onion and garlic. Add in chiles.

2) In bowl whisk together milk, broth, enchilada sauce, and cream soup. Pour into skillet and combine well with veggies.

3) Add in beans, corn and chicken. Set on low and simmer for as long as possible (it will be ready in 10 minutes if you can’t wait).

4) Stir in cheese and let melt.

5) Serve with tortilla chips, avocado, sour cream, or whatever you desire. *I made simple cheese quesadillas and served them on the side as dippers.

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Southwest Chicken and Corn Chowder

You probably are thinking this would be a great recipe for the Fall and I agree, but the weather here has been cold and rainy for nearly a month, so it feels pretty Fall-like. Besides, comfort food is welcome in my house anytime of the year and I’d bet you’d agree if you try this lovely chowder. Just serve with some crusty bread and enjoy.

southwest chowder

Southwest Chicken and Corn Chowder


3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 green onions, chopped

1/2 cup carrots, sliced thin or diced

1/2 cup celery, sliced thin or chopped

1 small to medium potato, peeled and cubed

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 mini bell peppers, red & orange, chopped (optional)

jalapeno pepper, minced

4 pieces turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled

3 cups chicken broth

 1 1/4 cups heavy cream

2 T flour

1 1/2 cups frozen corn

2 tsp southwest seasoning*

salt & pepper

1. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and toss with southwest seasonings. *This is just a combo of chili powder, chipotle powder, and paprika. Cook in EVOO in skillet heated over medium heat.

2. In soup pot place the chicken broth and the chopped carrots, onion, garlic, jalepeno, bell peppers and celery. Allow time to soften and simmer in broth before adding the chicken, corn and potato. Cook for at least 20 minutes.

3. Fry up your bacon, drain and crumble into the chowder pot. Season with thyme, salt and pepper. Taste.

4. Using a small whisk, combine the flour with the heavy cream in a bowl to make a roux. Add to the chowder and stir in well.

5. Let simmer another 20 minutes or more until potatoes are tender and all the flavors are combined.

I will share a few secrets with you: First, I used the crock pot, in stages, which made the chowder awesome. If you have the time I’d recommend this. Just follow the recipe with longer cooking intervals. After several hours the chicken is extremely tender and the overall flavor is amazing. Also, I used leftover chicken from my Chicken Enchilada Pasta Bake since there was so much leftover and I didn’t want to waste all that chicken or fantastic flavor. If you have any leftover dishes in your fridge, don’t be afraid to dig your hands into it and find a way to use it. 

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Wonton Taco Cups

How fun is this? I thought the kids would especially like this twist on the taco but even Hubby tore into it and wanted seconds. The taco mixture is cheesy and satisfying and the wonton shells are just fun.


Wonton Taco Cups

1 lb. ground beef (or chicken or turkey)

1 pkg taco seasoning (1/4 cup)

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup frozen corn

20 wonton wrappers

1/2 cup queso cheese

1/4 cup taco sauce

1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend

Extras for serving:

shredded lettuce



sour cream

black olives

tortilla chips


1. Preheat oven to 375* and lightly spray muffin tins. Layer two wonton wrappers, spreading out the corners, and gently place into tins. Use a wooden spoon to push the corners down. Careful not to rip the wonton.

2. Ground beef (if using turkey or chicken add a splash of EVOO to the pan).  Drain if necessary and add taco seasoning and water, according to package directions.

3. Add beans and corn; allow to heat through.

4. Divide the queso cheese evenly between the muffin cups by placing about 2 tsp into the bottom of each. Fill the cups up with the meat mixture. Place a tsp of taco sauce on to of the meat mixture and top with 2 T of shredded cheese.

5. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool in pan for a few minutes before serving.

Makes approx. 10 taco cups. Use jumbo muffin tins.



Savory Skillet Veggies

I don’t know about you but that title alone would not suck me in. You’re just going to have to trust me.

One of my favorite side dish staples is my Skillet Corn. I put it on my monthly menus at least every other month. We rarely eat corn otherwise, unless it’s fresh off the cob or added to a recipe such as soup or chili. So the other night I prepared my new favorite Grilled Balsamic Chicken for dinner and thought the skillet corn would make a great side.

Well, it would have been I am sure….had I the proper ingredients. Instead I improvised and added a bit here and there and viola! I got something even better! So, it may not be completely honest to call this a new recipe when basically it’s a new and improved recipe! (I think I hear some fanfare- yay!)

Savory Skillet Veggies

4 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

1 cup fresh or frozen lima beans

2 T butter

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

1/4 cup milk (plus more if necessary)

3 T parmesan cheese

3 T chopped fresh basil

1. Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add corn and lima beans (or whatever veggies you choose to add) and cook 6 minutes if fresh, 10+ minutes if using frozen. Stir frequently until the veggies are heated through and look a little browned.

2. In a separate bowl mix together the ricotta and milk to make it smooth. Add it to the skillet and cook, stirring for about 3 minutes. Add more milk as needed for consistency, but not too much as it will start to dull the flavors. You don’t want this dish runny.

3. Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan cheese and basil. Keep covered off heat until ready to serve.

*Remember you can never have too much fresh basil!  ENJOY!!

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