Turkey and Chocolate Chili with loads of vegetables

Turkey and Chocolate Chili - trustinkim

With this chili recipe I was looking to keep it healthy (lots of veg and lean ground turkey), while giving it fabulous flavour – and I succeeded! There are many layers of flavour – multiple types of peppers, spices, and a hint of  chocolate and lime. I’ve actually made a chili similar to this many times, but I’ve always forgotten to write down what I put in it. I’m so glad I wrote it down this time, because I think this is one of my best. I’ve made a similar recipe to this in a vegetarian version, exactly the same but without the turkey of course.

The recipe makes a large quantity, so you can halve it if you don’t want as much, or throw some in the freezer for a quick meal down the road.

If you can plan ahead, make it a day ahead of time – chili always tastes best the next day. There are a lot of ingredients, and a fair bit of chopping in this recipe, I know. But really worth it! This recipe turns out best if it is allowed a long cooking time.

I served mine with a garnish of x’nipek, a red onion salsa I learned to make in Mexico. It’s really easy to make, but totally optional.

Here’s a great little article about differentiating between chopping, dicing and mincing.

What you need:

  • 1 cup chicken, beef or vegetable stock
  • 2 dried guajillo or ancho peppers
  • 300-400 grams lean ground turkey
  • 1 large onion, medium chop
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped(remove the seeds if you don’t want much heat)
  • 1 serrano pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 poblano peppers, diced
  • 1 sweet red or banana pepper, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, grated
  • 8-10 mushrooms, small chop
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 tablespoons Mexican chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-796mL/28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 -796mL/28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1-156mL/5.5oz can tomato paste
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste

What you do:

  1. Turn an element on the stove (works best with a gas stove, but you can throw them under the broiler if you don’t have one – watch carefully that they don’t burn!). Wave the dried guajillo peppers over the flame, turning to heat both sides. They will start to smell fragrant. Remove the stem and seeds and place in a small pot with the stock. Heat this up to a simmer, then let it sit off the heat for about half an hour. You can go about making the other parts of the chili while it sits. After the half hour, purée the pepper with the stock in a blender.
  2. Now heat a very large pot over a medium flame, then drizzle in a little olive oil. Cook the turkey until it is no longer pink, then remove it from the pot.
  3. Add a little more olive oil to the pot, then add the onions and cook, stirring, until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute.
  4. Add all the peppers (except the soaking guajillo), zucchini, mushrooms, and carrots. Stir the veggies while they cook, until slightly softened.
  5. Add the oregano, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, paprika and cayenne. Stir to coat the vegetables in the spices and cook for a minute or so.
  6. Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato paste and the puréed chili and stir it all together. Once it starts to bubble, turn the heat to low. Let this cook for at least an hour, but preferably two or more. Give it a good stir from time to time, making sure it doesn’t burn.
  7. Add the chocolate and let it melt in as you stir. Stir in the lime.
  8. Enjoy!

Moist Chocolate Zucchini Loaf

chocolate zucchini loaf - trust in kim

This chocolate zucchini loaf got rave reviews when I brought it to work the other day. It has enough chocolate to satisfy the chocolate lovers, but people also appreciated that it’s not too sweet. Plus we all pretended we were eating something healthy because the recipe contains zucchini, whole wheat flour and olive oil.

As a baker who is usually too busy to bake these days, I like recipes in which I don’t have to wait for butter to soften and then cream it. This is one of those recipes where you can just combine all the wet ingredients and fold them into the dry ones, so it’s relatively quick. But you do have to grate the zucchini – no big deal.

I made the full recipe when I baked this, but here I halved the recipe so it is only one 9 x 5 x 3 loaf. I didn’t use the walnuts because I knew some people would like it better without, but if it was just up to me I’d have put them in.

I found the recipe here.

What you do:

  • Softened butter, for the pan
  • parchment paper
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)
  • 4 ounces semisweet (or dark-my favourite) chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup fine-grained turbinado sugar (I just used white sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini

What you need:

  1. Prepare the loaf pan by greasing it with butter. Then cut a piece of parchment paper that is long enough to come up on the two long sides over the top of the pan, so you will be able to pull the loaf out by pulling on the paper. Grease the parchment paper as well.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the chocolate chips and the nuts if you are using them.
  4. Grate the zucchini.
  5. In another bowl whisk together the olive oil, buttermilk, egg, vanilla and sugar. Mix in the grated zucchini.
  6. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, being careful not to over mix.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes, rotating the pans once half-way through the baking. Test the loaf by inserting a toothpick. It should come out almost clean. Place the loaf on a cooling rack for 20 minutes before removing from the pan.
  8. Enjoy! You can freeze this loaf, or part of it, if people don’t eat it all right away. It is good for a few days after baking. Yum.

Grilled Zucchini with Za’atar Vinaigrette

grilled zucchini with za'aatar vinaigrette - trust in kim


I fell in love with Lebanese food the year I lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Now I seek out Lebanese recipes to experiment with at home. I found this one on David Lebovitz’s awesome site.

Za’atar is a combination of sesame seeds, sumac, and some herbs. Mixed with some mustard, oil and vinegar it makes a lovely dressing for grilled veggies. I made zucchini for this post, but later used it on other veggies as well, and all were delicious.

I can hardly wait until the zucchini in my garden are ready, and I can make this again.

What you need:

  • 1 kg zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons sherry or cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus some for the zucchini)
  • 4 teaspoons za’atar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sumac (optional)

What you do:

  1. Slice the zucchini to 1/4 inch, as evenly as possible so you don’t have parts that burn. Using a mandoline works well. Toss the slices in a some olive oil.
  2. Combine all the rest of the ingredients to make the vinaigrette.
  3. Heat the grill and brush it with some olive oil. Grill the zucchini slices until they are charred on each side.
  4. Arrange the zucchini on a platter and pour some dressing over the slices.


Panfried Garlic Trout with Zucchini

panfried garlic trout - trust in kim

Although I didn’t fish this summer I was lucky enough to be gifted some rainbow trout: two from my dad and one big one from my Uncle Peter and niece Courtney.

For this recipe I tried to recreate a fish dish I had in Mexico once, which had a lot of garlic and olive oil on it.  This turned out a little different, partly because I don’t know how to fillet and served the fish whole, but it was its own kind of awesome.  The sauce was great on the fish, and also made this my new favourite way to serve zucchini.  Good thing there’s so much coming up in my garden right now!

What you need:

  • 1 large trout for 2 people (or course you can try this with other fish)
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth (or vegetable if you prefer)
  • 2 small zucchini or one larger one

What you do:

  1. Chop all except two cloves of the garlic to a medium-small size.  Chopping is preferable to using a garlic press because the press makes it mushy, and you want to have some pieces of garlic for this recipe.
  2. Heat a large frying pan (large enough to fit the fish) to medium and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  When it is hot add the chopped garlic and cook, stirring, until it is lightly browned.  Pour  the garlic and oil into a bowl and add the chicken broth and salt to it.  If your broth was salty you won’t need to add much or any salt.
  3. Start the grill.  Of course you don’t need to use a grill because you’re going to cook in a frying pan, but I don’t like my home to smell like fish so I chose to cook it outside. I cooked the garlic inside, but this can also be done on the grill.
  4. Cut the zucchini on a diagonal about 2 cm thick.
  5. Season the fish with salt and pepper, inside the cavity of the fish if you’ve got a whole one, or just on top if you have fillets.
  6. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, let it heat, then add the 2 cloves of garlic which you have cut in half.  Let this cook until the garlic has begun to brown.
  7. When the grill is hot put the frying on it and place the fish in it, keeping the olive oil and large garlic pieces in the pan, and put the lid down.  Cook on each side for 7-8 minutes, depending on the size of the fish.  When it is done remove the fish from the pan to a serving plate and cover to keep warm.
  8. Place the zucchini slices in the frying pan and cook for about 3 minutes per side, so it is still firm in the inside.  Add half of the garlic and chicken broth sauce and stir to coat the zucchini. Let the sauce heat up for a minute or so.
  9. Spoon some garlic sauce into the cavity of the fish, then arrange the zucchini around the fish on the platter.

Bon appetit!


Confit de Canard avec les Pommes de Terre et Legumes


In France this summer I enjoyed eating duck on many occasions.  One night Corey and I made our own confit de canard dinner at a B&B.  We had this gorgeous outdoor space to cook and eat our meal in.  Duck confit is cured in salt, then cooked in its own fat.  And is amazing!  In France it is readily available, but not so much at home.  If you’re in Vancouver, I’ve heard you can buy it at Oyama Sausage at Granville Island.  The excess fat can be saved in the fridge to cook potatoes in the future.

What you need:

two legs of confit de canard


1 zucchini, sliced about 2 cm thick


2 tomatoes

salt and pepper

What you do:

1. Heat a frying pan on medium high and put the duck legs in it.  Cook them until they are nicely browned.

2. To cook the potatoes you can begin by either boiling them, or pierce with a fork and pop them in the microwave.  Then cut into thick slices.

3. Remove the legs from the pan and keep them in a warm oven.  Remove some of the fat from the frying pan, then add the potatoes.  Fry them until they are browned on each side. (If you want to make Perigord style potatoes, add some garlic and lots of parsley.  We didn’t get to try this, but our B&B host told us it was amazing, so that is how I’ll try it next time).

4. In another pan, heat a tablespoon or so of butter, then add the zucchini slices.  Brown them slightly on each side, then add salt and pepper.

5. Cut the tomato into slices and salt and pepper them.  If you have some balsamic reduction you can add some of that too.

Plate the duck, potatoes, zucchini and tomatoes and enjoy a gorgeous meal with a glass of red wine.  Ours was a Bordeaux.


The French countryside

Un-deepfried Zucchini #2 (avec parmesan)

Of all the recipes on my blog, I think Un-Deepfried Zucchini is the one I make the most.  I’m not nearly tired of it, but I thought I should try something new with it.  So I just added a little parmesan to the breadcrumb mixture.  I still like it with a little yogurt, to which I add some fresh/frozen dill and a little salt and pepper.

What you need:

1 medium-size zucchini, sliced into 1cm thick rounds

1 egg

about 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

salt and pepper to taste

a few tablespoons finely grated parmesan

What you do:

1.  Mix the breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, and the parmesan together in a bowl.  Crack the egg into another bowl and mix it up with a fork.

2.  Preheat the oven to 400F.

3.  Dip the zucchini pieces in the egg, then press them into the breadcrumbs so they are coated.  Place on a baking sheet – I don’t grease mine and they don’t seem to stick.

4.  Pop them in the oven – I usually put them in before it’s finished preheating, and it’s not a problem.  Bake for 10 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 10.  They should be very soft when you’re done, so check them and maybe throw them back in for a few minutes.

Serve hot on their own, of with a dipping sauce of your choice.  Stay tuned for #3!

Fantastic Chicken Stew

In honour of the rare mid-April snowfall we experienced in Vancouver today, I’m posting this fabulous chicken stew recipe. It’s not too hard to make, and it’s full of flavour.  I’ve adapted a recipe for veal stew from a Western Living cookbook to make this.  Oh, and it’s so tasty if you use homemade stock – it’s pretty much vital to the flavour, so plan ahead and make some stock !

What you need:

2 tablespoons olive oil

4-6 chicken thighs, bone-in & skin removed

1 onion, chopped roughly

a cup or two of button mushrooms, halved

4 cloves garlic, finely diced

3 cups chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped finely

1 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons  flour

5-6 small potatoes, chopped in half

4-5 carrots, cut into rounds

1 medium-sized zucchini, cut into rounds

salt and pepper to taste

What you do:

1. Heat a large pot to medium-high heat and add one tablespoon of olive oil, then add the onions. After about five minutes add the mushrooms.  Saute until browned, then remove from the pot.

2. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pot, then add the chicken and cook until browned on each side.  Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add the chicken stock and cook, covered, for about 45 minutes.

3. Combine the wine and flour, then stir it into the pot. Add the potatoes, carrots, and sautéed mushrooms and onions. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

4. Add the zucchini and cook for about 15 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

I like to eat this all on its own, but it would be great served with a crusty bread.

Un-Deepfried Zucchini

This one is for those times when you’re craving something that’s bad for you.  This is a much healthier version of deep-fried zucchini – but oven-baked.  I can’t stop eating them, and neither can anyone I’ve made them for.


It’s simple, you just need:

1 zucchini

1/2 ish cup of bread crumbs (whole wheat, if you really want to be healthy)

salt & pepper

1 egg

Now just:

1.  Preheat the oven to 400C.

2.  Slightly beat the egg in a bowl with a fork.

3.  Put bread crumbs, salt & pepper in another bowl and mix.

4.  Cut the zucchini into 2cm thick rounds.

5.  Dip each zucchini slice into the egg, then the bread crumbs.  It helps to press the crumbs on a bit.

6.  Place the slices on a baking sheet.  I don’t grease mine and they come off fine. 

7.  Bake for 12 minutes on each side.

I eat them just like that, but you could make a ranch dressing with yogurt to keep it healthy.