"Morph It"

One of my favorite cookbooks (that I've used many times already on this blog) is Robin Miller's Quick Fix Meals. She has a strategy called "Morph it" where she makes one recipe and then turns it into several different meals. Not only is this a major time saver, but you can save money too!

Acme has ground turkey on sale this week until Friday. It's 2 packages (1 lb each) for $6. That's the perfect amount for the turkey chili I make ALL the time. Acme also has their 10 for $10 sale on different brands of canned tomatoes...which you also use for the chili (and countless other things).

I usually just make the chili and freeze it in portions to pull out of the freezer when we need a quick meal. However, you can use the chili as a base for 2 completely different recipes. Or you could just halve the chili recipe below and make enough for one meal. It's up to you.

I've made all three of these recipes many many times and can assure you that they are simple, fast, and delicious. The chili has a long list of ingredients...but most of them are either inexpensive canned goods or already in your pantry.

Turkey and Two-Bean Chili

Olive Oil
2 lbs ground turkey
1 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced*
1/4 chili powder
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, or more to taste
2 (28 oz.) cans diced tomatoes**
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
2 (15 oz.) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
Toppings (I usually use chopped scallions, sour cream, and tortilla chips...sometimes a sprinkle of cheddar cheese)
  1. Heat a couple tbsp of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and cook until browned and cooked through (roughly 5 to 7 minutes). Break up the clumps as it cooks.
  2. Transfer the turkey to a bowl and heat up another couple tbsp of olive oil.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeno and cook, stirring, until tender and golden (about 4 minutes). Return the turkey to the pot.
  4. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, bay leaves, salt, and red pepper and stir to coat the vegetables and turkey with the seasoning.
  5. Add the tomatoes, broth, tomato sauce, and both beans and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover the pot, and simmer for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours.
  6. Fish out the bay leaves (not so fun to eat) and ladle into bowls and top with your favorites!
  7. Refrigerate or freeze the leftovers to enjoy again OR to make the recipes below.
*I buy jars that have chopped up jalapenos inside. I find this so easy, just as flavorful, and a lot less intimidating than chopping up a whole jalapeno. I use about a tbsp or two of the jarred jalapenos in this recipe.
**I always used petite diced tomatoes. Then one day I bought the regular large diced tomatoes by mistake and liked them in this recipe so much better!

Turkey and Cheese Burritos with Red Sour Cream

2 cups leftover Turkey Chili
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 cup frozen succotash (corn and lima beans), thawed
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles (near the taco stuff)
4 (8 oz.) flour or whole wheat tortillas
1 cup low fat sour cream
2 tbsp prepared chili sauce (you could skip this and just use regular sour cream if you want)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a shallow baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the leftover chili, 1 cup of the cheese, the succotash, and chiles.
  3. Arrange tortillas on a flat surface and top each one with an equal amount of chili mixture, making an even layer down the center.
  4. Roll up the tortillas and place side by side in the prepared pan. Top with remaining cup of cheese.
  5. Bake until brown and bubbly, 10 to 12 minutes.
  6. Mix sour cream with chili sauce to serve with the burritos.
Spinach and Cheese Lasagna
~I enjoy this recipe so much that I've made it for company numerous times~

4 cups leftover turkey chili
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1 (10 oz.) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained*
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine the leftover chili and tomato sauce. In another bowl, combine the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup of the mozzarella, and garlic powder.
  3. Pour 1 cup of the chili mixture into a 13x9 inch lasagna pan, evenly coating the bottom. Arrange 4 lasagna noodles on top of the chili, overlapping them slightly to cover the bottom.
  4. Spoon half of the cheese mixture over the noodles, spreading it evenly. Top with 1 cup of the chili and 4 more noodles.
  5. Top the second layer of noodles with remaining cheese mixture, 1 cup of the chili and 4 more noodles.
  6. Top the noodles with the remaining chili and remaining mozzarella. Sprinkle evenly with parmesan cheese. (you can wrap it up at this point and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze...thaw completely before baking).
  7. Bake until top is golden and bubbly, about 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
*Use paper towels to squeeze the living daylights out of the spinach.

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