It’s Friday, one day from being up to our shoulder pads in football both on the sidelines of my son’s rec league and on the sofa yelling bad and good things as Defensive Coach ofremote controlfor a Big Ten alma mater. Further, the teenager will be sequestered with a laptop, three books, and her will to upgrade her English performance before taking the keys to Saturday night in Los Angeles – church choir and volunteer work right? Hunger will be everywhere. No more than one hour on a Friday to prep the fresh and cook up something re-heatable to make our weekend real.

Relying on a few foods from the farm people and the wonderland, I cleaned, chopped, and stored the lot below in about 40 minutes and somehow a turkey chili was made in between peeling and rinsing. Before you think I should be locked up with a serious case of marthastewititis, for which nothing but disorganization therapy can cure, weekend prep works, it really really works, to make fast food out of real food – real food that your Grandmother would recognize – to quote our food hero.

I brought home some watercress, nearly as nutrient-dense as kale and more tender, and will blend it in with other lettuces to keep its strong pepper taste at arm’s length.

Most everyone has a quick way to prepare chili and likely has a favorite seasoning mix to go along with it. Of course, I prefer my own spice mix, but in a pinch, prepared packets work great to elevate some very basic foods. Brown Bag, available at wonderland, is spicy good, robust and complex for a prepackaged mix – hint I added some cinnamon to round out the taste.

Five steps, five basic ingredients, and 25 minutes to simmer and I had a whole lot of fresh foods and healthy turkey chili on hand to tackle the weekend. [recipe]

weekend prep – football games & homework

Cook Time: 30 minutes

1 t olive oil

1 lb ground white meat turkey

1 small onion chopped

1 can crushed tomatoes (please use a good brand without preservatives)

1 can chili beans (the redder the better)

1 package chili seasoning mix

1/2 t cinnamon

Heat oil in heavy bottom pan on medium heat.  Add onions and let them sweat about 3 minutes.  Add ground turkey and cook until most of the pink is gone.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Stir and simmer for 20-25 minutes or longer.

Cook’s Options: Add more turkey and/or more beans, carrots or celery (which you should cook with the onions)

recipe adapted from Brown Bag Chili Mix by your friends at crunchtimefood.com

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