italian inspired stew.

Happy Monday Everyone.

Despite the somewhat gloomy weather outdoors today, I’ve managed to have a fairly productive yet relaxing day. That was oh so needed! I’ve gotten back into the work out groove, and into the kitchen. I’ve run “those” errands… you know the one’s you’ve been meaning to do for a month or so now.. but just never got around to. Yep! I did those, and I went grocery shopping. It’s been a good day!

Grocery shopping was a hit. One of those everything you had on your list or were thinking of getting just happened to be on sale or discounted trips. Love those oh so much. And in light of all this, a stew seemed so fitting for dinner tonight. An italian style stew to be exact. It just fit. Canned tomatoes were on sale, ground pork and turkey were reasonably priced and it was time for spruce and restock of the good ol’ spice rack. Fab!

Another highlight! Yes, there is another one, was that I came under budget this week. I’m such a nerd. I always get anxious while things are being rung up… will I be under or over the budget this week! It’s always a challenge. Today was a good under budget day.. today, I got a lot of bang for my buck.

  • 2 bags of romaine
  • 3 unripe bananas
  • 1 block of old cheddar (500g)
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce
  • 1 pack of sugar free jello (E is an addict)
  • 2 loves of flax bread
  • 1 tub of parnoosh honey dates (These land in my cart at least every other week!)
  • 1 bag of italian spice blend and dried parsley
  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 bag of parsnips
  • 1 box of whole wheat soup crackers
  • 1 jug of apple juice
  • 1 bottle of balsamic vinegar

… all for the awesomely low price of $47.00! Can you believe it. Awesomeness! E and I shoot for around $50 per week on groceries. Some might spend less, and some might spend more but for us $50 seems to be perfect!

Anyways, enough of my shopping success’… and on to the grub. Tonight I made an italian inspired stew. It was meaty, both literally and in texture, littered with spices and just oh so good.


  • 2 t. dried parsley
  • 1 t. black pepper
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1.5 t. italian spice blend
  • 1 t. paprika
  • 2 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb ground meat (I used 1/2 lb ground pork + 1/2 lb ground turkey)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (no salt added, perferably)
  • 1 bunch of baby spinach
  • 3/4 can tomato paste
  • water or broth, as needed


  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat.
  2. In the skillet, combine ground meat, chopped onion and spices together.
  3. Cook until meat no longer appears pink.
  4. Add in the tomatoes, tomato paste and spinach. Add water or broth as needed to reach desired consistency.
  5. Serve & Enjoy!


juicy cracked peppercorn turkey burgers

This is another one of those restaurant inspired meals. Everywhere I go, no matter how big or small the restaurant, they seem to offer some kind of cracked peppercorn item. Whether it be a pasta dish, a burger or a steak it’s there. Apparently its a popular flavour. And one that E and I quite like.

Ground turkey was on sale at the local grocery store this week, so I stocked up. And stocking up to me, means buying 4 and 5 pounds of the stuff. Needless to say there is no shortage of ground turkey in our household. So what to do, what to do. The thing I love about ground meat is how versatile it can be. There are endless meal options, which is great because we have an endless supply over here. E said he’s been wanting something different from our usual meals and so I thought let’s give this cracked peppercorn thing a try.

Does the recipe require a bit of tweaking, perhaps. But is it still delicious enough to post and make again. Hell yes. Say hello to my new friend and to a new favourite in our house.


  • 1 lb ground turkey (or other ground meat as desired)
  • 1/4 cup homemade ketchup¬†
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • dash of salt & pepper
  • 2-3 T peppercorns, for grinding


  1. In a large bowl, combine ground turkey with homemade ketchup, onions and salt and pepper.
  2. Mix together until just combined. It is important not to over mix as the burgers may become grainy in texture.
  3. Once combined, grind up the peppercorn until desired consistency. I used a small plug-in coffee grinder and grind until I have a mix of both finely and coarsely ground peppercorns.
  4. Preheat a non stick pan over medium heat.
  5. Meanwhile, form the turkey mixture into desired sized burgers. I made four nice sized burgers!
  6. Coat each side of the burgers with the ground peppercorn, applying slight pressure to ensure it sticks.
  7. Grill until no longer pink inside; and enjoy! These were scrumptious!