Showing posts with label Denise Swanson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Denise Swanson. Show all posts

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Denise Swanson's Can’t-Believe-It’s-Healthy Chili

Join us in welcoming our guest blogger, best-selling author Denise Swanson!

Now that both my sleuth Skye and I are eating healthier, I’ve been on the hunt for tasty meals that don’t break the bad-for-you budget. My incentive to eat better is because I’ve suddenly developed some food sensitivities. Skye’s has a lot to do on with what she and her new husband did on their honeymoon—or maybe before (wink).

Skye and I agree that because we both have good reasons to do so, we’ll change our eating habits. But we won’t give up taste. Neither of us are trying to get into a size four or even a fourteen. We are happy with ourselves and our only goal is to be healthy.

With both our eating requirements in mind, I’m avoiding sugar and gluten and Skye’s doctor telling her to eat foods high in fiber and rich in iron, I found the perfect recipe.

Turkey Chili


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
12 ounces of ground turkey
1 10 ounce can diced tomatoes
   and green chilies
1/2 cup white wine
2 teaspoons freshly ground
   black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried ground sage
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
6 cups unsalted vegetable
   or chicken stock
3 (15-ounce) cans unsalted cannellini beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
2 (15-ounce) cans unsalted kidney beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
2 cups chopped kale (I use a whole bag)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano


Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.

Add onion and next 3 ingredients (through sausage); sauté 4 minutes. 

Add tomato and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper).

Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half (about 1 minute).

Stir in stock. Combine 2 cans cannellini beans and 1 can kidney beans in a medium bowl; mash with a potato masher. Add bean mixture and remaining beans to pan.

Bring to a simmer; cook 5 minutes.

Add kale; cover and simmer 30 minutes.

Sprinkle with oregano and serve with a crusty bread—mine is gluten free.

--New York Times Bestselling author Denise Swanson writes the Scumble River and Devereaux's Dime store mystery series and the Change of Heart romance series. Her eighteenth Scumble River release, Murder of an Open Book, debuts September 1 and in it her sleuth, the recently married Skye Denison-Boyd, has a bun in the oven.

New York Times Bestselling author Denise Swanson, who was a practicing school psychologist for twenty-two years, writes the Scumble River and Devereaux's Dime store mystery series and the Change of Heart romance series, beginning with Good Girl Overboard. Her eighteenth Scumble River release, Murder of an Open Book, debuts September 1 and in it her sleuth, the recently married Skye Denison-Boyd, has a bun in the oven. Her books all feature small-town heroines with lots of heart.

Denise’s books have been finalists for the Agatha, Mary Higgins Clark, RT Magazine's Career Achievement, and Daphne du Maurier Awards. She has won the Reviewers Choice Award and was a BookSense 76 Top Pick. She lives in Illinois with her husband, classical composer David Stybr, and their cool black cat Boomerang.

For more information, please check her website. or find Denise on Facebook at!/DeniseSwansonAuthor or follow her on twitter at DeniseSwansonAuthor

A nasty faculty feud leaves one Scumble River teacher belly-up. . . .

Her honeymoon may have been less than relaxing, but Skye Boyd née Denison is still high on marital bliss with her new husband, Wally. The fact that their family is about to get bigger is even more exciting, even if Skye is dealing with morning sickness—and trying to hide the news from her ever-meddling mother, May. 

But Skye quickly comes crashing down from cloud nine when the body of one of her coworkers, science teacher and volleyball coach Blair Hucksford, is found in the school swimming pool. The troublesome trainer was on the bad side of almost everyone on staff and many of the girls on her team, leaving Skye to sort through a huge roster of suspects. Now she must figure out which wronged party was mad enough to kill, and quickly—before someone else in town gets bumped off.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Grandma Swanson’s (healthier) Lemon and Ginger Muffins

Thank you for inviting me to the Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen. Today I'm going to share one of my grandmother's recipes, but I’ve given it a makeover in order to make it a little healthier.

Although my grandmother was originally a pastry chef, she ended up spending most of her life as a farm wife. Unlike my husband and I who work hard, but do it sitting in front of a computer, Grandma, Grandpa, and their five children did strenuous chores involving a lot of physical labor. Crops and livestock do not raise themselves.

This meant that her great recipes were loaded with ingredients that wouldn’t be a problem if you spent twelve hours a day toting that barge and lifting that bale. But for those of us who only write about hard work, they really pack on the pounds. Adjusting savory dishes is pretty easy, but breads and sweets are a bit more of a challenge. Of course, those are my favorite foods, so I had to give it a try.

When I was forced to change my diet due to food sensitivities, the item that I really missed was Grandma’s fabulous Lemon Ginger Muffins. So I did a little tinkering, and the makeover version is what I’m sharing with you today. When these are in the oven, the smell is literally mouthwatering.

Grandma Swanson’s (healthier) Lemon and Ginger Muffins
Yield: 12
1/3 cup softened Smart Balance® Omega-3 Buttery Sticks
½-cup sugar
½-cup Truvia sugar substitute
4 egg whites
2 Tablespoons Gourmet Garden minced ginger
2 Tablespoons grated lemon peel
2 cups flour
1-teaspoon baking soda
1-cup plain Greek yogurt

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Mix softened butter, sugar, and sugar substitute until well blended. Beat in egg whites. Add ginger and lemon peel and stir. Combine flour and baking soda. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the yogurt. Mix until smooth. Pour into muffin cups coated with nonstick cooking spray. The cups should be 3/4 full.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing the cups from the pan.

In my upcoming book, Murder of the Cat’s Meow, Skye doesn’t have time to cook since she’s busy solving the mystery of who killed the cat show judge. But the Jade-ite cookie crock that’s broken in the first chapter was inspired by my grandmother’s jar. Hers was always filled with homemade treats, but Skye’s usually contains Oreos. 

New York Times bestselling author Denise Swanson started writing in Kindergarten where she got into trouble for using up her entire Big Chief tablet to create her own alphabet book. Today she writes two series—the Scumble River mysteries and the Devereaux’s Dime Store mysteries. Visit Denise at her website and at Killer Characters.