Showing posts with label turkey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label turkey. Show all posts

Friday, September 28, 2012

Turkey, Bacon, and Scallion Stuffed Potatoes


Living in the east, people often don't know how to respond when they hear I'm from Idaho.  Sometimes I get the occasional, "oh yeah, I've been to Idaho.  We drove through it on our way to..."  Other times I'll get the loud "Idaho?  Don't you guys live in log cabins and live like pioneers?"  But the most common response is "So, did you eat a lot of potatoes?"

Yes, Idaho and The Potatoes.  Unfortunately it's our one claim to fame, but it's true.  We love our potatoes.  In fact, certain Visitor Centers throughout the state will offer you a free bag just for stopping by.  Growing up, we often went to a neighbors potato farms to pick off all the potatoes the trucks may have missed, to take home for free.  There were always more than we could pack into boxes, and put in the right climate, they would last forever.  Laugh all you want, but potatoes are awesome.  They fill the belly, are loaded with fiber, and are incredibly versatile.

So, the answer is yes, we did eat a lot of potatoes.
This recipe is for anyone who loves the turkey-bacon combo, which I know I do.  It's usually the only way I make my sandwich, with lots of cheese of course.  You do need to have the time to bake your potatoes before assembling these oozy, flavorful, spuds, but the rest of the assembly is a snap.  We served these as the main course with veggies on the side.  They were a hit!
Turkey, Bacon, and Scallion Stuffed Potatoes
Adapted from Rachel Ray's Big Orange Book

Ingredients

4 big Idaho Potatoes (traitor that I am, I used Yukon Golds, I like their texture a lot better)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
6 strips bacon
1/4 pound deli-sliced smoked turkey breast, chopped
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chicken stock
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425.

Scrub the potatoes and prick them each several times with a fork.  Place them on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper, rolling them around on the sheet to coat them with the oil.  Bake the potatoes until tender, 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.  Let the potatoes cool for 5 or 10 minutes, until cool enough to handle, leaving the oven on.

While the potatoes are cooling, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil.  Add the bacon and cook until crispy golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.  Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain off any excess grease and cool.  Add the chopped turkey to the same skillet and toss over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes to heat through, then remove from the heat and reserve.  Chop up the cooled bacon.

Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut each one in half length-wise and scoop out the insides into a mixing bowl, leaving a thin layer of flesh intact.  Try not to pierce the skin of the potato.  Add the sour cream, stock, and scallions and about 1/2 cup of the cheddar to the bowl and mash the potatoes; season with the salt and pepper.  Fold the turkey and bacon into the mashed potatoes and mount the filling into the potato skins.  Top with a little extra cheese, a couple of tablespoons per skin.  Return them to the oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese.  Serve them up with your favorite salad alongside.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Crockpot Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili

Fall is quickly approaching (yay!), which means cooler weather, busier schedules, and more PUMPKIN in our diets.  At least that's what it means in our house.

I love pumpkin season.  I'm a bit of a pumpkin hoarder actually.  The second I see pumpkin on the shelves, I leave with half a cart load.  Consequently I've sat through a few interventions from my husband on the matter.
Most pumpkin recipes are things you're pulling out of the oven, things like cookies, muffins and pies.  This recipe doesn't require quite as much work, and also doesn't come with as much guilt either.

This is a Skinny Taste recipe that you make in the crockpot.  And before you raise your eyebrows at pumpkin in your chili, let me ease your mind.  The only thing the pumpkin does is add a velvety creaminess and richness to your chili.  You can't taste it.  If you have a picky eater at home, just don't tell them that there is pumpkin in it, they'll never know. 

I ate this when I was on my strict weight lifting diet.  It has plenty of protein and fiber and is absolutely delicious.  Be sure to enjoy a big comforting bowl when the weather cools!


Crockpot Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili
From SkinnyTaste

Ingredients

cooking spray 
2 lb 99% lean ground turkey
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chili powder, to taste
2 bay leaves
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
2 (15 oz cans) of white northern or navy beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
4.5 oz canned chopped green chile
2 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth
fat free sour cream for topping (optional)
chopped cilantro and chives for topping (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
 
Heat a large heavy saute pan over high heat and lightly spray with oil. Add meat and cook, breaking it up until white, about 5 minutes.  Add to crock pot.

Add oil to the saute pan, then onions, garlic, sauté about 3 - 4 minutes; add cumin and sauté another minute.
 
 Add to crock pot. Add beans, pumpkin puree, green chilis, broth, chili powder, oregano, and bay leaves. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ratatouille Sloppy Joes



It is a GORGEOUS day here in Philly today. A perfect 70 degrees, no wind, and not a cloud in sight. What is it about weather like that that gives life an entirely new, hopeful perspective. I smile more, laugh more, there's a bounce in my step, you get something back that you don't even realize you've missed. It's pretty great.




And while I would never think of a Sloppy Joe and a summer food, it is easily transformed into one when it's packed full of garden vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini and eggplant. My kids, who were mostly resistant to all the clean eating we were doing, happy gobbled this up, which was a win for all of us.

Ratatouille Sloppy Joes
Best of Clean Eating 2

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 lb extra lean ground beef or bison (I actually used ground turkey)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
2 teaspoons chile powder
3/4 teaspoons mustard powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 sweet bell pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 small eggplant, diced
1 1/2 cups preferred marinara (I choose one with low sugar content)
1 tablespoon Sucanat or raw honey (I omitted)
sea salt with fresh ground pepper to taste
8 thin whole grain sandwhich buns, toasted

Directions

Heat a large nonstick saute pan on medium-high. Add oil, beef, garlic and onion and cook for 5-8 minutes, breaking up meat with a spoon while cooking, until no liquid remains and beef is browned. Add chile powder, mustard and cayenne, stir well and continue to cook for 1 more minute. Pour beef mixture into a bowl and set aside.

Return pan to heat and add bell pepper, zucchini and eggplant, stir and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add beef mixture back to pan, stir well and reduce heat to medium. Cook for an additional 10-12 minutes, stirring often, or until all vegetables are tender adn cooked throughout.

Add marinara sauce, 2 tablespoons water and honey to pan, stirring until meat and vegetables are coated. Cook until sauce is hot an dbubbling. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, sandwich 3/4 cup beef mixture between each bun.

Per Serving: 232 cal, 5g fat, 30g carbs, 5g fiber, 10g sugar, 18g protein

Friday, January 27, 2012

Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs



To quote Barney from How I Met Your Mother (a show as addicting as buttery popcorn) "haaaaaave you met spaghetti squash?"

Well, sadly, for 30 years I've been living completely unaware of this fantastic gourd. Luckily, thanks to the dedicated pinners of the world, I found a delicious, slurpy canvas just waiting to be dressed up however I see fit.


This time around I took a classic route, covering it in rich marinara and tender turkey meatballs. I liked it, my husband liked it, the kids...well, kids are kids. BUT, I can guarantee that the spaghetti squash will be making repeat appearances at our home. There are so many fun ways to prepare it, I can't wait to try more.





Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs
Martha Stewart

Ingredients

For the Spaghetti Squash
2 spaghetti squashes (about 2 pounds each), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes with basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Meatballs
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup milk
1 pound ground turkey
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

1. To prepare the spaghetti, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle cut sides of squashes with oil; season with salt and pepper. Place cut sides up on a baking sheet. Bake until soft to the touch, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.

2. To prepare the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for an additional minute. Stir in the tomatoes and oregano; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Keep warm over low heat.

3. Prepare the meatballs. In a medium bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley, and garlic with a wooden spoon until combined. Add the milk, and stir until incorporated. Add the turkey, egg, salt, and pepper, and mix with your hands until well combined. Form mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls.

4. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook the meatballs until evenly browned, turning often, about 6 minutes. Repeat with remaining meatballs. Transfer meatballs to the sauce, and simmer until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

5. When the squashes are cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh of each squash with a fork into strands, and place into a large bowl. Serve topped with meatballs and sauce, and sprinkled with cheese, if desired.

What I've Been Reading


Any book worms out there? I happen to be an absolute book fanatic. In fact if food and books were to compete for my love, I fear that food might take a close (CLOSE) second, gasp! I feel like a traitor for having even uttered that phrase.

Since this is the case, I thought I would start including a small book review at the end of my posts. So, if the food hasn't been striking your fancy, I hope you at least come for the books.



The Paris Wife by Paula McLain has been my most recent read. I was lucky enough to score it at the library without reserving it. I had been hearing rave reviews for quite a few months now and couldn't wait to get my hands on it.

The Paris Wife is about Hadley Richardson, the wife of Ernest Hemingway, and their years together. It was SO interesting because up until this point I honestly knew nothing about Ernest Hemingway, except that he wrote Old Man and The Sea. I assumed he was a country dude living in Montana, I could not have been more wrong. His life was actually very intriguing, bohemian and tragic, and Hadley's experience with him is nothing short of fascinating. I never want to give too much away, but I do highly recommend it.

And if you are on goodreads.com, for goodness sakes, friend me! You can find me under Teresa Green. Otherwise leave a comment and tell me what you're reading right now. I LOVE hearing about books!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pasta Rollups



Well, this is it, the final week! After four months (okay three, I did take December off), I'm finally closing in on this program. It's been fun, it's been hard, it's been intimidating, but I'm so glad I did it. I'm also glad to almost be DONE!

So what comes next? Maintenance sounds nice and easy, but it's almost scarier then being on a strict program. At least with the program there are rules, definite do's and don'ts. I plan to continue eating good clean foods, but hey, should a slice of cheese end up on my sandwich, so be it. Should a cookie land on my plate, oh well. Now I learn the ever going art of balance, and it really is an art isn't it.



And now I introduce to use these fantastic pasta rolls. I've seen similar things like these in the blogosphere for a while now, and I always thought they looked a bit intimidating. Oh my gosh, they are the easiest thing you'll ever make. I think these puppies took me all of three minutes to throw together. Once you have the filling and sauce ready, you're set. I made these when I was not eating cheese, but cottage cheese actually makes a wonderful creamy substitute and more protein, so if that's what you're looking for, give it a try, I posted both options in the recipe.



Pasta Roll-ups
Best of Clean Eating, by Clean Eating Magazine

Ingredients

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb extra-lean ground turkey breast
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I omitted)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (I omitted)
1 28-oz jar tomatoes in juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
8 sheets dried high-protein or whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 10-oz box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (15 oz) container low-fat ricotta cheese (I used cottage cheese)
1 egg (I used three egg whites)
3/4 cups shredded reduced fat mozzarella cheese, (I omitted)

Directions

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about five minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Turn heat to medium-high and add ground turkey, breaking it up with a spatula. Cook until meat show no sign of pink. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg, then add tomatoes, their juice and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes, occasionally stirring and breaking up tomatoes with a wooden spoon.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse and allow to cook in a colander.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Squeeze all moisture possible from thawed spinach and place in a large bowl. Add ricotta cheese, egg, and a quarter-cup mozzarella cheese. Stir until combined.

Spread one cup of cooked tomato sauce into bottom of a 9x10 inch casserole dish. Lay a cooked lasagna noodle flat in front of you. Use your fingers to spread one-eighth of ricotta mixture across the noodle and roll it up. Place rolled pasta, seam side down, into the casserole dish. Repeat with remaining noodles. Spread remaining tomato sauce over roll-ups, then top with remaining half-cup mozzarella.

Bake, covered with foil, for 20 minutes. Remove foil adn broil for five minutes or until rool-ups are browned and bubbly.

234 cal, 3g fat, 27 carb, 3g fiber, 7g sugar, 28g prot

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potatoes



As I may have mentioned in previous posts, this program that I'm on is broken up into three phases. I completed the first two phases last October and November and took a bit of a break in December to enjoy the holidays. Oh sure, I still went to the gym, dabbled in some weights, maybe hopped on the treadmill for a nice stroll. Basically made my appearance.

Well, yesterday I started the last phase of the program, which is the part where you're really supposed to lean and tone. It's such a difficult phase that even the writer of the program has mentioned that it's only something you do occasionally, not as a lifestyle. And I sit here before you as a woman in pain. I never thought it was possible for a workout to BE so brutal. We now take active rests in between our sets, which means that after you completely destroy your quads by doing fifteen reps on the leg press machine, you get to hop off and shred any ounce of feeling you may have had in them by doing fifteen jump squats. Don't even think about sitting down though, you get to do that two more times...and yeah, that was only your first exercise. Get ready for an hour and a half of pain so bad you won't be able to utter a coherent sentence (no seriously, ask the poor lady who asked me if I was done using a bench, I think I just looked at her and drooled.)



However, despite how badly I may have hated it at the time, and despite the fact that I now need my husband's help to lower me onto the couch, it feels AWESOME! Exercise has the amazing capability of making all of your problems seem a bit less significant. Maybe it's because of those great endorphins, or maybe it's because you're only real problem is that you can't lift your fork to your mouth. Either way, it feels excellent after a workout knowing that you just did something great for your body.

And speaking of doing something good for your body, give this Shepherd's Pie a go. I topped it with sweet potatoes due to my newly discovered obsession with them. Where have sweet potatoes been all my life? They are so good, and they make an excellent creamy topper for this casserole filled with flavorful turkey and delicious veggies.


Shepherd's
Pie

Best of Clean Eating, by Clean Eating Magazine

Ingredients

1 lb Yukon gold potatoes (or sweet potatoes) peeled and diced into 2 inch pieces
1 clove garlic, whole, plus 1 teaspoon minced, divided
2/3 cup buttermilk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1 tablespoon chopped chives
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 lb lean ground turkey breast
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into half moons
1 celery stalk, diced
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves (I used dried)
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup frozen peas (I used a frozen veggie medley)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375.

Bring potatoes and whole garlic clove to a boil in a pot of water set over high heat. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, then drain well. Mash potatoes and garlic with a potato masher, ricer or food mill until smooth. Add buttermilk and chives and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat one teaspoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey and cook, stirring often and breaking meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook until no pink remains, about eight minutes. Drain and discard fat; set turkey aside.

Heat two teaspoons oil in same skillet. Add onion carrots, celery and rosemary, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about eight minutes. Add reserved turkey, broth and tomato paste and continue to cook until most of liquid is absorbed, about five minutes. Stir in peas, transfer mixture to a shallow baking dish and cover with mashed potatoes in an even layer. Run a fork over top of potatoes in a crosshatch pattern or swirl with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Brush top with remaining teaspoon oil and bake in oven until filling is bubbling and top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let stand five minutes before serving.

160 cal, 4g fat, 10g carb, 2g fiber, 4g sugar, 20g prot.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Turkey Chickpea Burgers



I have officially completed two months of the Livefit program! I'll post progress pictures in a few days. I still have Phase III to complete, but my friend and I decided to put that on hold until January since we'd rather focus on enjoying the holidays. In the meantime we are going to continue eating clean as much as possible, as well as lifting daily to maintain the progress we've made.

It was kind of a hard decision to make, I think both of us felt hesitant to put the brakes on something that we've been working so hard on. However, health and fitness is a lifetime pursuit, and just like life, you have to take things as they come. The holidays only come once a year, and I'd hate to look back on the month and realize that I made myself miserable with stress and withholding when I could have started right where I stopped the very next month. I'm definitely not going to enjoy the holidays as I have in the past (MONTH LONG BINGE, WOO HOO!), but I'm not going to stay home from the holiday festivities because I can't stand the thought of only being able to eat off the veggie tray.

In the meantime, I'm going to continue enjoying awesome recipes like this one. Chickpea puree mixed with ground turkey, making a meaty burger with the great flavor of falafel. We ate them with those Roll Up Flatbreads and a side of sweet potato fries. It was a delicious dinner!


Turkey Chickpea Burgers
Clean Eating Magazine

Ingredients

1 (15 oz can) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup roughly chopped scallions
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 lb ground turkey breast, 99% fat free
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
olive oil cooking spray

Directions

In a food processor, combine chickpeas, scallions, cumin, pepper, salt and Worcestershire sauce. Pulse until smooth.

Transfer chickpea mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add turkey and mix by hand until combined.

Divide turkey-chickpea mixture into four equal portions, shaping each into a three-quarter-inch patty. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat skillet with cooking spray and cook patties for four to six minutes on each side.

We topped it with ketchup, mustard, lettuce, sauteed onions and pickles. YUM!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Turkey Fried Rice



I survived the day of indulgence, well, attacked is probably a better word. I definitely let myself have the day off and it was glorious. It's amazing the things you realize that you miss, like dark meat, and sour cream, and good old SUGAR. Needless to say, we had a very delicious day, but I'm happy to be back on the Livefit wagon.

This is a recipe that's come in handy quite a few times. One of the most important parts of our meals is that we're getting in the right balance of protein, complex carbs and veggies. This dish covers it all in one big skillet, and it's so delicious and filling. Brown rice with egg whites and ground turkey. It might not sound as appetizing as the real thing, but it's flavored so well that I honestly couldn't tell much of a difference. The kids loved it and it's very filling. Go ahead and use chopped up leftover turkey if you still have some in your fridge.





Turkey Fried Rice
Adapted from The Best of Clean Eating from Clean Eating Magazine

Ingredients

1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon olive or safflower oil, divided
1 lb lean ground turkey
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, divided
1/2 yellow onion, sliced thinly
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 bunch broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces (1 cup)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
sea salt, to taste
3 minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 cups cooked brown rice
4 egg whites (or two regular eggs)
1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
fresh cilantro for garnish
chile sauce for garnish

Directions

In a very large nonstick skillet or wok, heat one teaspoon oil over medium high heat. Add turkey and break up to form a single layer in pan, season with pepper. Brown meat, stirring occasionally until cooked through, three to five minutes. Stir in two teaspoons soy sauce. Remove turkey and set aside.

Return skillet to stove and add remaining tablespoon of oil. Add onion, red pepper, carrot, broccoli and ginger and season with salt and black pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until vegetables are slightly soft, about five minutes. Add garlic and cook for two more minutes.

Stir in peas and rice, and cook until completely heated through, about five minutes.

Push rice mixture over to one side of pan and add eggs to now empty side. Allow eggs to fully cook, stirring occasionally, three to five minutes, and then stir eggs into rice mixture.

Add turkey and any accumulated juices to skillet. Stir in fish sauce, remaining two tablespoons soy sauce and green onions. Garnish with cilantro and chile sauce if desired.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Turkey Chickpea Burgers



I have officially completed two months of the Livefit program! I'll post progress pictures in a few days. I still have Phase III to complete, but my friend and I decided to put that on hold until January since we'd rather focus on enjoying the holidays. In the meantime we are going to continue eating clean as much as possible, as well as lifting daily to maintain the progress we've made.

It was kind of a hard decision to make, I think both of us felt hesitant to put the brakes on something that we've been working so hard on. However, health and fitness is a lifetime pursuit, and just like life, you have to take things as they come. The holidays only come once a year, and I'd hate to look back on the month and realize that I made myself miserable with stress and withholding when I could have started right where I stopped the very next month. I'm definitely not going to enjoy the holidays as I have in the past (MONTH LONG BINGE, WOO HOO!), but I'm not going to stay home from the holiday festivities because I can't stand the thought of only being able to eat off the veggie tray.

In the meantime, I'm going to continue enjoying awesome recipes like this one. Chickpea puree mixed with ground turkey, making a meaty burger with the great flavor of falafel. We ate them with those Roll Up Flatbreads and a side of sweet potato fries. It was a delicious dinner!


Turkey Chickpea Burgers
Clean Eating Magazine

Ingredients

1 (15 oz can) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup roughly chopped scallions
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 lb ground turkey breast, 99% fat free
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
olive oil cooking spray

Directions

In a food processor, combine chickpeas, scallions, cumin, pepper, salt and Worcestershire sauce. Pulse until smooth.

Transfer chickpea mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add turkey and mix by hand until combined.

Divide turkey-chickpea mixture into four equal portions, shaping each into a three-quarter-inch patty. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat skillet with cooking spray and cook patties for four to six minutes on each side.

We topped it with ketchup, mustard, lettuce, sauteed onions and pickles. YUM!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cheesy Stuffed Shells



Since we are (hopefully) moving in a year, I've been trying to get rid of as much stuff as possible lately. And as painful as it's been, I've even been getting rid of some of my books, including my cookbooks. Let's face it, as much as I love cookbooks, there's no point in holding on to a book that hasn't been used in years.

I feel like I gained way more then I lost by getting rid of a few cookbooks though. Since I was forced to leaf through all of my cooking books and magazines, I was able to rediscover a TON of recipes that I haven't tried yet. I almost felt like I had just gotten a whole new stack of books and magazines, just by going through them.

This was a recipe that I couldn't wait to try. I have never made stuffed shells before, but when I saw that they were full about about five different kinds of cheese, there was no hesitation. These are hearty, meaty, gooey and very family friendly. They're also made over to be lighter, so pretty much everyone wins with this one. Enjoy!


Cheesy Stuffed Shells
Adapted from Taste of Home Healthy Cooking, April/May 2008

This recipe serves 12! It makes a ton, so you may consider halving if you aren't feeding a crowd.


Ingredients

3/4 pound ground beef (I used turkey)
1 Italian turkey sausage link, casings removed
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 large onion
1 package (10 oz) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup reduced fat ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided
1 1/2 cups 1% cottage cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese
1-2 teaspoons Italian seasonings (I always like extra seasoning, so go by taste)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1-2 teaspoons garlic salt (optional)
24-32 pasta shells, cooked and drained

SAUCE:

3 8-oz cans tomato sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
salt to taste (lighter recipes always omit salt, I know it's better for you, but I just can't stand it, so salt according to taste)

Directions

1. Crumble turkey or beef and sausage into a large nonstick skillet, add fennel seeds and onion. Cook and stir over medium heat until meat is cooked through. Drain if needed.

2. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in spinach, ricotta and egg. Add 1 cup mozzarella, cottage cheese, Parmesan, cheddar, Italian seasoning, garlic salt and pepper. Mix well.

3. Stuff pasta shells with meat mixture. Arrange in two 11x7 baking dishes, coated with cooking spray (I filled one 9x13 and one 8x8 for later). Combine sauce ingredients; spoon over shells. Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

White Chicken (or Turkey) Chili


How was everyone's Thanksgiving? Ours was lovely. There really isn't anything like waking up, putting on the apron, some Christmas tunes, and cooking all day. I know that you can appreciate how fun that really is! And of course sitting down to eat it all is just the cherry on top.

As I'm sure you all do, we have a fridge chuck full of leftovers, and I can't stand to see a shred of it go to waste. Sometimes nothing is more satisfying then turning one delicious food into another, which is why I'm loving all of these great leftover ideas you guys are producing.

Our church put on a chili cook off for Halloween a month ago. My friend Calli had made a white chicken chili which I heard nothing but rave reviews about. Since I never got a chance to try it at the party, I asked her for the recipe, which I promptly made and DEVOURED. I like chili, but I LOVED this white chili, so creamy, so flavorful and I could not wait to eat the leftovers, which isn't typical for me. This would be a great way to use up that huge Tupperware full of turkey, trust me, your whole family is going to love this!



White Chicken or Turkey Chili
Adapted from Calli's fabulous recipe

Ingredients

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small cubes, cooked chopped turkey would work well too
1 med. onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 TBS vegetable oil
2 cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can 14 oz chicken broth
2 cans 4 oz chopped green chilies
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup whipping cream, I used fat-free half and half
1 cup sour cream

Directions

In large saucepan, saute chicken, onion, and garlic salt in oil until chicken is no longer pink, if using cooked chicken or turkey, just add when onions are soft. Add beans, broth, chilies, and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered for 30 min. Remove from heat, stir in cream and sour cream. Serve immediately!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Celebrating my 300th post with the Best Turkey Burgers Ever



300th post?! It's hard to believe that I've been at it that long. It's been a lot of fun scrolling through the old blog from the last two years and seeing how my tastes, and (ahem) photo skills have changed. I still have a long way to go, and a lot of things to try, so here's to hoping for another 300 posts. In the meantime, thanks so much to all of you for making it so enjoyable and encouraging me to keep going. As Biz says, I consider you all my friends!

Kim, my fellow burger admirer, this is for you! Turkey burgers aren't always what I crave, let's face it, I like my red meat! But, don't make these because they are a lighter substitute, make them because they are so juicy and delicious that you won't, for a second, wish that you were eating a beefy hamburger. I topped mine with sauteed mushrooms and blue cheese, I suggest you do the same!


Favorite Turkey Burger

From Great Food Fast, by Martha Stewart

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds light ground turkey
1/2 cup finely grated Gruyere
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
course salt and fresh ground pepper
4 hamburger buns

Directions

1. Heat grill (I used my Foreman grill) to high. In a medium bowl, use a fork to gently combine the turkey with the Gruyere, scallions, breadcrumbs, Dijon mustard and garlic; season generously with salt and pepper. Dividing the mixture evenly, gently form the mixture into four 1-inch thick patties.

2. Lightly oil the grill. Place the patties on the hottest part of the grill; sear until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Move the patties to the cooler part of the grill; continue grilling until cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes per side.

3. Split the hamburger buns and toast if desired. Top with preferred toppings and place burger on buns. Get ready to say MMMmmmmmm with every bite!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Skillet Penne and Sausage Dinner



This is the type of dish that only needs a few words to get it's point across...

Thirty Minutes

One Skillet

Knock-Your-Socks-Off Delicious!

Skillet Penne and Sausage Dinner
America's Test Kitchen

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, minced
salt
pound hot or sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, rinsed and chopped fine
8 ounces penne
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used fat free half and half)
1 (5 oz) bag spinach
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
pepper

Directions

1. Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.

3. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Sprinkle the tomatoes and penne evenly over the sausage. Pour the broth and cream over the pasta. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes.

4. Stir in the spinach a handful at a time and cook until wilted, about two minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blogtastic Eats

I've said it once and I'll say it again, the best things I've made have come from other people's food blogs. I mean, you guys really know your food! The tragedy is that there are SO many great bloggy dishes, and only three meals in a day, I never feel like I'll be able to try them all. But even if I don't, rest assured, your pictures and descriptions always leave me drooling, and hungry! Here are two great finds that I recently tried, and must be shared.


I found these fantastic meatballs over at Gina's Weight Watchers blog. And while I'm not quite as strict on the diet as I should be (ahem), I still really try to eat delicious but healthy foods like this. Have you ever tried the potstickers from Costco. No, not the ones in the freezer, the fresh one, made with chicken, yeah, those! Aren't they awesome? These meatballs taste A LOT like them. They even come with a similar tasting sauce. They are juicy and full of flavor and were a hit with the whole family. You can find the recipe here.
Thanks Gina!


The second thing we made was Pina Colada. Definitely try this, especially if you are buried in three feet of snow and need some sunshine in your house! The recipe can be found here. Thanks Coleen! And here's a picture of my daughter when I told her we were going to make banana bread.


She gets excited.

Is anyone else out there having a snow day? Not only is my girl home from school, but my husband is as well! I have to tell you, waking up to a lazy weekday morning, and having aebelskivers with my husband is not a bad way to start the day, although I'm not quite sure about having the deal with the snow everytime. Stay warm my friends, and keep cooking up those wonderful dishes!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Apple Cheddar Turkey Burgers





I've had these amazing burgers twice now, and they are definitely going to be added to my regular lineup in the kitchen. I found this on my friend completely stand behind. In fact, it's the cranberry sauce that makes this burger so wonderful! Give it a try, you won't be disappointed. You can find it here!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Turkey Empanada




Let's see, leftover turkey, check! Leftover pie crust, check! Leftover room in my belly for something so rich and delicious, double check!

I found this on MmmmmCafe and made it that night, grateful for a way to use up that very last bit of turkey. They were easy and fun to make and a total family pleaser, does it get any better than that?

Turkey Empanadas

Ingredients

3 cups cooked, shredded chicken (or turkey)
1 (8-ounce) package shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese blend
4 ounces cream cheese, softened (I didn't mind the cream cheese, but I could have done without it)
3 oz. green chilies
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts
Water

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine the chicken and next 7 ingredients. Unroll 1 piecrust onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 15-inch circle. Lightly brush the edges of crust with water. Place chicken mixture in the center of the round. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges with a fork to seal. (Up to this point, the recipe can be made ahead and frozen for up to 1 month). Arrange empanada on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle top with cheese, if desired. Bake for 25 minutes.



Palidor at Crazy Asian Gal was sweet enough to give me the honest scrap award. Thanks Palidor! Go check her out, she's a lot of fun and always posting great things. I'm supposed to list ten things about myself. I think I have done this in the past, so I'll try to think of some different things:

1. Next to cooking, I'd say my favorite thing is reading. I could live right in between a Barnes and Nobles and a Williams Sonoma and live happy!
2. I really hope that by the time I reach the end of my life, I can say that I've visited every continent in the world. I love to travel!
3. I'd love to go to cooking school someday, but the show Hell's Kitchen has me really scared to try it, lol!
4. I come from a family of plate sharers, meaning, when you go out to eat with my family, prepare to have just about everyone's fork in your plate at least once. But in return, they expect you to try their dish too. It's one of the many things I love about my family.
5. I have music constantly playing in my house. I'm especially enjoying all of the Christmas tunes playing right now.
6. This is my absolutely favorite time of year. I usually go nuts in the kitchen baking and cooking. This year I'm being a bit more conservative because I don't want to deal with a bunch of holiday weight when it's over!
7. Farmer's Markets are like playgrounds to me, I could spend hours there and leave a happy girl, even if I don't buy anything!
8. I'd rather deal with cold weather than hot weather. Call me crazy, but I get way too grouchy in the heat.
9. Fuzzy socks, slippers and comfy warm jammies are an absolute necessity in my life.
10. If it wasn't for the food blog, I wouldn't push myself half as much to try new dishes.

So there you have it, how to you like that random smorgasbord of facts! I'm going to go ahead and pass this on to the following:

Shelby at
Kim at
Stirring the Pot
Melody at Cheat Day Cafe
Kim at The Ungourmet

Go check these gals out, I know you'll love them as much as I do!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Alton Brown's Roast Turkey



A few weeks ago, Kim from Stirring the Pot asked if anyone had ever tried Alton Brown's Roast Turkey. Apparently it had received five stars from over 2000 people. Being curious I had to go check it out, and then I became curious, and then I became obsessed! I had to try that turkey! So my family enjoyed a mini Thanksgiving meal before the actual holiday to satiate my curiosity. We'll call it a warmup meal.

This recipe calls for a brine. I had never brined meat before, in fact, I didn't even know that people brined meat until I had the food network channel! The brine was fairly simple, although we did have to go to a few different stores to find the stuff. We had our turkey in the brine the night before cooking it, and in the oven the next day at three o'clock. We brined our turkey in a medium sized, scrubbed out cooler. It sat out on our patio overnight. Luckily the weather is cool, so the ice was still frozen by the time I pulled it out to roast it.

So, here's my review. I LOOOOOOVED how moist the brine made my turkey. There was very little juice in the pan when I pulled it out of the oven, but when I cut into the turkey breast, juice just spilled out of it. I also really liked the slightly salty flavor the brine gave the turkey, but it also gave a flavor that took away from the traditional turkey flavor. It almost tasted like it had been smoked. I didn't mind it, but it didn't taste quite like Thanksgiving to me. (I know I'm probably being really nit-picky, but hey, these things are important to me!). I also didn't see any purpose to the aromatics that I stuffed in the turkey, couldn't smell it, couldn't taste it. I probably wouldn't do that again, or I would try a different combo of aromatics. So, in a nutshell, I give this four out of five stars. I'm completely sold on the brining technique, but I would probably try a different, maybe simpler brine next time, and I'll skip the aromatics. I'm so glad I tried this recipe though, it opened my eyes to an entirely different way to roast turkey, and hopefully I'll never have a dry turkey again!

Alton Brown's Roast Turkey

Ingredients

1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey
For the brine:
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger (if you live in the east, i found this at acme)
1 gallon heavily iced water
For the aromatics:
1 red apple, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves sage
Canola oil

Directions

2 to 3 days before roasting:

Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

Early on the day or the night before you'd like to eat:

Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.

Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey's cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.

Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Black Bean Salsa Chili





We are a chili loving family, but I'm also a bit particular about how it's made and tastes. I usually make my chili the same way and never have to worry about not liking it. So, trying a new recipe was a bit of a scary experience for me, but luckily it turned out fantastic.

The main source of flavor for this chili is salsa, which is another staple we love. It's so hearty, delicious and is packed with flavor. It's also a bit hot and sweet, which comes from the brown sugar and red pepper flakes, so if you're sensitive to either one, you can dial it up or down however you like. I didn't do the lime, cilantro cream to top it, instead I just added sour cream with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime, and they were the perfect compliments to this dish. Mmmmmm, I love chili time!

Black Bean Salsa Chili
By Cooking Light October 2009

Ingredients

2 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2/3 cups water
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/2 lb ground turkey
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
3 sweet hickory smoked bacon slices, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 cups mild salsa
3 tablespoon tomato paste
1 14 oz can beef broth
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Directions

1. Combine 1 1/2 cup beans, 2/3 cup water, and sugar in a food processor; process until smooth. Combine bean puree and remaining beans in a bowl.

2Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add turkey; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove turkey from pan.

3. Add onion, bell peppers, and bacon to pan; cook 5 minutes or until bacon and onion are lightly browned. Return turkey to pan. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, and crushed red pepper to pan; stir well to coat. Stir in bean mixture, salsa, tomato paste, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Combine sour cream, cilantro, and juice in a small bowl. Serve chili with sour cream mixture.

Serves 6: 1 cup chili with 4 teaspoon sour cream mixture

Per Serving: 199cal, 6.2g fat, 14.8g prot, 22g carb, 5.9g fiber

Point per Serving: 4!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Turkey and Gorgonzola Gnocchi


Please forgive the completely underwhelming picture of this dish. I contemplated whether or not to even share it since the picture is so lame, but it tasted so good that I just had to!

I love gnocchi, so does every else in my family, my kids call them pillows! I found this recipe in a Racheal Ray cookbook, and it actually calls for ground beef, but regardless of the fact that turkey is less fattening, I think the tenderness of the turkey paired better with the soft pillows! I also didn't have fresh sage, so I just used ground and it was delicious.

Definitely try this, it's a family pleaser!

Turkey and Gorgonzola Gnocchi
Adapted from Racheal Ray's Big Orange Book

Ingredients


4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
salt and pepper
1 large onion chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
10 fresh sage leaves, chopped or 1 teaspoon ground sage
1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
1 (12-16 oz) package gnocchi, fresh or frozen
a handful of fresh parsley, chopped

Directions
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat for the pasta.

2. While the water is coming to a boil, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turkey, season with salt and pepper, and cook until it is very well browned, about 5 minutes, breaking it up into bite-sized crumbles with a wooden spoon.

3. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and soften for 5 minutes; adjust the salt and pepper, add the wine to the pan, and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the stock and sage, then add the Gorgonzola. Reduce the heat to low.

4. Salt the boiling water well and add the gnocchi. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until they float, then drain well and add to the skillet with the beef and cheese. Toss to combine. Top with the chopped parsley.

We're getting ready to take off to spend Halloween with my best friend from HS and her family for Halloween. I'm very excited! I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Halloween weekend!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cheeseburger Pasta



I do have to hand it to my family, they are good sports when it comes to dinnertime. Seeing as I love to experiment with new dishes often, they get to be my guinea pigs. Sometimes my experiments turn out great, and sometimes they are epic failures, but either way my sweet family will eat it and smile.

So, to thank them I like to find recipes like this that I know everyone will like. This was a really fun dish, to eat and to make. It's pasta with all the classic flavor of cheeseburgers. Instead of beef though, I used ground turkey to lighten it up a bit. I think what really made this dish stand out what the use of relish. I LOVE pickles on my burgers, so the relish really did make it taste like I was eating a cheeseburger. If only I wasn't watching my calories, I would throw in some bacon for a Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta, now that's what I'm talking about!

Cheeseburger Pasta
Adapted From Taste of Home Healthy Cooking Aug-Sept 2009

Ingredients

1-1/2 cups uncooked penne pasta
3/4 lb lean ground turkey
2 TB finely chopped onion
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes
2-3 TB dill pickle relish
2 TB prepared mustard
2 TB ketchup
1 tsp steak seasoning
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
chopped green onions, optional

Directions

1. Cook pasta according to directions on the box. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook turkey and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Drain pasta, add to meat mixture.

2. Stir in the tomatoes, relish, mustard, ketchup, steak seasoning and seasoned salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

3. Sprinkle with cheese. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand until cheese is melted. Garnish with green onions if desired.

I will be submitting this to Girlichef for Presto Pasta Nights.

 
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