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Category Archives: Turkey

Napa Cabbage Stir Fry

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Tonight’s dinner was easy to make, and it was a hit all around.  As much as I love sesame oil and ginger, every once in a while I need a change from those flavors in a stir fry.  This was even more true today when lunch was Sweet and Sour Pork leftovers.  I even had plenty of cooked brown jasmine rice leftover from lunch, so there was no need to cook more.  Without having to cook  the rice, this meal took less than thirty minutes to prepare.

Napa Cabbage Stir Fry
While you could use white button or crimini mushrooms in this dish, I like to splurge on the shitake variety every once in a while.

Napa Cabbage Stir Fry

3 Tbsp safflower oil
1 white onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground turkey
1 pkg sliced shitake mushrooms
1 medium head of Napa cabbage, sliced in ribbons
3-4 Tbsp coconut aminos, to taste
salt to taste

Heat the oil a wok heated over medium-high.  Add the onions and garlic with a generous pinch of salt.  Stir fry until the onions become translucent.  If they get a little caramelized around the edges, it’s even better.  Turn the heat down to medium if the onions seem to brown too quickly.

Add the ground turkey and continue to stir fry for another 2-3 minutes until about half of the meat is cooked.  Then add the mushrooms.  If the heat hasn’t been reduced to medium yet, do so now.

Once the meat is cooked through, toss the cabbage into the mix.  When well combined, put the lid on the wok and allow to steam for 3-5 minutes.  Stir every two minutes or so to ensure the even cooking of the cabbage.  Steaming the cabbage this way will create a lovely broth at the bottom of the pan that is wonderful drizzled over the rice.

Once the cabbage is cooked to your desired texture, add in the coconut aminos.  We like ours soft, but stop cooking a bit earlier if you prefer yours with a little crunch.  Adjust salt to taste and serve over warm rice.

Baked Potatoes with Turkey and Broccoli

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Tonight’s dinner was fast and easy.  That was good, because Little Man refused to nap today.  He’s about to turn three and is becoming particularly mischievous.  It’s time to pull out the preschool quiet time boxes, so I can get dinner on the table.

This is our favorite way to make baked potatoes.  This is the original recipe that I modified for my first post on this blog.

Baked Potato with Turkey and Broccoli

Baked Potatoes with Turkey and Broccoli

10 small potatoes, baked using your preferred method
1 lb cooked shredded turkey from the freezer
1/2 medium onion diced
2 lbs broccoli, steamed or roasted
2-3 T olive oil
salt to taste
Vegan Parmesan Cheeze (optional)

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan that has a lid.  Add the onions and start cooking with a pinch or two of salt.

Add the cooked turkey when the onions have turned translucent.  Stir it until well mixed and the turkey is warm.

Place potatoes on the plate.  Slice and mash slightly with a fork.  Drizzle with olive oil or coconut oil and a pinch of salt.  Top with turkey and Parmesan.

I served this with steamed broccoli, and served leftover mango rice pudding for dessert.

The Fifth Day of Christmas: Spiral Pasta with Ground Turkey and Butternut Sauce

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Tonight’s dinner was at Little Man’s Christmas meal request.  He loves pasta.  He would eat it at every meal if I would let him.  His request was actually only one word, “Pasta!”  He did not care what kind of sauce as long as there was pasta involved.

For tonight, I modified my Vegan Butternut Squash Sauce slightly.  The additions make the meal no longer vegan, but I can live with that.  I had the butternut squash cooked and pureed in the freezer, so the meal came together quickly.  The swiss chard was also already in my freezer from my garden this fall.  I didn’t have any fresh basil on hand, so I used dried instead.  It really does make a difference, but dried is better than nothing.

I really like this meal better with ground pork, but the grocery store was out when I was shopping.  Turkey is my second choice.  Just be sure to get the higher fat percentage turkey, or the meat will be too dry for my taste.

Butternut Pasta Sauce
Spiral Pasta with Ground Turkey and Butternut Sauce

One batch Butternut Sauce, prepared ahead of these instructions
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt, to taste
1 lb ground turkey (or pork)
Fresh or frozen swiss chard (or spinach), to taste
1.5 lbs gluten free spiral pasta, cooked

Start a pot to boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic, onions, fennel, thyme, and salt.  Sautee about five minutes.

Add the ground meat and cook thoroughly.

Add the swiss chard.  Wilt if fresh, and warm if frozen.

Pour in the butternut sauce and warm throughout.

Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and serve with a side salad if desired.

Sausage and Sauerkraut with Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes and Plenty of Vegetables

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I have some homemade sauerkraut at the the back of my fridge that needs to be used. It is very easy to make and tastes so much better when you make it yourself.  Little Man loves kraut and will eat it before the other vegetables on his plate.  He is particularly fond of purple kraut, and I agree with his assessment.  Besides serving it with sausage or pork chops, we like to sprinkle some over our stir fry meals as well.

Sausage and Kraut

Tonight’s dinner served as a chance to use up some stray vegetables at the back of the refrigerator.  I have to say, though I like fennel, I’m glad we used the last of it tonight.

Sausage and Kraut (with all the fixin’s)

2 lbs potatoes, large dice
1 package Gluten Free sausage of your choice
1 jar sauerkraut
1/2 lb fresh green beans, snapped into 2 inch sections
2 bunches green onions, chopped into 2 inch sections
1/4 lb radishes, optional
oil and salt, to taste
Pear-Fennel Salad (A friend suggested adding mustard and walnuts to the salad and dressing.  It was wonderful with these additions!)

How I Make Mashed Potatoes: First, start the potatoes, covered with water, boiling in a large pot.  Cook until fork tender.  Reserve the cooking water.  Mash in your electric mixer with 1/2 tsp salt, about 3 tbsp olive oil, and enough cooking water from the potato pot as you need to achieve a fluffy mash (about 1/2-3/4 cup potato water. Really it’s enough to make you happy, so use more if you need it).

Prepare the pear-fennel salad or any other salad you prefer.

Then brown the sausage on medium heat in a cast iron skillet, and use the kraut and its juices to deglaze the pan.  Put the lid on the pan to poach the sausages until they finished cooking in the middle.  Empty the skillet to free it for the next step.

Next add a little oil and salt to the pan with the green beans.  Saute them for about five minutes.  Then add green onions and saute them until everything is tender crisp.  This way all of the last bits of sausage flavor will incorporate into the green beans.

Finally toss some diced radishes into the again empty skillet with a tiny bit of salt.  These saute for just a few minutes until they are browning on the sides.

Breakfast Sausage

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After posting our new Pumpkin Pancake recipe last week, I got several questions about what I served with them in the picture.  One plate has eggs;  the other has breakfast sausage.  Both are cooked with sauteed kale.  I find that sauteed greens go well with breakfast, and it squeezes in a few extra vitamins in the process.  It is easy to wilt the greens in a skillet and then scramble the eggs right into the mix.  However, two of us cannot have eggs, so I keep a supply of bulk browned breakfast sausage in the freezer and split the greens between the two applications.

Since peppers are on our combined list of allergies, I can’t simply buy breakfast sausage ready mixed from the store.  I mix my own.  I received this recipe as part of a wedding gift from the woman who is now my godmother.  Elisabeth gave me permission to share it with you all along with my modifications.  The original recipe had a bit of cayenne pepper (black pepper would be good if you want something less spicy) and left out the garlic and onion.  Use whatever combination strikes you fancy.

You can form these into patties and cook them in a skillet.  There’s no right or wrong there.  I personally cook it loose, freeze it, and take out just what I need each time.

If you choose turkey over pork, make sure you get at least the 85/15 choice in the tube.  The extra fat makes for a better sausage.  Just know if you choose a lower fat content, the sausage will be much drier than premixed options.  No judgement from me.  The choice is yours.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Breakfast Sausage

1/2 cup maple syrup
2 Tablespoons sage
1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
1 Tablespoon savory
2 tsp garlic powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 to 2  teaspoons salt (to taste)
5 Pounds ground turkey or pork

Mix the syrup and spices together in a measuring cup.

Add to the ground meat and mix thoroughly.

Cook as desired. Freeze the extra.

Penne with Garlic and Olive Oil

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Tonight’s dinner is one of my fast and easy meals.  Little Man loves pasta and he will eat any vegetable if pasta is included. This meal is very versatile.  You can really include any vegetables that strike your fancy.   Keep the garlic, onions, and olive oil and toss in anything that sounds good.  Another favorite combination at my house is chicken with spinach and artichokes.  I sometimes make this meal vegan by adding cranberry beans instead of meat.

The red onions and squash came from my Bountiful Basket this weekend.  I can’t wait to tell you what I have planned for the curly endive and golden beets for tomorrow’s dinner.  We also got persimmons as one of our fruits.  What is your favorite thing to do with persimmons?

My favorite brand of pasta is Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta.  I buy it and a lot of my gluten free grains in bulk through Azure Standard.  Call them to see if they have a drop site near you.  I am the coordinator for my local drop, so if you know me personally, feel free to talk to me about joining our group.

Garlic Olive Oil Pasta

Penne with Garlic and Olive Oil

1. 5 lbs Gluten-Free Penne
1/2 cup olive oil
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small red onion, sliced
1-2 tsp salt to taste
3 yellow squash, quartered and cut into inch long sections
4 oz mushrooms, slices
1 lb cooked shredded turkey from the freezer

Start water boiling and cook pasta according to the package instructions.

While waiting for the water to boil, wash and prepare all the vegetables.

Heat the oil on medium high in your favorite deep skillet.  Add garlic, onion, and salt.  Saute until onion is translucent.

Add yellow squash, but be careful not to crowd the pan.  Better to cook half at a time and reserve the rest for later to properly brown the squash on all sides. It tastes better that way.   I didn’t follow my own advice this time since I was in a hurry, so take it for what it is worth.

Add turkey and mushrooms to the pan when the squash is almost done.  Cook until the mushrooms are soft.

Toss the contents of the pan with the cooked pasta.  Serve with a side salad and don’t forget to add sliced cucumber from the CSA.

Sweet Potato Minestrone

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People here a have been complaining about sore throats all day.  John came home from work sick.  Good thing there was soup on the menu.

Sweet Potato Minestrone is a seasoned favorite around here.   My mom found this recipe somewhere years ago.  The original suggestion was to use mild Italian sausage, but no peppers for Buster (and Grandma) leaves you hunting for an alternative.  After a little tweaking I finally came up with a spice combination that gets close enough to sausage for my palate.  I hope you agree.

I have had a bumper crop of swiss chard this season, so rather than buy spinach, I just substituted chard in this time.  I still think I prefer spinach in this soup, but the chard definitely holds it’s own in this application.  You won’t be sorry either way you go.

This leads me to my budgetary tip of the day.

Herbs and Spices: Start an herb garden.  Fresh herbs taste the best, but they are priced at a premium in the grocery store.  Start with perennial varieties like sage, oregano, and rosemary.  They come back year after year and grow like weeds and are just as easy to care for as weeds.  Eventually you will be handing out samples to the neighbors.  Herbs will definitely boost your gardening ego.  The cost of those little plants will be recouped many times through the years.

Those who don’t want to brave a garden, but still want to save money on herbs and spices?  Buy them in bulk and refill the containers you already have.  Look at health food stores for their selections.  Central Market and Sprouts are my preferred stores.  When you buy a bottle of any herb or spice at the regular grocery store, you are mostly paying for the bottle.  When you buy in bulk, you can often refill your bottle for less than a quarter.  Use the saved money to try a new spice.  Check your local Bed, Bath, and Beyond for empty spice bottles.  They generally run about a dollar each.  You can even bring that 20% off coupon to save enough to fill with something new right away.  Laugh if you will.  A penny saved is a penny earned.

Sweet Potato Minestroni

If you are looking at that picture with a puzzled expression, you are in the same boat my daughter was in at dinner time.  “Mama, where are the sweet potatoes?”  They are in there. The variety that came in my Bountiful Basket last time was pale yellow instead of orange on the inside.  The flavor was great, the color left something lacking this time.  Though next time I go to the Asian grocery store, I might have to snag some of these to try instead.  I’m sure Snuggle Bunny will love it!

Sweet Potato Minestrone

2 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 medium carrot, sliced
3 ribs, chopped celery, chopped
1 lb ground pork or turkey
4 tsp fennel seeds
1 Tbsp thyme
3-4 medium, peeled, diced sweet potatoes
4 cups cooked great northern beans (measured after cooking or 2 cans)
2-3 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
enough water to cover
3 generous handfuls of spinach (or swiss chard)
salt to taste

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Lightly salt. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the ground meat, fennel, and thyme, and cook until lightly browned.

Add sweet potatoes, beans, oregano, and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 25 minutes.

Stir in spinach and cook until the leaves wilt, about 2 minutes.