Showing posts with label Ground Turkey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ground Turkey. Show all posts

Friday, April 26, 2013

Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes

Last Blogger's Choice recipe swap I participated in, I made Magic Monster Cookie Bars from Kate's Recipe Box.  This time around for the Blogger's Choice swap, I received Kate's blog again, so I decided to make one of the other recipes from her blog that I had wanted to make: Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes.  These have been going around a lot of blogs that I read, so I knew they had to be good.

Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes
slightly adapted from Kate's Recipe Box
1 can (14.5 oz) tomato sauce
2 teaspoons oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 lbs ground turkey
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1 jalapeno, minced (without seeds for less heat, with seeds for more)
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz. beer, such as a light ale or lager
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
Salt and black pepper to taste
Hamburger buns, cheese (I used pepper jack) and guacamole, for serving

1) In a bowl, whisk together the tomato sauce, oregano, ground cumin, dried cilantro, allspice and Worcestershire sauce.
2) In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground meat, stirring occasionally until no longer pink, about 10 minutes.  Drain off the fat.
3) Add the canola oil to the pan with the browned meat then stir in the diced onion and the jalapeno. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.  Stir in the tomato mixture, along with the beer, ketchup and cilantro until well combined.
4) Let all ingredients come to a low simmer and then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for 15 minutes. 
5) Toast buns under the broiler until lightly browned.
6) Stir in the lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on warmed buns with cheese and guacamole.

My modifications and substitutions were based on things that I couldn't eat in the original recipe.  I think the chipotle in adobo would add that smoky flavor, that these don't have.  However, these turned out to be the best sloppy joes that I have made so far.  I used ground turkey since I knew there would be so many other flavors.  I think what made these great was the addition of the beer.  It gave just that extra kick of flavor.  I did use pepper jack on top of using the jalapeno with the seeds, so ours were a little on the spicy side.  Thanks again for another great recipe Kate!

Thanks again Sarah, at A Taste of Home Cooking, for hosting the swaps.  They always result in great food!  Please find the other recipes from the swap below.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf

Not too long ago, I received What's Cookin', Chicago? for a recipe swap.  We could choose whatever we wanted for the swap, which sometimes makes it super challenging for me because I find a lot of things I'd like to make.  Joelen has been blogging since 2007, so about 4 years longer than me, so she has a ton of amazing sounding things. I've had quite the list of things to make from her blog, and this is one of the ones I made first.

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf
slightly adapted from What's Cookin', Chicago?
1 lb ground chicken or turkey
1 egg
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup Italian Cheese Blend
1 dash of white wine
1/2 cup tomato sauce
Parsley for garnish

1) Combine all the ingredients, except for the tomato sauce, in a large bowl.  Mix to combine, but don't overmix or it will become tough.
2) Put mixture into a greased loaf pan and top with sauce.
3) Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

I love meatloaf.  It has been one of my favorite dishes since I was a kid.  I have to say that this might now be my favorite meatloaf.  It was so easy to put together, and the flavors in it are amazing.  Jacob gobbled it up and there were no leftovers after lunch the next day.  We'll definitely keep this on the list of things to make again.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Turkey Burgers with Cheddar and Cumin Aioli

I had never used a grill before I met my husband.  The first time I used it by myself, I was petrified.  I didn't know how to use the knobs or make sure that my food turned out okay, so it just seemed like an instrument to be afraid of and not embrace.

Three years later, I loved our grill.  Problem was, when we went to move, the grill that I had used to make so many good meals on, fell apart.  The movers told us that they wouldn't allow us to take it to New Jersey.  I was a little sad, but interested to see what our new grill would be like.  Just this past weekend we bought a new infrared grill.  It isn't put together yet...but I have to say I'm very excited to see what great food it delivers. 

As it turns out, we had this Too Hot to Cook theme for our recipe swaps.  Well, we hadn't purchased a grill before we made these, so I made them on the panini maker, and while I missed our grill, I think the panini maker did a fine job too.

Turkey Burgers with Cheddar and Cumin Aioli
barely adapted from Delicious Meliscious

1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander 
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, pressed

1 pound ground turkey
4 1/3-inch-thick red onion slices
1 large red bell pepper, quartered
4 slices white cheddar cheese
4 hamburger buns
Pickle wedges
Avocado (optional)

1) Whisk mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and coriander in a small bowl. Season aioli to taste with salt and pepper. Aioli can be made up to a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.
2) Place turkey in medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons aioli; mix gently. Using damp hands, divide turkey mixture into 4 equal portions, then form each into 3/4-inch-thick patty, about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. Using thumb, make small indentation in center of each burger. Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.
3) Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat) or panini maker. Sprinkle burgers with salt and pepper. Brush onion slices and bell pepper pieces with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill onions and bell peppers until soft and charred, about 4 minutes per side.
4) Grill turkey burgers 5 minutes. Turn over; grill until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes.
5) Top each burger with 1 cheese slice and grill until meat is cooked through and cheese melts, about 1 minute longer.
To assemble: Place 1 turkey burger on each of 4 bun bottoms. Arrange grilled red pepper pieces, then grilled red onion slices over. Top each with dollop of aioli and some arugula. Cover burgers with bun tops and serve with pickle wedges, and any other desired toppings.

I turned the smokey aioli into a cumin aioli because I cannot have paprika.  I have to say that I liked the burgers in this recipe because I think that adding the aioli kept them super moist.  I do think that the overall recipe just turned out to be a pretty ordinary burger though.  While there isn't anything horrible to say about them, there isn't much that made them amazing either.  I do think that this recipe taught me that adding wet sauces to the meat mixture will improve how hamburgers come out though, which I'll definitely try on other burgers.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Bombay Sloppy Joes

I watched The Next Food Network Star while Aarti was on it.  I remember rooting for her really hardcore, and was super excited when she won.  A few days later, my husband found her show on and asked if I wanted to watch it.  I declined because I said Indian food was really out of my league, plus I have a hard time finding regular groceries in Wyoming, I wasn't about to get excited about a dish I couldn't even find ingredients for.  So, I just never explored her cuisine.

When I received my assignment for the recipe swap and found that it was sloppy joes, I knew my husband would be excited.  He loves them.  I couldn't find several of the ingredients that were called for (or was allergic to them), so made some substitutions and made my own Garam Masala.  I was surprised that Garam Masala used all the spices I already had in my pantry.

Bombay Sloppy Joes 
barely modified from The Jey of Cooking
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 tablespoon Fresh Ginger, minced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 Serrano Chile Pepper, seeded and finely minced (save the other half for the turkey)
1 1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
1 15 oz Can Tomato Sauce
1 Cup Water

3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1/4 cup Shelled Pistachios
1/4 cup Raisins
1 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 Large White Onion, Finely Diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, Seeds and Membrane Removed, Finely Diced
1/2 Serrano Chile Pepper, Seeds Intact (do not chop)
1 pound Ground Turkey
1/2 teaspoon Honey
1/4 Cup Greek Yogurt
Salt, to taste
Small handful Chopped Fresh Cilantro (soft stems included)

Garam Masala
from Allrecipes
yields 1/4 cup

1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoons ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1) Mix all the ingredients for the garam masala together in a little bowl.
2) Begin making the sauce.  Over medium heat, warm the oil in a saucepan until it shimmers.  Add ginger, garlic and serrano pepper.  Saute until the ginger and garlic brown a little.  Add garam masala and paprika and saute for 30 seconds.  Stir in tomato sauce and water.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, about 15 minutes.
3) Meanwhile, warm 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet.  Add pistachios and raisins, and cook until the raisins plump and the pistachios toast slightly.  Remove from pan and set aside.
4) Return the pan to medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and warm. Stir in the onions and bell pepper, saute until softened and starting to brown, about 8 minutes.  Add serrano pepper and saute for another few minutes, seasoning with salt.  Stir in the turkey and cumin, break up any big lumps and cook until opaque, about 5 minutes.
5) Once the sauce is ready, pour into the skillet with the turkey.  Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.
6) Remove the serrano pepper, add the honey, half and half, pistachios and raisins.  Stir through until well combined.  Before serving, garnish with fresh cilantro.  Toast the buns, fill with the turkey mixture and serve.

I think the flavors of these sloppy joes was good, but the flavors were also intense.  I couldn't eat an entire sloppy joe.  I think that if I exposed myself more to the flavors, I would have been able to eat them all, so maybe I need to expand my cuisine horizons.  I do have to admit that I am not a raisin fan, but plumping them in some oil with the pistachios made for a combination I actually really liked.
These would be a great starter dish for someone interested in trying Indian food that isn't so unique that the name itself scares you away. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Baked Ziti with Ground Turkey

Sometimes I fear my husband was severely deprived from some really good food growing up.  When I announced that I had found a ziti recipe during my Blogger's Choice swap, he said, "What's ziti?".   I was surprised that he didn't know what the delicious cheesy dish was, so I threw it on our menu plan for the next week to prove to him that it was super delicious. 

Baked Ziti with Ground Turkey
adapted from DeLish
1/2 lb ground turkey
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 lb. (16 oz.) ziti or ziti rigati
3 cups tomato sauce
15 oz. Ricotta Cheese
2 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup fresh Basil, chiffonade
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese

1) Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 13x9" baking pan.
2) Brown turkey in skillet, seasoning with garlic powder and Italian seasoning.
3) While the meat is browning, cook the pasta very al dente. Drain.
4) In a large bowl, mix in a tiny bit of the sauce with the noodles & set aside.
5) In a separate bowl, stir together remaining sauce, ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella, basil salt and pepper.
6) Fold the sauce mixture completely into the pasta.
7) Poor into the greased baking pan. Top with remaining cup of shredded mozzarella, parmesan cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly & browned.


While I loved this dish, a 9 by 13 pan makes a TON of ziti.  It fed us 2 dinners each and multiple lunches, so if you have a small family, I'd cut it in half and make an 8 by 8 or 9 by 9 pan instead.

My husband loved how this smelled in the oven.  He kept asking if it was done and ready to eat because he said it smelled so good.  At my grocery store, I could only find a tube of basil, and used a quarter of a cup of that, and the basil definitely was a prominent flavor.  If you're using the tube, I'd reduce it to 1/8 of a cup instead.  This dish turned out exactly like I was hoping though, and brought back many memories of my childhood.  It is such a great comfort dish.  You could definitely omit the meat (like DeLish did) to make it vegetarian as well, it would still be very flavorful.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Southwest Turkey Meatball Subs with Creamy Cilantro Sauce

When we go to Subway, my husband usually gets the meatball sub.  I found this recipe for meatballs and thought that they would make a great sub sandwich instead of just an appetizer.  I had never tried tomatillos either, so was interested in trying this recipe. 

I have to say the only bad thing that I have to say about this recipe is that it is a little ingredient heavy.  But, it is all worth it in the end.

Southwest Turkey Meatball Subs with Creamy Cilantro Sauce
slightly adapted from Skinnytaste 
1-1/4 lbs 99% lean ground turkey
1 jalapeño, seeds removed
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 scallions
1/4 cup panko
1 egg
1 teaspoon cumin
pinch oregano
salt and pepper
cooking spray
2 slices provolone
2 multi-grain deli rolls

1) Lightly spray baking pan with oil. Preheat oven to 400°.
2) Place jalapeño, garlic, cilantro, and scallions into a small food processor or chopper and pulse a few times until finely minced.
3) In a large bowl combine turkey, chopped herbs, panko, egg, cumin, salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix well and measure into desired size.
4) Bake for 15-20 minutes.
5) Turn oven to broiler.
6)  Top bread with provolone and place under the broiler until browned.

Creamy Cilantro Sauce
1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup fat free Greek yogurt
1 small jalapeño, seeds removed
1/2 cup of fresh cilantro
2 tomatillos, husks removed, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 green onion
juice of 1/2 lime
1/8 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp salt

1) Combine all ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until the consistency of salad dressing.
2) Pour sauce on top of meatballs to complete the sandwich.

The Creamy Cilantro Sauce is amazing.  It was a little on the runnier side, but it was so tasty, that I really didn't mind.  I ate it on salads the rest of the week, and it made each meal very tasty.  These meatballs and the sauce are meant for each other too, they are just so complementary.  I think that is mostly due to similar seasoning in both elements.  This is a great meal, and comes together pretty fast, with most of the work in the prep.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Oriecchiette with Sausage, Spinach and White Beans

Last week, I meal planned partially from cookbooks instead of just finding all my recipes from blogs.  I have a ton of cookbooks that sit on my shelves collecting dust.  I justify every week why I can't use one or the other: "I'm not in the mood for casseroles." "All the slow cooker recipes in that book are super unhealthy."  So usually my go to cookbooks are my healthier ones, which is where I got this recipe from.  I've seen a version of this floating around the blogs with mascarpone cheese in it.  I thought this might be a healthier version.
Oriecchiette with Sausage, Spinach and White Beans
adapted from Cook this, Not that
1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound Turkey Sausage
1/2 pound spinach
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning divided
1/2 pound orecchiette, or any shell type pasta (I couldn't find orecchiette in my store)
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 can white beans
Parmesan cheese, for serving

1) Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the oil, then the sausage. Break the sausage into small pieces and cook until it browns, about 10-12 minutes. Add the garlic and one teaspoon of the Italian Seasonings, and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
2) About 5 minutes into the cooking time of the sausage, return the large pot of water to high heat to boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Cooking time varies from brand to brand, 8 minutes is about average, check after 6.
3) When the sausage is cooked all the way through, add the spinach and cook until wilted.  Add the chicken broth, white beans, and the rest of the Italian Seasonings.  Cook until broth and beans get hot.

The chicken broth was very flavorful and everything was very tasty in this dish.  I really liked the beans and the pasta because it made for a meal with more substance.  I liked the broth as the sauce, but I think next time, I'd make more, because it doesn't really stick to the pasta as well as normal pasta sauce does.  I have to say my husband missed the pasta sauce on this dish, so I guess it isn't really a "guy dish".  But I think overall, it was a good dish.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Asian Turkey Burgers with Lime Mayo

I think that the best part of being in a community of food bloggers is that there is always something mouthwatering waiting to take a spot on your next meal plan.

Wyoming has been having really odd winter weather lately.  It has been in the mid-50s but the wind has been gusting 30-40 mph all the time.  The other day, we caught a mid-afternoon break in the wind and decided to get these on the grill.  They were great for a windless Wyoming day.

Asian Turkey Burgers with Lime Mayo
slightly adapted from  Taste of Homecooking

Turkey Burgers
1 pound ground turkey breast
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
3 green onions, thinly chopped
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
4 burger buns
Lettuce and sliced tomato for serving

Combine the first seven ingredients in a large bowl and mix gently with your hands until just combined . Form turkey into 4 patties about 1/2 inch thick. Heat your grill and once hot, add burgers. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side.

Toast buns if desired, then top burgers with mayo and serve.

Lime Mayo

1/4 cup mayonnaise
Zest of half of a lime
Juice of half a lime

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth and combined.

I really loved these burgers.  They didn't need cheese or any other additional toppings.  They were very flavorful, and very filling.  I didn't add the sesame seeds to the burger, but we didn't miss them at all.  Jacob had his with Sriracha, but I had mine with just regular lime mayo.  It was a perfect flavor combination with the burger ingredients.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Frito Chili Pie

I remember watching my brothers play sports and eating frito chili pie from the concession stand when I was a kid.  It is perfect sports food, sloppy, but extremely delicious.  So, when the last games of the playoffs were coming up, I asked Jacob if he'd be up for some Frito Chili Pie and he said yes.  I have to say, it was the perfect meal for football.

Frito Chili Pie
adpated from The Pioneer Woman
2 pounds turkey
1/2 white onion
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1 can (12 To 14 Ounce) Tomato Sauce
1 can (10 Ounce) Ro-tel (diced Tomatoes And Chilies)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Ground Oregano
1 tablespoon Ground Cumin
1 tablespoon Cilantro
1 can (14-ounce) Kidney Beans, Drained And Rinsed
1 can (14-ounce) Pinto Beans, Drained And Rinsed
2 tablespoons Masa (corn Flour) Or Regular Corn Meal
Bag Of Fritos
Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Diced Green Onions (Optional)


1) Brown ground turkey with white onion and garlic.  Transfer to crock pot.
2) Add tomato sauce, Rotel, salt, oregano, cumin, and cilantro, cover and turn crockpot on high.  Let ingredients simmer in crockpot for about an hour.
3) Add drained and rinsed beans. Stir to combine, then cover and simmer for another hour.
4) Add the Masa to the chili. Stir to combine and simmer for a final 30 minutes. Set aside.

Serve over fritos. Pile in chili and cheese, and diced onion if using.

I haven't had chili in about ten years due to some food allergies, but I finally found some ingredients that would work.  Jacob said he usually doesn't eat chili with beans, but I thought it was great.  I don't know if there would have been enough substance to the chili without the beans.  The chili worked really well with the saltiness of the Fritos (I love Fritos).  I thought the green onions were a great burst of flavor with the chili, but the original recipe calls for red onion.  Just garnish it however you want, and you'll have an amazing football/sports meal. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mexican Pizzas

I love Taco Bell.  Most times that we end up eating out, it is usually Taco Bell.  I don't even know what it is that sucks us into eating there, they almost always mess up our food or our order.  But yet we continue to go back...gluttons for punishment, I guess.  I found this Mexican Pizza recipe on Allrecipes, and since that is normally what I order there, I decided I should take a chance and make them at home.  Plus they only have 370 calories, which is almost 200 calories less than the Taco Bell version and 12 grams less fat.

Mexican Pizza
slightly adapted from Allrecipes
1/2 pound ground turkey or beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
4 (10 inch) corn tortilla, recommend tostada shells
1/2 cup salsa
1 cup shredded Mexican Cheese
2 green onions, chopped
2 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup sour cream, for topping (optional)
1 tablespoon Taco Bell Sauce (optional)

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 2 pie plates with non-stick cooking spray. 
2) Place beef, onion and garlic in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until beef is evenly browned. Drain off grease. Season the meat with cumin, cilantro, salt and pepper. 
3) Lay one tortilla in each pie plate, and cover with a layer of refried beans. Spread half of the seasoned ground beef over each one, and then cover with a second tortilla. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. 
4) Remove the plates from the oven, and let cool slightly. Spread half of the salsa over each top tortilla. Cover each pizza with half of the cheese. Place half of the tomatoes,  and half of the green onions on top of each pizza. 
5) Return the pizzas to the oven, and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven, and let cool slightly before slicing each one into 4 pieces.

We thought the flavor was great on these little pizzas, but they were a little challenging to eat.  While the tortillas did get a little bit crunchy, they were still hard to cut through.  My husband suggested using tostada shells instead, since they are already crunchy, and I thought that was a fantastic idea.  These definitely aren't an exact replica of the Taco Bell version, but they are pretty great.  Make sure you pick up some of the Taco Bell Sauce when you're in the refried bean section, that will make them even more close to the original.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cheeseburger Meatloaf

Meatloaf is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods.  The great thing about meatloaf is that you can throw whatever you want in there, and usually it turns out pretty good.  Leftovers can be made into sandwiches, or if you're like me, you just continue to eat the regular meatloaf.

My husband and I have debated over what is supposed to be used in meatloaf.  He swears that crackers are a better binder, but I always use breadcrumbs.  I guess it is one of those things we'll probably debate forever.  But, what we didn't debate was that this meatloaf was great, and an awesome spin-off of the original.

Cheeseburger Meatloaf
slightly adapted from Rachel Ray
1/2 red onion, finely chopped 
2 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup ketchup 
1 tablespoon mustard
2/3 cup bread crumbs 
2 large eggs 
1/2 cup bread-and-butter pickle chips, chopped 
1-1/2 pounds ground beef (or ground turkey) 
8 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into 1/3-inch cubes, plus extra for the top

1) Preheat the oven to 400°. Lightly oil bread pan.
2) In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
3) In a large bowl, combine the ketchup, mustard, bread crumbs, eggs and pickles; mix in the onion.
4) Crumble in the beef, add the cheese and mix together. Transfer to bread pan. Put some shredded cheese on top of the meatloaf.  Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 160°, about 35 minutes.

I loved this meatloaf.  I'm not a huge fan of bread and butter pickles, so I may swap those out for regular pickles next time, but I love how the onion and pickle are spread out throughout the meatloaf so you get a lot of flavors.  It was nice and cheesy throughout, plus the addition of a little extra cheese on the top just made it perfect.  Cover with a little more ketchup and this makes a great meal.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cabbage Burgers

At my office, there is a little cafe on the first floor that serves cabbage burgers probably once every two weeks.  I thought it was just hamburger meat cooked in a cabbage leaf.  However, she charges almost eight dollars for the burger, a bag of chips, and a can of soda, so I decided that I would look up the recipe and see what made them so expensive.  What I found is that these were nothing like what I thought they were, and I could make them for super cheap.

Cabbage burgers are essentially cabbage and hamburger meat cooked together and baked in a dough that makes this pillowy pocket that is super easy to eat.  If you did mini ones, they would make a great party appetizer just because all the ingredients are contained in the dough. 

Cabbage Burgers
slightly adapted from Allrecipes
yields 4 cabbage burgers
1 batch of pizza dough
1 pound ground beef (I used ground turkey)
2-3/4 teaspoons water
1/4 large head cabbage, chopped
1/4 large onion, chopped
1/2 clove garlic, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 slices Swiss cheese

1)  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2)  Divide  dough into 4 pieces, and roll into balls. Set aside. 
3)  Cook the ground beef in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir until evenly browned. Drain off grease. 
4)  Add the water, cabbage, onion, and garlic. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring as needed, until the cabbage is soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain off any excess liquids, and set aside. 
5)  On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough balls into squares. Place about 1/4 of the cabbage burger mixture into the center, top with cheese, fold the dough over, and pinch to seal. Place on a baking sheet with the seam side down. 
6) Bake for 15 to 18 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, and brush with melted butter. Serve hot.

I thought these were very good.  I think the next time I make them with turkey, I need to season them a little stronger since ground turkey needs a little more spices to make it as flavorful as ground beef.  The cheese is melted in the dough and just oozes out of the burger pocket when you bite into it.  I think this is a very good recipe, and it is much cheaper to make at home than to buy from the little cafe.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mexican Stuffed Shells

I realized the other day that I am making recipes from the same people over and over again.  While I love the food from those sites and almost everything I have tried has been awesome, it definitely pays to stray from the normal.

I ran across this recipe while I was looking for something new.  I have to admit that the pasta shells with Mexican flavors sounded interesting, but also didn't sound like they would work.  However, since we eat a lot of Mexican flavors, I decided to throw it into the meal plan.

Mexican Stuffed Shells
slightly adapted from The Way to His Heart...
1 lb. ground turkey
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon cilantro
4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
14-16 jumbo pasta shells
2 cups salsa
1.5 cups taco sauce
2 cup monterey jack cheese
3 green onions

1) Preheat oven to 350°.
2) In a frying pan cook ground turkey; add taco seasoning and cook until you no longer see any pink sections in the meat. 
3) Add cream cheese, cover and simmer until all the cream cheese is melted. Blend well. Set aside and cool completely. 
4) While ground beef is cooking, cook the pasta shells according to directions; drain. Set shells out individually on cutting board/baking sheet so that they don’t stick together.
5) Pour salsa on bottom of 9×13 baking dish.  Stuff each shell with the meat mixture. Place shells in 9×13 pan open side up. Cover shells with taco sauce. 
6) Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
7) After 30 minutes, add shredded cheese and bake for 10-15 more minutes, with the foil removed. 

Top with any condiments you’d like (green onions, black olives, etc.) Serve with sour cream and/or more salsa.

The result was very good.  The flavors were interesting, but they went together very well. The taco sauce was the main player in the sauce department, and had a lot of flavor.  We used both Taco Bell salsa and Taco Bell Sauce so they complimented each other well.  The inside was creamy and provided a lot of flavor.  I loved the green onions with this dish and went back and added more.  The onion added crunch and an extra pop of flavor in each bite.  This meal was a great addition to our meal plan.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Ground Turkey Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes remind me of being a kid again.  When you ate them and the sauce dripped all over you, but you didn't care because it was just that good. 

This recipe for sloppy joes took me right back to my childhood.  They were very saucy and delicious.

Ground Turkey Sloppy Joes
slightly adapted from Allrecipes
1 pound ground turkey breast
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup no-salt-added ketchup
4 tablespoons barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 whole wheat hamburger buns, split

1) In a nonstick skillet, cook the turkey and onion for 5 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink.
2) Add the next seven ingredients; simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3) Serve on toasted buns.               

In this recipe, the flavors developed really quickly.  I didn't think that simmering the wet ingredients together for ten minutes would produce such a finger-licking sauce.  This recipe was amazing and I was really surprised that it is listed as being under 300 calories.  

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Stuffed Peppers

Growing up, I hated stuffed peppers.  There actually wasn't a vegetable that I hated more.  I read in college that taste buds change every five to seven years, so I decided to give the things I disliked when I was young another chance. 

I now love green peppers.  I use them in a lot of my cooking now just because I love the moist crunch of them in dishes.  I have been keeping my eye out for a good stuffed pepper recipe, but they all use tomato sauce in them, which I'm allergic to, so I haven't had a chance to try any of them.  For this recipe swap, I received a stuffed pepper recipe from Cooking with Christen.  I was super excited to find that it didn't call for tomato sauce at all, so quickly put it on my meal plan.

Stuffed Peppers
slightly adapted from Cooking with Christen
1 tablespoon olive oil                            
1 onion, chopped
1`rib of celery, chopped                     
1/2 small bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped                   
1.5 lbs ground turkey
1 can French Onion soup                  
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
½ soup can of water           
1 ½ cups raw rice
2 tablespoons basil
salt, red, and black pepper to taste
4 large bell peppers

1) In a large dutch oven, sauté in a small amount of cooking oil, the onion, celery, chopped bell pepper, and garlic until slightly cooked through. 
2) Add the raw ground beef and brown well.
3) Add soups, water, rice (raw), salt, black and red pepper.  Mix well.  Cook until just heated through (the rice will not be fully cooked at this point, just warmed).
4) Cut the stem ends off of the whole bell peppers.  Scoop out seeds and clean well.
5) Spray a (9×13) baking dish with Pam.
6) Stuff each bell pepper about ¾ full of the rice mixture.  Quickly invert each bell pepper, rice side down, into the baking dish.
7) Put the remaining rice mixture around the bell peppers.  Cover the dish tightly and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes.  Do not open the cover until the cooking is complete.

I have to admit that I didn't make these as directed.  I thought I knew what I was doing and so I didn't read the directions very well.  I cut open the side and stuffed them, which made everything so much more difficult.  The mixture came out the top when I was stuffing them, which resulted in some burned fingers.

I thought this recipe was great though.  This is my third recipe swap in a row using French Onions of some sort, so this time I used canned soup from the store.  I do have to say that I'd prefer using homemade soup both for the cream of mushroom and the french onion soup, but that would take a lot of extra work. 

The peppers were soft, but still had a little crunch, and the stuffing for them was amazing.  It made plenty of extra stuffing so for a meal I ate the stuffing as a side.  The rice came out perfect and took on the flavors of the soups.  I would definitely make this again, I'd just read the instructions better so that I don't hurt myself as bad. 

For a list of all the recipes made during this swap, visit A Taste of Homecooking: Recipe Swap Roundup.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ground Turkey with Potatoes and Peas

I have to admit that we've been a little dependent on the Skinnytaste blog recently.  It seems like everything I make from the blog is a huge hit and we're working hard on reducing our portion sizes.  The food on the Skinnytaste blog seems to be super filling because my husband never goes into the kitchen for seconds.  We've had a lot of leftovers, which helps for lunches the next day.
I liked this meal because it seemed heartier, which is always good for a late autumn night.  It was also super easy to put together, and most of the time is spent chopping things, so the meal seems to go from the skillet to the table quickly.  Plus it is one of those one-pot meals so cleanup was super easy, which was great since we had a lot of Trick-or-Treaters.
Ground Turkey with Potatoes and Peas
slightly adapted from Skinnytaste
1 medium tomato
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup red onion
1.25 lb 93% lean ground turkey
4 medium scallions, chopped
1/2 cup canned peas  or 1 cup fresh peas
1 potato, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch strips
8 oz can canned tomatoes
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp cumin, or to taste
salt, to taste
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup cheese

1) In a food processor or by hand finely chop tomato, garlic, red onion, and cilantro.
2) In a large skillet, brown turkey.  Season with salt and cumin.
3) When meat is browned and cooked through add scallions, chopped tomato mixture, peas, potato, tomato sauce, water, cumin, salt and bay leaf.
4) Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until potatoes are cooked through, about 25 minutes stirring occasionally. Add more water if needed. Remove bay leaf and serve over rice.  Add cheese if you'd like to finish off the meal.

I used a whole cup of peas like the original recipe called for and the dish seemed a little overrun with peas.  This could be due to the fact that I used canned peas instead of fresh peas.  The tomato taste was prominant, but I couldn't really taste any of the other spices.  When I make this again, I'll probably up the amounts of the spices quite a bit, so that they don't get lost in the tomato elements of the dish.  I thought that the potatoes and the rice would make this dish too starchy, but everything seemed very proportionate in this recipe.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Dipping Sauce

The World Series game was on and I had not even thought about dinner yet.  I asked if we could order pizza or Chinese food so that I could focus more on the game than the food, but after looking up both options it seemed like dinner would be at least an hour or more away. 

I said, "I have some stuff for meatballs that I can make instead."  And it was decided that meatballs was a much better option (and quicker) than ordering takeout from anywhere in town.  When we started making the meatballs, I told Jacob that they were Asian, to which he came back that the only reason they were Asian was because of the soy sauce and sesame oil (I pulled our ginger out and it had molded pretty bad). 

But these were on the table in about 20 minutes total, and that was including the time that I broke away from the kitchen to see what caused commotion on the TV.

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Dipping Sauce
slightly adapted from Skinnytaste
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1-1/4 pounds ground turkey
1 egg
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil

Dipping Sauce
4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons water
1 chopped fresh scallion

1) Preheat oven to 500°F.
2) Mix ground turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, salt, scallions, cilantro, soy sauce, and oil and mix with your hands until combined well.
3) Shape 1/4 cup meat mixture into a ball and transfer to a baking dish.  Repeat with remaining mixture.
4) Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes (Cook to 165).
5) For the dipping sauce mix together lime juice, water, soy sauce, and remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in a bowl. Add scallions.
6) Plate meatballs and stir the sauce.  Drizzle meatballs with 1 tablespoon sauce.

  • Serve with rice or an asian salad with mandarin oranges, baby corn, and a vinaigrette.  I served with rice just because I didn't want to miss any more of the game. 

I found a few things that I did wrong with this meal.  I recommend that everything is finely chopped for the meatball mixture.  I left several things kind of chunky, and mostly the cilantro came out of the meatballs in big strings.  I didn't taste the lime as much in the meal as I wanted to, so I'd recommend upping the lime juice amount if you enjoy lime flavors.  We ran out of sauce because I made the recommended amount not knowing that it would be used like salad dressing.  So if you have someone in your house that likes sauces, you may want to make some extra sauce as well.

But I liked these meatballs a lot.  I loved how much color there were in them compared to a normal meatball.  Little pops of green decorated each meatball as they sat on the cookie sheet.  The sauce went well with the meatballs even though there wasn't enough sauce.  I think ginger would completely change this recipe, so if you're interested in adding ginger, the meatballs call for one tablespoon.  This recipe was definitely a great change from the normal meatball.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Turkey Nachos

This season, I have watched more football and baseball than I have in probably the last ten years.  Being married has definitely changed what I watch on television.  But the positive side is that I'm starting to understand and like football now.

Because the world series and football are basically intertwined right now, I figured I would make a meal that was game-day friendly and wouldn't take much time to make.

 I ran across the website not too long ago and have been trying to make more healthy meals.  She has a recipe for Loaded nachos that I decided to try out.  Nachos carry a lot of punch in such a convenient bite that it seemed perfect for our afternoon of sports.

Turkey Nachos
adapted from
8 oz Baked Tostitos Scoops
1 lb 99% lean turkey breast
1 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons lime juice
salt and pepper
1 cup fat free Refried Beans 
1 1/3 cup reduced fat Mexican cheese 
2 cups fresh tomato salsa
1/2 cup light sour cream
2/3 cup fresh cilantro
1 small jalapeno finely chopped

1) Preheat oven to 425°. Place chips on four oven-proof dishes or one large baking sheet.
2) Heat a large nonstick sauté pan over high heat. Add turkey and season with cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and lime juice and sauté until cooked through.
3) Spoon the turkey mixture over the chips and sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake until cheese melts, about 6 minutes.
4) Remove the nachos from the oven, top with beans, salsa, sour cream, cilantro, and jalapeno. Serve immediately.

I was a little nervous using turkey just because beef seems more nacho appropriate to me, but they turned out fantastically.  The flavors all layered together for the perfect harmony in each bite.  The creaminess from the sour cream balanced the spiciness of the jalapeno.  The spices on the turkey made it bold enough to stand up to all the other flavors.  These nachos are so great and flavorful that you don't miss the pounds of cheese that are normally on nachos.

Definitely a great game day staple for any sport.

Friday, August 19, 2011


When I was a little kid, I used to have this poster with Bert and Ernie on it.  I think it just had random facts about them, but one of their favorite foods was meatloaf.  I used to ask my mom all the time to make 'Nernie's' food, which was meatloaf.
To this day I still love meatloaf.  But, not many other people in my family do.  One day I was watching 24 hour Restaurant Battle on Food Network and one of the teams made cupcake meatloaves.  I had never even thought of doing that, so here is my adapted version.

 Mini-Meatloaves-  adapted from All


  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound ground turkey
Sauce- not shown in picture from Pioneer Woman's meatloaf
  • 1-1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
  • Tabasco To Taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the egg, milk, cheese, oats and salt. Add the ground turkey, mixing well, and scoop into a pre-greased muffin pan.
    • The meatloaves don't rise like other things you bake, so it is okay to fill the muffin cup all the way up.
  3. In a separate small bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar and mustard and tobasco. Stir thoroughly and spread over each meatloaf or heat on the stovetop and place on each meatloaf as it is eaten.  
  4. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes.
These make for the perfect portions.  They are satisfying, you don't leave the table wanting to have all of them.  Even though I used ground turkey instead of ground beef the meatloaves were still moist and didn't dry out.  The sauce was a perfect compliment to the meatloaf, a match kind of like Bert and Ernie. :)
  • One thing I have been thinking about doing is putting a piece of turkey bacon in the muffin pan before putting the meat in.  That way it would be even more like the Pioneer Woman's bacon wrapped meatloaf.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Amish Style Yumasetta

My mom is an amazing cook.  I wish I was half as good as she is most of the time.  She used to make Yumasetta while I was growing up and we'd all beg her to make more the second the casserole dish was cleaned.  I developed a lot of food allergies in middle school and haven't been able to eat this since then, until I came up with my own spaghetti sauce (see the Tofu Parmesean blog).  So this week, I was finally able to make it again.

  • 2 lbs. Hamburger or Ground Turkey (I used turkey) 

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

  • 1 chopped white onion

  • 1 (10 3/4 oz.) Can tomto soup, undiluted (I used my spaghetti sauce)

  • 1 (10 3/4 oz.) Can cream of chicken soup, undiluted

  • 1 (16 oz.) Package egg noodles

  • 1 (8 oz.) Package processed cheese, such as Kraft or Velveeta (I recommend Kraft Singles, but I used Velveeta)

  • Directions
    1. Brown hamburger with salt, pepper, brown sugar and onion.
    2. Add tomato mixture.
    3. Cook egg noodles according to package; Drain.
    4. Add cream of chicken soup to egg noodles.
    5. Layer hamburger mixture and noodle Mixture in 9x12" Casserole with processed cheese between layers.
    6. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.

    It isn't healthy, and I'm not claiming that, but it is amazing nonetheless.  My husband was skeptical, but ended up having three bowls, and I had to put the cover on the casserole dish and put it back in the fridge so that he would stop eating it.  I would use the Kraft singles just for consistency.  Our velveeta slices were a little inconsistant and even though it didn't affect the flavor, sometimes you mostly just got a bite of cheese. 

    This can easily be made ahead and frozen for a quick weeknight meal, you'd just have to adjust the cooking time.