Sweet Potato Spinach Turkey Burgers.

we just discovered these from here, and they are pretty sensational. here’s sort of where we’re at with it:

3 slices bacon, diced
1/2 onion, diced
2 green onions, diced
2 cups spinach, diced (i think i used about 1/3 to 1/2 of a bunch)
1 med. sweet potato, shredded in your food processor
1 lb. ground turkey or chicken
1 tsp salt
1 clove garlic
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp dried rosemary
1-2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp almond flour (plus whatever else you might need to add)

1) fry the diced bacon in a big saucepan, then remove with slotted spoon.

2) saute the onion in the fat until transparent. then add the shredded sweet potato and cook, stirring regularly, for about 20 minutes or so.

3) while that happens, chop the spinach finely.

4) when the potatoes have cooked enough, mix all the ingredients together. i used an extra egg when i made it, because i felt the mixture didn’t hold together enough. i also probably added some almond flour too.

5) cook dem burgers. i baked in the oven on silpats, probably 8 minutes per side at 400 or so. carla is frying them on the stove with some oil, which also works. then eat and they are delicious.

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Herb Roasted Chicken (or Turkey).

We found this one for our first Thanksgiving in Denver, which was a while back, and it worked masterfully. Since then, we’ve come back to it whenever we are roasting a chicken or turkey for any purpose. The recipe comes from Ina Garten, over here. Our version doesn’t vary too far.

In a bowl, mix up the following:

3 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp mustard (the brown kind, not the yellow)
1 tbsp rosemary
1 tbsp sage
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice

Get that mixture all up in your bird of choice, especially between the meat and the skin. There is usually a bit left over, and I just toss it right on top. It’ll be fine, don’t worry about it.

Set that oven for 325, and put the turkey or chicken in a rack in the roasting pan with about a cup of white cooking wine on the bottom, and let it cook. Smaller chicken breasts are usually done in 60-75 minutes, where larger turkey breasts might take closer to 2 hours – keep an eye on it.

When it’s done, it’s delicious warm right away, or cold in sandwiches later.

Big Fat Greek Burgers (October 11, 2010)

found the recipe here, a food network submission. i was looking for some sort of burger, and settled on this one:

Ingredients
For the yogurt sauce:

* 1/2 cup nonfat Greek style yogurt
* 2 teaspoons olive oil
* 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill leaves
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* Pinch freshly ground black pepper
*

For the burgers:

* 2 teaspoons olive oil
* 1/2 small onion, chopped
* 2 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
* 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey breast
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 4 whole-wheat burger buns
* 1/4 English cucumber, thinly sliced
* 4 small leaves romaine lettuce, hard ribs removed

Directions

In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, oil, lemon juice, garlic, dill, and salt and pepper.

Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the feta cheese, dill and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and stir to combine.

Divide the turkey into 4 equal sized rounds. Make 2 equal sized patties out of each round so you have 8 patties total. Put 2 tablespoons of the spinach-feta mixture onto half of the patties. Top with remaining patties working the turkey around the edges to seal burgers closed. Season the burgers on both sides with the salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Spray a nonstick grill pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat, or prepare the grill. Grill the patties until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

To serve, place a burger on the bottom half of each bun, top with about 2 tablespoons of yogurt sauce, then 2 or 3 cucumber slices and a lettuce leaf. Top with the other half of the bun and serve.

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overall, i followed the recipe, though i didn’t put cucumber on them because i don’t really like cucumber that much. i would give these burgers a B, maybe a B+. they were solid and tasty, and i would make them again; at the same time, they weren’t so good that i’m writing home either. the yogurt sauce made a big difference, and complimented the burger surprisingly well. recipe wasn’t too much work, though perhaps just a touch more than i wanted to do on a monday night.

Classic Shepherd’s Pie (March 17, 2010)

in honor of st. patrick’s day, carla and i wanted to do something festive. but she doesn’t eat red meat, and so corned beef and a number of traditional stews were out of the question. instead, she dug up this recipe for shepherd’s pie using ground turkey. it’s from weight watchers, and those recipes are often hit or miss.

Ingredients
2 large potato(es), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup(s) fat-free sour cream
1 Tbsp reduced-calorie margarine
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup(s) onion(s), chopped
2 medium carrot(s), diced
2 medium stalk(s) celery, diced
1 pound(s) uncooked ground turkey breast
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp rosemary, fresh, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cup(s) canned chicken broth, or beef broth

Instructions

* Preheat oven to 400ºF.

* Place potatoes in a large saucepan and pour in enough water to cover potatoes. Set pan over high heat and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain potatoes, transfer to a large bowl and add sour cream and margarine; mash until smooth, season to taste with salt and set aside.

* Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery; cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add turkey and cook until browned, breaking up the meat as it cooks, about 5 minutes. Add flour, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper; stir to coat. Add broth and bring to a simmer; simmer until mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.

* Transfer turkey mixture to a 9-inch, deep-dish pie plate. Spread mashed potatoes over top and using the back of a spoon, make decorative swirls over the top. Bake until potatoes are golden, about 30 minutes. Slice into 6 pieces and serve.

we stuck to the recipe pretty well, only skimping on some of the margarine in the mashed potatoes. i like that in encourages you to make decorative swirls in the top – i considered trying to draw a shamrock, but i felt like failure was imminent and backed out.

David – i thought this was pretty AWESOME. i think we hit it just right with the spices, and the texture of the filling was the right consistency – not too thin, not too thick. the spices worked well, though i feel like we probably could’ve done a touch more specifically on the turkey. but a really pleasant surprise. if winter wasn’t just ending, i’d want to make this again soon. i give it a big old A.

Carla – i liked it. i was afraid of it being bland, but it ended up being pretty good. i would eat it again. A.

10-Alarm Turkey Chili (February 9, 2010)

carla suggested chili, and she had a new recipe in mind – this 10-alarm turkey chili, as found on hungry girl dot com.

here’s how it works:

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Ingredients:
1 lb. raw lean ground turkey
One 29-oz. can tomato sauce
One 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
One 15-oz. can chili beans (pinto beans in chili sauce), undrained
One 15-oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup canned sweet corn, drained
4 – 5 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped, sauce reserved
2 bell peppers (in different colors), chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 oz. VERY dark chocolate (70%+ cacao), broken into small pieces
salt, to taste
Optional topping: fat-free sour cream

Directions:
Bring a large pan sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat on the stove. Add turkey and spread it around in the pan to break it up a bit. Cook and crumble until meat is brown and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Drain any fat or liquid, and then transfer turkey to the crock pot.

Add all other ingredients except for the chocolate to the crock pot. Add 1 tbsp. adobo sauce (from the canned chipotles). Mix well to combine.

Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, and then reduce heat to low and cook for an additional 3 hours. (OR cover and cook on low for 6 – 7 hours straight.)

Add chocolate and stir until pieces melt and disappear into chili. Cover and cook for 1 hour longer on low. Add salt to taste. If you like, top each serving with a little sour cream. Mmmmm!!!

MAKES 12 SERVINGS

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we stayed quite close to the recipe. i have to say, i LOVED this chili. she warns that it’s very spicy; it IS spicy, but i wouldn’t warn anybody about it. it definitely gets my nose running, but for me it’s the perfect degree of spiciness. i’m sure it’s the chipotles and adobo sauce that make this something special. anyways, we had it over the weekend for the superbowl, and i thought it was better than the solid pumpkin chili we’ve made before, and better than the very good vegan squash chili we’ve made in the past as well. i give at a big A+.

carla – it was yummy. i liked the smoky flavor of the chipotles…i would like to try to make it again without turkey. i would give it an A.

Spaghetti and Meatballs (November 21, 2009)

David and I are in search of a great spaghetti recipe.We have talked about it for awhile now, not being really satisfied with any of the store sauces available. Today we tried this one from Smitten Kitchen.

Sauce:

1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup good red wine
1 (14-ounce) can pureed tomatoes (we used tomato sauce)
1 (14-ounce) can chopped or diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

(We also added a teaspoon of sugar and about a quarter cup of parmesan cheese to cut back on the acidic flavor of the sauce.)

Heat the olive oil in the same pan. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.

The meatballs were from a different recipe, because I don’t eat red meat.

Cooking spray
1 pound ground turkey meat
1 slice fresh whole-wheat bread crusts removed, pulsed into crumbs (we used 1/3 cup canned bread crumbs)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1/2 cup finely grated carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the broiler. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine the turkey with all other ingredients in a large work bowl. Form into 2 1/2 -inch balls and place on a baking sheet. Broil for 10 minutes, or until browned and almost entirely cooked through.

We made Penne Pasta to go with our pasta meal.

David: I thought the meat balls were good. The sauce had a bit of the tomato-y sweetness. I would make it again. I would give it a B+.
Carla: I liked the sauce as well, but though it lacked the depth of flavor that I think I am looking for. There simply were not enough spices in the sauce, I think. I would also make it again, but will continue to scout around for additional recipes. B.

Mini Tacos (July 20, 2008)

From Carla’s birthday extravaganza!
these appetizers were a super-hit, and were VERY easy to make. highly recommended!

INGREDIENTS

* 24 wonton wrappers
* 1 pound ground turkey
* 1 (1.12 ounce) package Taco Seasoning Mix
* 2 tablespoons Picante Sauce
* 1/2 cup Salsa
* 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Press wonton wrappers into mini-muffin cups.
3. Cook turkey in skillet until browned. Drain off fat. Stir in taco seasoning mix and picante sauce.
4. Spoon beef mixture into wonton cups. Top with salsa and cheese.
5. Bake about 8 minutes or until wontons are golden brown.
6. Serve immediately with additional salsa. Garnish with sour cream and sliced ripe olives if desired. Makes 24 appetizers.

we did this with turkey; the original recipe called for ground beef. when i say these things were gone fast, i mean it.