Meat

Sausage and Sourdough Bread Stuffing

Isn’t stuffing usually the best part of Thanksgiving? Why do we only eat it at this time of year? Sure, I guess you could argue that sage is more of a fall herb so it’s weird to eat it in the spring or summer. But who cares? Is anyone with me in getting stuffing out of the Thanksgiving rut and into mainstream life? Plus, there are so many different and exciting stuffing recipes out there that if you only eat it once a year, it will take years to try them all. Well, I’m having a small Thanksgiving dinner this week and my friend offered to bring the stuffing so it was one less thing for me to do. But since I love making stuffing, I made a batch of this Sausage and Sourdough Bread Stuffing last weekend, just for me. Shh, don’t tell anyone!

Sourdough bread is toasted in the oven before being mixed with cooked onion, celery and spicy turkey sausage. Fresh fragrant herbs of thyme, sage, and parsley bring this mixture to life and send it over the top. A quick soaking of broth, egg and water and this stuffing bakes until perfectly tender on the inside and golden and crusty on top. A helping of this served with a side veggie and you’ve got a happy dinner for any night of the week, Thanksgiving or not.

IMG_5961

Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange bread in single layers on 2 jelly-roll pans. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until golden, rotating pans after 10 minutes. Turn oven off; leave pans in oven for 30 minutes or until bread is crisp.

IMG_5959

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and celery; cook 11 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

IMG_5953

Transfer vegetables to a large bowl. Add sausage to pan. Increase heat; sauté 8 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from pan using a slotted spoon; add sausage to vegetable mixture.

IMG_5954

IMG_5955

Stir in bread, herbs, and pepper; toss. Combine broth, 1 cup water, and egg, stirring well. Drizzle broth mixture over bread mixture; toss.

IMG_5958

Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray; cover with foil. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Uncover and cook 20 minutes or until browned.

IMG_5960

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Lighter Sloppy Joes

My posts have been few and far between lately. I can’t explain it. I’m busy, I spend too much time on the computer already, I have other things I want to do, blah blah blah. The thing is, I still cook every weekend and make the food I plan on posting. I just don’t get around to writing up these posts. Honestly, my life is boring lately. I don’t really have anything to say. My life consists of work, cooking, eating and doing puzzles. Oh, and trying to get in a daily workout. But who wants to hear about all of that? It’s life after all and we all have one. Not to mention that I’ve been struggling with what to make lately. I’m trying to eat healthy and make food that is easy to portion out. Because I am one of those people who will have just one more bite, okay one more spoonful, okay one more helping. Portion control for me is key. These Lighter Sloppy Joes are a good dish to portion out so they make for a quick go-to lunch or dinner.

Ground turkey is cooked with onion and spices before settling into a smooth tomato sauce. Mashed up chickpeas are added to the mixture which gives an additional nutritious boost that blends right in. I’ve been pretty into sloppy joes lately and this unique kind is a new favorite. I’m a firm believer in the benefits of beans so this sandwich is a winner in my book. I topped this with some spicy banana peppers instead of pickles and now I’m hooked. I may never go back to regular pickles again. Especially on my sloppy joes.

IMG_5668

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until almost tender.

IMG_5663

Add turkey; cook until browned and no longer pink, stirring to crumble. Stir in chili powder, sugar, and salt; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

IMG_5665

Add 1/4 cup water and tomato sauce; reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes or until thickened.

IMG_5666

Place chickpeas in a bowl; partially mash with a fork or potato masher. Stir chickpeas into turkey mixture.

IMG_5664

IMG_5667

Spoon about 1/2 cup turkey mixture onto bottom half of each bun; top each with pickles or banana peppers and top half of bun.

IMG_5669

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Ground turkey
  • Banana peppers

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Chicken Verde Tacos

It was so nice to get up this morning to head to the gym and have it be chilly outside. Am I alone in this? Turning off the air conditioning and opening up my windows was such a good feeling. I actually think I heard my house sigh with relief. Temperatures like this make me want to bake muffins, put chili in the crockpot, throw some chicken in the oven and start a big batch of soup. And while I would love to spend my week doing just that, I have a lot of work to do so all that cooking will have to wait. Thankfully, there are many quick and easy recipes out there for us busy bees. These Chicken Verde Tacos seemed almost too easy. So much so that I didn’t think they would be very good. Boy was I wrong.

Pre-cooked rotisserie chicken is warmed with salsa verde and stuffed into a corn tortilla before being topped with a light cabbage slaw. So simple. Rotisserie chicken is a busy girl’s best friend and tacos never disappoint. The salsa verde adds all of the spicy flavor you come to expect in a taco and the cabbage slaw provides a fresh, creamy crunch. With this busy week, I’m happy to have leftovers in the fridge which can be heated up in no time for lunch or dinner. With another busy weekend coming up too, I’m not sure when I’ll get to doing all that Fall cooking I want to do. In the meantime, I’ll keep making quick and easy recipes like this as I’m sure most of you do too.

IMG_5541

Combine chicken and salsa in a saucepan over medium heat; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

IMG_5538

Heat tortillas 20 seconds on each side over an open flame or according to directions. Combine cabbage and mayonnaise in a bowl; toss to coat.

IMG_5539

Divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas. Top with cabbage mixture.

IMG_5540

Additions:

  • Lime
  • Cilantro

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Teriyaki Meat Loaf

Thanks to those of you who keep checking in and I’m sorry I’ve been slacking on the posts! Last week I was recovering from food poisoning and the week before that I was in Buenos Aires for work. This week – I have no excuses. I’ve been on vacation all week, laying by the lake just north of Chicago and getting in a lot of rest, relaxation and exercise. Since I’m not home, I haven’t been cooking like I normally would on my days off but I have a few recipes stashed away that I’ve made for times like this when I haven’t been cooking. One of my favorites I’ve made recently is this Teriyaki Meat Loaf.

Ground meat (the recipe calls for beef; I used turkey) is jolted with flavors of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil before being bathed in a little teriyaki sauce. After a first trip to the oven (since I used turkey, I cooked it for 40 minutes here), more teriyaki sauce is added and the meatloaf is surrounded with crisp green beans. Another 20 minutes in the often and the entire meal is done. This meatloaf is packed with salty sweet flavor and the green beans are perfect sidekicks. This meal was a hit for me, despite popping my jaw out of socket when eating a green bean, but I digress. I just might have to make this again when I get back home.

IMG_4954

In bowl, combine meat, egg, breadcrumbs, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and 1/2 tsp. oil. On foil-lined baking sheet, shape into loaf. Drizzle with half the teriyaki sauce and bake at 375 degrees 20 minutes for beef, 40 minutes for turkey.

IMG_4946

IMG_4947

In bowl, toss beans with remaining oil; season.

IMG_4951

Top meat loaf with remaining teriyaki sauce and surround with beans.

IMG_4952

Bake until meat loaf edges are browned and beans are tender, 20 minutes.

IMG_4953

IMG_4955

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Ground turkey

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

Slim Turkey Reubens

Who knew there was such a thing as turkey pastrami? Had I known this, I might have been trying to make Reubens a long time ago! There used to be a restaurant near me that served Rachaels – basically a Reuben but with turkey and coleslaw instead of pastrami and sauerkraut. It was my favorite sandwich there. I saw this recipe for Slim Turkey Reubens and knew immediately I needed to try to make it. I was a little worried about the sauerkraut since I’m not a fan but figured I’d give it a go. You never know, right?

Turkey pastrami, reduced-fat Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut is sandwiched between rye bread which is slathered with whole-grain mustard on one side and a yogurt-based Russian dressing on the other. The Russian dressing, made with yogurt, ketchup, pickles, and capers, was so flavorful and not at all tangy as Greek yogurt can be. Not being a sauerkraut or capers fan, I was a little skeptical. But I have to say, this sandwich ROCKS! And who knew that cooking spray could create such a beautifully golden toasted goodness? There are so many different flavors going on with the rye, the mustard, the sauerkraut, the cheese, the pickles, and the capers but where one might overpower a regular sandwich, all of these marry so perfectly together that it’s a perfect storm of flavor. Forget about Rachaels – I’m sold on these Reubens.

IMG_4857

In a small bowl, mix the yogurt, pickles, ketchup and capers to make Russian dressing; season with salt and pepper.

IMG_4851

Spread mustard on 4 slices of bread; top with the cheese, pastrami and sauerkraut. Spread the Russian dressing on the other 4 slices of bread. Add to the sandwiches, dressing side down.

IMG_4853

Heat a large skillet or griddle pan over medium. Coat both sides of the sandwiches with cooking spray. Working in two batches, cook the sandwiches, covered, until the cheese melts and the bread is toasted, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

IMG_4854

IMG_4855

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

Tamale Chicken Potpies

I’ve got more work travel coming up so I figured I better try to get a post or two in while I can. It’s amazing how quickly time flies when you are traveling. Doesn’t it seem that way when you are on vacation? You want to stop time but it just goes by too fast. Next thing you know, you are back at work. Traveling for work doesn’t always seem to go by so quick but then you wake up one day and all of the sudden realize the summer is almost over. How does this happen? I haven’t had a vacation all summer and I’m dying for some time off. Until then, I’ll just keep making some comfort food like this Tamale Chicken Potpies to help soothe my soul until I can sit by a beach somewhere with a book.

Ground chicken and onion are livened up with some cumin and chile powder before being mixed with some spicy diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, zucchini, and corn. The whole mixture simmers together and is spooned into ramekins (you could make this in one big dish too) where it’s topped with a creamy cornmeal mixture that’s made even better with some cheese. A short trip to the oven gets these little treats golden brown and perfectly bubbly. I love meals like this that are already portion controlled for me. The great thing about this recipe is that the chicken mixture is good enough alone. I had a little bit left over and warmed it up for a quick lunch one day. A perfect little meal. Maybe I can’t jet off to Mexico for some tamales, but I can close my eyes and pretend, right?

IMG_4658

Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes, stirring to crumble. Stir in cumin, chili powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 1 minute.

IMG_4651

Add zucchini, corn, tomatoes, and tomato sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Divide chicken mixture evenly among 4 (10-ounce) ramekins coated with cooking spray. Place ramekins on a jelly-roll pan.

IMG_4656

Place remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, cornmeal, and 1/2 cup water in a medium bowl, stirring to combine. Bring remaining 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Gradually add cornmeal mixture to pan; cook 3 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in 2 ounces cheese.

IMG_4654

IMG_4655

Divide cornmeal mixture evenly among ramekins. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 ounce cheese.

IMG_4657

Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes or until light golden brown.

IMG_4659

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

New England Turkey Burger

This summer has been a struggle for me to a keep up with my blog. If I’m not traveling for work, I’m working from home and sometimes just can’t stand to be in front of my computer any longer. So, thank you for those of you who are hanging on and checking in here for my periodic posts. The thing is, I still cook and still take pictures. I’m just bad and getting the blogs written up. Every time I think maybe I should just give this whole thing up, I remember why I did it in the first place. Because I enjoy cooking, I enjoy writing and I have to eat anyway, right? Well, my typical diet this summer has basically been burgers and pizza so here is yet another burger I made: this New England Turkey Burger.

This turkey burger is flavored with beer-infused caramelized onions which help to keep the meat juicy and vibrant. I used the seasonal beer Sam Adams Porch Rocker instead of Summer Ale but any beer can be used. A mayonnaise-mustard spread, cheese, tomato and lettuce top this burger – oh and another big dollop of caramelized onions. For someone who absolutely hated onions as a kid, I’ve found a newfound respect for this veggie, especially when it’s softened up with some beer! So, it’s summer and it’s another burger. But isn’t that what summer is for?

IMG_4538

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil; swirl. Add onion; cook 7 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add beer; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat. Simmer 20 minutes or until onion is golden and liquid almost evaporates; stir occasionally. Cool.

IMG_4531

IMG_4532

Preheat grill or pan to medium-high heat. Remove 1/4 cup onion mixture from pan; finely chop. Combine chopped onion mixture and turkey.

IMG_4533

Divide mixture into 4 equal portions; gently shape each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Press a nickel-sized indentation in center of each patty. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place patties on grill rack or pan coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes. Turn patties; grill 3 minutes.

IMG_4534

Top with cheese; grill 1 minute or until cheese melts and turkey is done.

IMG_4535

Combine mayonnaise and mustard. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise mixture on bottom half of each bun; top each with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 tomato slice, and 1 patty. Divide onion mixture evenly among servings; top with top halves of buns.

IMG_4536

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Sharp cheddar
  • Seasonal beer
  • Spinach

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

1 2 16
%d bloggers like this: