Category Archives: Main Courses

Turkey Meatballs Stroganoff

I’m attempting to get back on a health kick.  I have a race coming up in May and I need to get myself in gear if I don’t want to pass out before the finish line. To most people that would mean eating nothing but energy bars, salads and protein shakes.  Not me.  I don’t think you should have to give up good comfort food completely to get in shape.  You just have to be willing to modify it and moderate it.

Here is a healthier version of an old favorite.  Don’t ask me the calorie count, I love cooking but I hate counting.  You take all of the enjoyment out of a meal.  Just know this is a better version because the ingredients are lighter.

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 slices dark rye bread
1 egg
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/8 cup fat free half n’ half
Kosher salt and Pepper to your taste (about 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper)
Olive oil
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1/4 cup low fat sour cream
2 Tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a mixer or blender, grind the bread into fine crumbs.  In a large bowl, mix the turkey, onion, parsley, thyme, breadcrumbs, half n’ half, salt, pepper and egg with your hands.  Form meat mixture into balls.  Heat a pan over medium high heat and coat the bottom with olive oil.  Test the oil by sprinkling in cold water.  If it pops, it’s hot enough.  Brown the meatballs on all sides, but do not overcook.  Remove from the oil and place on a cookie sheet.  Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove excess oil from the pan.  Deglaze with beef stock, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add butter and reduce until thickened. Turn heat to low.  Add sour cream and stir thoroughly.  Place meatballs in the sauce , cover and keep warm on low heat.

Prepare pasta noodles of your choice.  (I am partial to egg noodles with this dish.)

Serve meatballs and sauce over the pasta.

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Filed under Main Courses, Poultry

Just Say No to Taco Bell

In case you haven’t heard, Taco Bell is being sued for false advertising.  What’s this about you may ask?  They are being sued for using the words “seasoned beef” while the majority of the ingredients aren’t actually meat, allegedly.  According to the Sun-Sentinal, the attorney who filed the suit claims only 35% of the ingredients are even solid, the rest consisting of “water, isolated oat product, wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodextrin, anti-dusting agent, autolyzed yeast extract, modified corn starch and sodium phosphate,” allegedly. (Do you think I’m inserting enough of the word “allegedly”? Just covering myself here.)  If this is true, that’s just disgusting, although not a bit surprising.  This is why I avoid fast food at all costs.

If you’re craving tex-mex, you can have a safe and healthy version at home that’s still easy to prepare.  If you want to know what’s in the food you’re eating make it yourself.  Here is a recipe for a healthier version of taco salad that’s quick and easy.

Ingredients:

Taco Seasoning (recipe below)Turkey Taco Salad

1 lb. ground turkey
Romaine lettuce
Shredded cheddar and jack cheese (2%)
Reduced-fat sour cream
1 vine- ripened tomato, diced
1/2 cup water

Taco Seasoning:
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (add more or less depending on how much heat you want)

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Brown ground turkey until cooked through.  Add water and spice mixture.  Stir to mix. Reduce to medium heat and cook until thickened and water is mostly evaporated off.

Assemble the salad with the rest of the ingredients of your choice.  Simple!

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Filed under Main Courses, Salads

Tyler Florence’s Chicken with Prosciutto, Rosemary and Lemon…Sort of

I love Tyler Florence’s recipes.  They are always delicious.  He’s kind of my culinary hero, of sorts.  Sophisticated comfort food that is just always delicious.  If you follow my posts, you’ll probably see a ton of these.

The only thing is, I am not huge on following recipes.  I LOVE reading recipes and even have a ridiculously large cookbook collection.  I just love them for inspiration and a jumping-off point of flavor profiles.  It’s not an ego thing, by far.  I am not a great chef, or a chef at all for that matter.  I just love the process.  I love experimenting.  I love asking myself “what If I just add this”.  I actually even fully accept failure.  It is a given when you go messing with recipes of all-star chefs.

So, blah blah blah, background story behind me… I decided to see how much I could mess up Tyler’s recipe for Pan-roasted chicken with Prosciutto, Rosemary and Lemon.

I started as planned, pan roasting the thighs, until I realized they just weren’t getting the skin as crispy as I like.  I HATE HATE HATE when chicken skin is rubbery.  That was happening- most likely because of me not having a large enough pan for the amount of chicken thighs.  Cooking is all about improvisation.  That’s what I tell myself.  I abandoned the dutch oven half way through and put them in the broiler.  That was a good move.  The skin was super crispy.  The other alteration I made was to make a white wine and shallot sauce.  I mostly did that because I had the ingredients.  I had the shallots and, frankly, always cook with wine.

Ingredients:

Extra-virgin olive oil
4 ox thinly slice prosciutto, cut into ribbon
Leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary- finely chopped
1 Package of chicken thighs (about 6)
1 shallot, diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet or dutch oven on the stove and add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add rosemary and prosciutto and cook until prosciutto starts to get crispy.  Season both sides of the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.  Add the chicken thighs and start to brown (about 3 minutes per side.) Remove chicken and place on broiler pan.

Broil on low until the skin starts to turn golden brown and get crispy.  Remove from broiler, move to a platter and set aside.

In the skillet or dutch oven, add the shallots and to the remaining oil, rosemary and prosciutto.  Cook until shallots soften.  Add white wine, chicken broth and butter.  Reduce until thickened.  Drizzle the sauce over the chicken and serve.

Side note:  Great and easy side dish  for this is broccolini with lemon and crushed red pepper.

Ingredients:

1 bunch broccolini
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Salt and pepper

Heat skillet with butter and olive oil.  Add broccolini.  Cook for about 3 minutes, tossing frequently, until green but not soft.  Add lemon and crushed red pepper.  Salt and pepper to taste.


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Filed under Main Courses, Poultry