What do you do with all that leftover turkey? What leftover turkey, you may be asking. Well, I cooked an EIGHTEEN POUNDER this year (they were down to little bitty and really big by the time we went to pick one up, and, well, I like leftovers), and I had to do SOMETHING with the leftovers that didn’t necessarily require all the fixins (because we actually pared down this year and didn’t have tons of the sides left), and a natural interpretation was to make turkey tetrazzini. This serves 4 at 805 calories and 27.5 grams of fat, so not what you’d call light, but probably lighter than your Thanksgiving dinner (yeah I know, I told you I’ve had a bunch of recipes I’ve been sitting on).
- 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 shallots, coarsly chopped
- 8 ounces turkey, diced
- 12 ounces gluten free spaghetti (I used Tinkyada)
- 8 ounces neufchatel cheese
- 1 can rotel
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 cup fiesta blend cheese (2%)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook your pasta according to package directions, less about 3 minutes, and drain. It’s going to continue to cook in the oven.
3. Heat the olive oil over medium heat.
4. Add the chopped bell pepper, shallots, and mushrooms and saute until softened.
5. Add the chopped turkey, the can of rotel, paprika, salt, and pepper and stir until heated through.
6. Add the cubed neufchatel cheese and stir until it’s totally melted and coats the filling.
7. Add the cooked pasta and stir until well combined.
8. Spray a 2.5 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
9. Pour the pasta mixture into the baking dish.
10. Top with the fiesta blend cheese.
11. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melty.
Happy New Year, y’all!
I’ve kind of fallen off posting since early November. The tail end of the year was super busy for me, wrapping up a huge book project, juggling family and a bunch of end of year stuff at the Evil Day Job. I’ve been cooking (I always do), and I’ve even been testing some new recipes. I just haven’t gotten them actually ON the blog.
But I’m back! We’re getting back on the healthy wagon. I also finally got a little deep freeze, so I’ll be testing out some more recipes moving forward with the intention of either making double and freezing one for a later meal, or prepping freezer meals that are intended to go straight from freezer to crock pot to done. We’ll see how that experiment goes. So often the recipes offered up for that kind of cooking are bland and don’t actually hold up to a foodie’s standards. I’m determined to find a way to change that. So be on the lookout as we move forward in the new year!
Be healthy, be happy, but don’t be hungry!
We are HUGE fans of The Pioneer Woman’s Ranch Style Chicken. I’ve been saying for ages that it would make a marvelous base for pork as well, so I finally got around to giving it a try with a few change. OMG, SO GOOD. I wished I’d doubled the recipe. Serves 2.
- 1/8 cup dijon Mustard
- 1/8 cup honey
- 1/8 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Crushed red pepper (optional to taste–I put about 1/2 tsp in the marinade)
- 2 1/2″ thick pork chops
- 3 strips of thick cut bacon
- 1 ounce of smoked gouda, shredded
- Mix the mustard, honey, lemon juice, paprika, salt, and crushed red pepper.
- Pop the pork chops in a zip lock bag with the marinade and let hang out for at least an hour, preferably two.
- When ready to cook, cut the bacon in half and place in a cold skillet. Cook over medium heat until done.
- Reserve a few tablespoons of the grease.
- Preheat your grill to about 350 degrees.
- Remove the pork chops from the marinade and pop on the grill. Brush with bacon grease.
- Grill for approximately 8-10 minutes a side.
- Remove from grill and immediately top with the shredded gouda and bacon.
- Serve with salad or some other side. Enjoy!
I got this recipe in my inbox from my Cook’s Country newsletter. I liked the idea of it and have had it on my To Try list for quite a while. This was delayed somewhat by my not being able to find cherry peppers (which I hadn’t even heard of). Ultimately found some at Kroger and gave this a whirl. I made a few substitutions–changing out the chicken breasts for chicken thighs, using roasted red peppers instead of raw red peppers, using gluten free pasta, and swapping fat free half and half for the cream. The end result made a TON–I’d say 6 servings.
Hubs and I were both kind of meh on it. Me because I discovered I do NOT like kalamata olives AT ALL. Hubs…well sometimes I’m not sure what he doesn’t like about stuff. Either way, it won’t be going on our rotation. I did at least discover I like cherry peppers!
One of my favorite sides is baked zucchini fries. They’re light, crispy, and I can eat an entire plate for a meal and be quite happy. I decided I wanted to give the same concept a try with eggplant. I’ve done this once before and was wholly unimpressed with the result, but I hadn’t given up hope. I learned that eggplants with a smaller “navel” on the non stem end have fewer seeds and are therefore less bitter. I also thought to slice the eggplant fries MUCH thinner than I do the zucchini so that they truly wound up crispy. I also was on a quest to find a suitable gluten free alternative to panko breadcrumbs. On some board or blog or other, I saw someone suggest using crushed Rice Chex, so that was what I tried. It worked BEAUTIFULLY. We dipped the fries in marinara sauce. I say this recipe is a keeper (though zucchini is still my preference). I’d really like to try the same method to make a baked eggplant Parmesan. This makes a TON. Serves 4-6 as a side.
- 1 eggplant cut into thin strips
- 2 egg whites
- crushed Rice Chex (just blitz them in you food processor)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Set up your breading station with 2 pie plates, putting the egg whites in one and some of the Chex in the other (don’t put it all in there at once as it’ll get a little moist as you keep breading and you’ll want to have more to dump in).
- Set up your cookie sheets with bakers racks inside them (so that it elevates the eggplant and eliminates the need to flip).
- Dip the eggplant in the egg white, then into the Chex, coating well.
- Layer on the bakers racks.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve with Marinara.
Paella is one of those things I’ve learned to love fairly recently in my foodie life. It’s a concept that’s great for using up whatever you have on hand. In this case that was some bell pepper, sausage, and chicken. And some other stuff. It’s a delicious, earthy sort of dinner. Servings: 3 at 628.73 calories 38.82 grams of fat
- 7 oz andouille sausage, diced
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1/2 bell pepper, diced
- 14 oz diced tomatoes, drained
- 4 oz pimentos
- 2 Tbs minced garlic
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 1 cup white rice
- 1 tsp powdered saffron
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup frozen green peas
1. Boil together the broth (reserving half a cup), saffron, tomato, paprika, salt and pepper.
2. Heat oil in the paella pan or cast iron 12 inch frying pan.
3. Add garlic, peppers, pimentos, and onion and cook until soft, then pull it out and put it in a bowl.
4. Scrape bottom of pan, add more oil, add rice, and cook until translucent.
5. Add boiling broth and soffrito mixture (that’s what that combo of onion, garlic, and peppers is called) and chicken, cook at medium for 5 minutes.
6. Lower heat, arrange sausage and cook 15-20 minutes.
7. Sprinkle the peas over the top.
8. Continue cooking on very low, about 5 more minutes, adding more broth as necessary so the top layer of rice doesn’t get crunchy.
9. Remove from heat. Allow to rest for 5 minutes so the rest of the liquid is absorbed.
So there’s nothing traditional about these empanadas. In fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever had actual empanadas. But when I got my new set of dough presses (which I bought for making dumplings), I knew I had to do something to try them out. Empanadas seemed just the thing. These make for a great appetizer. Which is good, because they’re crack and you won’t be able to stop with just two (we aren’t going to talk about how many I had for breakfast). And since I was totally making this up as I went, I wound up with WAAAAAY too much filling, so I ended up using the remainder, mixing it with some spaghetti for another dinner. Delicious. The empanadas are not gluten free, but it’s on my list to make them so.
- 4 chicken thighs boneless
- 1 onion chopped
- 1/2 cup black beans
- 1 roasted red pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
- 1/2 cup 2% fiesta blend cheese
- 8 oz neufchatel cheese
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ancho chili powder
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 package Sazon
- 1 package refrigerated pie crust (2 circles)
- 1 tsp olive oil
1. Heat the oil over medium high heat.
2. Add the chicken and saute until no longer pink.
3. Add all the spices and veggies except the beans and saute for 5-10 minutes.
4. Add the sauteed mixture to the beans, neufchatel cheese, and fiesta blend cheese and stir until well combined.
5. Pop in the fridge to cool while you work with the dough.
6. Unroll the ready made pie crusts.
7. Using a 3″ dough press (or some other jar top or something that will give you a 3 inch round) cut out rounds of dough.
8. Squish together the remaining bits and roll them out and keep cutting until you’ve used all the dough.
9. Lay a round into the dough press and put in a spoonful of filling.
10. Press the empanada closed.
11. If you don’t have a dough press, just put the spoonfull in the middle and fold over, pinching closed with the tines of a fork.
12. Repeat with remaining rounds. I got 14 out of a package of 2 pie crusts.
13. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
14. Now, you will notice you have a huge bowl of filling left. While your empanadas are cooking (or later if you want to), cook up 6-8 ounces of spaghetti and mix with the filling. Put into a casserole dish. Top with more Fiesta blend cheese.
15. once the empanadas are OUT of the oven, pop the casserole dish in and you’ve got some Mexican chicken spaghetti for another meal.