Tag Archives: turkey

Spaghetti and (Healthier) Meatballs

 Spaghetti and Meatballs

Who doesn’t love spaghetti and meatballs? It’s delicious, kid-friendly and it’s the ultimate comfort food. It’s definitely a favourite at our house. The recipe I usually make is one that I got from my mom, who got it from her friend, who got it from her grandmother many, many, many years ago. It’s one of the best spaghetti and meatball dishes I’ve ever had, so I’ve never really played around with the recipe. Why mess with a great thing, right? Last week, however, I felt like playing around with it just a little. I wanted to see if I could make a healthier, yet equally delicious meatball to throw in the sauce. Usually I use a combination of ground pork and ground beef, but to lighten it up, I chose to use ground turkey. I also added some chopped spinach to sneak some extra veggies into the kids. The experiment was a success. The kids ate the meatballs, spinach and all, and my husband actually said he preferred this verion to the original. So here it is, my updated, slightly healthier version of spaghetti and meatballs. I hope you’ll enjoy it, too!

Meatballs:

1 Lbs ground turkey

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 Cup grated parmesan cheese

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Cup fresh spinach, finely chopped

1/4 Cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley

1/4 Cup bread crumbs

salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients. Mix well and form into 1″ meatballs. Set aside.

Sauce:

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 lbs Italian sausage

1 Cup onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 Cup red wine

2 tbsp brown sugar

28 oz crushed tomatoes

1 tsp oregano

1 tbsp basil

3 bay leaves

2 tbsp fresh italian flat leaf parsley

salt and pepper to taste

1 box of your favourite spaghetti

Cut the Italian sausage into 1″ pieces. Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the sausage, onions and garlic and saute until the sausage is browned. Add the red wine. Then stir in the brown sugar, tomatoes, oregano, basil and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer. Add the meatballs to the sauce and continue simmering over low heat for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through.

Prepare spaghetti according to the package. Serve the meatballs and sauce over the spaghetti and top with fresh parsley. Serves 6.

 

 

 

 

 

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Apple and Sage Brined Turkey

Roast Turkey

With Christmas just around the corner, I spent some time this past weekend working on my menu for Christmas dinner. This is an event all on it’s own for me and it’s where my inner food geek really starts to shine through. Every year I get ridiculously excited dreaming up new ways to play around with my recipes. My one exception to that is my turkey brine recipe. The turkey is the centrepiece of Christmas dinner and I like to lavish a little extra love on it to ensure it turns out perfectly. I’ve kept the recipe the same for the past few years and it always turns out moist and flavourful. Why mess with a great thing? If you’ve never brined a turkey before, you should definitely give it a go. It’s one of those things that seems complicated, but really it only takes 15 – 20 minutes to throw together and the results are amazing. Basically, it’s a salt water solution, sometimes with a bit of sugar added. From there you can add whatever additional flavours you like. The trickiest part of the whole procedure is figuring out how or where to store your turkey while it’s brining. We have a turkey deep fryer so I usually use the pot from that, but you could use a cooler or buy a brining bag. Really, whatever works for you. Once you’ve brined, rinsed and patted your turkey dry, you can carry on with roasting it as you typically would. Continue reading

Turkey Meatloaf with Cranberry Sauce

With American Thanksgiving next week and Christmas just 5 weeks away (Yikes!), I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes lately to celebrate the season. I thought it was a perfect time to start working on some of the recipes I’ll be preparing this Christmas. I didn’t get to prepare a (Canadian) Thanksgiving dinner this year, as we went to my in-laws home, so I’m feeling a bit rusty. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway. I really just wanted an excuse to make and eat stuffing without roasting an entire turkey. With that in mind, I thought a turkey meatloaf would do the trick. I made the meatloaf using some of the flavours I usually include in my Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey; apple, sage and of course, cranberry sauce to finish it off.

It was delicious, even if the pictures weren’t the best. I was a little distracted by the other photographer in the room. My daughter sure likes to help make dinner, now if only she would eat it as well…….

 

Turkey Meatloaf with Cranberry Turkey Meatloaf w/ Cranberry and an extra photographer

Meatloaf:

1 1/2 Lbs ground turkey breast

3/4 Cup apple, diced

1/2 Cup shallot, diced

2 eggs, beaten lightly

3/4 Cup bread crumbs

1/3 Cup fresh sage, finely chopped

salt and pepper

 

Cranberry Sauce:

1 bag (340g) of fresh cranberries

1/2 Cup water

1/2 Cup maple syrup

2 cinnamon sticks

1 orange, sliced in rounds

 

For the meatloaf:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees farenheit.

In a mixing bowl combine the ground turkey, apple, shallot, sage, eggs, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Mix together until just combined. Place in a greased loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until cooked through. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

 

For the cranberry sauce:

While the meatloaf is cooking, combine the cranberries, water, maple syrup, cinnamon and orange slices in a sauce pan. Simmer over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes until thickened. Remove orange slices and cinnamon sticks before serving.

 

 

Curry Turkey Sliders

Curried Turkey Sliders

Every recipe starts out as an experiment for me. Often, I’m trying to see how healthy and flavourful I can make something and still have my kids eat it. I’m fortunate to be blessed with children that are not too picky. Although they both have things they won’t eat, they will usually try at least one bite of whatever I make. I think these sliders are an example of a recipe that really turned out (that doesn’t always happen). As a result, they’ve become a fairly regular meal at our house. I usually mix them up in the morning, so at dinnertime I just need to form and bake them. My son also loves to have them in his lunch the next day (cold). You can top them with whatever you like, my favourite is the Mango topping recipe I’ve added below and a few baby spinach leaves.

 

Sliders:

1 Lbs Ground Turkey

1 Cup Apple, grated (about 1 large apple)

1 1/2 Cups Cooked Quinoa

1/2 Cup Onion, finely diced

1 Egg

1 Tbsp Madras Curry

2 tsp Ginger, grated

12 Slider buns

Mix together the first seven ingredients until well combined. Let rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Then form the mixture into 12 sliders and bake for 20 – 25 minutes at 375 degrees, until cooked through.

Mango topping:

1 Mango, finely diced

1 Tbsp honey

1 tsp Cardamom

1/3 Cup Water

Mix together all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Cook over low to medium heat for 5 – 10 minutes until thickened.

Asian Lettuce Wraps

These lettuce wraps are my husbands favourite. I’ve been making them for several years now, but he still requests them for dinner almost every week. Enjoy!

1 lbs Ground Turkey

2 tbsp. ginger, minced

2 Cloves of garlic, minced

1 C onion, diced

1/2 C water chestnuts, diced

2 tsp Asian five spice

2 tbsp. Tamari (or other soy sauce)

2 tbsp. Hoisin sauce

1 tbsp. Honey

1 tsp Chili flakes (optional)

1 head of Butter lettuce (Iceberg or Romaine also work)

2 Carrots, julienned

1 Red pepper, julienned

1/4C Cashews, chopped and toasted

Heat oil in skillet. Add onion, garlic and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir in Asian five spice and cook for 1 more minute. Mix in Turkey and cook until no longer pink. Stir in Water chestnuts.

In a small bowl mix together Tamari, Hoisin sauce, Honey and Chili flakes (if using). Add to turkey mixture and cook until heated through.

To serve, spoon mixture on to lettuce leaves. Top with Carrots, peppers, and cashews.

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