Turkey Burgers

With just three weeks to the big day, you would think I’d be working on my to-do list. My wonderful fiance is out of town for work and my place feels so quiet. So what’s a girl to do but cook.

Last week, Jeremiah was craving turkey burgers so we pulled out some ground turkey from the freezer to thaw. This Patti LaBelle’s recipe is the best one I’ve ever eaten. Very most and lots of flavor.

IMG_0671Turkey Burger by Patti LaBelle
2 tsp. canola oil
1/8 c. minced onions
1 T. minced parsley
2 tsp. poultry seasoning
2 lb. ground turkey
1 large egg white
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. crushed stuffing
salt and pepper

Saute onions, parsley, and seasoning in heated oiled pan. Cool slightly and add to bowl with other ingredients. Grill and serve. Consider making a fat free mayo mix with cranberry jalapeno jelly. It really adds to the flavors in this dish.

Since we didn’t get it made before Jeremiah left, I decided I would cook another recipe with with the ground turkey. I found this one on Pinterest today. It’s OK in taste but fell apart on the George Foreman grill. If I make it again, I think I’ll add an egg white and maybe bake it to see if that helps it keep it’s shape.

FullSizeRender (2)Turkey Burger from Pinterest
1 lb. ground beef
1 avocado, mashed
1 chopped clove of garlic
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/3 c. panko bread crumbs

Mix ingredients together and grill.

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Turkey Tacos

Recently, a group was using our kitchen at work to teach a nutritious cooking class for daycare providers. The group leader invited me to sample some of their recipes. I really liked this tasty taco. It wasn’t too spicy and extra healthy with beans and sweet potatoes. Jeremiah and I used tortillas high in fiber so one taco really filled us up. We also served it with fresh guacamole and homemade tortilla chips.

Creative Commons photo by: John Liu

Creative Commons photo by: John Liu

Turkey Tacos by John Haddock
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 can white beans, drained
1 sweet potato, zucchini, or carrot grated
1 can low sodium diced tomatoes
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

Cook ground turkey over a medium heat. Add beans, veggies, and seasoning. Cook on medium for 20 minutes. Serve in a tortilla shell. Top with shredded cheese and any desired toppings (tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole, salsa, or sour cream).

Turkey Taco

Recently, a group was using our kitchen at work to teach a nutritious cooking class for daycare providers. The group leader invited me to sample some of their recipe. I really liked this tasty taco. It wasn’t too spicy and extra healthy with beans and sweet potatoes. Jeremiah and I used tortillas high in fiber so one taco really filled us up. We also served it with fresh guacamole and homemade tortilla chips.

Turkey TacoTurkey Tacos by John Haddock
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 can white beans, drained
1 sweet potato, zucchini, or carrot grated
1 can low sodium diced tomatoes
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

Cook ground turkey over a medium heat. Add beans, veggies, and seasoning. Cook on medium for 20 minutes. Serve in a tortilla shell. Top with shredded cheese and any desired toppings (tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole, salsa, or sour cream).

Turkey Club Casserole

Another great leftover turkey recipe. It’s like a turkey blt with pasta. I really liked the diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano seasoning.

Turkey BLT CasseroleTurkey Club Casserole from Pinterest
1 box whole wheat pasta ( I used penne)
1 (7 oz.) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano seasoning
1 c. diced turkey (or chicken if you don’t have turkey)
1/2 c. diced bacon
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
2 cans cheddar cheese
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper

Cook pasta and drain. Add all other ingredients and stir. Place in a 13 x 9 baking dish and cook for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Leftover Comfort Food

If you make a turkey for Christmas, here is a recipe I made using leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. If you don’t have turkey, I am sure you could easily substitute chicken. I thought it was delicious.

Turkey & NoodlesTurkey and Noodles from Pinterest
12 c. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. diced onion
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 lb. frozen egg noodles
1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. milk
4 c. diced turkey
3 large carrots

Heat broth to a boil. Add salt, onion, carrots, and pepper. Add frozen noodles and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook 10 minutes. Add flour and milk. Cook until juices are somewhat reduced and slightly thinned. Add meat. Cool slightly before serving.

Notes:

  • Freezer recipe – Just thaw and reheat at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
  • I used dry egg noodles. It worked just as well and was cheaper to purchase.
  • I used reduced sodium chicken broth. You could make your own with the leftover turkey bones. You could also use 2 parts broth/1 part water to reduce cost.
  • I used skim milk. It had to cook a little longer to thicken but it worked.
  • I used frozen carrots.
  • I add a couple of celery stalks. I think you could also had some spinach to this recipe.

Turkey Leftovers

Sure, who doesn’t love a traditional turkey dinner on Thanksgiving? In my family, that means both turkey and ham. My nephew prefers ham and my grandfather won’t eat bird meat. With six people eating this feast, it leaves a lot of leftovers. My question after eatting leftover for a day or two is: what else can I make with? Below is a recipe from the December2013/January 2014 issue of Taste of Home’s Simple and Delicious that my family will be trying.

Turkey cordon bleu

Photo from Taste of Home website

Turkey Cordon Bleu Casserole by Kristine Blauert
2 c. uncooked elbow macaroni
2 cans cream of chicken soup
3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. sage
2 c. cubed cooked turkey
2 c. cubed fully cooked ham
2 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. crushed butter flavored crackers (I’m using Ritz – they are Brock’s fav)

Cook macaroni (or pasta of your choice) according to the package directions. Meanwhile, mix soup, milk, Parmesan cheese, mustard, and seasonsing together. Add meats and mozerella cheese. Drain pasta and add soup mixture. Pour into a 13 x 9 pan and top with crackers. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Notes:

  • You can cover and freeze this casserole. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bake as directed.

Turkey Bacon Roll-up

During my most recent trip to Social Suppers, I made this super simple recipe. I’m not sure why it hadn’t occurred to me to make this on my own. Try it hot or cold.

Turkey Roll-upTurkey Bacon Roll-ups
ranch dressing
9 pieces of deli sliced turkey
6 tsp. shredded Cheddar cheese
6 tsp. cooked and diced bacon
3 tsp. scallions
3 flour tortilla shells

Layout three flour tortilla shells and squirt with a little ranch dressing. Top each with three slices of turkey, 2 tsp. cheese, 2 tsp. bacon, and 1 tsp. scallions. Roll-up in foil. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.

Notes:

  • This recipe can also be served cold.
  • Can be made ahead and frozen.
  • Substitute ham and Swiss cheese for change.
  • Slice into bite sized pieces to serve as appetizers.
  • Use wheat shells and low fat ingredients to make it healthier.

Turkey Crescent Roll Bake

I think this recipe came from a Pillsbury email around Thanksgiving time 2011. Always looking for something different to do with leftover turkey, I thought I would give it a try. Pretty simple and contains all the flavors you love of your Thanksgiving feast.

Leftover Turkey Crescent Bake
1 1/2 c. turkey cubed
1/2 c. turkey gravy
2 c. prepared stuffing
1 package of crescent rolls
1 c. cranberry sauce

In a large saucepan, mix stuffing, turkey, and gravy. Heat to boil over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Spoon into ungreased 13 x 9 pan. Separate crescent rolls into four rectangles. Place on stuffing mixture, leaving space for steam to escape. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Top with cranberry sauce before serving.

Nutritional Facts: (Makes 6 servings) 430 calories (160 from fat), 17 g. fat (5 g. saturated fat, 2.5 g. trans fat), 45 mg. cholesterol, 740 mg. sodium, 49 g. carbs, 1 g. fiber, 20 g. sugar, 19 g. protein.

Notes: Buy reduced fat and low sodium products, use all white meat, and omit cranberry sauce to make healthier.

Rosemary Au Jus

A couple of years ago, I won a free two night stay at the Marriott City Center Denver at my company holiday party. My sister and I took advantage of it with a long weekend trip the following November. We even met up with an old friend from a junior high camp and a college roommate. Steph and I had a blast visiting a candy factory, educating ourselves at The Denver Art Museum, shopping at a holiday mart at the Denver Botanic Gardens, attending a film festival, and sipping on libations at a wine festival. Plus, we met some of the friendliest people using the public transportation.

Although I can’t remember the name of the restaurant, I had one of the most amazing sandwiches of my life there. It was a turkey sandwich with a rosemary au jus (turkey version of French dip). It’s probably when I feel in love with the seasoning rosemary. I’ve searched the internet and haven’t been exactly able to recreate that dip but this recipe is pretty good. I’m going to give it to you with the turkey recipe but you can always just mix the ingredients with the dripping from however you cook your turkey this Thanksgiving on your stovetop.

Roasted Turkey Breast with Herbed Au Jus by Campbell’s Soups and Martha Stewart*
1 tsp. flour
1 plastic turkey oven bag
1 c. chicken stock
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. thyme leaves, crushed
6 to 8 pound bone-in turkey
1/2 tsp. paprika (optional)
1 can turkey gravy

Add flour to bag, close, and shake. Place bag in 13 x 9 baking dish. Add broth, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Add rinsed and paprika topped turkey to bag. Close bag with tie. Cut six (1/2 inch) slots into the top of the bag. Roast the turkey at 350 degrees for two hours, until meat is done. Let is stand for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Take leftover juices and mix with on can of gravy on the stovetop.

*Two websites list different sources.

Wisner Elementary School

I would say my first food service job was an unpaid position. I was a 6th grader at Wisner Elementary School when I started working in a kitchen. Our school district was a combination of Wisner Elementary, Pilger Elementary, and Wisner-Pilger Jr. – Sr. High School. The cooks at the high school made all our food and they shipped it in a van to the elementary schools to serve. We had two staff people who worked in the kitchen and the school nurse marked off our names as we walked through the lunch line. The school asked if 6th graders could help the kitchen staff serve the meals. Our role was simple, we usually placed dessert on the tray and passed it to the cooks to finish filling. The advantages to helping in the kitchen was you got to leave about 15 minutes early for lunch, your meal was free, and you were the first to get seconds. Whoever worked in the kitchen was the most popular 6th grader that day because everybody wanted to know what they had seconds of. The bad part was that they sometime ran out of food so you had to eat a hot dog instead. (Hope this brings back some memories for those of you who attended my school.)

Once a year, I recall them opening up the lunch room to our parents to join us. My mother decided to come one year when they were serving French fries because she didn’t believe us. We told her they were black on the outside and raw on the inside. My mother was shocked to learn we were correct about this particular food item. I guess that’s one way to get kids to stop eating fries.

I was a terribly picky eater as a child. My sister complains that I got to bring my lunch way too much because of it. I would usually call my dad at the station the night before I planned to take my lunch. Getting him to bring home a bag of Highland or Barrel of Fun chips was a very important component of my sack lunch. I took so many peanut butter and grape jelly sandwiches to school in my Strawberry Shortcake metal lunch pail. The best day was the last day of school because we crossed the street to Dinklage Park and had our picnic lunch over there. It was the one day my mother would let me bring a Hi-C juice box. I have no idea why it was so cool since it was directly across the street from my school and a block and half from my house.

I did have a few dishes that I just loved to eat at school: the hot dog, rainbow cake, French dip, homemade dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, and Salisbury steak. But probably my favorite dish was creamed turkey on mashed potatoes. I’m not sure if it was my favorite because we never really ate turkey at my house outside of holiday meals. Our elementary school also implemented this cool thing (I think when Ms. Pint was principal) where we made a Thanksgiving feast. I’m talking little kids peeling potatoes and older kids making pie from scratch. It was so much fun.

A few years ago, I started turning Thanksgiving leftovers into Creamed Turkey on Mashed Potatoes. Just this past year, I did it before I left my sister’s house. She said, “Oh I loved that dish in Elementary School. How do you make?” Guess what folks – it’s super easy!

Creamed Turkey on Mashed Potatoes

1 box of Betty Crocker Creamy Butter Mashed Potatoes
1 jar of turkey gravy
1 c. of chopped cooked turkey

Fill a small pot with gravy and chopped turkey. Cook at a low temperature until hot. Meanwhile, cook boxed potatoes according to instructions. When finished, put one serving of potatoes in a dish and top with gravy mixture. Voila!