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January 28, 2012

Goat Cheese Stuffed Turkey Meatballs

I've had a lot of different kinds of cheese in my fridge since Christmas, due to the fact that I won a couple of gift baskets, and I've been trying to find ways to use them up.



There was no way I wanted my Ile De France, Che'vre Fresh Goat Cheese, to have the same fate as the Gorgonzola, so I've been trying to get creative, without a lot of calories.

Well, this fit the bill. It was super delicious, easy and low in fat.

Here's what I did:

Once I had the turkey and seasonings mixed up, I formed it into golf ball size meatballs and placed them on a   foil lined baking sheet. With my finger, I made an indention about half way through and widened the opening slightly, then filled it with some goat cheese.

Once the meatballs where filled, I shaped them back up, kinda forming the turkey around the cheese some, to make them rounder, then drizzle with olive oil.

After the meatballs had baked in the oven, I nestled them into the chunky red sauce, I had prepared while they cooked.

Don't they look good? I served them with some Smashed Potatoes, 
which you can read a little bit about here.


Goat Cheese Stuffed Turkey Meatballs

1 lb ground turkey
1 egg
¼ cup milk
½ cup Italian bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ cup onion, grated or minced fine
½ tsp Italian Seasoning
1 garlic clove, use microplane or mince fine
2-3 oz of goat cheese

Sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
½ onion, chopped
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 15 oz cans of petite dice tomatoes
1 tsp basil
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oven to 400.

Mix together all ingredients except the turkey and goat cheese. Add the turkey and combine until mixed. Form into golf ball size balls and place on a baking sheet. With your finger or the end of a wooden spoon, make an opening ½ way into the meatball, open up slightly, and stuff with a chunk of goat cheese. Slightly round the meat back up around the cheese and drizzle meatball with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the meatballs cook; heat up a skillet, large enough to hold meatballs in a single layer, with olive oil. Add chopped onion and red pepper flakes and sauté until softened, then add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more. Add in diced tomatoes, basil, sugar, salt and pepper. Simmer 15 minutes.

 Remove meatballs from the baking sheet and nestle into tomato sauce; simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Serve with Smashed Potatoes. 

January 26, 2012

Grilled Teriyaki Tuna Salad

Salads for lunch are one of my favorite things. 

I eat them a lot, so I try to keep it interesting.


I found this one lone tuna steak in the back of my freezer and figured, yep, how perfect on a salad. Especially if I caramelize some Teriyaki sauce on the outside.

Then I took it one step farther, and mixed up a Teriyaki dressing to drizzle over it. 
All I can say is, wow...so good. 

The salad is just made with whatever lettuce and vegetables you want. 

I didn't measure the dressing as I made it, but I think I got the measurements pretty close. 
Just do whatever tastes good to you.




Light, healthy and bursting with flavor.


Grilled Teriyaki Tuna Salad

Grilled Tuna Steak
Teriyaki sauce for cooking steak
Romaine
Red Pepper
Cucumber
Green Onion
Toasted Sesame Seeds
Garlic Teriyaki Dressing

For the dressing:
1 small garlic clove
1 heaping tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp teriyaki sauce, I used Kikkoman
2 tsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
Pepper
Pinch of salt, if needed

Heat skillet on medium heat; add olive oil. Season tuna steak with salt and pepper; add to skillet. Cook on first side for 4-6 minutes. Just before it’s time to flip over, lift it up and drizzle some bottled  teriyaki sauce under it, set it back down and let the sauce caramelize. It only takes a minute. Turn the steak and repeat procedure. The steak should still be pink on the inside. How pink is up to you.  Don’t overcook it or it will get tough.  Cool slightly, cut up and add to salad and drizzle with dressing. Finish it off with some toasted sesame seeds.

For the dressing: use a microplane for the garlic. If you don't have one, make sure you mince it fine and give it a couple smashes with your knife. You want it to mix well through out the dressing. Next, just add in the rest of the ingredients, whisk, and enjoy.

January 24, 2012

Oven Baked Brown Rice


I came across a new blog yesterday called Small Bites and found this recipe for oven baked brown rice.

She was commenting on how she likes to keep prepared brown rice in the fridge to snack on, and as it happens, so do I. It's healthy and delicious. Great to have around for a last minute meal, too.

Anyway, she went on to say that this is how it is prepared at the restaurant she use to work at, and you get the perfect consistency every time.

Sounds good to me so I had to give it a try. She was right. It turns out fluffy rice with a great texture. You can also add what ever flavors and seasonings you want.

I added onion, red pepper and pepper flakes, with fresh parsley after it was cooked.

I also cooked mine in beef broth, which gives it that extra bit of flavor.


My favorite way to snack on it is with just a drizzle of a really good balsamic vinegar.

Yummy!!


Baked Brown Rice

1 Tablespoon butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 bay leaf
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 cups long grain brown rice
3-1/2 cups beef broth

Preheat oven to 375F

In the bottom of a Dutch Oven or heavy pot with a lid, melt butter and oil together over medium heat.

Add onion, red pepper, bay leaf and pepper flakes; add a pinch of salt and pepper; cook for 1 minute.
Add rice, stir well to combine, and toast together for 2 minutes.

Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Stir the rice once, then cover and place in the middle of the oven.
Bake for 40 minutes, then remove from oven, and let sit, covered, for an additional 10 minutes.
Fluff rice with a fork, taste for seasoning, and serve.


January 23, 2012

Turkey Feta Meatloaf with Chipotle Glaze


I don't know about you, but I've become particularly fond of ground turkey.

I first started using ground turkey because it's a healthy alternative to beef, but now, 
it's because I just really enjoy the taste of it. 

I enjoy the  Turkey Feta Burger I make a lot, so I figured, why not a meatloaf. 
And that's how this happened. 


(Nice pan, right?) I covered the meatloaf with a simple Chipotle Glaze. 
All that goes into that is a few tablespoons of ketchup mixed with 
about a tsp of chipotle puree. 

Chipotle puree is something I keep in my fridge at all times. 
It's exactly as it sounds. I just puree a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in my food processor, and there you have it. Covered in the fridge, it keeps pretty much indefinitely. 

I mix the puree with mayo, lime juice and some salt and pepper, and serve it has a 
spread for lots of different kinds of burgers, fish tacos and sandwiches. 


In fact, that's the way we ate this meatloaf. 


On buns with some of the chipotle/mayo spread I just talked about.  

Look at the feta, onions and peppers in this. So moist!!

I think adding dill pickle slices and some thinly sliced red onion would be really good.


Doesn't look like much but the flavor is out of this world. 
I would actually toast my bun with a little butter next time, but either way....delicious!

Turkey Feta Meatloaf with Chipotle Glaze

2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup red pepper, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 lb ground turkey
2 eggs
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup Feta Cheese

Chipotle Glaze
3 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp chipotle puree

Heat oven to 350*.

Heat a skillet with 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion, red pepper, garlic and red pepper flakes until softened. Turn off stove and slightly cool.

With a fork, beat eggs and next 6 ingredients (not turkey) in a large bowl. Add turkey and reserved onion mixture. Using hands, mix just until combined; add feta and gently mix together. Put mixture into a 8x5 loaf pan and pat to smooth.

Mix 3 tbsp of ketchup and 1 tsp of chipotle puree and spread over top of turkey loaf.

Cook for 1 hour.


January 21, 2012

Skillet Cornbread



This is the corn bread I ended up serving with my Chicken, Sausage and White Bean Chili.

I'm sure my cornbread recipe isn't that much different from any of the other 1000's out there, 
but it is simple and pretty much no-fail. Always turns out delicious.


                                              It also has a great crumb which I really enjoy. 
                    It's not too bready or too cornmeally. Pretty sure those probably aren't real 
                                                 words, but descriptive just the same.


Great crust too.



Skillet Corn Bread

¼ cup butter, plus 2 tbsp
1 cup corn meal
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1 egg

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat a 10” cast iron skillet over medium heat and melt 2 tbsp butter.

Mix together corn meal, flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. In a 2 cup liquid measuring cup, mix together buttermilk and milk. Add egg and beat together with a fork. Pour into flour mixture and stir just until combined. Melt 1/4 cup butter and stir into cornbread mixture. 

Pour into the heated skillet and bake in oven for 20-25 minutes. 

January 18, 2012

Chicken, Sausage and White Bean Chili


I've had the hardest time lately, actually since the first of the year, wrapping my head around my menu planning. It seems harder that usual for some reason. But, if this recipe is any indication, 
I think the struggle may be over!

Yesterday I made this chili. It turned out so good. 
It's kinda like White Chili or Green Chili, but not.

I used Rotel tomatoes and green taco sauce (tomatillo sauce) in it, 
and served it up with some Skillet Cornbread. Really tasty. 
All the family thought it was a huge hit. 
Definitely a keeper.

Personally, I felt near perfection was achieved.
You really should give it a try for yourself.




Chicken and Sausage White Bean Chili

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 boneless chicken breast halves, diced
14 oz Turkey Smoked Sausage, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin
½ tsp chili powder
3 large bay leaf
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Dash cayenne pepper
2 cans (about 16 ounces each) Great Northern Beans, drained
1 1/2 cups tomatillo salsa, I used Ortega Green Taco Sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1 10 oz can Rotel (tomatoes and green chilis)
½ cup beer
Toppings of your choice

Preparation:
In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, diced chicken, sausage and garlic; stir to coat. Add the cumin and the next 5 ingredients; sauté until onions are tender and chicken is cooked through. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, 20-30 minutes.

Finish it off with toppings of your choice. I used a little white and cheddar cheese, some raw onions, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.

January 16, 2012

Chicken Artichoke Mozzarella Sausages with Peperonata



I've wanted to try these Chicken Sausages for a while now, but never got them on my grocery list or thought about it at the store, until the other day. I ended up fixing them for us to eat during play-off games Saturday.

I know there's several different flavors out there, but these are the ones that I came across.

Since the flavors kinda scream Italian, I thought, "Why not top them with a Peperonata of sorts?", so I did, and it was good. Really good.

Here's what I did:

I sauteed up some red peppers, onion, salt and pepper in a skillet, heated up with a little bit of olive oil.

Once they had started to soften I added a couple cloves of garlic, some Italian seasoning and a few cherry tomatoes I had sitting around. I probably added about 8-10 of them, quartered length wise, then sauteed it for another 5-10 minutes.

When it was done, this is what it looked like. IKR!

I cooked them in a little bit of water, flipping once. 

Once the water had evaporated, I added a drizzle of olive oil, rolling the sausages around to coat, and continued to cook for some nice color on the outside.

Like this!

Then I just placed them on a toasted hot dog bun, topped it with some spicy brown mustard and piled on the peperonata. It was really delicious. After the photo, I actually piled more of the peppers on and ate it with a fork, they were that good and went perfect with the sausage.

Next time I think I may use sub rolls, that way I could eat all the peppers I wanted and they would hold up a little better. Either way, huge hit.

January 14, 2012

Basil and Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed French Bread


I don't know if you remember me telling you about this bread, but I am finally getting 
around to posting it. Not that there's a lot to say about it.

It's a definite short cut and takes very little effort. That being said, the entire family 
loved it and it was perfect paired with the Turkey Paprikash.

I don't even have a recipe, per say, but I can tell you what I did.



I took a can of Pillsbury French Bread out of the fridge and flattened it out some. 
It actually would have been rolled out a bit more if I would have let it come to room temperature but I was too impatient to wait, so this was as rolled out as it got.


Then I spread it with basil pesto and chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Mine were 
oil packed so I dried them off really well before I chopped them up. 
Also, make sure you leave room on all sides to seal it back up.


Next I just rolled it back up, pinching the seams and tucking under the ends. 
Sorry about the pictures, I'm using a new lens and have not figured out the settings 
yet. Plus, my kitchen walls just suck the light out of my kitchen but 
perhaps I'll complain about that another time.


I baked it on my stone following package instructions.


I also put several shallow slits along the top prior to baking.


And, waalah.....very tasty and effortless!


Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.

January 12, 2012

Chicken Paprikash

This was delicious.


I made it last night for supper, and served it over smashed potatoes. YUMMY!

Major bonus----> It's low in fat and calories. Not so much for the pesto and sun-dried tomato stuffed french bread I served with it. Tell you more about that later. The only way it could have been easier, is if someone else made it.

Anyway, here's all I did:

After coating the chicken with the flour/paprika mix (save remaining flour/paprika mix for later), brown it on both sides, remove and set aside.

Saute up the veggys.

Add the chicken broth and the reserved chicken, cover and simmer until cooked.
At this point you would add the sour cream that you mixed with the remaining flour/paprika mix and cook until thickened, which I don't have a picture of. 

Serve over "Smashed Potatoes". It's just that simple.



Chicken Paprikash

1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup flour
2 tbsp of sweet Hungarian paprika
½ tsp of marjoram
Salt and pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 cups chicken broth
½ cup sour cream, (I use light)
Fresh parsley, chopped

Heat a heavy skillet and add 2 tbsp olive oil.

Mix flour, paprika, marjoram with a little salt and pepper. Cut chicken into 3 inch pieces, dredge in flour/paprika mixture (save leftover mixture), and brown on both sides (I like to give my chicken a light seasoning before I coat in the flour, careful not to over salt). Remove and set aside.

If needed, add more oil to the skillet along with onion, red pepper, bay leaves, and garlic. Saute for 3-5 minutes. Add chicken broth, bring to a simmer and add back in chicken pieces. Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked, apprx. 8-10 minutes.

Stir left over flour/paprika mixture into sour cream and add to the skillet, gently mixing in with a whisk. Simmer until thickened and flour is cooked, about 3-5 minutes.

Serve over buttered egg noodles or smashed potatoes (which is what I did). Yum!

NOTE:  For the smashed potatoes, just cut 4-5 washed potatoes into 1 inch chunks. Cook in salted water until tender. Drain and add about ½ can of evaporated milk (2% and fat free would work too). Using a potato masher, smash to desired consistency; season with salt and pepper and add more milk if desired. Using a can of condensed milk gives the potatoes a creamy and rich flavor without all the fat and calories of butter or cream.

January 10, 2012

BBQ Smokies


I don't think things get much easier than these BBQ Smokies, and I can't remember ever having come across anyone who doesn't enjoy eating them.

Simple and delicious, with just a few ingredients that you just throw in a pot, simmer and devour. And that's usually how they "get gone", yes, I said "get gone",,,,,,by being devoured.


Just throw the entire package, or 2 or 3, in a pot or skillet. I like to get a 
little color on mine before I add the sauces.


And here's the line-up. These 3 simple ingredients make the best 
BBQ sauce for these little nuggets of goodness. 


Give them a good simmer to thicken up the sauce,,,,,

and done. Easy easy easy, and scrumptious. Oh, I almost forgot to mention, 
I lightened things up by using the turkey smokies. I think they're just has good as the beef, 
and nobody ever knows the difference.

The measurements I used for the sauce is:  1/4 cup of the Chipotle BBQ Sauce, 1/4 cup of the jam (grape jelly works well too), and 1 cup of the KC Masterpiece. I've found that's a pretty good ratio for a crowd, but if you want it spicier just adjust the ratios. 


January 5, 2012

White Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti


I hope everyone had a great holiday season. I know I did.

My anniversary is on New Years Eve, so the hubby and I rented a cabin up above Gatlinburg. It was so cool! We had a great time strolling the shops in town, seeing all the Christmas lights and eating wonderful food. The cabin was perfect. Hot tub on the deck, with the best view ever, and lots of privacy ;). Great time!!!! It may just turn into a tradition.

Back in the real world, I'm having such a hard time getting into the swing of things. In fact, one of the reasons I made these was because they're easy....and really good of course.

Biscotti is such a great treat to have around to eat with your morning coffee or tea, or anytime really. I had my grandkids over while I made them, and my 4 year old couldn't get enough.

 I really like this recipe because even though they have a touch of sweetness to them, they're not overly sweet. About half the sugar other recipes like this use. Great texture too. You definitely need to give them a try.



 I have high expectations for this year and think it's going to be the best one yet.


White Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti


2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup white chocolate chips (plus more for drizzling)
1 egg white



Preheat oven to 350*.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs and extract. Add flour mixture, then cranberries and white chocolate chips. 

Divide dough in half. Shape each into 2 1/2" x 9" x 1" high logs. Whisk egg white until foamy. Brush on each log. Bake 30 minutes. Cool slightly.

Slice diagonal into 1/2" slices. Remove parchment from baking sheet and arrange slices cut side down on baking sheet. Cook 8 minutes. Turn over and cook 5 minutes more. Cool. Drizzle with white chocolate.

Can be frozen in airtight container.