Back to School Lunch AND Dinner…Turkey Patties

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I’m back, Bitches!!!  So says school.  Well it’s about time muttered EVERY parent EVERY where.  Time to start thinking about lunches and dinners on the fly.  These yummy turkey patties fit the bill.  So technically they’re kid-sized sliders, but we eat them all kinds around here.  Yeah, sometimes we slap cheese and buns on them and serve with some kettle chips, sometimes we go with a basic rice or leafy green salad…and sometimes we simply eat them with our bare hands…dipping away at a table buffet full of condiments–think ketchup, mustard, sriracha, et al.  They’re versatile: easy to pack up in a lunch or reheat for dinner.  Oh and good Mommy bonus…I pack ‘em full of vegetables that not a small person will say boo to.  Veggies 1 vs. Kids 0.

RECIPE

  • 1 lb of lean ground turkey breast
  • 2 teeth of garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon of Lea & Perrins
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 small zucchini finely chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 F bake.  In a large bowl, add all ingredients and mix together well–the egg binding everything.  Form little “meatballs” and flatten with your palm.  Heat oil in pan on medium flame/setting.  Add patties and thoroughly sear on each side. Remove patties and place on cookie sheet.  Place cookie sheet in oven and cook for an additional 20-25 minutes.

 

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Empanada Mama

chicken emps

empanada

 

red pepper

finely chopped red pepper, white and green onion

 

open empanada

Add about 1 heaping tablespoon of meat filling to each disc

fold

fold stuffed (outer edges moistened with water) disc over into a crescent shape and press down to seal

fork empanada

strengthen seal by pressing fork down on closed edges

braid

scrunch edges together with your fingers and fold crimps slightly over each other

Though this post should really be called “FEED ‘YO MAN!” as Father’s Day is next Sunday.   Besides miraculously being transformed into a childless, well-rested, rich, single professional athlete, I can’t imagine anything Dads would like more on their one allotted day than to be left alone for a bit and a basketful of warm and perfectly flaky empanadas.   Carbs and man caves (in our case, it’s the bathroom with the door shut)–of course–follow a close second to athletic prowess and supermodels on yachts.  But, hey, chin up, Pops:  We got you some chimichurri too!  These are deliciously easy chicken empanadas.  A simple recipe passed down to me years ago from my dear Argentinean friend and neighbor.  Coincidentally, I like to sing loud wail-y ballads from Evita while I crank out this yummy pockets…but only because it’s Father’s Day, I’ll sing silently in my head, Babe.  xoxoxox

Chicken Empanadas

Makes approximately 20 

Preheat oven to 400 F Bake

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 lb of boneless skinless chicken breast

1 red pepper, finely chopped

1/4 onion finely chopped (yellow or white)

handful of green onions, finely chopped

3 teeth of garlic, chopped

handful of parsley, finely chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 a jar of pitted green olives, chopped

1 egg (for pastry wash)

2 packets (of 10) empanada discs (found in most grocery frozen food sections)

Directions

Remove frozen empanada discs from freezer and leave thawing on counter.  Heat olive oil in saute pan.  Add  minced chicken and cook thoroughly until browned.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Remove cooked chicken from pan.  Still on medium/high heat, add chopped red pepper, green/white onion and garlic. Add additional salt and pepper, if desired.  Saute until soft and translucent. Return cooked chicken to pan and add chopped handful of parsley.  Heat and mix thoroughly.  Remove from heat and add chopped green olives.  Let cool to a warm.  Remove discs from package and place on cutting board surface.  With plain water, run wet finger around rim of disc.  Add 1 heaping tablespoon of chicken filling to center of disc.  Fold disc over to crescent shape and press shut.  To firmly secure seal, use a fork to further press down.  Push pieces of disc rim together with your fingers, creating small crimps.  Fold crimps over one another to make a braid-like pattern.  Line empanadas up on non-stick baking sheet (I like to use Silpat).  Using 1 beaten egg and a pastry brush, paint egg mixture on tops of empanada dough covering.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and slightly puffed.  Serve at room temperature.

 

 

 

 

 

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Tostada To A Tiny Tush

Tostada Yum

End of the holiday season, end of my early January snow bird fleeing flight out west to basically imbibe and eat…a lot.  5 extra pounds later to shift around spandex-ed stretched leggings…enough is more than a bad Jennifer Lopez movie…it really is enough…I need to put a quick kibosh on the winter rear expansion.   I’m not one of those gals that can effortlessly crank up the ol’ dusty $300 juicer and stoically live solely off of vegetable innards for days on end.  I need to chew, dammit…and not nervously grimace when I swallow either.  What works for me is the 5 On, 1 Free-ish, 1 Free Day Model to blubber checking.   It goes like this:  for 5 days you abstain from alcohol, sugar, wheat and red meat (minimal dairy permitted).  You may still moderately eat rice and potatoes…i.e. one serving at dinner and lunch.  1 day per week you can add a moderate dose of something on the no-go 5 day a week list, i.e. a glass of wine, a small dessert, a serving of pasta or bread.  Finally, you have 1 day to eat whatever you want…meaning a serving (or two) of the forbidden 5 day foods/drinks at each meal…this could mean you indulge in pancakes and syrup for breakfast, a bready sandwich at lunch, a plate (or two) of pasta and dessert at dinner–with a couple glasses of wine.  This is a reasonable plan that food worshippers like myself can coexist with.  You still get to enjoy great food but with a grounded consciousness of what you’re putting into your temple.   As for exercise, awesome if you can incorporate a consistent routine into your schedule, but as a lazy New Yorker and Mommy of two, I get my fitness primarily from chasing after my two wee ones and walking around my hood.   The next few blog posts will feature delicious, filling and reduced calorie meals that adhere to the 5 Day On guidelines.  Below are my jammin’ Turkey Tostadas.  Fresh and tasty, they hit the spot.  They are also easily adaptable to healthily feed the kids as well.  I just omit the spice factor.

TURKEY TOSTADA

Turkey Chipotle

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 lb. of ground lean turkey

2 tablespoons of Lea & Perrins

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of onion powder

6 tablespoons of water

1/2  juiced lemon

1/2 pack of Casa Mexicana Chicken Chipotle Tacos-Tacos de Tinga Mix Pack...this is NOT a sponsored post.  I happen to love this brand of spice seasoning.  They are all natural, food coloring and MSG free.  I easily find the packs at WholeFoods but you can also check out their website at www.casamexicanafoods.com  You can also substitute their Chicken Fajitas Mix Pack.  Good stuff.

For a kid friendly ground turkey filling, omit season packet and reduce water to 3 tablespoons.

Kid friendly spice free version

Heat skillet and add olive oil.  Mix in ground turkey and add the next 5 ingredients.  Brown and thoroughly cook.

Delicias Corn Tostadas

clock in at just 54 calories a tostada and 2 grams of fat

if Tostadas are not your thang…you can substitute with a corn tortilla which generally run 50-60 calories per serving with around 0.5 fat grams.   The point is to use corn product as opposed to flour.

Pico de Gallo

6 roma tomatoes chopped and diced

1/4 cup of chopped cilantro

1/2 cup of chopped yellow or white onion

2 serrano chiles (I like the heat, so I chop mine with seeds–but you can always de-seed and de-membrane to reduce spice quotient)

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar

1/2  juiced lemon or one entire lime juiced

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

Guacamole

1 Haas avocado

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/2 lemon juiced

1 teaspoon of sour cream

salt and pepper to taste

Toppings

shredded Romaine or Green Leaf Lettuce

shredded Mexican cheese

Assembly Directions

Plate tostada and add a tablespoon of guacamole and spread evenly.  Add turkey mix and top with shredded lettuce.  Add a heaping spoonful(s) of the pico de gallo.  Finish with a light sprinkling of shredded cheese.  For the kids’ modified version, I omit the lettuce (my kids not so much into the lettuce) and spicy pico de gallo and go with the spice free ground turkey that I prepare first in the same skillet used for the spiced adult turkey mix.

Buen Provecho!

 

 

 

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Eat, Love, Curry

Okay, okay…peeps actually from India (and not merely the Eat Pray Love Ashraming variety), you might want to avert your eyes now–as this is not the most authentically legit curry.  Though, it is a tasty one nonetheless.  Growing up partially in Kenya (with its sizable Indian population), I acquired an early taste for spice driven food with a kick of heat to it.  Compound that biographical tidbit with another, I also happen to have married a Mexican who, with an obvious and innate love of the picante, also spent some time in India (Marketing, not Ashraming, FYI).  Suffice to say, we love curry in these here parts.  So much so, we are making it one of our more serious parenting missions to condition our kids to love the spice and bite.  We will consider ourselves failed human beings if we do not succeed.

 

Eat, Love, Curry

1 lb of chicken breast (chopped in squares)

1 6 oz container of plain yogurt

1 whole lemon (juiced)

 

4 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil

2 large russet potatoes (peeled and roughly chopped)

3 carrots (peeled and roughly chopped)

1 onion (finely chopped)

3 teeth of garlic (chopped)

2 tablespoons of fresh finely chopped ginger

1/4 cup of cilantro (chopped)

 

1 packet of Arora Creations Organic Chicken Tikka Masala Spice Blend

1 teaspoon of dry ground coriander

2 teaspoons of turmeric

3 tablespoons of tomato paste

 

1 13.5 oz can of coconut milk

1 14.5 oz of tomato sauce

1 cup of water

 

1/2 cup of frozen peas

salt and pepper to taste

 

garnish with chopped fresh serrano chiles

 

Marinate chopped chicken breast in container of plain yogurt, lemon juice and 1/4 Arora Spice Blend.  You can do this a few hours before or a few minutes before depending on your timeframe.  Either way, it is delicious.

In a large pot, add 2 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil and heat on medium.  Add garlic, ginger and onions and lightly saute with 1/4 of  Spice Blend. Mix In chopped potatoes and carrots.  Saute for 2 minutes more.  Remove everything from pot and place to side in small bowl.  Add 2 more tablespoons of oil and heat then add chicken marinade to hot pot.  Lightly brown.  Return previously sauteed vegetables to pot and add can of coconut milk (shake can well before opening and adding), can of tomato sauce and 1 cup of water.  Mix in remainder of Spice Blend and add turmeric, ground coriander and tomato paste.  Bring to a boil and then cover and let simmer for 45 minutes.  At the 40 minute mark, add freshly chopped cilantro and frozen peas.  Salt and pepper to taste.

This can be served over a plate of Basmati Rice and served with store bought Naan Bread.  Add optional fresh chili garnish to top.

 

 

 

 

 

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I Heart Mammals Turkey Chili

Burrr, it’s cold out there.  When the thermostat drops, I, personally, like to feed my numb, round face hot and spicy bowls of this good stuff: Turkey Chili.  It’s turkey chili because I–currently (check back with me in 6 months)– don’t eat mammals.  Giving birth and nursing for almost 4 years–calm down, back to back kids (you can now erase the scary image of the Newsweek tribute to vertical breastfeeding from your minds) has given me a slightly higher sense of consciousness concerning my fellow lactat-ers.  I’m aware you could easily make the whole chicken (or turkey) and an egg argument here.  Therefore, If you so enjoy, feel free to substitute any other yummy mammal (i.e. pork or beef) in place of the turkey.  No judgments…unless you’re a heartless carnivore and throw some ground veal in…that said, I might still eat it…as long as we don’t talk about it.

This is a super easy recipe.  I use canned beans and tomatoes. I also pick up a chili seasoning pack.  I like the Spicy Simply Organic brand (available at Whole Foods), but you can use whatever might be available at your local grocer and what hits your own heat quotient.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of olive oil

4 teeth of garlic chopped or pressed

1 large shallot chopped

1 lb of lean ground turkey

1 tablespoon of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce

1 teaspoon of onion powder

small dash of cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of seasoning salt

dash of pepper

1/3 cup of chopped cilantro

Simply Organic chili pack

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

1 can of tomato sauce (15 oz)

1 can of diced tomato  (15 oz)

1 can of kidney beans (drained) (15 oz)

1 can of black beans (drained) (15 oz)

1 regular can or bottle of beer

Toppings

organic sour cream

organic shredded mexican blend cheese

chopped green onions

Cooking Instructions

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add chopped garlic and shallot to saute.  Add ground turkey, Worcestershire sauce and brown thoroughly.  Mix in onion powder, cinnamon, seasoning salt and pepper.  Add chopped cilantro. Blend in chili pack and add canned tomato sauce and canned diced tomatoes.  Stir in beans.  Add tomato paste and can or bottle of beer.  Bring to a boil and then cover and let low simmer for 45-60 minutes.  Top with sour cream, shredded cheese and green onions.

 

 

 

 

 

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