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Tantalizing Turkey Burgers

20 May


I created these mouthwatering masterpieces in honor of National Burger Month.

Time: 30 minutes Serves: 4


  • 3 vine ripened tomatoes, cut into thick slices
  • olive oil
  • sea salt & black pepper, freshly ground – to taste
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I made mine fresh with gluten-free bread)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 4 slices yogurt cheese (from Trader Joe’s) or other mild white cheese
  • hamburger buns (I use Udi’s gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup bacon jam
  • 1 avocado, sliced

How to make it

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place tomato slices on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • Preheat lightly oiled grill or cast iron grill pan over medium-high heat.
  • Combine ground turkey, egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Mix just to incorporate. Divide into 4 patties. Pressing an indentation into the middle of each.
  • Place patties on preheated grill and cook for about 4 minutes on each side, or until an instant read thermometer reads 165F. Add cheese for the last minute of cooking, and cover grill/pan.
  • Spread bacon jam on bottom of each bun. Place burger on bun. Top with roasted tomatoes and sliced avocado.


Cottage Pie

30 Nov

Reading up on Cottage Pie vs. Shepherd’s Pie I learned that the former is traditionally made with beef while the latter with lamb. Both are quite similar beyond that, with veggies and a mashed potato topping. This is my version, in which I used neither (ground turkey).Whatever you want to call it, I hope you find it as appetizing as we did.

Time: 20 min prep, 20 min cook              Serves: 6


  • Potato Topping

  • 2 pounds baby yukon gold potatoes, cubed (or potato of your choice, peel if you want)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 tsp salt (or to your taste)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (or to your taste)
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Meat Filling

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey or chicken (may use beef as well)
  • 3/4 tsp salt (or to your taste)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (or to your taste)
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cup chicken stock, warmed (sub beef stock if using ground beef)
  • 2 tbsp AP flour

How to make it

  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Potato Topping

  • Place potatoes and garlic in a medium sauce pan. Cover with water, about an inch over top. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, about 10-15 minutes. (In the meantime, begin meat filling.)
  • Drain water. Add butter, cream cheese, and milk. Mash until creamy. Season with salt & pepper. Stir in chives. Set aside.
  • Meat Filling

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add carrots, onions, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender. Add meat and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned – breaking up as you go. Drain off excess liquid.
  • Turn burner to medium-low and return skillet to stove. Season with salt, pepper, and onion powder. Add parsley, tomato paste, and corn. Stir to combine.
  • In a cup or small bowl, combine stock and flour. Whisk until incorporated. Add to meat mixture and stir. Cook until just thickened.
  • Place meat filling mixture in bottom of a casserole dish. If you want a more shallow pie (as I did), divide between to 9-inch pie plates or similar. Top with potatoes, smooth to even out. Top with shredded cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Moist & Delicious Turkey Meatloaf

4 Oct

I had a friend over when I was starting to prepare dinner. She asked what I was making and I told her “turkey meatloaf with oatmeal”. Her face said what she didn’t have to, “yuck!” I guess it doesn’t sound that good but I knew I could make it taste good! I wanted to use oatmeal b/c I wanted to leave out the wheat gluten. I think soaking it in milk adds to the moistness, and work better than bread crumbs. Just my opinion.

Time: 30 min prep, 1 hour cook            Serves: 4


  • 1/2 cup ground oatmeal (gluten free) or breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 pound ground turkey or chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard + 1/2 tsp
  • 2 tbsp dry white wine
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • sea salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • Mrs. Dash original seasoning, to taste

How to make it

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Place ground oatmeal and milk into a small bowl to soak.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter and melt. Add shallots and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add garlic and cook an additional minute, stirring. Remove from heat. All to cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, combine ground meat, egg, oat & milk mixture, shallots & garlic, 2 tsp mustard, wine, lemon juice and parsley. Season with salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash. Mix well to combine.
  • Prepare a baking dish with cooking spray. Shape into loaf. Place in oven and bake for 50 minutes. Brush remaining 1/2 tsp of Dijon all over loaf. Return to oven and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Wait 10 minutes before cutting into meatloaf.

Buffalo Poultry Burger

23 Feb

I’ve been kicking this idea around for a while. They go together quickly and come out juicy and flavorful.

Time: 15 minutes             Serves: 4


  • Burgers

  • 1 pound ground turkey or ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 – 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • To Serve

  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 tbsp mayo
  • 1 tbsp ranch dressing or Bleu cheese dressing
  • 4 whole wheat buns
  • 4 slices provolone cheese/4 oz. bleu cheese crumbles/4 slices sharp white cheddar
  • 12 celery stalks, cut in half
  • 24 baby carrots or about 6 carrots peeled & cut into sticks

How to make it

  • Burgers

  • Combine ingredients in a bowl. Mix gently until just incorporated, do not over mix. Divide into 4 equal portions and form into patties.
  • Heat oil over medium in a skillet. Place patties in skillet and cook for about 5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear and patties are done through.
  • *Note: These may also be cooked on a grill or under broiler.
  • To Serve

  • Combine mayo with dressing of choice. Equally distribute mayo mixture on tops and bottoms of all 4 buns.
  • Place cooked burger on dressed bottom bun. Top with cheese of choice, followed by cabbage and bun top.
  • Serve with carrots & celery alongside.

Italian Wedding Soup

19 Jan

Hearty and comforting without being heavy, perfect to warm your belly and heart on a cold winter evening. This is my interpretation of an Italian-American classic. It takes some time but is well worth it.

Time: 1 hour+           Serves: 8+


  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 leek, well cleaned & trimmed – white and green parts only – cut in half & sliced
  • 4 cups small broccoli florets (about 1 average size head broccoli)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound/6 cups packed curly kale, roughly chopped
  • Parmesan rinds if you have them
  • 10 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2/3 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 1 cup small pasta (I used stars but orzo or Acini di pepe work well)
  • 1/2 batch Lemon Herb Turkey Meatballs (mini version)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • grated or shaved Parmesan cheese

How to make it

  • Heat oil in a large stock pot over low-medium heat. Add fennel and saute for 10-12 minutes until beginning to caramelize, stirring occasionally. Add leeks and continue to saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add broccoli, kale and Parmesan rinds (if you have them). Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until broccoli starts to turn bright green. Add minced garlic to the pot; season with salt, pepper & red pepper and cook stirring for 2-3 min. Pour in chicken stock to cover and add thyme. Bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer for at least 30 minutes but up to 1 1/2 hours. Remove thyme branches and Parmesan rinds.
  • About ten minutes before ready to serve, brown meatballs in about 1/2 tbsp each canola oil and butter for about 5 minutes. Add to soup pot and cook for an additional 6-8 minutes.
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions, it should take about 5 minutes.
  • Remove soup from heat and stir in lemon juice. Serve with a couple of spoonfuls of pasta and top with parsley and Parmesan.
  • *Note: Serves 8 1 1/2 cup entree portions or 12 1 cup appetizer portions.

Lemon Herb Turkey Meatballs

17 Jan

Light, zesty and fresh flavors make this a versatile recipe that can be used in many dishes.

Time: 20 min prep + chill & cook (depending on method)       Serves: 6+


  • 1.25 pounds ground turkey (85/15)
  • 3-4 small scallions chopped to equal 1/4 cup
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest (about half a lemon)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

How to make it

  • Combine all ingredients and mix gently just to incorporate.
  • Form into meatballs of desired size and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
  • For mini meatballs measure about 1 1/2 tsp and roll gently. For medium-large meatballs measure about 1 1/2 tbsp.
  • Yields 80 mini meatballs and serves 6 people 13-14 meatballs as entree portions/15-20 people 4-5 meatballs as appetizer portions.
  • Or:
  • Yields 27-28 medium-large meatballs and serves 6 people 4-5 meatballs as entree portions.
  • *Note: Be careful not to overwork meat when mixing or shaping in order to produce the best texture for light, fluffy meatballs.
  • Place cookie sheet in refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  • You may cook these in a variety of ways, one of which is to heat 1/2 tbsp each of canola oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat and pan fry meatballs for about 8 minutes, covered. Flip about halfway through until lightly browned and just firm (cooked through).

Spinach Stuffed Shells With Turkey Marinara

6 Jun

My first attempt at stuffed shells turned out very tasty. There are a lot of veggies in here and you can add more or alter to your liking. Also can use any other type of ground meat (or shredded/cubed chicken) or no meat at all.

Time: 15 min prep, 35 min cook     Serves: 6-8


  • Sauce

  • 1 batch Marinara Sauce or a 28 oz. jar of your favorite tomato-based pasta sauce
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, cut into chunks or slices (I used button)
  • 1 tbsp butter shopping list
  • sea salt & black pepper, freshly ground – to taste
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey (I used dark meat)
  • Shells

  • 1/2 box jumbo shells pasta
  • 7 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup Parmesan, grated – divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • sea salt & black pepper, freshly grated – to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes – to taste
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 cups baby spinach, rough chop & tough stems removed
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I used Italian 5-cheese Blend but mozzarella is fine too)

How to make it

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Sauce

  • Heat a skillet over medium and add 1/4 cup water. Add ground turkey and season with salt & pepper. Cook, stirring, until browned all over.
  • Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms. Season with salt & pepper. Cook, stirring, until tender & begin to release their own juices.
  • Pour sauce into a medium-large sauce pan. Using a slotted spoon, add browned turkey and sauteed mushrooms. Bring to a boil, stir, reduce to a simmer. Stir occasionally for about 5 minutes then remove from heat.
  • Shells

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop pasta and move around with tongs or a pasta spoon. Cook for 2 minutes under the time suggested on the box. Stir occasionally to be sure they don’t stick to each other or the bottom. Drain & set aside.
  • Meanwhile, combine Ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan, egg, lemon juice, seasonings, basil, and spinach. Mix well.
  • In a large casserole or baking dish, spoon half of turkey marinara sauce into bottom. Fill each shell with a spoonful of Ricotta mixture, just enough to fill it but not so it’s oozing out. Place into sauce covered casserole. Continue until all shells are filled and in the pan. Spoon remaining marinara over the shells evenly. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and top with shredded cheese and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan then return to oven for 3-5 minutes, until cheese is melted. If you’d like to have your cheese slightly browned, place under broiler for about 2 minutes. Let set for a few minutes before serving.

*You can make this ahead but do not bake, just cool and then cover and refrigerate or freeze.

Turkey And Spinach Pasta With White Wine Sauce

6 Jun

This terrific turkey dish is based off of one I found on Tasty Kitchen’s site by user Pretty.Good.Food. The sauce is creamy and flavorful without being heavy.

Time: 25 minutes       Serves: 4


  • 1/2 pound vegetable radiatore, or other short cut pasta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • sea salt & black pepper. freshly ground – to taste
  • crushed red pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey (I used dark meat)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated + more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup half & half

How to make it

  • Coat a large skillet with olive oil and heat over medium. Add onion, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 6-8 minutes or until onion is tender and begins to brown just slightly, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, bring salted water to a boil. Once it is boiling, drop the pasta and cook according to instructions. Drain. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water.
  • Add garlic to skillet and stir. Cook for another minute. Add turkey and cook until brown, stirring occasionally. Add wine and chicken stock. Mix well and allow to cook down for several minutes. Reduce heat to low and add spinach, tossing until it begins to wilt. Add nutmeg. Add pasta cooking water and half & half. Stir well and remove from heat.
  • To serve top pasta with turkey spinach mixture and be sure to spoon some sauce on it. Garnish with more Parmesan.