You can use any type or any combination of ground meat that tickles your fancy. The fattier your meat, the more tender your meatballs will be. I chose to use turkey because I enjoy leaner meals. If you use turkey like I did in this recipe, your meatballs will cook a bit quicker. Keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t overcook.
When I followed the recipe in the Tasty video, I found that my meatballs were very wet. I recommend dialing down the whole milk amount by 1/4-cup (the original recipe called for 1/2 cup of liquid). You can always add more if your mixture seems too dry. However, be mindful not to overwork your mixture.
A very important part of making a good meatball is to treat your meat gently. Man, that sounds weird, but believe me, it makes a difference. If you cook like I cook, once you get in that bowl with your bare hands, you want to keep mixing until the end of time. Be mindful – you want your mixture combined but if you mix for too long, your meatballs will be tough.
So try to show some restraint, will ya?
We gobbled these up for National Meatball Day. What a wonderful, glorious (random) holiday. Don’t wait until any sort of national day to make these. They’re awesome and you should make these immediately! This recipe makes about a couple dozen meatballs and fed us for multiple nights.
Slow Cooker Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs and Spaghetti
1 lb Ground Turkey
1 lb Italian Sausage
8-ounces Fresh Mozzarella
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 cup Italian-Flavored Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan
2 large eggs
1/4 cup Whole Milk
1/2 cup Parsley
64-ounces Tomato Sauce
Cut Mozzarella into 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside.
Using your hands (this is a requirement!, mix all ingredients together except for the Mozzarella, Tomato Sauce, and Pasta.
Line the bottom of your slow cooker with a layer of tomato sauce.
Form meat mixture into 1 1/4-inch meatballs. Stuff each meatball with a cube of mozzarella, reform into a ball, then place in the slow cooker. After you have made a layer of meatballs in your slow cooker, top with tomato sauce and repeat until all meatballs are formed and tomato sauce is used up.
Cook on high for 2 hours. Check meatballs for doneness. Continue cooking for up to 30 more minutes until cooked.
I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with a lot of love and warm memories. I am thankful for my friends and family who make every single day so joyous. I don’t know what I would do without you all.
Speaking of family, I leave to go home in less than a week! I am so excited to spend time with my loved ones again. It’s like an early Christmas present to me. I wish I could stay longer, but I am out of vacation time at work. Next year I will do better. Adding that to the list of resolutions…
My best friend is also pregnant and due in March. I want to plan a trip out to see her and her brand new baby too. How exciting is that? This person I grew up with, laughed over many glasses of wine, cooked many a meals with, is bringing a new life into the world. Wild! I love it.
Anywho, here’s a recipe to help you ease into your day. Lots of great protein, few carbs, and as a previous commenter mentioned, add some tomatoes or salsa for a great detox breakfast!
Scramble the eggs with the milk in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat a small, lightly greased pan to medium heat and add the eggs.
Add the turkey, veggies and stuffing and cook until the eggs puff up a bit and begin to cook on the underside (the outer edge of your eggs will be white). Sprinkle with cheese if you are using, then as carefully as possible, flip the frittata in half to create a half circle. Cover with a lid to finish cooking and ensure the inside of your eggs are cooked completely.
Shepherd’s pie is one of those sinful dishes – meat, potatoes and creamy broth. Definitely a dish that warms the soul. Of course, we couldn’t just have normal Joe blow Shepherd’s Pie. Been there, done that. We had to step it up a notch (okay, a few notches) and pack a sourdough bread bowl with Sheperd’s Pie inspired soup.
It’s been unseasonably cold already here. It’s a bit too soon for my taste, but it makes for perfect soup weather!
Don’t let the pictures fool you – the soup has a wonderful consistency. The broth can be made creamier if you prefer it that way too. Most of our broth soaked into the bread bowl immediately (mmmm) but that’s because I choose not to blend the potatoes and stock together this time around.
If you’re looking for something different to make on a chilly night, definitely try this soup!
Small bread bowls, tops cut of and insides gutted!
Chop the potatoes and put them into a pot with the stock. Bring the stock to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. If you would like a creamier texture to your soup, put everything in a blender at this point and blend everything together until smooth.
Cook the turkey in a bit of olive oil until no pink shows, about 8 minutes. Then drain any fat and set aside.
In the mean time, cook the carrots and onion for about 8 minutes. Add the celery and garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the cooked turkey and cooked vegetable mixture to the potatoes and stock. Add the frozen corn and peas. Mix, reheat and add salt and pepper, to taste.
Pour into a bread bowl shell, top with shredded cheese and serve in a large bowl. Enjoy!
Summer always makes me think of the fair. The sights and sounds of the ferris wheel, classic rock concerts and food stands galore! There is always an astounding variety of foods – wrapped in foil, served on a stick and deep-fried every which way. My favorites range from funnel cake to corn on the cob, but sometimes I just want to sink my teeth into a big hunk of meat and gnaw at a tasty bone. Here’s a recipe you can make at home for your own roasted turkey legs. This way you can get turkey and seasoning all over your hands and face and be in the vicinity of a sink.
In a pot, combine water with the salt, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon seasoning blend, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil then remove from heat. Allow to cool, then pour into a large container or bowl filled with ice. When mixture is cold, submerge turkey in the brine. Cover the container and brine in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours, more if you have time.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the dry rub ingredients. Remove the turkey legs from the brine and rinse them under cold water. Pat them dry. Rub the dry rub all over the turkey legs, getting under the skin when you can.
Roast on a baking sheet in the oven for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and roast for another 30-60 minutes, or until turkey is cooked through and the internal temperature is 180 degrees F. Baste occasionally with juices.
Remove them from oven, allow to rest for 5-10 minutes and enjoy!
Lettuce wraps are a favorite appetizer of many at restaurants. They are a light and refreshing way to enjoy a variety of fillings. I just can’t help but wrap my fingers around them!
I wanted to do something with ground turkey because of the lighter fat content, but I didn’t want to sacrifice any flavor. Because ground turkey is so lean, it can be very bland when cooked. I got this recipe idea off of a friend of mine (who’s baby just turned 1!). She made cheeseburger lettuce wraps that looked super delicious. I wanted to add an Asian/Hawaiian flare to mine, so I packed the turkey with loads of garlic, ginger, soy and hoisin to start then I added the big players: cilantro, green onion, sweet pineapple and some peanuts for texture.
This recipe is perfect for those of you who order lettuce wraps as an appetizer at restaurants but want a lighter version at home. I love the flavor profile that came out of this boring ground turkey, but feel free to come up with your own combination. Perhaps you’d like to try this with tofu instead of ground turkey. Let me know if you find a combination you fall in love with!
2-3 teaspoons chopped unsalted cashews (or peanuts) as topping
Mix cooked ground turkey with all ingredients except the pineapple, cucumber and nuts. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed (if it needs more salt, add more soy, if it isn't sweet enough, add a bit more hoisin, etc). Remove from heat and fold in the the pineapple and cucumber bits.
Spoon onto romaine leaves (you may need to double yours up so they don't fall apart)
Grilled Cheese month continues! And with the recent bout of cold weather, comfort food really hits the spot. Grilled cheese is always a favorite in this household. Even the cat loves to nibble off of our sandwiches. She has good taste.
I love the contrast of textures in this sandwich. The inside of the sandwich is soft and chewy while the outside is crispy and buttery. Plus the addition of Parmesan onto the buttered bread puts this sandwich over the top. I will absolutely keep doing this to grilled cheese sandwiches in the future! Why haven’t I done this before?!
Butter one side of each slice of bread. Sprinkle the Parmesan on the buttered bread. Place buttered sides of two bread slices in a frying pan. Bring pan to medium heat. Arrange a slice of mozzarella cheese, turkey, avocado, and a second mozzarella slice of cheese on bread slices, dividing evenly.
Arrange other slices of bread on sandwiches, butter side up. Cover pan with a lid and cook over medium heat until the underside of the sandwich is crunchy-golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Lift sandwiches, flip, cover and cook until second side is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes more.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Corned Beef and Cabbage this St. Patrick’s Day, give this recipe a try. This Shepherd’s Pie is lighter in fat than your average pie and jam packed with tender vegetables. The heaviest (and most unhealthy) part of this meal is the potato topping. You can lighten the fat content even more so by using butter or milk substitutes or even sweet potatoes as a topping instead.
I would make this dish any time of year, but it seemed appropriate given the Irish holiday that is right around the corner. To me, Shepherd’s Pie is the ultimate comfort food. Every bite is filled with meat and potatoes – everything a growing Irishperson needs. Let’s just pretend you and I are Irish for a moment. Thank you for your cooperation. Plus you’ll need something delicious to soak up all of the whiskey you’ll be drinking on St. Patty’s Day.
1 large tomato, seeded and diced (you can use some canned tomatoes too)
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Boil the potatoes in salted water and cook until fork tender. Drain the potatoes and place them back in the same hot pot. Add the butter, garlic powder, salt and pepper and mash. Add the milk and mix gently until creamy. Add more milk if necessary. Taste for seasoning then set aside.
Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Add a bit of olive oil and the ground turkey. Crumble and cook the turkey until browned. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
Remove all fat from the pan and add a bit more olive oil. Add the carrots and saute over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the celery and onion and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the peas, corn, and flour, and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the cooked turkey, Worcestershire, soy sauce, paprika, thyme, rosemary, tomato and broth, combine and bring to a low simmer. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Once the mixture is slightly thickened, pour the turkey mixture into a casserole dish (9x13 for a thinner casserole, or an 8-inch square for a thicker casserole). Top with potatoes and decorate if you'd like (some people scrape a fork across the top, others pipe their potatoes on. I personally just slather it on.) Sprinkle some paprika on top of the potatoes and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden brown.
To freeze: Follow directions up until baking, then cover tightly with saran wrap and aluminum foil. To reheat a frozen casserole: Thaw completely and bake, covered with aluminum foil, at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Remove the foil during the last 10 minutes of baking.
I absolutely love chicken tortilla soup and had a craving for it the other night. I only had ground beef in my freezer and decided to try The Country Cook’s Taco Soup recipe out to satisfy my craving. This soup turned out surprisingly tasty. It’s almost like a Mexican take on chili. Plus you just dump everything into your crock pot and forget about it until the smell drives you INSANE and you can’t resist eating a spoonful …or six.
The original recipe calls for ground beef but I think ground turkey is a fine substitute if you are looking to cut down on the fat. The spices will make up for the leanness (and sometimes blandness) of the turkey meat. I’m also tempted to try this with shredded chicken next time too. Yum!
If you’re looking to cut down on the heat, buy canned tomatoes without the green chiles. If you want added heat, add a dash of cayenne or a diced jalapeno to your pot.
In a pan, brown and crumble ground beef or turkey along with diced onion (season with a pinch of salt & pepper). Drain excess grease.
Put meat and onion mixture in slow cooker. Add in diced tomatoes, corn, pinto beans, beef broth and water. Stir in packets of ranch dressing mix and taco seasoning. Give it all a good stir and set on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Serve with toppings such as crushed corn tortilla chips, sour cream, Mexican cheeses and chopped green onion.
We’ve already had our first snow here in Colorado. The second I saw the white stuff on the grass I immediately knew it was soup season. All I wanted to do after that long day at the office was to cuddle up in my soft PJ’s and warm myself inside and out with some homemade soup.
I love the how beautiful colors of the red pepper, chives, carrots and celery shine in this soup. There is something absolutely comforting about these ingredients. Maybe it’s the vegetables, but I think the half-and-half and cheese are really what does it for me. Mmm… yep. The cheesier the better. That’s my humble opinion of course.
1 cup shredded cheese blend (I used colby/monterrey)
5 tablespoons cornstarch
Fill a large pot quarter of the way full with water and bring it to a boil. Add about a tablespoon of salt and boil the potatoes for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the potatoes to sit in the hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat a small pan to medium heat. Add a bit of olive oil and brown the ground turkey 80% cooked. Remove from heat and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots and saute for a few minutes. Add the browned turkey, corn, broth, poultry seasoning, red pepper, cayenne, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bring the contents to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard thyme and add the chives and cooked potatoes.
Taste test and adjust seasonings as desired. Add the milk, half-and-half, and shredded cheese. Stir until the cheese is completely incorporated into the soup. Pour some of the soup in a small bowl and add a tablespoon of cornstarch to the bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until the cornstarch is completely incorporated. Add the mixture to the soup pot. Keep repeating this step until the soup reaches the thickness you like. Serve hot with freshly baked bread.
I have a confession to make. I, Miss McBooty, am addicted to the Food Network. Yes I know, you’re asking yourself how am I any different than any other female blogger? Well I’ve noticed lately that every time I turn on my TV, the Food Network is on. And even though I’ve seen about 99% of all of the programming, I do not touch the remote.
Perhaps it’s time for an intervention.
Until that happens, I’m going to happily enjoy my time with Crazy Guy and Beautiful Giada and the absolutely charming Neelys and Blogger Ree and all of the other wonderfully talented personalities on the network.
Today’s recipe was inspired by Giada. Whenever I see her on tv, she charms me and lulls me to sleep, like a mother would to her young child. I feel completely comfortable when she speaks, and sleepy, almost like she is singing me a lullaby. Did I mention that her show makes me sleepy? I mean this in a good way – like a cuddle up in my PJs in front of a warm fire kind of way. I love how she puts her own Italian spin on everything, including these taquitos.
This recipe has a lot of great elements in it. Fresh veggies and low-fat turkey keep things on the lighter side too. I feel a little less guilty for devouring an extra one.
Plus the spices really take it up a notch (or two in my case). I recommend serving these taquitos with sour cream and freshly mashed avocado with a bit of sea salt, black pepper and garlic powder to cool off the taste buds. Yum!
1 small jalapeno, finely diced (optional/adjust the amount of seeds/membrane to your liking)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup mascarpone, at room temperature (8 ounces)
Eighteen 6 1/2-inch-diameter extra-thin or regular corn tortillas
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup shredded white or extra sharp Cheddar (4 ounces)
Serving suggestion: salsa, guacamole or sour cream
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Spray a heavy nonstick baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray.
For the filling: Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a 12-inch skillet. Cook the onions, jalapeno (if you are using it), salt and pepper, stirring frequently, until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the turkey and cumin. Cook until the turkey is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the beans. Mash the beans until smooth, using a fork. Stir in the mascarpone.
Place a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush each side of the tortillas with olive oil. Cook the tortillas in batches until warm, about 30 seconds. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the filling into each tortilla and roll up into a cigar shape. Place the tortillas, seam-side-down, on the baking sheet and sprinkle with Cheddar. Bake until the Cheddar is melted and the tortillas are crisp and golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve with salsa and guacamole.
If you’re anything like me, you were raised on good old-fashioned beef patties. There is something magical about the texture and rich flavor in a good beef burger. I am right there with you 100%.
Then there are those moments where I flounder. I find myself realizing that I need something other than red meat in my diet. So I satisfy that finger and mouth feel by making a turkey burger instead. Don’t expect to bite into turkey steak or anything here folks. This is a totally different animal (literally).
This recipe has made my Top 5 recipes of the summer. The fresh zucchini and carrot make this burger incredibly light and fresh. And the flavors are hardly lacking. Mister and I were licking our fingers dry after devouring these guys. And yes… that isn’t beef you’re seeing there.
A few things to keep in mind when you cook with ground turkey:
1. Use ground turkey that is a combination of dark and white meat if possible. White meat dries out a lot easier.
2. Do not overcook the turkey! Whether it’s ground turkey or a whole roasted turkey for Thanksgiving, there is a very fine line between cooked turkey and dry turkey. I steam my burgers as they finish cooking to help seal in moisture.
If you’re not convinced to try this fresh summer turkey burger, then at least convince your friend to make them and invite you over. Then all you have to do is bring the beer, watch and enjoy.
Salt and pepper, to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Slices of crusty bread, buttered and toasted
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
In a large bowl, combine the turkey, zucchini, carrot, garlic, egg, thyme, salt, pepper. Form the mixture into four to six patties. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the patties on one side until the bottom is fully cooked, about 3-4 minutes. Try not to manipulate them too much so they stick together nicely. Flip the patties over, add a touch of water to your pan and cover the pan with a lid. Allow to cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until there is no trace of pink remaining. Try not to overcook the burgers (it happens fast).
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and lemon juice. Serve the burgers on the toasted bread with lettuce and lemon mayonnaise.
I do not recommend grilling these particular turkey burgers because the patties can be fragile, depending on how your mixture turns out.
Happy belated Turkey Day everybody! I hope this post finds you (full and) well. At our celebration this year, we gorged on THREE different kinds of turkeys — smoked, deep-fried and traditional roasted. The holy trinity of turkey!
On top of that we had enough fixin’s to choke a horse (mind the expression). Even after everybody took their share of goodies home with them for leftovers, there is STILL a fridge full of food.
It’s been one turkey-filled weekend! I have had turkey for just about every meal this weekend… and that includes breakfast. I must add that pie is probably my favorite breakfast food. Don’t tell Aunt Jemima.
I am finding myself on the edge of full turkey saturation. I don’t know how much more I can take. It has been a fun adventure coming up with different ways to dress the leftovers to trick your brain into thinking you’re eating something different. Here’s a great breakfast to toss some of your leftover turkey into and an excuse to make Hollandaise Sauce too.
Thinking outside of the box: Instead of using English Muffins, make potato patties out of your leftover mashed potatoes. Take your cold potatoes and form them into patties. Dredge in flour, then egg, then flour again, and pan fry them in a little oil until crisp.
Bacon or parsley, for decoration (bacon is awesome but this dish is already very rich so I omitted using it in the actual dish)
Butter and toast your bread, cut side down, in a frying pan on medium heat (be sure to check these once in a while because if you're anything like me, they'll burn before you know it). Set these on your serving plates, cut side up, once they're toasted.
In a non-stick skillet, spray with non-stick spray and saute your spinach over medium heat. Add your turkey next to the spinach in the same pan to warm. Remove from heat and set aside after the spinach is wilty and the turkey is hot.
Fill a 10-inch non-stick skillet half full of water. Add vinegar to the cooking water (this will help the egg white cook fast so it does not spread). Bring water to a slow boil. Gently break 1 of the eggs into the water taking care not to break it. Repeat with remaining eggs. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook 3 minutes until the egg white is set and the yolk remains soft. Removed with slotted spoon, allowing the egg to drain.
To assemble, add the spinach first, turkey then egg on top of your bread. Spoon hollandaise sauce over the eggs and garnish. Serve with crispy hash browns or a mixed green salad.