TURKEY MEATLOAF

Here I am to share another recipe that tasted wonderful but would not be invited to participate in a Beauty Contest. Meatloaf is not easy on the eyes but this one in particular was a showstopper for the taste buds. Lower in carbs than most versions, because it relies on almond flour instead of breadcrumbs. Quite loaded with veggies. We both gave enthusiastic thumbs up, so ignore the looks. They are skin-deep, after all…

TURKEY MEATLOAF
(inspired by Life is But a Dish)

1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup almond flour
1 cup shredded carrots (about 2 large carrots)
1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach (not baby spinach)
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 egg
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper, ground

for glaze:
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Add all the ingredients into a large bowl (minus the ingredients for the glaze). Using a fork or clean hands, mix until everything is fully incorporated.

Mix ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl and reserve.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and pour meat onto pan. Use your hands to form into a loaf shape, trying to keep it level so it cooks evenly. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove and brush glaze all over. Place back in the oven for another 25 to 30 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: What do tomatoes and avocados have to do with the meatloaf? They were the side dish, and I absolutely must share the picture because the tomatoes came from our own backyard, thanks to the gardening efforts of the husband… Aren’t they gorgeous?

The meatloaf has a very delicate texture, and cooked perfectly in our small Breville oven, so there was no need to even heat the kitchen up. Leftovers were around for a couple of days and tasted as good if not better than the first time. I made it again the following week, and you know how it goes: for a food blogger, repeating a recipe right away is a huge endorsement. It goes to our regular rotation, a nice change from our default turkey burgers.

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TURKEY JALAPENO MEATBALLS

I’ve been playing with an ingredient that is quite likely very popular in many kitchens, but new to me. A bit embarrassed to admit, but here we go: pickled jalapenos. They are sold in big jars, cute slices of pepper swimming in a liquid that makes your tastebuds tingle. I may have developed a slight obsession. These meatballs are very light and super flavorful. Contrary to most recipes, you won’t have to brown them, but you can if you prefer. My method of choice is the pressure cooker, but I offer you other ways to cook them too. Just in case you are a pressure-phobe.

TURKEY-JALAPENO MEATBALLS
(inspired by The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book)

for the meatballs:
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup pickled jalapeno peppers
1 tablespoon brine liquid from pepper jar
cilantro leaves and stems (to taste, I like to use a lot)
1 + 1/2 pound ground turkey
½ cup plain panko breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

for the tomato sauce:
(you can also use your favorite store-bought tomato sauce)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 can crushed tomatoes with juices (28 oz)
2 shallots, minced
1 stalk celery, minced
1 carrot, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Add the jalapeno slices, the brine, the olive oil and the cilantro leaves into the bowl of a small food processor and process the mixture a few times. Add it to the ground turkey in a large bowl, together with all other ingredients for the meatballs. Mix with your hands without compressing the mixture too much. For into twelve large meatballs. Reserve in the fridge. Can be made hours in advance or even the day before.

Make the sauce. Heat the olive oil in the pressure cooker, add the shallots, celery and carrot. Season with salt and pepper. Add the crushed tomatoes. Place the meatballs on the sauce, if the sauce does not reach half the height of the meatballs, complete the volume with water. Lock the lid onto the pot. Set the pot over high heat and bring it to high pressure then cook for 10 minutes. Release the pressure and open the pan. If needed, reduce the sauce by simmering gently.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: If you are serving these meatballs as an appetizer, I recommend that you make them smaller, and either fry them, air-fry them (about 12 min at 390F), or bake them. As an appetizer, I think they profit from a nice browned crust. But as a main course, I prefer to cook them straight in the sauce. The pressure cooker makes them perfect to my taste, but if you don’t own one you can make them in a crockpot set for 6 hours on low. Alternatively, you can simmer them on top of the stove, until they are fully cooked, but the sauce won’t have the same depth of flavor as the pressure cooker offers. Pressure cooking tames the spices a bit, so if you opt for another method, consider reducing a little bit the amount of pickled jalapenos you use.

I find them delicious next to a simple salad, but of course the traditional way would be alongside a nice helping of pasta. It will keep you satisfied, even if much lighter than the usual Italian style meatballs.

The best compliment a recipe gets in this kitchen is the husband saying “you must put this one in our regular rotation.” I fully agree. And I suspect the bottle of pickled jalapenos will have a dedicated spot in our fridge from now on.

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REVELATION VEGGIE-OR-NOT EGG ROLL BOWL

Food bloggers are like cookbook authors, you get to trust some and try “daring” or “unusual” recipes if they recommend it, because you realize their palate matches yours. Kelly, from Inspired Edibles is one example. When she posts a recipe and raves about it, I just know I will love it too. This one used an ingredient that might make you run away screaming and promising never to stop by my site again: textured soy protein, aka TSP. Now before you click away, let me tell you I used ground turkey the first time. It ended up as one of the tastiest things I’ve cooked in months. I truly urge you to give it a try, and if you feel particularly brave, go for the TSP. I made it a second time using it, and it would make a vegan dance the happy dance. Extended version.

VEGGIE-OR-NOT EGG ROLL BOWL
(slightly modified from Inspired Edibles)

for the egg rolls:
3 large carrots, sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
280 g premixed bag of coleslaw (about 4 cups)
Large handful (about 1 cup) chopped fresh spinach
3/4 pound plant-based crumbles/rehydrated TVP or ground turkey of choice
sesame seeds for topping

for the egg roll sauce:
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 Tbsp Chinkiang vinegar (Chinese vinegar)
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 round tsp Sriracha
1 tsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
¼ cup water

Combine the egg roll sauce ingredients in a container with fitted lid: olive oil, soy or tamari, vinegar, ginger, Sriracha, hoisin sauce, Chinese five-spice powder and ¼ cup water giving it a good shake to combine nb: it’s good for sauce to gather flavor while you assemble/cook the rest of the ingredients (you can also make ahead and store in fridge).


Sauté carrots and red peppers in a large skillet with a little olive oil just until the carrots begin to soften.
Add ground turkey (or hydrated TSP crumbles) saute for a couple of minutes, add half the sauce. If using turkey, cook until no longer pink. Add cabbage and spinach, cook a minute or two, add the remaining of the sauce. If the sauce/mixture appears too thick/dry add a little more water but not too much (you don’t want to overly dilute the wonderful taste of the sauce). Continue mixing over heat until cabbage/spinach begin to wilt and mixture is warmed through. Top with sesame seeds and serve. Great with rice, but excellent on its own.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: The only modification I would make is – more spinach! Spinach tends to do what spinach does best, disappear into the dish, so double it, no problem. The sauce is magical. I advise you to go the extra mile and search for the specific vinegar called for, because its flavor is unique and very prominent in the sauce. As to TSP, Kelly recommends this brand. I think if you are familiar with other brands, go for it. I find this one quite convenient because the bag sits at room temperature, you rehydrate what you need, and it lasts forever. I see a “fake-Bolognese” in our future.

The second time around I went wild and tried the TSP. That’s what you see in the photo above, and I promise you it was excellent. It soaks up the sauce and the texture is quite pleasant.

Kelly, thanks again for opening my horizons,
I love trying new things, and you never disappoint!

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PHYLLO PARCELS WITH MOROCCAN TURKEY

Staying safe in Corona virus time: read the guest blog post by Phillip Klebba here.

Not too long ago I blogged about a savory pie made with olive oil crust and ground turkey. It was delicious, and I knew I wanted to re-visit it shortly after. Today I share a departure on that recipe, using a very similar filling but wrapped with phyllo dough. It is considerably lighter, especially because I use a light hand with the olive oil spray in between the layers. Works great and is a lot kinder on the waistline.

PHYLLO PARCELS WITH MOROCCAN TURKEY
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

large or jumbo size muffin pan, makes about 5 parcels

for the parcels:
1 box of phyllo dough, thawed in fridge overnight
olive oil spray

for the filling:
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 + 1/2 pounds ground turkey
2 large carrots, cut in pieces
8 oz mushrooms cut in pieces
2 celery ribs, minced
1 + 1/2 tsp salt
1 shallot, minced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tablespoon harissa, or to taste

Brown the ground turkey in a large skillet using 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and seasoning with 1 tsp salt. Once the meat is brown, transfer to a bowl. Add one more tablespoon of olive oil and saute the carrots, shallot and mushrooms, sprinkling all the spices and the final 1/2 tsp salt over the veggies as they cook. Once the veggies start to get some color, add the harissa, the ground turkey reserved, and mix everything gently. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool it completely.

Lay your phyllo sheets and cut squares large enough to cover the whole inner surface of the muffin pan. Lay 3 sheets of phyllo over each hole, each slightly  twisted in relation to the previous one, and spray a very light amount of olive oil as you lay them. Add the cold filling, get one square and fold it in four, so that you are left with a small amount of pastry that can sit right on top of the filling (see photo on the composite below).  Crunch all the phyllo from the base layers over the top, spray olive oil.

Bake at 375F for about 25 minutes, or until golden. Let it cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. They should un-mold very easily and neatly.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: The idea for these little parcels came from the new cooking show by Nadiya Hussein, “Time to Eat.” She used this method to make little apple pies but I really liked the way she handled the phyllo and wanted to adapt for a savory meal. Instead of fiddling with one sheet of phyllo at a time, it is a lot easier to just grab several sheets, cut them all at the same time in squares and then peel them off to place in the tin. Brilliant. I highly recommend the show, available on Netflix. A recipe from it should be on the blog soon.

The filling is already cooked, so you are basically just browning the phyllo and making it all crunchy and delicious. Super easy to assemble, this would be absolutely perfect for guests, and of course you could make it vegetarian-friendly. I imagine a filling with butternut squash and mushrooms, or eggplant and sweet peppers, lots of tasty ideas. You can also go for a hearty lamb filling, but with warmer weather on the horizon, lighter is definitely better.

We enjoyed it with mashed sweet potatoes, made sous-vide, but I need to tweak that recipe before sharing, there were a few “issues.”

Depending on the size of your muffin tin, you might be able to get 6 little parcels. They hold well in the fridge and to warm up what I like to do is run them in the microwave for 1 minute (yes, 60 seconds) and then transfer them to a hot oven for 10 more minutes. They turn out perfectly warm all the way through and the phyllo retains its nice texture.

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MOROCCAN TURKEY PIE WITH OLIVE OIL CRUST

Staying safe in Corona virus time: read the guest blog post by Phillip Klebba here. A video summarizing important tips can be found here

We don’t eat sweets that much. I bake a lot but it all goes to departmental colleagues, senior citizens at our town center, and homeless meals. What is a baker to do, when a pandemic forces everyone into isolation and she has very limited outlets to share sweets?  She bakes savory stuff, that is. Like this crazy departure on Shepherd’s Pie, made lighter because the topping is cauliflower-based. The lightness is immediately neutralized by enclosing it in a pie crust. It all balanced out beautifully,  and we were both quite pleased with our dinner. Normally I would make a salad to go with it, but it felt like a complete meal without it.

 

MOROCCAN TURKEY PIE WITH OLIVE OIL CRUST
(from the Bewitching Kitchen, inspired by many sources)

for the pie crust:
250g all-purpose flour (260 grams)
1/8 teaspoon salt
50g olive oil (50 grams)
125 g cold water

Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl, then add the olive oil, stir with a fork until the flour gets coated with it, forming a crumbly ness. Slowly add cold water and knead gently just until the dough starts to comes together.  Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate one hour before using.

Roll it over plastic wrap lightly coated with flour, then use it to cover a 9-inch pie pan of your choice. Freeze for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400F. Remove crust from the freezer, cover with saran wrap or parchment paper and add weights. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely before filling.

for the filling:
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 + 1/2 pounds ground turkey
2 large carrots, cut in pieces
8 oz mushrooms cut in pieces
2 celery ribs, minced
1 + 1/2 tsp salt
1 shallot, minced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tablespoon harissa, or to taste

Brown the ground turkey in a large skillet using 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and seasoning with 1 tsp salt. Once the meat is brown, transfer to a bowl. Add one more tablespoon of olive oil and saute the carrots, shallot and mushrooms, sprinkling all the spices and the final 1/2 tsp salt over the veggies as they cook. Once the veggies start to get some color, add the harissa, the ground turkey reserved, and mix everything gently. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool it completely.

for the topping:
1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
70g raw almonds
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp paprika

Arrange the cauliflower florets in a steamer basket, cover, and steam for 15 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender. Check after 12 minutes, if a fork goes through easily, stop the steaming.

Put the almonds, olive oil, nutritional yeast, salt and paprika in a Vitamix type blender (or food processor) and add the steamed cauliflower. Blend, increasing the power until it gets very smooth and thickens a little.  Remove from the blender and reserve until ready to top the pie. Can be made a day in advance, keep it in the fridge.

Assemble the pie. Heat the oven to 400F. Add the turkey filling to the crust, spoon the cauliflower topping. If desired, add a pattern using the tines of a fork.

Bake for 30 minutes. If you like a darker topping run it under a broiler protecting the edges of the pie crust. Allow the pie to cool for 15 minutes before slicing.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: If you omit the pie crust, this would turn into a pretty low-carb meal, that will still be quite satisfying. Keep that option in mind, although then I think a small salad could be a nice touch. Just lightly coat a Pyrex pie dish with olive oil and add the cooled turkey mixture, spread the cauliflower topping and bake. Some grated cheese could be very nice, we usually opt for a meal that is low in saturated fat, so we skip it.

I am very pleased with the olive oil crust. There are many recipes in cookbooks and websites, some will instruct you to do it as a press-on crust, but I did not like that at all. I adjusted the amount of flour and fat to produce a dough with good consistency for rolling. As a general rule, olive oil crusts need to bake for 35 to 40 minutes total, so depending on the type of filling you have, how moist it is, you can blind bake it for 10 minutes as I did, or skip it all together. Make sure the total baking time does not go over 40 minutes, or the crust might get too tough. It is a nice option for those avoiding dairy or trying to reduce the level of saturated fat.

 

 

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