I don’t go out to eat often, but when I do I rarely leave with leftovers. And what I mean by this is that I either inhale it all or I get a box to go and somehow end up leaving it on the table, much to my dismay later on. This problem of mine is particularly annoying when I purposely ordered enough food to cover two meals. I have to make a conscious effort to hold onto my to-go box when getting ready to leave or else it’ll never make it. One time I remembered right as I was walking out the restaurant door, but it was already too late. The waiting staff was just too fast and efficient for me .
The best thing about cooking and eating at home? All my leftovers stay with me. In fact, most of the time when I make recipes that serve multiple people, I portion out the serving I’m going to eat and then divide the rest amongst lunch-box-sized containers for lunch that week. This makes me particularly happy when I get to enjoy awesome things such as these sloppy joes more than once.
Sloppy Joes don’t have to come from a can. And they also don’t always have to be made with the same traditional seasonings either. When I saw this recipe using hoisin sauce I had to make it. And I am glad I did because it totally beats any canned sloppy joe sauce any day.
One year ago: Pasta with Brussels Sprouts, Gorgonzola & Pecans
GROUND TURKEY SLOPPY JOES WITH HOISIN AND CILANTRO
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, mashed to a paste with 1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 lb. ground turkey
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
4 sandwich rolls, toasted
- Add the oil to a large nonstick skillet and set the pan over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onion and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic paste, ginger and cayenne and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, just until fragrant. Add the ground turkey to the pan and brown, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Once the turkey is browned, stir in the tomato sauce and the hoisin. Continue cooking for 5-7 more minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Turn off the heat under the pan and stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Divide the mixture evenly among the rolls and serve.
Source: Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
There are times when I go to the grocery store and somehow leave without actually getting everything on my list. And then there are times when I cross every last thing off, only to get home and realize I didn’t buy enough of something or forgot to put something on the list in the first place. Enter improvisation. When making these stuffed shells, I substituted broccoli for shredded zucchini because I failed to buy any, and also some of the ricotta for Greek yogurt because I didn’t buy enough! Some people say you shouldn’t admit to screwing up and instead say it was all planned out from the beginning. However, I prefer admitting how awesome my creative skills under pressure because these shells were still awesome.
Two years ago: Butterscotch Haystack Cookies
PEPPERONI PASTA BAKE
15 oz. part-skim ricotta
5 oz. plain Greek yogurt (I used o% Chobani)
1-1/4 cups chopped broccoli
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper
3 cups marinara sauce, divided
28 (7 oz.) jumbo pasta shells, cooked according to package drections
2 oz. mini turkey pepperoni slices
3/4 cup (3 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine ricotta,broccoli, basil, and egg. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
- Spread 1 cup marinara in prepared baking dish. Fill each shell with 1 heaping tablespoon ricotta mixture and arrange in an even layer in dish. Top with remaining 2 cups marinara, then pepperoni and mozzarella.
- Cover with foil and bake until sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Heat broiler, remove foil, and broil until cheese is browned in spots, about 3 minutes. Top with additional basil and serve.
Source: Adapted slightly from Everyday Food, October 2012.
I know I have been slacking on the Superbowl recipe sharing this week so I am here to make it up to you with some awesome sliders and a giveaway (at the end of this post)!
Potato rolls and bread have always been a favorite of mine, so when I found out Alexia had sweet potato rolls I jumped on the opportunity to review them. And decided to make sliders out of one of my favorite burger recipes.
Normally I would serve these with sweet potato fries, but decided to change it up with the sweet potato buns and then served with some of Alexia’s Oven Reds instead. I think these buns were made for these sliders, and may not return to regular buns. The turkey sliders are mixed with applesauce, maple syrup, and crumbled bacon, and then topped off with a maple-dijon sauce that I made with Greek yogurt (instead of mayo in the original recipe I posted). The sweet potato roll is like a happy little hug around all that flavor, but still holds it own. If there hadn’t been the exact amount of sliders per roll, I may have eaten a roll by itself! Which means I now have to go out and buy more so I can do just that.
One year ago: Superbowl XLVI Recipe Roundup
Two years ago: Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies
APPLE MAPLE TURKEY SLIDERS WITH MAPLE-DIJON SAUCE
Makes 8 sliders
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt ( I used 0% Chobani)
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp real maple syrup, divided
1-1/4 pounds ground turkey breast
1/4 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
1/2 cup chunky applesauce
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 bag (8 rolls) frozen Alexia Sweet Potato Rolls
Desired slider toppings
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake buns as directed on the package.
- Meanwhile, set up grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Oil grate when ready to start cooking (I used a stovetop cast iron grill pan).
- For Maple-Dijon Sauce: In a small bowl, stir to combine Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, and 1/4 cup maple syrup; set aside.
- For Turkey Burgers: In a medium bowl, mix together ground turkey, bacon, applesauce, poultry seasoning, 2 Tbsp maple syrup, and salt & pepper. Wet hands to prevent sticking and shape into 8 small patties.
- Place burgers on hot grill for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until done. Serve on sliced sweet potato buns with condiments and a dollop of maple-Dijon sauce.
Source: Adapted slightly from Sandra Lee from Food Network.
But wait, didn’t I say something about a giveaway? Never fear, I did not forget! One lucky reader will win: One Alexia apron, One Alexia kitchen timer, & One coupon for a FREE Alexia Product! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the giveaway.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary bag of Alexia’s Sweet Potato Rolls to review and giveaway is also provided by Alexia. I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I hope you all had a fabulous pre-holiday weekend. My family does most of the celebratory activities tonight and will probably see Les Miserables tomorrow since we already saw the Hobbit over the weekend (woohoo!). But last week I made these sloppy joes using ground turkey for my brother’s birthday (with my early Christmas present – my first All Clad ccopper core pan!).
I have a weakness for anything involving kale chips so I was super excited for the opportunity to cook these. Especially since I knew Kate would enjoy them as well. It was pretty quick and easy to make but the recipe originally directs you to let the sauce simmer at the end until reduced by half. However I found there wasn’t enough sauce to want to reduce it any at all! In fact I ended up adding a little more ketchup and Worcestershire sauce and just heating it through, so the recipe reflects my changes. Maybe if you don’t drain the tomatoes you would have a juicer sauce that would need reduction? No matter, they still came out great!
One year ago: German Pancakes
Two years ago: Chocolate Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies
TURKEY SLOPPY JOES WITH KALE CHIPS
1 bunch kale, tough stems and ribs removed, leaves torn into pieces
2 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
Salt and pepper
1/2 medium white onion, diced small
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground dark-meat turkey
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup ketchup
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 large hamburger buns
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss kale with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Rub the leaves with your fingers to evenly coat. Bake on two rimmed baking sheets until crisp, 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat remaining tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add onion and sweet potato and cook until softened, 8 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds; season with salt and pepper.
- Add turkey and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, 6 minutes. Add tomatoes, ketchup, and Worcestershire and cook until heated through. Serve on buns alongside kale chips.
Source: Adapted slightly from Everyday Food, October 2012.
It’s amazing how much time goes by during the work day when you are starring at your computer screen, moving figures and text boxes around one pixel at a time in attempts to get everything fitted and sized nicely. This is how poster presentations are done in my world, in preparation for the upcoming research conference my lab is attending. And it’s a royal pain in my bottom. The scariest part is that even after making it pretty, my PI can undo everything by telling me to add one simple sentence, and thus offsetting everything. The horror! I feel like a magician by the end of it all because I will have more than once uttered the phrase, “There’s no way it is going to work”, and yet there it is in front of me. But for now I await the edits of destruction.
While I pull out my hair and eat plentiful amounts of dark chocolate covered mini pretzels (the most recent Trader Joe’s lab-obsession), I want you to sit back and enjoy a good healthy meal. How about some zucchini stuffed with Italian turkey sausage? I cannot be alone in still experiencing 98 degree weather despite the name of the month stated on the calendar, which means some of you probably still have some zucchini around from your garden (of which I am jealous). If not, it’s a good thing they invented a thing called the grocery store .
One year ago: Beermosa
SAUSAGE STUFFED ZUCCHINI BOATS
4 (31 oz total) medium zucchini
1-1/4 cups marinara sauce
14 oz lean Italian chicken sausage (I used turkey)
1 tsp oil
1/2 small onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup part skim shredded Mozzarella
8 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. And preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out flesh, leaving 1/4″ thick. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside. Drop zucchini halves in boiling water and cook 1 minute. Remove from water.
- Place 1/4 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 12″ baking dish, and place zucchini halves cut side up.
- In a large saute pan, brown sausage, breaking up as it cooks into smaller pieces until browned; set aside. Heat oil and add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook on a medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add chopped zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook about 2-3 minutes. Combine with sausage and cook a few more minutes.
- Using a spoon, fill each hollowed zucchini with 1/3 cup cooked sausage, pressing firmly. Top each with 2 tablespoons each of sauce, 1 tablespoon each of shredded Mozzarella cheese and 1 teaspoon each of Parmesan cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through.
Source: Gina’s Skinny Taste
Warning: These meatballs require 2.5 hours of baking time. And having the oven on at all, let alone that long, during these hot summer days seems like borderline insanity. Which is why I baked these in the morning over the weekend and had them for lunch, before the temperatures rose up too high for my A/C to successfully ward off from entering my apartment. However, any spike my A/C bill was worth it to produce these tender, flavorful meatballs. And yes, I am still the very broke grad student who just paid a $500 deductible for car repairs. Sometimes I fail at being frugal when I comes to delicious food.
But I am getting a break from the heat this week. The highest high predicted for the next 7 days is 88 which is almost twenty degrees less than what I’ve been plagued by for the past month. Hooray!
In other hot-weather-related news, I bought a slip ‘n slide at Target for $4.91. Best $5 purchase ever?! I thought so too. Now to convince a friend with a yard and hose to let me frolick around…
BAKED TURKEY RICOTTA MEATBALLS
Makes 20 meatballs
2 lbs ground turkey
1 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
1/2 cup bread crumbs
8 oz. part skim ricotta cheese
4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp prepared pesto
- Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray; set aside.
- Heat a skillet over medium low heat; add the oil and onion and saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the spinach; it will wilt with the carry-over cooking from the onions and garlic. Let the mixture cool for about 4-5 minutes off the heat.
- In a large bowl mix together the eggs, Parmesan, bread crumbs, ricotta and Italian seasoning. When the onion mixture has cooled fold that in. Add the turkey and, using your hands, mix until everything is well combined. Form into 20 meatballs (about 2 inches in diameter). Wash your hands. In another bowl mix together the tomatoes and pesto.
- Pour about 1/4 cup of the tomato mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan, then evenly place the meatballs on top – you may have to squish them together some, but they’ll shrink a bit during the cooking. Top the meatballs with the remaining tomato mixture. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 2.5 hours. Let sit for a few minutes when done baking to let them cool and to allow the juices to stay in the meatballs. Serve hot over whole wheat pasta topped with Parmesan cheese.
Source: Heather’s Dish
Lasagna is a great comfort food. But soup is my favorite comfort food right now, so why not combine the two? You should be able to figure out the answer to that judging by the title of this post you are reading, which is “yes, do it!” because the result is wonderful. I know it sounds weird at first because I thought the same thing. But I have been converted and am so glad that there are leftovers. And they are all mine – back off!
The ricotta-blob bread was my favorite part (thank you Stephanie for introducing the term ricotta-blob into my food vocabulary). The ricotta brought the entire lasagna-feel of the soup together. And I loved letting it soak up some of the soup juices. MMmm juices.
One year ago: Pumpkin Pancakes
LASAGNA SOUP WITH RICOTTA BREAD
2 tsp olive oil
1 lb Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-32 oz container reduced sodium chicken broth
1-15 oz can tomato sauce
1-14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
4 oz whole wheat pasta
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (plus more for topping)
1/2 cup lowfat ricotta
1 loaf multi-grain French bread, sliced 1/2″ thick
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup each of Parmesan, mozzarella and ricotta, set aside.
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick saucepot or Dutch oven. Add the sausage, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is crumbled and browned, 8 – 10 minutes.
- Add the broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, salt, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended, about 20 minutes. Add the noodles; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the soup thickens slightly and the noodles are tender, 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella, basil, and the 3 tablespoons Parmesan.
- While the pasta cooks, spread a tablespoon of the cheese mixture onto each bread slice. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is golden and bread edges are crunchy. Sprinkle more Mozzarella on top of the soup and serve with ricotta-blob bread.
I didn’t realize until posting this recipe that I accidentally doubled the turkey from the original recipe. I wondered why my meatballs seemed a little large! Oh well, they are still good for you – packed with spinach, oats, and yogurt. If you want the ratio of healthiness per bite to be higher then use 1/2 lb turkey (but of course it will serve less people).
They are not the most photogenic meatballs, but they are super moist and full of flavor. I also enjoyed the chunkier style of the sauce as a change from the pureed pasta sauce. Even though I’m typically not a fan of chunky sauce, it was perfect for this dish. And this is a one-pot meal! Hooray for less dishes to wash!
OATMEAL MEATBALLS WITH SPINACH
Makes 16 large meatballs (Serves 6-8)
1/2 cup instant oats
1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1/2 cup packed baby spinach, thinly sliced
1/4 cup packed basil, chopped, plus 1 sprig
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 egg white
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped, divided
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 lb all-white-meat ground turkey
Olive oil cooking spray
1 can (26 oz) diced tomatoes, plus juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1-13.25 oz box whole-wheat pasta, cooked according to the package instructions (I used penne)
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix oats and yogurt with 1/4 cup water in a bowl until oats begin to absorb liquid. Add spinach, basil, Parmesan, egg white, half the garlic, salt and pepper, and stir. Add turkey and mix until well combined. Form into 16 large meatballs.
- Coat a large, oven-safe stockpot with cooking spray. Add meatballs and bake until they begin to brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Turn and bake 10 minutes more. Add remaining garlic, basil sprig, tomatoes and wine. Cover and cook until meatballs are cooked through and sauce begins to thicken, 20 minutes. Serve immediately with pasta.
Source: Slightly adapted from SELF Magazine
I recently decided that I love stove top mac and cheese way more than baked. It’s much creamier when you don’t bake it, which, other than the cheese, is the most important part to me. So I decided to whip some up to prove my point to myself. But I also didn’t feel like going to the grocery store so into the pantry I went! Thankfully I found a can of condensed cheddar cheese soup to pair with the sharp cheddar I always have stocked, and some leftover heavy cream. I even thought about using some leftover onion and chive cream cheese – but maybe next time.
By the way, this isn’t healthy mac and cheese. I didn’t even bother trying to make it the tiniest bit healthy, because isn’t that the way mac and cheese is supposed to be? It may be contrary to my recent efforts in other areas, which is why I gave this the title “don’t judge me”. I even topped mine off with a little more shredded cheddar. Oh and it was the creamiest mac and cheese I’ve ever had = win. I did add some turkey sausage to the mix, however. I needed some protein in there to fully justify eating this for dinner.
“DON’T JUDGE ME” MAC & CHEESE
1-16 oz box mini farfalle (or your favorite pasta shape)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water
1-10.75 oz can condensed cheddar cheese soup
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp prepared mustard
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 cup pre-cooked turkey sausage, cubed (optional)
- Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water, and return pasta to sauce pan.
- Add butter and stir into pasta until it melts and coats the pasta. Next add the reserved cooking water and condensed cheddar cheese soup, followed by the shredded cheddar. Stir until melted and combined – it will be a little thick. Add the milk and heavy cream, along with the mustard and onion powder. Once everything has come together, stir in the sausage.
- Serve immediately, with extra shredded cheddar on top if you so desire!
Source: The Spiffy Cookie original
Burgers are fun, don’t you think? It’s like pizza, you can pretty much put whatever you want on/in it. I am actually surprised this is only my second turkey burger recipe on here, because I really enjoy a good turkey burger. Speaking of, do you have a favorite recipe? Care to share with me?? O:-)
Just like the eggplant burger, I didn’t need to put any condiments on this. I actually meant to, but after one bite I completely forgot about anything else. All the necessary flavors were already being delivered by the burger patty itself. The homemade pesto may have been a factor. I was so happy with how these turned out. Even the feta inside looks pretty! Definitely a burger I would love to have stock-piled in my freezer (and I may just need to do that).
FETA STUFFED PESTO TURKEY BURGERS
1 lb lean ground turkey
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 heaping spoonfuls basil pesto
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup crumbled feta
Lettuce, tomato, and red onion or any of your favorite burger toppings
- In a medium bowl, combine the turkey, bread crumbs, pesto, egg and garlic, mixing gently with your hands without overworking the mixture.
- Shape the mixture into eight thin patties. On four of them place 1/4 cup of feta, leaving space around the edge. Use the remaining four patties to seal the feta inside the burger. Preheat your grill. (Alternatively, refrigerate until you’re ready for them, or wrap well – with squares of waxed or parchment paper between each patty – and freeze for up to 6 months.)
- Cook the burgers on a well oiled preheated grill for 4-5 minutes per side or until just cooked through, flipping only once. Serve on a toasted bun with desired toppings.
Source: Adapted slightly from Babble