Tag Archives: ground turkey

Garden Dump Soup ~ Plus a Wild-Caught Chinook Salmon!

11 Sep
Garden Dump Soup

Garden Dump Soup

Our kindly neighbor in back gifted us with two giant zucchinis and a large summer squash just before we left on our trip to the coast last weekend. I packed the largest zucchini and my mandoline and made a huge pan of Zucchini Lasagna in our RV’s convection oven, so that made use of one.

A couple days after we got back, I discovered the other zucchini and squash in the vegetable bin plus a half bag of baby spinach. AND our tomatoes had gone gangbusters while we were gone!

Garden Fresh Veggies

Garden Fresh Veggies

Soup was the only thing that came to mind where I could use that many veggies at once, so scoured our freezer for a bit of protein to go with it. I found a 1/2 pound of ground turkey, and about a 1/4 pound of homemade ground hot Italian sausage, which I figured needed using up anyways. Last, I grabbed a quart of homemade beef stock out of the freezer, as I had 6 quarts of that and only 2 quarts of chicken broth.

Basically I chopped it all up, sauteed the veggies and meats, then threw the rest of it in a stock-pot with some seasonings and spicy oregano from gardening and voila! Garden Dump Soup. Maybe I should have called it Garden and Freezer Dump Soup? Also at the very end I tossed in a cup of elbow macaroni to thicken it up a bit. Either way, this wowed the hubs, who went back for second and thirds, and he kept asking me what I was going to call it for my blog. I finally came up with this name.

What’s good about a soup like this is you can use any  vegetables you have on hand, your preference of broth, and any kind of ground meat and pasta. So versatile! If you don’t end up using any ground hot Italian sausage I would recommend adding a 1/2 teaspoon or so of dried Italian seasoning and perhaps a pinch of red chile pepper flakes. But that’s just me.

Even better, the next day I made myself a hearty breakfast (it was workout day) by plopping a farm-fresh egg into it and simmered it to perfection. Yay!

Perfectly Poached Egg in Soup

Perfectly Poached Egg in Soup

Garden Dump Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 extra-large zucchini (about 3 cups chopped)
1 large summer squash (about 2 cups chopped)
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3/4 to 1 pound low-fat ground meat or combination of meats
Ground black pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
4 cups broth or stock of choice, preferably homemade or low sodium
4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (or canned)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
4 ounces fresh spinach, chopped (about 4 cups loosely packed)
1 cup dry elbow macaroni
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional for garnish

Chop and mince up everything to prep. Add the oil to a stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Veggies and Ground Meats

Veggies and Ground Meats

Add the ground meat, veggies (except tomatoes, and spinach if using), onion, garlic, and seasonings. Cook for about 15 minutes until the meat is cooked pretty much through.

Add the stock or broth, tomatoes, and oregano plus other herbs/spices if necessary.

Tomatoes and Oregano Added

Tomatoes and Oregano Added

Bring to a simmer, then add the elbow macaroni or other small pasta. Simmer until pasta is done then add the chopped spinach (if using) and cook until wilted.

Wilting the Spinach

Wilting the Spinach

Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Serve in bowls with optional Parmesan cheese. Filling and super yummy!

Garden Dump Soup

Garden Dump Soup

p.s. Never Forget! 9-11-01

 

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

p.p.s. My hubby caught a 40-inch 24-pound Chinook Salmon out of the Siletz Bay last weekend! Woo hoo! Here’s a few photos (or 6 or 7), if you don’t mind me sharing. My turn next. 🙂

Hooked

Hooked

Netted!

Netted!

Paul and his 40-inch Chinook Salmon

Paul and his 40-inch Chinook Salmon

Fresh Chinook from the Ocean

Fresh Chinook from the Ocean

Victory Walk to the Weighing Station

Victory Walk to the Weighing Station

Weighing the Salmon

Weighing the Salmon ~ That’s One Happy Man!

 

Baked Spinach, Garlic, and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

16 Jan
Baked Spinach, Garlic, and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Baked Spinach, Garlic, and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Flavor bombs, I tell you, and it’s no joke when I say these are da’ bomb! These large puppies are not only packed with flavor, they are the size of small cannon balls. I was searching the interwebz for something to make with my half-priced pound of ground turkey I found in the Reduce for Immediate Sale bin at the grocery, and came across several recipes for ground turkey meatballs. The thing is, I didn’t have all the ingredients for any single one, so did was I always do. I printed them all out, and mish-mashed them together to come up with this.

BONUS: Earlier in the week I had made some homemade croutons from roasted garlic-infused olive oil and grated Parmesan. I used leftover bread I took home from our company party.

Making Homemade Croutons

Making Homemade Croutons

Gosh aren’t they lovely?

Homemade Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Croutons

Homemade Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Croutons

They ground up in my Ninja perfectly to use as a binder for the meatballs. Keeping the roasted garlic theme in mind, I did a quick roast of three large cloves of garlic in my toaster oven for 20 minutes.

SECOND BONUS: The night before I had made a huge batch of our favorite side dish to go with whatever the heck meat we had (See I love these so much that I can’t even remember what I ate with them as in my mind they are the star of any meal.) I had plenty of this rosemary bliss to serve with the meatballs, so of course I carried the rosemary theme through to the meatballs. Recipe here ——–> Rosemary and Butter Red Potatoes and Green Beans.

Buttered Rosemary Red Potatoes and Green Beans

Buttered Rosemary Red Potatoes and Green Beans

UN-BONUS: Sometimes my math isn’t so good. I was trying to figure out how long to set the timer so I could take the meatballs out of the oven about 5 minutes before they were done to zest some Parmesan over the top of them. I usually cook meatloaf about an hour, but figured I would check them with an instant-read thermometer at 30 minutes. So. I set the timer for 40 minutes. Why? I have no clue. Slightly on the dry side, but the spinach did help a lot with keeping them from being a disaster. The pan juices in the casserole dish poured over was also a perfect remedy.

Baked Spinach, Garlic, and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Baked Spinach, Garlic, and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Baked Spinach, Garlic, and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

3 large cloves garlic, peels left on
1/4 cup bread crumbs (from flavored croutons if you have them, or make your own!)
1/4 cup finely minced onion (I used the same Ninja that I ground up the breadcrumbs in)
1 pound ground turkey
8 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon dried, crushed rosemary (I crush the dried leaves with a mortar and pestle)
Pinch of dried thyme
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Ground black pepper, to taste

Wrap the garlic cloves in foil and roast for 20 minutes in a 400-degree oven (toaster oven is more economical). Remove and let cool, then peel and mince.

Meanwhile, process the croutons into bread crumbs, remove, then process the onion into a fine mince. (Store-bought bread crumbs are fine, as well as mincing your own onion with a knife.)

Processing the Croutons into Bread Crumbs

Processing the Croutons into Bread Crumbs

Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and get ready to mess up your hands. Thoroughly combine all the ingredients using both hands.

Ground Turkey Meatball Ingredients

Ground Turkey Meatball Ingredients

When completely combined, scoop out a large handful and roll around in your hands and shape into the size of a large golf ball or small tennis ball. (What is that size? A rubber squash ball?) Either way, you should end up with six fairly same-sized meatballs.

Turkey Meatballs Ready to Bake

Turkey Meatballs Ready to Bake

Place the meatballs in a small oil-sprayed baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 25 minutes (not 40 please) or until an instant-read thermometer reads 160 degrees.

Remove foil then grate some fresh Parmesan cheese over top. Cook for another 5 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Serve immediately with any sides of choice.

Baked Spinach Garlic and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Baked Spinach Garlic and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Inside-Out Stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

9 Mar
Inside-Out Stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

Inside-Out Stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

I have a confession to make. I have never made stuffed cabbage rolls in my life. For years and years I have drooled over pictures of them, but the long process to stuff the cabbage leaves and braise for several hours always intimidated me. So I did the next best thing. I turned them inside out and made soup instead! While researching what ingredients go into a stuffed cabbage roll dish, I discovered that every Eastern European country has their own version of this dish. Ukranians typically make theirs with pork, sauerkraut and onions, while the Romanians add a generous amount of fresh dill to their sauce. Polish cuisine mixes ground beef or pork with rice, which is the common Americanized version. Hungarians add paprika to theirs, which I did too. Most of the sauces are tomato-based, except for in Sweden where they typically serve it with Lingonberry jam.

Trying to decide what to put in the soup took me several hours of scouring recipes (in which I could have been actually making the traditional dish!), and finally just had to start making it by the seat of my pants otherwise we’d never eat. I wrote a list of most common ingredients, then started adding them one by one, tossing in a bit of this and a pinch of that. I kept a notepad nearby so I could document what actually ended up in the soup, and how much. Another thing I did was try to healthy it up a bit by using ground turkey and brown rice, and used some homemade no-sodium turkey broth.

I always measure my success with a new recipe by how many servings my family goes back for. In this case, hubby went back for thirds and daughter took seconds. That’s success in my book! This makes a nice bit pot of soup, and freezes well. It also tasted even better the next day as leftovers. On day two, I also added a dollop of sour cream to my bowl, which is another garnish that can be added to this dish.  And please don’t get intimidated by the long ingredient list, it comes together fairly quick and easy. You can also make the cooking time much shorter if you use white rice instead of brown. Brown rice takes a long time to cook at high altitude.

Stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

Stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

Inside-Out Stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, or salt, to taste
5 to 6 cups chicken, turkey, or beef broth, homemade or low sodium
1 tablespoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like spicy!)
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup brown or white rice, uncooked
2 cans low-sodium diced tomatoes
1 8-ounce can no-salt tomato sauce
Handful of chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
1 bag of shredded cabbage (I used the mixed cole slaw with carrots)
Sour cream for garnish (optional)

In a large soup pot, brown the ground turkey and chopped onions in the olive oil over medium heat until turkey is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and cook a minute or two more. Drain the grease, if any. Grind a bunch of black pepper over it, and add the Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste. Next add the broth and stir in all the rest of the ingredients except the cabbage or cole slaw and garnishes. Bring up to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer until the rice is cooked through. For brown rice, that took about an hour. White rice would probably only take 20 minutes. Once rice is tender, add the bag of shredded cabbage, bring back up to a simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes more. Remove the bay leaves, and garnish with parsley or sour cream. There area some exciting tastes going on in this soup!

Inside-Out Wonton Soup

16 Jan
Inside-Out Wonton Soup Ready to Eat

Inside-Out Wonton Soup Ready to Eat

I’m on an Asian food kick now. I read on another blog it’s one of the “new and upcoming comfort foods of 2013.” HOWEVER, that is not why I’m suddenly making these dishes, it’s because I finally invested in some of the essential ingredients to make that kind of food I’ve always enjoyed at restaurants, and durn it, I am not going to let them waste away in the fridge, pantry, and freezer. If you have the ingredients on hand, then a whole new world of taste opens up. I am absolutely astounded how well this soup turned out. It was so steenkin’ delicious that I was doing that little happy dance in my head. And oh I guess I better share the family rating. Hubby went back for seconds (his portions were large ) and daughter went back for thirds!  That’s the second time that happened in one week! Woot!

I saw this recipe originally on a FaceBook page I belong to that came from The Cooking Channel website. It was entitled “Deconstructed Wonton Soup.” That piqued my interest, and after I read it I knew it was something I was definitely interested in making. I had made some wontons around Thanksgiving and talk about a pain in the butt to assemble. I was not so interested in assembling a ton of those again. So I googled those words and came across another blog that had a different recipe for it, made almost a year earlier. I liked parts of each recipe, so combined them into my own making. Well, that’s pretty much what I always do with new recipes, unless I am forced to bake something that needs exact measurements. Did I ever mention I don’t like to bake cakes and such? Oh, only about a hundred times? OK, I’ll shut up about that.

This recipe handily fed the three of us, with leftovers of about two servings even after we all pigged out. The soup the next day was good, but the flavors were not as intense, so it’s not something I would recommend doubling for the freezer. The broth was also cloudy the next day, and the wonton wrappers slightly mushy. This is a make it and eat it soup! Bright, fun, and packed full of flavor. I added a chopped serrano pepper, and I could not feel any heat from the soup, and next time I would add a jalapeño instead. But if your family can’t handle the heat factor, the serrano should be fine. The pepper cooks in to a mellow flavor. Oh, and the best part? It took about 45 minutes from start to finish. I’m thinking it will only be about a half hour next time since I won’t be trying to figure it all out. And I’m calling it Inside-Out Wonton Soup because the term “Deconstructed” sounds so… well.. technical and exact. I don’t do that. I wing it. OK I said I would shut about that.  😉

Inside-Out Wonton Soup
Adapted from The Cooking Channel and Farmer Jo

4 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
1/2 pound ground turkey
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger (peel first)
1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 to 4 green onions, chopped, white and green parts divided
1/2 pound salad shrimp (you know, those teeny things)
1 5-ounce can water chestnuts, finely chopped
3 cups pre-shredded bagged coleslaw mix (purple and green cabbage and carrots)
6 cups low-sodium or homemade chicken or turkey broth
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, plus more for serving
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
12 wonton wrappers, each cut into 4-inch strips (freeze the rest)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Inside-Out Wonton Soup Ready for Garnish

Inside-Out Wonton Soup Ready for Garnish

Chop and slice all the ingredients you need to first and set aside. Heat 2 teaspoons of sesame oil over medium heat in a soup pot or dutch oven, add the ground turkey and cook, breaking up and stirring around until no longer pink. Add the ginger, pepper, garlic, white and light green onion parts, shrimp, and water chestnuts. Cook until softened (the water chestnuts won’t soften), about 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the other two teaspoons of sesame oil, then add the cole slaw mix and stir around until the cabbage starts to wilt, just a few minutes more.

Pour in the broth, rice wine vinegar and soy sauce. Bring up to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes. Add the edamame and wonton strips (add the wonton strips one or two at a time to avoid clumping), bring up to a simmer again, then cook for about another 10 minutes.  Serve in large bowls with the rest of the green onions, cilantro, and soy sauce on the side for people to add to their taste. Brilliant!

Mom’s Meatloaf

7 Mar
Mom's Meatloaf

Mom's Meatloaf

I’ve had a heck of a time getting around to writing this blog this week. It was appointment week in my house for some reason, all scheduled at separate times for different reasons. And of course I still had to work, too. The results of the appointments are… 1. One-week followup for surgery: I need to keep an eye on the inflammation going on in my mouth. Today it is worse, I might need antibiotics. 2. Scheduled maintenance on car: The awful screech in our brakes was a rock stuck in one. Problem solved. 3. First orthodontist appointment for daughter: She has an overbite issue that will add an additional year to the correction to her overcrowding. She will need to be in braces two and a half years. Ka-ching! 4. Still waiting on results of husband’s blood test. He also goes in for a dentist appointment tomorrow. Lastly, there was an impending hatch at an owl box I watch. Luckily it was happening around my lunch break time and was able to observe it, even while on a conference call! We welcomed Maggie into the world today, a beautiful (in my eyes) little barn owl. They look like little dinosaurs when they are born, but grow into such majestic raptors.

Meatloaf Mixture

Meatloaf Mixture

One appointment I won’t mind keeping is picking up my sister from the airport tomorrow! HI SEESTER! I hope you read this, lol!!! She will be visiting for two weeks, and I plan on making Tetrazzini Crepes while she is here and will be sure to write about it.

Now, finally to the recipe! I always enjoyed my mom’s meatloaf growing up. She always had to make two of them at a time to feed our large family, but with only three of us, one is plenty sufficient. I asked her many years ago for the recipe, and she said she used the one on the back of a container of oatmeal! Over the years I have adapted that recipe into one that changes each time I make it depending on what vegetables I have on hand and what spices I decide to use (as usual).

When I decided to make this meatloaf the other night (actually a result of reading a What’s For Dinner post on Facebook), my husband was heading to the store.  He has been saying we need to eat less red meat, so I suggested ground turkey. Well that fell flat. “Ewwww” is what he actually said. So then I asked him to buy one pound of fresh burger, because all our burger was frozen. One of the tricks to making a good  meatloaf is using fresh  burger and handling the meat as little as possible while blending. When you try to defrost a pound of frozen burger in a hurry in the microwave, the edges usually end up cooking before the inside is completely defrosted, resulting in an inconsistent product to work with. He got home from the store, and no fresh burger. “It was over four dollars a pound!” he complained. “Well it feeds us two meals! I only asked you to buy ONE POUND!” I retorted. Men.  OK, but I still love him.

Mom’s Meatloaf

1 pound fresh ground burger, or turkey
1 egg
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
Black pepper to taste
Any other spices, to taste
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup vegetables, chopped or shredded (I typically use bell pepper or carrots, sometimes mushrooms or celery)
3/4 cup plain dried oatmeal
Ketchup

In medium bowl, whisk the egg and tomato sauce until well blended. Stir in the spices, vegetables, and oatmeal. The night I made this, I used Cajun spice, Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, and a pinch of cayenne.  I decided to make it spicy! I also used shredded carrots for the vegetable. Add the ground burger or ground turkey to the bowl, and gently fold together with your hands until mixed but don’t over do it! Put the mixture into a lightly oil-sprayed meatloaf pan, glass or metal. Press the mixture down firmly until fairly compact, then pour a generous amount of ketchup over the top. Using the back of a spoon, spread the ketchup evenly. I always add more pepper to the top too. Then stick a knife down between the meatloaf and pan and run it around the pan to help separate it so it won’t stick so much. Cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for one hour. Take out and then let rest for about ten minutes. We served with mashed potatoes and green beans.

%d bloggers like this: