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Turkey Apple Cheddar Salad

Simple and tasty – Turkey Apple Cheddar Salad

You can’t get much simpler than this. A few years ago, I was scouring cookbooks for new recipes when I found Turkey Apple Cheddar Salad. It was a hot summer, and we were often going to picnics in the park to enjoy the Thursday Night music.

This salad is like a salad you’d get from your local deli. Chunks of fruit, meat and cheese are also kid-pleasers. My youngest loves it. She’s adorable when she eats it. She takes a bite of turkey. “Turkey.” She takes a bite of apple. “Apple.” She takes a bite of cheddar. “Cheddar.” Pause. “Salad!” ย She chants this the whole time, eating it in pattern. I better have about the same amount of everything on her plate!

My oldest prefers it without the dressing, and sometimes we just cut up the ingredients into slices and eat them on crackers. ๐Ÿ™‚

The original called for green onions and some cooked pasta, but I found the pasta didn’t add anything and the onions tended to fall to the bottom of the salad and not get eaten at all, so I started leaving them out.

I’ve learned to keep the apples out of it until the last minute so they stay crisp. I suggest not making ahead more than one day, or the apples will get soggy. It doesn’t keep particularly well, so plan to eat it within a day or two. I like to cut up the turkey and cheddar, and then cut apples into it as needed.

Turkey Apple Cheddar Salad

  • Oven roasted or smoked turkey breast (not sliced)
  • Block of cheddar cheese (we prefer sharp)
  • Medium, crisp apple(s) (like gala)
  • Poppyseed dressing

I don’t have a very scientific way of making this salad. I cut the turkey, cheddar, and apple into 1/2 inch cubes, and toss them into a bowl until the proportions look right. (A little more turkey than cheese, a little more cheese than apple.) Then I stir in enough dressing to coat it.

That’s the beauty of this meal; you can make only what you need! It’s great for just one person, or make a big batch to take to a potluck. Round it out by putting it on a bed of salad greens and adding a piece of crusty bread, if you like.

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Asian Turkey Wraps – Not the prettiest meal, but tasty!

I’m a big fan of all-in-one meals because I’m pretty terrible at planning side dishes. I love it when the veggies and meat are all wrapped up in a neat little package.

 

With this dish, I also love that it a is a quick, one-pan meal, though I end up getting my food processor dirty. I’ve made note of “advance preparation” that works best if you can do it ahead of time rather than in the midst of cooking.

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Makes 10 (1/3 cup) servings.

  • 1 1/4 lbs. ground turkey (I buy 1 lb. packages, and usually just reduce the other ingredients a little.)
  • 1 pkg (16 oz) frozen stir-fry vegetable blend, thawed (my pkg. is 14 oz.)
  • 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce (I highly recommend Soy Vay’s Veri, Veri Teriyaki. Mmm.)
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh gingerroot (I use 1 tsp. ground ginger when I don’t have fresh)
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 10 Boston lettuce leaves (or other broad lettuce of your choice)
  1. Advance Preparation: Thaw turkey (if necessary) and stir-fry veggies. Mix together teriyaki sauce, hoisin sauce, peanut butter, ginger, vinegar, and oil. Mince the garlic. Chop green onions.
  2. Cook turkey in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat until no longer pink.
  3. Chop stir-fry vegetables coarsely. (This is where I pulse them in my food processor, usually because I’ve forgotten to thaw them. ๐Ÿ™‚ ) Add veggies to pan. Stir in teriyaki sauce, hoisin sauce, peanut butter, ginger, vinegar, and oil – or if you’ve planned ahead, dump in your pre-measured mixture. Stir-fry over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
  4. Remove from heat; stir in onions. Place scant 1/2 cup turkey mixture on each lettuce leaf; fold lettuce over filling. Serve with additional hoisin sauce, if desired.

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I pulled this recipe from a magazine a few years ago. I guessed we’d make it once and my family would reject it.

I was dead wrong.

My daughters LOVE this recipe. They request Turkey Burgers for breakfast when we have them leftover, and since I always double the batch, there are plenty of leftovers. I never worry it won’t all get eaten. (If they aren’t as popular in your family, I still recommend doubling, then freezing half for your family to have on hand.) The burgers are very mild tasting, and the pesto mayonnaise is really the star. My husband and I are not as enamored as the kids are, but we still enjoy them.

Cooking the recipe as burgers is a bit more involved than I prefer, so I altered how I prepare the recipe and make it more as a meatloaf. (Both sets of instructions below.) We just cut “burgers” out of the pan. We also rarely eat them with buns, so in my house the burgers exist in name only.

turkey burgers

Turkey Burger topped with Pesto Mayonnaise

 

Pesto Chicken or Turkey “Burgers”

*Note: Recipe is NOT doubled here.

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken or turkey
  • 3/4 cup grated sharp Cheddar or 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto*

Pesto Mayonnaise (for serving)

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon pesto*

*For pesto, I buy pesto mix and make on the stove. It doesn’t take long, but does require boiling water and having olive oil on hand. You could also buy a jar of your favorite brand. TIP: Whichever way you do it, you WILL have leftover pesto. I measure one tablespoon measurements into ice cube trays and freeze. After they are frozen, pop them out into freezer containers for next time or another use.

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat, cheese, salt and pepper, gently tossing with a large fork until evenly blended.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the 1/3 cup mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons pesto, then add it to the meat mixture and combine until evenly blended.
  3. For meatloaf: Spread meat mixture into a 8×8 baking dish. (I double the recipe and use a 9×13 baking dish.) Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30 minutes, or until meat thermometer reads 165. Let rest 5 minutes. Cut sections to place on buns or eat with forks. Serve with Pesto Mayonnaise. (Note: Baking causes the meat to release a lot of juices that would normally drain into a grill or broiler pan, so loaf will be “swimming” when it is done. Simply drain off liquid before storing.)
  4. For burgers: Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap. Shape meat into six 1/2-inch-thick patties, placing on the baking sheet. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to firm them. (Burgers are softer than traditional hamburgers and need this.) Prepare grill or broiler and pesto mayonnaise for serving. When 30 minutes are up, brush each burger with oil and place on grill, oiled side down. Lightly brush other side with oil. Cook approx. 5 minutes per side, until meat is no longer pink. Serve on buns (if desired) with Pesto Mayonnaise and other burger fixings.

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