Tag Archives: turkey

Homemade Ranch Dressing & Easy Peasy Pasta Salad

25 Jun

Two for one recipe special today! In my continued effort t learn to make my own everything from scratch, I’ve been working on perfecting condiments. Mayonaise — not yet. But I found a really great recipe for a fairly simple homemade ranch dressing.

To begin, I followed this recipe for homemade ranch seasoning. I highly recommend just making this, and mixing batches of the dressing as you need it. The seasoning keeps longer and can be used for many other things — to season couscous, burgers, or chicken breasts, or as a powder on baked tortilla chips for homemade ranch Doritos (YEAH).

To make the dressing, just mix one tablespoon of the seasoning mixture with 1/4 cup milk and about 1/3 cup mayonnaise (though I’m sure you could also use sour cream, or maybe even yogurt).

Due to my impending move, I wanted this week to make something that would both get rid of the last of my ranch seasoning and would make a big batch of something I could eat without cooking throughout the week. Hence, this super-easy pasta salad was born, a great discovery for hot summer no-cook days. I’ll provide the recipe without measurements, since I made a batch based on the proportion of “how much pasta do I have left?” which was about 2/3 of a box.

  • Pasta, cooked, drained and cooled
  • Cubed turkey breast
  • Peas (cooked with pasta for the last minute)
  • Homemade ranch dressing.

Simply wait until the pasta and peas are cool, then toss in the turkey, and mix ranch dressing to cover the whole thing. Chill at least 30 minutes.

Thanksgiving Carnage

28 Nov

Back to regularly-scheduled posting tomorrow, but for now, I thought I’d leave you all with some Thanksgiving aftermath photos.

Every year, we laugh about how long it takes to prepare the meal versus how long it takes to eat it, so this year, I thought I’d pay my respects to the dinner table disrepair…

To the leftovers…

To the dishes left to wash…

To the turkey carcass to be gutted…

And leave you all with a little mini-excerpt from the book, a Thanksgiving carnage prose poem:

On Thanksgiving, after the turkey was carved and gutted, after we’d sliced through one half of the twenty-pound bird my mother insisted on ordering, though there were seven of us for dinner only, my father and grandfather would return to the half-spent carcass and harvest the rest. They would dig their thick hands into the ribcage and pull out shards of meat, darker than a roux, dripping with bone grease, and toss them, by whole handfuls, into my mom’s biggest saucepan, where she would boil it in a stock to freeze as turkey soup for later, for the winter nights.

Turkey Links Roundup

23 Nov

Sorry for the hiatus in posting, all, but travel for the holidays, combined with the fact that for a college professor, Thanksgiving “break” = buried under a deluge of work that must get done before the last two weeks of the semester hits has made the weekend and week thus far a complete blur. I honestly thought today was Sunday until about 3PM.

To make up for lost time, but also account for the fact that I know most of you all will be stretching your belts out this week and too sleepy for the computer anyway, I thought a Thanksgiving-themed links roundup post would be a good idea.

Civil Eats covers the reality that turkey is just as factory-farmed as any other meat, and Barry Estabrook reminds us that the double-whammy Carghill recalls of this summer and fall were of salmonella contamination in ground turkey.

But all hope is not lost (though this is probably late for this year): Slow Food USA has a comprehensive guide for a slow, sustainable, heritage-focused Thanksgiving.

Some out-of-the-box ideas for Thanksgiving recipes: Tom Philpott with easy curry side dishes, and a leftover recipe for spicy turkey tacos from the cb2 blog.

And to keep us in the holiday spirit, Mark Bittman with a truly moving and comprehensive list of what a food activist has to be thankful for.

I’ll update with T-Day food porn later this week, and share some family thankfulness and recipes, but for now, enjoy some holiday reading, and share: What are you thankful for this year, friends?

Turkey Meatball Reubens — Superfast Meets Superhealthy!

26 Oct

In an earlier post about How to Eat Your Veggies, one of my pieces of advice was not to try and “fake it” with veggies too much. If you love burgers, find a healthy way to make a burger or enjoy them in moderation, rather than trying to substitute a black bean burger all the time. You’ll just end up feeling disappointed and defeated. You will become one of those people who thinks there’s no such thing as healthy food that tastes delicious.

Well, today, I’m going to take an ingredient — ground turkey — that many people think of as a healthy alternative and turns it into something really yummy: turkey meatball reuben subs.

Ground turkey gets a bad reputation as the classic health food bait & switch. Turkey burgers (when badly made) can be dry and flavorless. And I’ll hand it to beef & sausage — ground turkey is just not cut out to be the basis of a chorizo or a zesty Italian marinara.

But it is good at some things, and finding those purposes, the recipes specifically suited to a particular ingredient, will better help you appreciate all that healthy foods can become.

These subs are just the ticket. By using ground turkey to make the homemade meatballs, you get healthier, and less chemically-induced meatballs than pre-made (which, on top of being made with fattier ground beef, would be loaded with preservatives) and you get to add in the spices that give these subs their reuben flavor. So you’re finding a use for a lean meat like turkey that celebrates, rather than apologizes for, itself.

The only time-consuming part of this recipe is making the meatballs — that is, mixing the spices into the turkey meat and rolling them into meatballs. That takes maybe ten minutes, depending on how many meatballs you make.

Italian side note: There is only one right way to make a meatball. None of this using a spoon crap. Get your hands in there, grab three fingers-full of meat, and roll it quickly between your palms. It’s worth the slime, I promise. You’ll get adorable little meatballs with no split seams, perfectly round and smooth.

You will also get hands that look like this (from the paprika).

While the meatballs are broiling, you have more than enough time to prep the sub buns (I highly recommend taking the recipe’s suggestion to hollow-out the bread — you can actually pick up and eat the sub that way!), and make the coleslaw while the meatballs are broiling. In fact, you’ve got enough time that I’d even advocate making your own coleslaw — just use the vegetable peeler on a couple of carrots, chop or shred some lettuce, cabbage, whatever you have on hand, and toss it with the dressing.

You end up with a filling, well-rounded meal in about twenty minutes start to finish. And you can enjoy that meal knowing what’s in it — no mystery ingredients, no chemicals, and a lot less fat than your average burger, with none of the flavor removed.

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