Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Turkey Meat Sauce

Turkey meat sauce is a recipe I have been making for years but I never make it the same way I am always doing some editing, until now! Why I hadn’t thought to utilize my food processor before is beyond me! This quick easy delicious and not to mention healthy recipe is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. 

- 1 28oz. can of Whole Plum Tomatoes with Juice
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp. EVOO
- 1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped
-1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 1 package of ground turkey meat (can substituent with any ground meat)
- white wine
- basil (if desired)
- oregano (of desired)
- salt and pepper
-heavy cream (if desired)

Pulse the carrot and garlic in a food processor until the garlic is finely chopped. Add the tomatoes and their juices, oil and a 1/4 tsp of salt and pepper and pulse until finely chopped.

Transfer sauce to a pot and simmer until thickened 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile heat 1 tbsp of EVOO in large pan. Saute celery and onion until tender, about 5 minutes. 
Add turkey meat to pan and break up into small pieces, about 4 minutes. Next add in 1/2 cup dry white wine and bring to a simmer.
Next stir in the tomato sauce (this is when you would add the cream as well if you so choose) next season with oregano and basil and it is ready to be served.
I prefer to eat this dish prepared with zucchini linguine or occasionally some whole wheat pasta with of course some leafy greens or other green vegetable.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Healthy Shrimp Paella

I am always looking for a healthy spin on my favorite dishes and I recently came across this recipe by Daphne Oz in People Magazine. 

Growing up I loved eating Paella, it was a dish my mom would make every month or two and I thoroughly enjoyed it. While it is filled with fresh vegetables and seafood it is not always the healthiest of meals, so this recipe was a great find as it really fills the void I had for my rice heavy Paella.

- 1 cup pearl barley
- 3 cups water
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped (1½ cups)
- 1 cup thin red pepper strips
- 1 cup thin yellow pepper strips
- 1 small fennel bulb, stalks removed and cut into strips (1½ cups)
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika
- ½ tsp. ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 pinch saffron
- 2¼ cups hot vegetable stock
- ½ tsp. salt 
- ¾ lb. shelled large shrimp (about 16 shrimp)
- 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 6 marinated artichokes, drained and quartered (1 cup) 
-15 pitted Kalamata olives, halved (¼ cup)

Bring barley and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cover and boil for 2 more minutes. Turn off heat. Let sit, covered, for an hour, until water is absorbed.

Heat oil in a large pan or skillet over medium heat and cook onion until softened, 5 minutes.

Add peppers and fennel. Cook until vegetables soften, 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.

Add bay leaves, paprika, turmeric and cayenne. Mix in barley and cook for 2 minutes. Add vinegar, saffron, 2 cups stock and salt. Bring to a vigorous simmer.

Stir and cook until liquid reduces by half, 5 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer until most liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove bay leaves and discard.
Stir in shrimp, peas, tomatoes, artichokes, olives and remaining ¼ cup stock. Simmer for 2 minutes, then turn off heat. Cover tightly and let rest 10 minutes until shrimp are just cooked through. Divide among 4 bowls. Serve.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Brussels Sprouts Two Ways

I came across this recipe in January's issue of Bon Appetit Magazine and have made it a dozen times since reading it. As a child I did not grow up eating Brussels Sprouts so now that I know I love them I am always looking for a new recipe to spice them up and this recipe really hit the mark.

Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Chile

- 4 cups halved brussels sprouts
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic
- 1/4 cup oyster sauce
-  4 teaspoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce, preferably Thai thin soy sauce (such as Healthy Boy)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon (or more) 1/8"-thick slices of red Thai chiles
- Pinch of ground white pepper
- 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
Blanch brussels sprouts in a large pot of boiling salted water until bright green, about 15 seconds. Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and stir until light golden brown, about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a small bowl.

Increase heat to high; add brussels sprouts. Stir-fry until they begin to soften, 2–3 minutes. Add oyster sauce and next 5 ingredients. Stir-fry for 30 seconds; add chicken broth. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced slightly, about 2 minutes; add more chiles, if desired. Stir in garlic.

If you are looking for something a little less spicy then here is a recipe for you...

Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Shallots

- 1 pound Brussels sprouts
- 2 large shallots, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rings
- 2 medium crisp, firm apples (such as Gala, Honeycrisp or Braeburn), cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1/2 cup water, divided
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme

Rinse Brussels sprouts well and pull off any loose or yellowing leaves. Trim the stem ends and then quarter each sprout. Set aside.

Heat a large high-sided sauté pan over high heat. Add shallots to the very hot pan and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add apples and 1/4 cup water, scraping any brown bits from the bottom as the water sizzles. Cook until the liquid reduces by half, about 2 minutes. 

Add Brussels sprouts, remaining 1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons vinegar, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until the sprouts and apples are tender enough to be pierced all the way through with a fork, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Uncover, stir in remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar and the leaves pulled from sprigs of thyme. Scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan as liquid sizzles and reduces until nearly gone. Transfer to a serving bowl with any of the remaining liquid and serve immediately.