Turkey Burgers a.k.a. Cheater Day

Not imaginative, I know. And yet another meal we’ve had before, many, many times! But here’s the deal. We are working on living on a budget, which means eating out a lot less. *SIGH* We love to eat out. Love, love, love it! I especially love it when I don’t feel like cooking, which is often when I’m pressed for time. So what does one do when you used to go out when that happened? Cook something fast and easy, that’s what! I’ve been trying to freeze leftovers for situations like this, but sometimes that’s not practical. Like today. We visited my parents this weekend and came home on Sunday. I knew I wasn’t going to feel like cooking after spending 3 1/2 hours in the car and there wasn’t going to be enough time for heating up something in the oven, so I planned turkey burgers! They cook in about 15 minutes, so while they’re cooking, I’m slicing cheese, tomatoes, pickles and washing the lettuce. This time I “fried” an egg to put on top of my husband’s burger to change it up a bit! He LOVED it!

I super cheated this time. I bought frozen turkey burger patties from Trader Joes. I could make my own, and if I ever think ahead enough, I will. I have an amazing meatloaf recipe that makes super flavorful burgers, which I’ll share one of these days!

Crock Pot Lasagna- It’s Another Keeper!

My husband loved this recipe. Loved, loved, loved it! I took our daughter and went out of town this weekend and he told me he ate it for two lunches and a dinner while we were gone. Now that is a high rating from him if he ate it for four meals!

I didn’t halve this recipe because I wasn’t sure what would happen to it, other than be super flat, and ended up freezing the other half for another dinner when I don’t feel like cooking. (Our freezer is filling up fast!) Another note about this recipe is that I waited too long to get it started and I turned it on high for about an hour to an hour and a half and then turned it to low for two hours. One section of the exterior got a bit dark or, um, burned, but the rest of it was fine, so I guess you can just watch it if you are in a rush or just chance it and cut it off if need be.
Again, my thought that lasagna is hard to make was squelched! I mean, how hard is mixing and layering ingredients?! Maybe I think it’s hard because if you order it in a restaurant you have to wait for it, making my brain think it’s hard work, rather than it’s just a made-to-order menu item? No idea. But it’s not hard, at all.

I’ll make this again because it was so good and easy. And my husband will be happy! And wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. He finished his dinner and said “That was so good! Too bad we’ll never see it again!”. Ha! WRONG!

Slow Cooker Lasagna

Adapted from cuteasafox.com

Ingredients

1 pound ground turkey breast
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 15 oz cans tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz)
1 container (15 oz) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
15 uncooked lasagna noodles

Directions

1. Cook sausage and onion in 10-inch skillet over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink. Drain.

2. Stir in tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt.

3. Mix 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese with the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses. (Refrigerate remaining mozzarella cheese while lasagna cooks.)

4. Spoon one-fourth of the sausage mixture into 6-quart slow cooker. top with 5 noodles, broken into pieces to fit. (Note: I just put one layer of noodles, in my slow cooker it is usually less than 5 lasagna noodles)

5. Spread with half of the cheese mixture and one-fourth of the sausage mixture. Top with 5 noodles, remaining cheese mixture and one-fourth of the sausage mixture.

6. Top with remaining 5 noodles and remaining sausage mixture.

7. Cover and cook on Low heat setting 4 to 6 hours or until noodles are tender. Note: Do not try to cook on high, the outside edges of the lasagna will burn. Trust me on that one.

8. Sprinkle top of lasagna with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Cover and let stand about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut into pieces and serve.

 

Open Faced Enchilada Veggie Quesadillas

It’s Taco Tuesday! So I decided to give these Open Faced Enchilada Veggie Quesadillas a try. I wasn’t sure what to expect, enchilada? Quesadilla? Humph. Whatever, they seemed easy enough!
First of all, I have to get this under control: onion. I follow the recipe, but I’m not sure if my onions are on steriods or not. When it says “one whole onion”, I use one whole onion, but I’m thinking a whole small onion is what they meant. It was like we were having enchilada onion quesadillas. I’m not a fan of raw onion (unless it’s minced and I can’t tell), but cooked onion is fine, at least used sparingly it’s fine! I had to take most of it off my dinner. In fact, there were so many onions I was thinking “fajita” should be added into the title somewhere.

tastykitchen.com/blog/

Anyway, when my husband saw dinner he said “Mexican Pizzas?”, which is exactly what they reminded me of! What a much simplier way to say it! As I tried to take a bite, I wondered what on earth I was doing wrong… then my husband said “how am I supposed to eat this?”. I told him “very carefully!”. It wasn’t until after dinner that I noticed a) they were smaller flour tortillas then I used (I used the Trader Joes Organic Whole Wheat Olive Oil Tortillas (hey, that’s almost as long as the title!) and b) the picture of them cut up. Ha!
As for it being kid friendly, it depends on the kid. My kid won’t even eat cooked onions, so I just took them and the bell peppers off and she gladly ate it up. I suppose you could even add black beans for some extra protein. I’d say I’d do that next time, except there won’t be a next time unless I feel like experimenting because as tasty and easy as these were, there are just too many recipes and so little time!

Open Faced Enchilada Veggie (Fajita) Quesadilla (Mexican Pizzas)

Ingredients

  • 4 whole Flour Tortillas
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 whole Onion, Thinly Sliced
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt To Taste
  • ⅛ teaspoons Black Pepper To Taste
  • ½ cups Green Bell Pepper, Diced
  • ½ cups Yellow Bell Pepper, Diced
  • ½ cups Red Bell Pepper, Diced
  • ¼ cups Enchilada Sauce
  • ½ cups Black Olives, Chopped
  • 1 cup Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • ¼ cups Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
  • ¼ cups Sour Cream For Garnish

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 F. Place tortillas on an ungreased baking sheet, lightly spray with cooking spray and prick all over with a fork. Bake for 5-6 minutes, until they are puffed and begin to turn golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Keep the oven on. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions to the skillet, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until onions turn translucent and begin to caramelize (about 8-10 minutes). When the onions are almost done, add the diced peppers and cook just until they begin to soften. Remove skillet from heat. Spoon about 1-2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce over each of the baked tortillas. Top with the onions and veggie mixture, olives and cheese. Place it back in the oven and cook for 5-6 more minutes, until the cheese has melted. Remove from oven and garnish with fresh cilantro and sour cream.  http://tastykitchen.com/blog/2013/03/open-faced-enchilada-veggie-quesadillas/

Crock Pot Chicken Stew

This is a big, fat, unfortunate “no way” for me. (Even though the picture looks delicious!) However, I LOVE big flavor so if you don’t love big flavor, then give this one a try! I am always on the hunt for crock pot meals and since I don’t eat beef or pork and am not super crazy about beans, it’s pretty dang hard to find a crock pot meal that I can make!

Crock Pot Chicken Stew

mummydeals.org

 

I found this blog that referred to this blog as the “Top 10 Slow Cooker Meals of 2012”, so I checked it, and low and behold it was mostly chicken meals! Woo Hoo! Except, after saving them all to my meal planner and I then reading the blog, I discovered that the woman was from England… which, stereotypically, means meals that are most likely not full of flavor. Or so I am thinking. We shall see. However, the first of all the crockpot meals I planned, this was a big sad dinner. It was totally flavorless which could be because I don’t eat pork and therefore used turkey bacon, and unfortunately it cooked too long, which was my fault because I did one hour on high because I was yet again in a hurry (I need a time management manager!) and then 1 hour on low and I only made three chicken breasts. Anyway, I should have known there wasn’t much flavor just by the simple ingredients. If you are one to tweak recipes to your liking by adding things, please do. I will not make this one again because there are too many recipes and so little time!

Crock Pot Chicken Stew

adapted from mummydeals.org

 Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 slices bacon cooked
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms/ 8oz container
  • 1 small bottle of white wine I used zinfandel. (I mean the teeny tiny bottles that are 6.3oz)


Directions

Add the bacon to the bottom of the crock pot.

Place the mushrooms on top and add the chicken breasts on the top.

Pour the wine over and then fill the bottle with cold water and pour that over the whole thing.

Cook on low 4-6 hours or high 2-3.

Open the slow cooker and sprinkle in some corn starch to thicken. Stir fast to thicken the sauce.

Cook for another 15 minutes.

Serve with bread.

 

 

 

Meatless Monday x2

I felt a little crazy and ended up making two recipes tonight. I had a meeting to be at and it all came together 10 minutes before I had to walk out the door. Needless to say I didn’t get to enjoy it like I had hoped, but it was pretty dang good! I started prepping around 4:30 and at 6:20 it was all done. It was a little too involved, time wise for a week night, so I won’t be doing that again, but each individual recipe will definitely make it into our monthly rotation.

The reason I made two recipes is that I had purchased all the ingredients for the Leek & Chantrelle Tart the week prior with the intention of making it last Monday, but we ate out and since chantrelle mushrooms aren’t cheap, I didn’t want to waste them. Then, because it was actually cold here, I really wanted to make a soup, so I made Creamy, Light Potato Soup from Cooking Light. Ideally the soup with a salad or a bread of some type would have been ideal, but I’m not sure the tart would have stood alone either. But I suppose the tart may not have been intended to be a dinner… The good thing about the tart is that you can use a store bought crust (which after making the one in the recipe I would NOT recommend doing), but if you’re pressed for time and somewhat organized, you can make the crust up to two days prior. This is in no way a low fat recipe, but it’s totally worth it.
Anyway, here are the recipes: From Sunset Magazine (which actually may have been a Pinterest pin)

Leek & Chanterelle Tart

For the crust:

  • 1 cup flour, plus more for rolling out dough
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

For the filling:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 leeks, white and very light green parts halved, cleaned, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound chanterelles, cut into about 1-in. pieces
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated gruyère cheese

Preparation

  1. Make crust: In a medium bowl, mix flour, salt, and pepper. Rub butter into flour until most of it looks like cornmeal but some larger, pea-size pieces remain. Drizzle in 3 tbsp. ice-cold water while stirring quickly with a fork. Or, pulse flour, salt, pepper, and butter in a food processor until a coarse, cornmeal-textured mixture forms, then drizzle in ice water until dough comes together. Turn dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and use wrap to press dough into a 1-in.-thick disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly flour a work surface. Unwrap dough; with a rolling pin gently roll it, turning dough 90° between each roll, into a 12-in. circle.
  3. Place rolled-out dough in a 9 1/2-in. tart pan. Trim edges flush with pan edges. Cover dough with a large piece of aluminum foil and weigh down with pie weights, dried beans, or uncooked rice.
  4. Bake crust 20 minutes. Lift foil and weights off crust and bake until beginning to turn golden, about 10 minutes. Let crust cool to room temperature.
  5. Meanwhile, make filling: Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add leeks and salt and cook, stirring, until leeks are soft, about 3 minutes. Turn heat to high and add mushrooms. Cook, stirring constantly, until mushrooms have given off their liquid, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in thyme, cream, and pepper, then turn off heat and let cool to room temperature.
  6. Spread half of the grated cheese over tart crust. Spread leek-mushroom mixture on top and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and golden, about 25 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before cutting. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The soup was super delicious and low fat, which helped balance out all the butter in the tart! The one thing I would do differently is to whip the potatoes, like mashed potatoes, instead of blending them because the potatoes turned into a gloppy paste, which was unattractive, but still tasty. Also, I left out the bacon (we eat turkey bacon), just because I didn’t have time to make any.

Creamy, Light Potato Soup
Ingredients

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 1 cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
5  garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound cubed peeled baking potato (about 2)
1 pound cubed Yukon gold potato (about 4)
5 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 bay leaf
1 pound cauliflower, cut into florets (about 1/2 head)
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
Cooking spray
1 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
1/2 cup fat-free fromage blanc (such as Vermont Creamery) or sour cream
2 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup)
4 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, thyme, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes, stock, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until potatoes are very tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf.
3. While potatoes simmer, combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, cauliflower, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray; toss to coat. Roast at 450° for 30 minutes or until browned, turning once.
4. Place cauliflower mixture and milk in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour cauliflower mixture into a large bowl. Add half of potato mixture to blender; pulse 5 to 6 times or until coarsely chopped. Pour into bowl with cauliflower mixture. Repeat with remaining potato mixture. Place cauliflower-potato mixture in Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 cup green onions, and fromage blanc; stir until fromage blanc melts. Ladle soup into 8 bowls. Top evenly with remaining green onions, cheese, and bacon.

Questions or comments? Feel free to post!