Tag Archives: turkey

Paleo Picadillo Lettuce Wraps

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I can’t think of any food that screams childhood more than Sloppy Joe’s–okay maybe, Macaroni and Cheese, or better yet, both of these together! But my favorite adult version of sloppy joes is the Latin style Picadillo, which is typically served as filling for tacos or on a sandwich in Latin cultures. But who needs tacos or bread when you can wrap it in lettuce?!  This is a great meal to make in a pinch and will only take you about 30 minutes, fifteen of which you can leave this delicious medley of flavors sitting on the stove to simmer. Picadillo is generally made with ground beef but I opted for ground turkey since my local store always stocks the organic version.

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Picadillo Lettuce Wraps (Adapted from Food Network Magazine) (Diffculty-Easy, Serves 4)

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 1/4 lbs free-range organic ground turkey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 oz organic tomato paste
  • 1/3 c dried cranberries
  • 1/2 c chopped pimiento-stuffed olives, plus 2 Tbsp olive juice
  • 2 heads organic romaine hearts organic iceberg
  • Sliced avocado, for garnish (optional)

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until slightly soft, about 2 minutes. Add the bay leaves, cumin, chili powder and allspice; toast 1 to 2 minutes to bring out the flavors and fragrance of the spices. Add the turkey, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Cook about 5 minutes, breaking up the meat.

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Add the tomato paste and stir until brick red, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 2 cups water, the dried cranberries, olives and olive juice. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over medium heat until thickened, about 15 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring, 3 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

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Serve turkey mixture over rinsed and dried leaves of romaine or iceberg lettuce. Garnish with sliced avocado, if desired.

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Coconut Curry Turkey Meatballs

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This recipe is incredibly easy, packed with protein and flavor, and so versatile! You can serve these as an appetizer or snack to party guests, eat them as a meal with a side of sautéed veggies and coconut cauliflower rice, or even as a side to your favorite curry (check out my Saag Paneer and Fish Tikka Masala!). I made the meatballs with ground turkey meat that I already had on hand, but they can easily be made with ground chicken, or even with chicken breasts processed with all of the ingredients in a food processor (or beef or lamb if you prefer). What’s great about this recipe is that the shredded carrot and coconut really help the meatballs retain their moisture making it a great option for poultry. A dab of sweet chili sauce gives them that perfect extra little kick if you’re willing to indulge in a small bit of sugar. I just can’t get enough curry in my life–hope you enjoy!

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Coconut Curry Turkey Meatballs (Adapted from Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals) (Difficulty-Easy, Serves 4)

  • 1 lb. organic free range ground turkey (or chicken)
  • 1/2 c. grated organic carrot (about half a large carrot)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 egg, lightly scrambled
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse ground sea salt
  • 1/2 c. organic parsley, chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp. extra virgin organic coconut oil
  • sweet chili sauce for topping (optional)

Place the ground turkey, carrot, garlic, coconut, egg, curry powder, salt and parsley in a medium mixing bowl and combine using your hands until ingredients are well incorporated into the turkey meat. Using your hands, form 12 medium sized meatballs.

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Heat coconut oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Place meatballs in hot oil and brown about 2 minutes. Turn meatballs over and continue browning another 5 minutes. Cover the pan and continue cooking 6-7 more minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.

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Serve with a dab of sweet chili sauce.

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Mediterranean Lollipops–Turkey Kofte

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Nothing beats a flavor-packed refreshing Mediterranean dish like kofte with greek yogurt and Baba Ghanoush. While flipping through my most recent edition of Cook’s Illustrated magazine, I stumbled upon a recipe for kofte and was immediately drawn in. Their original recipe calls for ground lamb, but I opted to substitute this for ground turkey, but it can also be made with ground beef–have your pick! This meal is unbelievably satisfying and flavorful–it’s the perfect balance of a hot home-cooked meal with cool salads for a hot summer day.

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Turkey Kofte with Yogurt Sauce (Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated) (Difficulty-Intermediate; Serves 4)

Yogurt-Garlic Sauce:

  • 1 c. greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 c. minced organic parsley
  • 1 tsp. salt

Kofte:

  • 1 lb. all-natural free-range ground turkey (or substitute lamb or beef)
  • 1/2 c. pine nuts
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1/3 c. minced organic parsley
  • 1/3 c. minced organic mint
  • 1 1/2 tsp. arrow root powder
  • 8 skewers, soaked in water

The article in Cook’s Illustrated detailed the hard work of testing out several different skewers to find the best ones–the resolution was that simple metal skewers work the best, but since I don’t have any at home and wanted to make this dish ASAP, I just stopped at the store and grabbed some pre-soaked wooden skewers and soaked them again at home for good measure. I also used a grill pan for this recipe instead of a real gas or charcoal grill so I needed to trim the skewers about an inch to fit on my grill pan. That extra step was well worth the convenience of grilling these quickly right on my stove.

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Make the Yogurt Sauce: Whisk all ingredients in a bowl and set in the refrigerator to chill.

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Make the Kofte: Add the pine nuts, garlic, paprika, salt, cumin, pepper, coriander, nutmeg and cinnamon to a food processor and pulse until a coarse paste forms, about 1 minute. Transfer the spice mixture to a large bowl with the ground turkey, onion, parsley, mint, and arrow root powder, which is used to firm up the meat mixture so that it is properly stable on the skewer. I swapped this in for the gelatin used in the original recipe. Knead the mixture with your hands until thoroughly combined and the mixture feels slightly sticky, about 2 minutes. Divide into 8 equal portions and shape each portion into a 5-inch cylinder. Thread each cylinder onto a skewer, pressing gently to adhere. Transfer the skewers to a lightly greased baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour. (I actually froze mine for 30 minutes because I was in that much of a hurry to eat this delicious meal!)

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Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and lightly spray with all-natural cooking oil. Place the skewers on the hot grill pan and sear about 5-7 minutes on each side. While cooking, place a large lid of a pot over the grill pan to seal in the heat. This will ensure that the turkey is cooked all the way through.

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Serve with yogurt sauce, Baba Ghanoush, freshly sliced cucumbers and any other condiment your heart desires.

Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps

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Why spend money on take out when you can make amazingly simple and healthy Thai food right in your own kitchen?! This dish literally took me 15 minutes to throw together and is a vibrantly flavored Primal meal. I like my Thai food extra spicy so the blend of chiles and citrus really make this dish for me. If you are sensitive to spice, definitely tone down the chile and sriracha in this recipe. I particularly love Thai and other Asian foods in the warmer weather months because the flavors are so fresh and bright so you can expect a few more “take-out” recipes to pop up soon.

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Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps (highly adapted from Food Network Magazine) (Difficulty-Easy; Serves 3-4)

For the sauce:

  • 1/3 c. fresh lime juice (from about 2-3 organic limes)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, or Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sriracha
  • 1 Tbsp. raw honey

For the turkey filling:

  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil
  • medium onion, diced
  • 3 organic scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. zest from an organic lemon
  • 2 serrano chiles, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • coarse sea salt
  • 1 lb. organic free range ground turkey (preferably dark meat)
  • 1/2 c. chopped organic cilantro
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head butter or romaine lettuce, leaves separated

Make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, vinegar and honey. Set aside.

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Make the turkey: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, scallions, lemon zest, chiles, and salt to taste. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the turkey and season with salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the meat and vegetables are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the dressing to the pan and cook 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.

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Spoon the turkey mixture onto the lettuce leaves and arrange on a serving platter.

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Turkey Burgers with Pistachio Pesto

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I’m always looking for quick meals to make during the week after work and burgers are always a great option,  since there are so many variations of what you put in them and on top! I always love to make my pistachio arugula pesto on primal pizzas, so I thought this recipe from Mark Sisson’s Primal Cookbook was a great and easy way to spruce up a burger too–with no bun of course!

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Primal Turkey Burgers with Pistachio Pesto (Highly adapted from Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals) (Difficulty-Easy; Serves 4)

Burgers:

1 1/4 lbs. free range organic ground turkey
1 tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. allspice
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ c.chopped parsley

Pesto:
1 garlic clove
1 c. unsalted shelled pistachios
½ c. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. lemon juice, or more to taste
¼ c. loosely packed basil leaves
sea salt

Mix the ground turkey and remaining burger ingredients together in a medium bowl. Form four patties and pan-fry or grill them, about 6-7 minutes per side.

While the burgers are cooking, blend together pesto ingredients in a food processor.

Serve burgers with pesto drizzled on top.