“Ranch” Turkey Burgers

I got to thinking about the ranch burgers I am always hearing about.  You know, mixing ranch salad dressing mix with your ground beef before making your burgers.  Since we eat a lot of turkey burgers, I decided the seasonings that go into my Homemade Ranch Dressing would be delicious in a turkey burger, and I was absolutely right!

“Ranch” Turkey Burgers

 

  • 1 1/4 lbs. Ground Turkey
  • 1 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Dried Parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Dried Chives
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Mix all ingredients and form into 5 patties.  Grill or pan fry in a little more olive oil until patties reach an internal temperature of 180 degrees.

This recipe calls for 1 1/4 lbs. ground turkey, because that is size package I had.  You could adjust the seasonings just slightly if you only have a 1 lb. package.

These were moist and delicious with a great ‘burger’ flavor.  I hope you enjoy them!

What is your favorite way to cook burgers?.

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Crock Pot Pork Stew

I usually would be doing a gardening post today, but I made the a really delicious stew on Sunday and wanted to share it with you.  It was a perfect Mother’s Day meal because I could just fix it and forget it.  Then when it was time to eat, it was ready to serve.

Crock Pot Pork Stew

Crock Pot Pork Stew

  • 1 1/2 – 2 lb. boneless Pork Tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 5-6 medium Red Potatoes
  • 3 medium Carrots
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 lb. Mushrooms
  • 1 stalk Celery
  • 2 tsp. dried Thyme
  • 3 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp. Butter
  • 2 tbsp. all purpose Flour (I used Brown Rice Flour to make it gluten free)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 cup Chicken or Turkey Stock
  • 2 cups Water, approximately

Cut all vegetables except celery into large chunks, all approximately the same size.  Chop celery.  Layer potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, celery and onion in crock pot in that order. Sprinkle with the Thyme and some salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, brown pork in olive oil.  When brown, remove from pan and place on top of vegetables in crock pot, leaving oil in pan.  Add butter to pan and melt.  Whisk in flour, salt and pepper.  Continue to whisk and cook on medium heat until flour begins to brown. Slowly add stock and then water, continuing to whisk while adding.  Once your gravy is smooth (you want it to be rather thin), pour it over your meat and vegetables in the crock pot.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.  In the last hour you may need to stir the stew, especially if you notice that some of your flour is sitting on top of the meat.  I noticed this, but it may be because I used the brown rice flour.

This was such a delicious dish that my mom said she is going to make it for the next covered dish meal at her church.  For me, that is quite a compliment!

What is your favorite dish to cook in the crock pot?

Ground Turkey Jamboree

This is my adaptation of my mom’s recipe for Meat Jamboree.  This one has less fat, no additives and no gluten.  I hope you enjoy it.

Ground Turkey Jamboree

Ground Turkey Jamboree

  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground Turkey
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 1/4 cups Homemade Tomato Soup
  • 2 cups cooked Brown Rice
  • 3/4 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup cooked Green Beans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brown chopped onion in olive oil.  Add ground turkey and season with salt and pepper, cooking until turkey is no longer pink.  Stir in tomato soup.  In 2 qt. greased casserole, layer 1 cup of cooked rice, half of ground turkey mixture and 1/4 cup cheese.  Repeat with remaining rice, turkey mixture and another 1/4 cup cheese.  Arrange green beans on top and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Remove cover and continue baking for 10 minutes.

Note:  For additional flavor, cook rice in chicken or turkey stock, which makes a delicious side dish on its on.

I hope you enjoy this delicious casserole, the DH loved it!

What is your favorite casserole that your mom used to make?

Tuna and Green Pea Salad with Homemade Ranch Dressing

When I was younger (much younger) my mother would occasionally make us a wonderful green salad for lunch with canned tuna, green peas and mayonnaise.  I always enjoyed that salad, but as I got older, I realized I liked it even better with ranch dressing.  Now that I am eating healthier I make my own ranch dressing, which is even better than the store bought kind.  Here is the recipe.

Tuna and Green Pea Salad

Tuna and Green Pea Salad

  • 1 Bunch Romaine Lettuce, chopped
  • 2 Green Onions, sliced
  • 2 Tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Pouch Tuna (6.4 oz)
  • 1 Small (8.5 oz) Can Green Peas, drained (I always use Le Sueur Very Young Small Sweet Peas)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients and serve with homemade ranch dressing.

Homemade Ranch Dressing/Dip

  • 3/4 Cup Sour Cream
  • 3/4 Cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1/3 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. Chopped Chives
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. Chopped Parsley
  • 1 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp. Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar

Combine all ingredients, whisk to blend and serve.  This make a very thick, creamy ranch with the consistency of a dip.  If you like your dressing a bit thinner, you can add 1-2 cups of buttermilk (depending on the consistency you want).  If you want to use fresh chives and fresh parsley, you will need to double the amounts listed.  To make this low fat, just use fat free sour cream, fat free greek yogurt and light mayonnaise, and it tastes just as good.

Something about the combination of the tuna, green peas and fresh vegetables makes this an absolutely delicious meal.

What is your favorite additions to a green salad?

Salmon with Citrus Salsa

I had 2 salmon fillets that I planned to cook for dinner last week and had seen some recipes for serving it with a citrus salsa.  When I went to check those recipes again, I didn’t have all the ingredients for any one recipe so I decided to wing it.  This is what I came up with:

Salmon with Citrus Salsa

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar
  • 1 orange
  • 1 grapefruit
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp. chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped Vidalia onion (or other sweet onion)

Peel grapefruit and orange, making sure to remove the white pith.  Cut out the sections from the membrane into a small bowl.  Add the lime zest of a whole lime and the juice of half of the lime.  Add your chopped cilantro and onion, stir and set aside.  Rub salmon with the agave nectar and cook on an oiled griddle or skillet (it only takes a little olive oil on your griddle or pan, just to keep the salmon from sticking).  I pan seared them for about 3 minutes on each side, then covered them for another 3-4 minutes (we like our salmon well done), but cook them to your liking.  Serve with the citrus salsa on top.

My husband was very impressed with this meal.  I served it with roasted vegetables and it made a very nice presentation, as well as a delicious meal.  I think you could use whatever citrus you have (oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, etc.) and could probably vary the seasoning a bit, as there were several different recipes I found for citrus salsa.  The pairing of the citrus and the salmon is ideal, though.

What is your favorite side dish with fish?

Purple Hull Pea and Rice Salad

Purple Hull Pea and Rice Salad

I was reading one of the blogs I follow, called Danny’s Kitchen, and saw on there that he was running what he calls the Great Leftover Challenge.  Being a fairly new blogger like me, he was not offering any prizes, but it still intrigued me.  So I went straight to the refrigerator to see what kind of leftovers I had.  I found some leftover purple hull peas that I had cooked with some ham (I live in the south, I cook ALL peas with ham).  I also found some leftover rice that was a mixture of brown and wild rice.  So Purple Hull Pea and Rice salad was born.

Purple Hull Pea and Rice Salad

  • 1-1 1/2 cups cooked purple hull peas
  • 1 cup cooked brown and wild rice mixture
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. pimento stuffed green olives, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

I started off microwaving the peas and rice for about 30 seconds each, as I wanted the salad at room temperature, then I mixed them together.  I added the onion and olives. Then I made a vinaigrette by whisking together the vinegar and mustard, and adding the olive oil while continuing to whisk.  I then tossed the vinaigrette with the pea and rice mixture, added a little pepper and enjoyed.  This made about 2 good sized servings, so you could double or triple the recipe to feed more people.

The flavor was mild, but delicious.  After letting the salad sit in the refrigerator overnight, the flavor has developed and it tastes even better!  I think I still prefer it not so cold, though. So my suggestion would be to make it ahead and refrigerate, but then remove it from the fridge about 30 minutes to an hour before serving.  You could set it out when you start dinner and it would probably be perfect by the time the meal is ready!

I think I need to get cooking so I’ll have more leftovers to play with…that was fun!

What is your favorite use of leftovers?

Unique Party Foods – Greek Turkey Meatballs with Skinny Tzatziki

I have been asked to give suggestions for unique foods to take to an office party.  Now taking something healthy that is also delicious is unique in and of itself, but I went searching for some things that are really unique.  So this is the first of a series that I will be working on for a while.  Some will be my own recipes and  some (like this one) will be other’s recipes that I have tried and found to be delicious!

Photo Courtesy of skinnytaste.com

These Greek Turkey Meatballs are awesome!  I made them last night (they made a great dinner with a side of roasted vegetables) and DH thought they were delicious.  He, of course, did not eat them with the Skinny Tzatziki sauce, as he doesn’t eat creamy things (I know, weird huh?), but said they are great all by themselves.  I really liked the sauce on them and could have just eaten it with a spoon all by itself!  I also made sure I tried them at room temperature, since that is probably how they would be served at a party, and they were still wonderful.  Just click on the recipe names to be taken directly to the recipes.

Both recipes call for several fresh herbs, some of which I had.  I did not, however, have any fresh dill or parsley, so I just used dry herbs in their place at half the amount.  It did not seem to hurt the taste at all.  I would suggest you use some fresh herbs though and not try to substitute all of them with dry ones.  You do want some of that fresh taste to come through.  Also, I made the meatballs quite small (about 1 inch) and they made more than 17, I would say about 25-30 meatballs.

So, try these for your next office party (or any party for that matter) and then please come back here and let me know how much they were enjoyed.  I will happily pass along all comments.  And I want to give a big thanks to Gina at skinnytaste.com for allowing me to use her recipe!

What is your favorite food to take to an office party?  Let me know and maybe I can help make it healthier!