Deliciously Healthy Herbed Turkey Patties with Oven Roasted Asparagus

Tonight’s dinner was ridiculously (and so, so deliciously) healthy and easy! I’m so excited to share this recipe with you all.

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Below are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2 pounds of 94% lean ground turkey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup red onions, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp gourmet burger seasoning, such as Weber brand
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

In a medium sized nonstick pan, drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil and saute the onions for 4 minutes, adding the garlic after 3 minutes with another tbsp of olive oil; then, remove both from heat and set aside.

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Combine the ground turkey, seasoned bread crumbs, dried herbs, fresh parsley, burger seasoning, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, onions and garlic.

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Form into patties with your hands, making them as big or as small as you like. I used about a quarter of a pound each of meat and made 6 patties.

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Put them on a George Foreman or similar type of grill for 10 minutes.

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While those were grilling, I made some oven roasted asparagus, sprinkled with a blend of shredded Italian cheeses. Simply wash some asparagus, spray a piece of foil with Pam and place the asparagus on a baking sheet. Drizzle the asparagus generously with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put in a 350 degree heated oven, bake for 20 minutes; after 20 minutes, remove from heat, sprinkle the asparagus with shredded cheese (the blend I used had mozzarella, cheddar, provolone, and asiago cheese), and put back in the oven for 1 minute. After 1 minute, broil for 1 minute and remove from heat completely.

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Serve the asparagus with the intensely flavorful turkey patties!

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These turkey patties are so healthy that while they were on the grill, not one drop of fat trickled down. When Foster Farms said this ground turkey was 94% lean, they weren’t kidding! My husband told me that these turkey patties were, hands down, one of the best things I’ve ever made (hence, one patty is missing from the picture above, because he just couldn’t resist any longer!)

From my home and kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this meal.

Bon appétit!

Stuffed Bell Peppers

One of the most important factors for me when making a dish is whether or not it’s healthy and good for my family. Sure, we all need to indulge every now and then by having a cheat meal, but I tend to veer more on the side of healthy dinners, rather than unhealthy dinners. And, most of the time, what I make for dinner really does depend on the ingredients I have on hand. So, the quest was to come up with a delicious, but healthy, dinner. That’s when I decided to make stuffed bell peppers! Here’s what you’ll need to recreate these beauties:

  • 8 green bell peppers
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • Mini bell peppers, cut lengthwise
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup reduced fat Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup reduced fat Jack Cheese, shredded
  • Your favorite pasta sauce (I used Classico’s Fire Roasted Tomato & Garlic, 16 ounces)
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp Basil
  • 1 tsp Oregano

OK, now let’s get started! First, you want to wash your bell peppers, dry them off, cut off their tops and remove the seeds. You can choose to use the tops but I decided not to. Then, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and parboil your bell peppers in there for 5 minutes. This is an important step, as it really softens the bell peppers in a way that the oven won’t. If you skip this step, your bell peppers will turn out crunchy, so, be forewarned.

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While the bell peppers are boiling, cook your rice. You can use a rice cooker or cook it on the stove, like I like did, since it’s a huge time saver. I used 3 cups of water for 2 cups of rice, salted the water, and added a tablespoon of olive oil. It took about 15 minutes for my rice to get fully cooked.

After the bell peppers have boiled, pour the pot of bell peppers inside a colander to drain. Remove with tongs (as the bell peppers will still be extremely hot), and pat dry with a paper towel. Set aside and let them cool slightly, while we move on to preparing the stuffing.

In a large nonstick pan, cook the ground beef. Drain the fat in a bowl to discard later. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and saute the mini bell peppers until soft, along with the onions, until translucent. Add the diced tomatoes. Mix in the rice. Add salt and pepper, Italian seasoning, basil and oregano along with the fresh garlic. Add garlic powder and a tablespoon at a time of Worcestershire sauce, until it starts giving the stuffing that strong flavor that Worcestershire sauce is known for. Add the cilantro.

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I used a 13 x 9 glass Pyrex, sprayed the bottom with Pam, then, covered the entire bottom of the Pyrex with pasta sauce. Grab each bell pepper, sprinkle the inside with sea salt, as well as a mixture of both the cheeses. Spoon a little bit of the stuffing inside the bell pepper, layer with some pasta sauce on top, add more of the stuffing, and finish with more pasta sauce.

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Place the bell peppers inside a 350 degree oven. After 25 minutes of being in the oven, take them out, sprinkle them with more of the two types of cheeses (but, this time on top), along with the Panko bread crumbs, and put them back in the oven for 10 more minutes. Then, broil for 3-4 minutes or until the bread crumbs are brown and toasted.

And, voila! When you take them out of the oven, they should look a little something like this:Image

Who doesn’t love some melting, cheesy goodness? Best of all, if you have leftover stuffing that you couldn’t use for the bell peppers, you can always eat the stuffing the next day just like that. It really does taste that good. According to my husband, these stuffed bell peppers were amazing! I am sure they will be a hit in your home, too.

Beef and Zucchini Curry

One afternoon, after getting off of work, I wanted to make something tasty but had limited ingredients on hand. I rummaged around our pantry, fridge, and freezer, in dire need of The Creativity Fairy to hit me on the head with her magic wand and throw me an idea. And, that’s when she made her appearance and did just that. I found some lean ground beef, had some vegetables on hand, and decided to make my first ever beef and zucchini curry.

Here’s my recipe:

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • Zucchini, chopped (I used 2 but you can use however much you like, depending on your preference for zucchini)
  • A handful of colorful mini bell peppers, cut lengthwise
  • 1 small purple onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Shan Spice Mix for Tandoori Chicken BBQ (you can also use garam masala, instead)
  • 1/2 can of diced green chiles
  • Powdered ground ginger
  • Parsley, chopped
  • Black pepper, and lots of it!
  • Sea salt

In a small nonstick pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil and the zucchini, sauteing until soft. Set aside. In a large nonstick pan, add the lean ground beef, breaking it up into small pieces, and fry it until well done. Drain the fat in a bowl and discard later. Add a small amount of olive oil to the pan, add the onions, sauteing until soft and translucent, as well as the bell peppers. Transfer the zucchini from the small pan to the large pan. Add the tomatoes, diced green chiles, and garlic. Add the tomato paste and mix it with the rest of the ingredients inside the pan. To thin out the sauce, add 1 1/2 cups of water. Add the ground ginger, spice mix for tandoori chicken, salt and lots of black pepper. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, so that the flavors all blend together. Add chopped parsley on top, while the simmering is taking place, to add bold flavor.

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Remove from heat, garnish with more chopped parsley, and serve on top of steaming hot rice.

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My husband absolutely loved this dish and told me it tasted just like his mom’s cooking. I hope your family enjoys this simple, yet, delicious, recipe, too.

Enjoy!

Welcome!

My love affair with cooking began only a year and a half ago. Growing up, I never had a defining moment where I knew I loved cooking. In fact, growing up and living at home with my parents, I always left the cooking to them. My parents worried what I would do when I got married, since the only things I had ever cooked up in the kitchen were eggs and, at best, a mean batch of pancakes. However, when I got married in 2011, things changed, and they changed quickly, at that. I developed this innate desire to provide for my husband through cooking him delicious dishes that he would relish. And, with each dish I made, I created a goal to outdo myself the next time. My husband was genuinely surprised how tasty my cooking was, especially since he, too, knew my reputation of never having cooked at home while living with my parents. Soon, the, “This tastes good,” remarks, changed to, “This tastes amazing, just like my mom’s cooking!” There’s a certain satisfaction a woman gets when her husband, as well as those around her, enjoys her cooking. Little by little, I started experimenting, looking up recipes on Google, and putting my own spin on them.

Growing up and eating my mom’s food, I would ask her how she made certain dishes; I would then demand her to give me exact measurements. When she told me she didn’t use exact measurements in the kitchen, I was puzzled. How could she not use exact measurements? I thought. Only now, many years later, have I come to realize that the true art of cooking consists in not having to use precise measurements.

By no means am I a chef but I do feel I am a self-taught cook, and a good cook, at that. I’ve come to learn that with cooking, there isn’t always a clearly defined recipe to succeed and make great dishes. Rather, it’s about letting your creative juices flow and having some fun in the kitchen! It’s also about taking risks and not being afraid to try new things by throwing new flavors together.

I hope you all enjoy my recipes that I will be sharing on here, from my kitchen to yours!