Sunday, October 23, 2011

Food & Wine's Beer-Braised Turkey Tacos

As you're well aware, we try to have taco night once per week, so I wanted to spice it up a little this week. I hunted through Food & Wine's website for healthy recipes and found this one as the answer to an otherwise usual taco dinner. I was mostly interested by the different combinations of flavor, and the ease of the recipe.

You'll need:
1 Turkey breast (I found one on sale and de-skinned/boned it myself); you can use turkey thighs if you prefer dark meat
Olive oil
Minced garlic
Oregano (it calls for fresh, I used dried)
1 Jalapeno pepper (stemmed, seeded, and sliced)
1 tomato (if you like it, I skipped it)
Tabasco (if you like it spicy)
Ground cinnamon (if you have a cinnamon stick, congratulations, I didn't)
1 12-oz bottle of a dark (preferably Mexican) beer- I used Bohemia
1 c of water
Your favorite tortillas/taco toppings

I started by putting S&P all over the turkey, and heating some olive oil in the bottom of my Dutch oven.
I added the turkey breast pieces and cooked about 6-8 minutes per side (until they browned).

I took the turkey out and added a little more olive oil, chopped onion, garlic, dried oregano, and jalapeno. I cooked that for a little while (maybe 5 minutes) and added a little water (to account for no tomato juices), ground cinnamon and Tabasco. I cooked that for about 4 minutes over medium.

Next I added the turkey, the bottle of beer, and the water to the pan. I boiled all of that together, and moved it to my simmer burner, covered it, and let it simmer for about an hour. I also turned the turkey once during.

Next, I took out the turkey, (here's where you remove your fancy cinnamon stick and fresh oregano if you had that...) and boiled all the sauce until it reduced to about 1/2 to 1/4 c (this took me around 10 minutes). While I did this, Mike shred the turkey meat.
Then, I put the reduced sauce into the mini food processor and pulsed it a few times, just to get it a little smoother.

We combined the turkey meat and sauce, stirred it up, and served!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


This was a very non-inspirational cooking week for me, I tried my best to empty out my refrigerator and not go to the grocery unless there was a dire need. So I searched the Spark People website for a healthy, easy recipe and found this one for some low calorie burritos.

You'll need:
Ground beef (I used 90/10 ground sirloin)
Red bell pepper (chopped)- recipe calls for 1/2, I used 1 whole
1/2 onion chopped
Jalapeno pepper (if you have it, I didn't...)
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1 can of Rotel (spicy or medium)
Your favorite tortillas

Literally, this is so easy it feels like I didn't even cook.
Brown the meat, add the chopped vegetables. (The recipe calls for adding 1 cup of water, I didn't, because there was enough water from the vegetables)
I added some Rotel for a little extra kick.

Cook on medium heat until your vegetables are soft, then serve into your pre-warmed tortillas.
I had some leftover veggies in the fridge, so I made a little salsa with Rotel, corn, white beans, and chopped red onion. I added a little lemon juice, agave syrup, and white vinegar (since I was out of lettuce, this counted as my salad).

Top your burrito with whatever you prefer. I've used Fage greek yogurt with a little lemon juice as a stand-in for sour cream, also some Mexican cheese or salsa!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Spicy Shrimp Pasta

You'll need:
10 Jumbo Shrimp (peeled with tails on)
Tomato paste
Whole grain pasta
Edamame or green peas
Red pepper flakes
1-2 Lemons

I went to our neighborhood grocery and couldn't pass up these jumbo shrimp. Having no idea what to do with them, I came home and discovered we had lemons, garlic, pasta, and edamame.
I boiled the pasta and reserved about 1c of the water. I added some cooked edamame to the pasta and set that aside.

Next, I put some salt and pepper on the shrimp (both sides), and sauteed them in a little bit of olive oil, only until they turned pink (about 90 seconds).

I removed the shrimp from the pan, set them aside, and sauteed a mixture of garlic, tomato paste, lemon zest, juice from 1 lemon, Tabasco, and red pepper flakes in the remaining olive oil. Then, I added the leftover cup of water from the pasta.

I let that come to a boil, then simmer for around 5-6 minutes.

I usually find that I season the protein instead of the pasta, and my pasta then falls short. So this time, I decided to pour the sauce onto the pasta/edamame mixture I'd made, and simply place the shrimp on top. This worked out great, I was able to dress it up with about 5-6 shrimp each, and the pasta had a spicy kick to it, while the shrimp retained their flavor. I sprinkled a little parmesan on top, and it was a perfect use-what-you-have, easy recipe! (I was also able to use the leftover pasta, sans shrimp, as lunch the next day by adding some sauteed tofu- making it a totally different meal.)