Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sloppy (Turkey) Joe's

This meal was inspired by Adam Sandler and Chris Farley on SNL, doing "Lunch Lady Land."  You know, "sloppy joe, slop sloppy joes."  Watch it for a laugh, or listen while you cook.

Anyway, sloppy joes can be made healthy by using lean turkey meat, fresh tomatoes (instead of ketchup with high-fructose corn syrup), organic bell pepper, and whole grain buns.   

  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 lb. Ground Turkey (99% lean is what I used)
  • 2 tsp. Minced Onion
  • 1 Organic Green Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 can (8 oz) Organic Tomato Sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) Organic Crushed Tomatoes (or use fresh)
  • 2 Tbsp.  Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 4 Whole-Wheat Hamburger Rolls


  1. Over medium heat, heat oil in a large saucepan.   Cook the turkey and onion until turkey is no longer pink.
  2. Add diced bell pepper and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to simmer.  Drain meat and put back in pan.
  4. Add in next seven ingredients (garlic powder, salt/pepper, tomato sauce, tomatoes, brown sugar, cider vinegar, and Worcestershire.  Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Serve on buns with Baked Sweet Potato Fries (see BBQ Chicken with Sweet Potato Fries Recipe) and Fresh Steamed Green Beans  (Steam with 2 Tbsp. Water for 5 minutes on stovetop while meat is simmering.  Or, my favorite, use the Pampered Chef microwave steamer. Top with a little melted organic butter) for your side dishes. 
For Freezing: You can freeze the Sloppy Turkey Joe meat for up to 3 months.  Just store in an airtight plastic bag (double bag) and be sure to label/date the bag.  Let defrost in the refrigerator during the day.  Then, put in skillet and cook on low for 10-15 minutes, until hot.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sweet 'n Sour Chicken Stir-Fry

You've gotta love stir-fries.  They are really fast and easy to make and also one of my favorite ways to get my daily dose of a variety of vegetables--the more color, the healthier (and of course, I used all organic and encourage you to do so also).  Plus, stir-fries taste so good; it doesn't even taste like you're eating healthy.  


16 oz Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (Organic!)
1/4 cup Cornstarch
2 Tbsp. Reduced-Sodium Soy Sauce
1 tsp.  Ground Ginger
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 cup  Chicken Broth
1/3 cup Sweet 'n Sour Sauce (try to find one with high fructose corn syrup and too many preservatives!)
3 Tbsp Cooking Oil, divided
2 cups Broccoli Florets
1 cup Sliced Carrots (about 3 carrots)
1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into strips
1 Green Bell Pepper, cut into strips
4 oz. Mushrooms (I used canned, but fresh also works)
Whole-Grain Brown Rice


1.  Cut chicken into approximately 1-in. squares; place in a bowl (or plastic bag) with cornstarch and toss to coat.
2.  In a separate bowl, combine soy sauce, ginger, garlic powder, sugar, and chicken broth. Set aside. 
3. Over Medium-High to High heat, heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet or wok.  Once oil is warm, add chicken and stir-fry 3-5 minutes (or until no longer pink).  Remove from skillet/wok. 
4.  Add remaining oil. Stir- fry broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, and mushrooms for 5-7 minutes or until crisp-tender.  
5.  Add chicken to the skillet.  Pour in chicken broth mixture and sweet and sour sauce. Cook and stir until thickened and hot.
6.  Serve over a bed of whole-grain brown rice (I made instant brown rice, bowling water while I cut chicken and adding rice after chicken was cooked and before I stir-fried the veggies). 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tomato & Goat Cheese Tart

I tried this recipe out as an appetizer for a "gourmet" meal I made at home for Aaron and I's two-year Wedding Anniversary and LOVED it.  Thus, I'm sharing the recipe.  This recipe is really easy, tasty, light, and healthy.

6 sheets Phyllo Dough (I used Athens)
Olive Oil or Butter Cooking Spray
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 (Globe--big round) Tomato, Sliced and Halved
2 - 2 1/2 oz Fresh Goat Cheese (I used Chavrie with herbs--in basic grocery stores)
2 tsp. Fresh Parsley
1 tsp. Garlic Powder

1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
2. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Place one thawed layer of phyllo dough on the baking sheet.
3. Lightly spray the first phyllo pastry sheet with cooking spray.  Place another thawed layer of phyllo dough on top of the sprayed layer.  Continue until you have all 6 layers.
4. Evenly place the tomato slices on top of the dough.
5. Cut or tear the goat cheese into small pieces (roughly 1/2" x 1/2") and evenly scatter on the dough and tomatoes.
6. Drizzle with the 2 Tbsp. olive oil.
7. Sprinkle the dough with the parsley and garlic.
8. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly brown and the cheese is slightly melted.

Cut into 8 squares and enjoy!

"Indulgent" Banana Bread

I think I may have finally perfected my Banana Bread recipe to a point where it tastes completely indulgent, but is really pretty healthy and good for you.  There is minimal sugar, only 1 egg, and made with whole grains, fruit, and cinnamon (did you know cinnamon can reduce your blood sugar and cholesterol, improve cognitive performance, fight infections, and ease body pains?).  You could experiment with substitutes for the brown sugar (honey, juice, applesauce) if you wanted it healthier yet.  I've tried egg substitutes, or egg whites, but just wasn't quite happy enough with, so have settled on 1 whole egg.  Let me know if you like it!


5 Dry Ingredients:
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup Bread Flour (combo of Whole Wheat & Barley Flour)
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda

Other Ingredients:
1 Egg
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 cups Mashed Ripe Bananas (4-5 Bananas)
1 tsp. Skim Milk
1 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Optional Add-in Ingredient:
6-10 oz Chocolate Chips or Chopped Walnuts

1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine the dry ingredients in separate bowl.
3. In Kitchenaid mixer (or regular bowl with hand-mixer), combine "other ingredients" (egg, brown sugar, bananas, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla) on medium speed until well-combined.
4. Reduce mixer speed to medium-low.
Slowly add in dry/flour mixture, just until combined (don't overmix).
5. Optional: Fold in chocolate chips or walnuts
(I added chocolate chips).
6. Pour batter into greased and flour-dusted bread pan.
7. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
8. Transfer to wire rack and let cool.

PS--My Camera is BACK! Fixed for "only" $211 (sigh).

Turkey Taco Salad (and Turkey Tacos)

I love a great summer salad.  This salad is one of my favorites, because I can make it into a salad for me and my husband can have hard shell tacos.  Plus, it's got a lot of veggies, lean turkey meat (protein), and tastes really good.
1 lb lean (99% fat-free) ground turkey meat
1 Package Whole-Grain Hard Shell Tacos
1 cup water
1 Head Iceburg or Romaine Lettuce
1 cup Mexican-style Organic Cheese (Nature's Promise is what I used)
2 cans Black Olives
2 Plum Tomatoes (organic if you can)
Taco Sauce
Salsa (again, I used organic)
Fat-free Organic Sour Cream (my preference)

Taco Seasoning:
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Minced Onion
1/4 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp. Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Black Pepper
1 tsp. Cornstarch

1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
2. Brown turkey in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Drain and return meat to pan.
3. Over medium-low heat, simmer the meat, the taco seasoning mix, and the 1 cup water.  Stir every few minutes, for about 15-20 minutes, or until the water has drained.  Meanwhile:
4. Cut up your lettuce.  **If making a salad, put enough lettuce on a plate for a salad.  If making tacos, place lettuce in a bowl.
5. Dice your tomatoes.  **If making a salad, sprinkle a handful of diced tomatoes on your salad.  If making tacos, place toms in a bowl.
6. Put olives on the salad (or in a bowl for tacos).
7.  Put 1/4 cup shredded cheese on the salad (or in a bowl for tacos).
8.  In last few minutes of the meat simmering, place 6 hardshell tacos on a baking sheet.  Bake for 3-4 minutes.  Remove from oven.
9.  Crunch up two hardshell tacos for each salad and sprinkle on top of salad.
10. Spoon some of seasoned meat mixture over salad (or in bottom of taco).
11. Top salad with a spoonful of sour cream and serve with Taco Sauce and Salsa.  If making tacos, put lettuce on top of the meat, then tomatoes, olives, cheese, and sour cream.  Finish with Taco Sauce and/or Salsa.