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Friday, April 21, 2017

Random Food Fridays - Ground Turkey Stir Fry

 Cabbage and Ground Turkey, for the WIN!

Since Mr. Dwayne is off of carbs, this has become one of our frequent weeknight dinners. It can be made with any kind of protein, but we especially like the ground turkey. I tend to use whatever veggies I have available, but cabbage is a must.

What makes this dish special is the sauce. It's a weird amalgam of Americanized Asian flavors that really works. Change everything else, but keep the sauce in tact. (You won't mind having all these good things on hand! I promise!)

This makes 3 servings at 500 calories each.

Ground Turkey Stir Fry

For the Sauce:
2 tbsp. soy sauce or Tamari
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. Ponzu
1 tbsp. Yoshida sauce (think teriyaki syrup)
2 tbsp. catsup
1 tsp. Sesame Oil
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

Stir and set aside.

For the stir fry:
1 lbs. ground turkey
1/2 a yellow onion, sliced
2 carrots, sliced thin on a diagonal
6 cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/2 head of green cabbage, cored and roughly chopped

1 tbsp. arrowroot or cornstarch and 1/4 cup water, if needed to thicken

Heat your wok or a large skillet on high. Spritz with some non-stick spray or coat with a thin layer of peanut oil. Add the ground turkey and break it apart with a spatula. Add the sauce and stir through. Add the onions, carrots and mushrooms. Stir and cook until the onions are just getting translucent. Add the cabbage. Cook just a few minutes more, until the cabbage is tender-crisp.

If your veggies have released a lot of juice, make a quick slurry with either arrowroot or cornstarch and cold water. Mix until no lumps appear. Add to the stir fry and toss over the heat until the sauce has thickened. This takes only moments.

Serve immediately sprinkled with sesame seeds. Add cashews if you want to live it up!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Random Food Fridays - Crunchy Ham and Pea Salad

When I asked Mr. Dwayne if he liked jicama, he wasn't sure what I was talking about. "Hiccough wha???"

Turns out he likes it. He likes it a lot in this salad. With sweet peas and sweet crunchy jicama, you may be surprised to learn that the carbs in this salad are very reasonable. This recipe makes two meal-sized servings, each one coming in at 300 calories and 22 grams of carbs. Salty, sweet, crunchy and satisfying for around 300 calories? I'll take it!

The inspiration for this dish came from this recipe at I ran across this web site while doing some some research on CalFresh (the program formerly known as Food Stamps). My job entails a lot of research into the laws, rules and regulations around welfare programs. Much of what I do for my work entails taking dry legal jargon and turning it into something regular folks can understand. Imagine my delight when one click brought me to the colorful and fun EatFresh web site. I must confess that I spent a bit longer than necessary exploring all the good ideas.

I changed their recipe to my tastes and added cubed ham to make it a main course. I also used less lettuce. A chunky salad will hold up better, once dressed, than will a lettuce salad. It's easy to scoop some onto a bed of lettuce for serving rather than tossing the lettuce in with everything else. Likewise, you could serve this without any lettuce at all. I think that would actually be best for a pot luck.

Crunchy Ham and Pea Salad
1 cup diced ham
1 1/2 cups frozen sweet peas, thawed
1 1/2 cups diced English cucumber, do not peel
1 1/2 cups diced jicama, do peel!
1 tbsp. minced shallots

For the dressing:
1/2 a ripe avocado
juice of 1/2 a lime
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic & herb seasoning
2 tbsp. mayonaise

Dice the ham, cucumber and jicama into small cubes, all about the same size. Mince or thinly slice the shallots. Toss together and set aside.

To make the dressing, place all dressing ingredients into a bowl and use a fork to mash the avocado and mix until a smooth consistency is reached.

Toss everything together. Serve and enjoy!

Update - I took this to a pot luck and I would now recommend that you serve this with lime wedges and toasted pepitas. Yum!