Wednesday, May 29, 2013

turkey shepherd's pie

T has been asking for shepherd's pie for about a year now, but I've always been hesitant as I'm not the biggest fan of mixing meats, especially with lamb. I also just haven't really been in an "I-really-want-the-heaviest-meal-possible-right-now" kind of a mood, ya know? I decided to take on this shepherd's pie, but with healthy twists, of course. I swapped the mixed meats for lean ground turkey, made my mashed potatoes with skim milk and a light butter, and added as many vegetables as possible to help health-it-up. With a smaller potato-to-meat ratio than normal, it turned out perfectly balanced, delicious, and healthier! Perhaps I'll have to change this name to something more turkey friendly...maybe to farmer's pie?

Ingredients (makes 4 large or 6 medium servings):
5 small red potatoes (or 3 medium russet pototoes)
2 tbs butter
5 green onions
1/2 cup skim milk
3 pinches of shredded cheese of choice
salt & pepper
2 tbs canola oil
1 package of mushrooms, sliced
3 medium carrots, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 ear of corn, cut off of the cob, or 1/2 cup frozen corn
1 tbs fresh parsley, minced
1 tbs dried thyme
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs onion powder
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 glass of red wine
1 glug of Worcestershire sauce
1 cup of chicken stock
2 tbs ketchup
1 tbs flour

1. Start with the smashed potatoes: cover potatoes with cold water in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover and let boil for another 15 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork. Drain and add butter, green onions, milk, cheese, and plenty of salt & pepper. Smash, smush, and mix to fully blend. Set aside.

2. Heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots & mushrooms along with another large pinch of salt & pepper. Stir occasionally while letting components cook until beginning to crisp, about 8 minutes.

3. Add peas, corn, parsley, thyme, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.

4. Add turkey, stir and cook until browned, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F.

5. Add wine, stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add chicken stock, ketchup, and flour. Stir and let thicken for about 5 minutes.

6. Lightly grease a baking pan. Pour turkey mixture evenly in the baking pan & top with smashed potatoes. With a silicone spatula, push the potatoes evenly over the top of the turkey mixture, trying to cover every last bit.

7. Pop in preheated oven for 25 minutes, until bubbly, crisped, and golden on the top. Let cool for 5 minutes before spooning portions out.

Note: Although absolutely delicious fresh out of the oven...the leftovers are actually even better after letting all of the flavors meld overnight. Perfect for a lunch or dinner the next day!
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

simple weekend recap: edition 27

This weekend revolved around the first Boston Calling Festival, held right downtown at Boston City Hall Plaza.


When we weren't braving the chilling wind and rain...

...we were indoors enjoying chowder & hot chocolate..

...before venturing back out for Marina & The Diamonds and fun.


Day two was still a chilly windy day, but nothing as chilling as Saturday...


...but after feeling a bit under the weather from the terrible weather of Saturday, we skipped out early to enjoy a warm dinner at Grotto before heading home.

Recently I've been on a big grilling kick...with the weather being beautiful, and the grill taking 5 minutes to warm up, and only 10 minutes to cook the chicken, it is the perfect way to cook anything! My actual favorite reason to grill is because no matter what you marinate your meat in, it will be perfect. I've really thrown some strange things together over time, and each time it's more delicious than the past. 

My newest creation was the "pantry chicken" drizzled with honey, brown sugar, ketchup, sesame oil, soy sauce, olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder, salt & pepper then topped with sesame seeds, it marinates for 1 hour before being cooked on each side for about 5 minutes each.

Sounds terrible? Maybe, but give it a shot, with some rice pilaf and some asparagus (or maybe some proscuittowrapped asparagus) and you've just made yourself a deliciously easy meal!

Want to try a southwestern flare instead? Fine! Throw some chicken strips in a ziploc bag along with some adobo seasoning, garlic & onion powder, salt, pepper, olive oil, lime juice, red pepper flakes, crushed tomatoes with chilis, and some chili powder, let it marinate for an hour, then grill it up along with some fresh summer corn!

Serve on a tortilla with beans and cheese, maybe some lettuce, and you've got yourself another tasty healthy grilled chicken meal!

Sick of chicken yet? I can't really relate to that, but fine, I'll share my turkey shepherd's pie recipe with you...but you'll have to wait until tomorrow for that!


*: From other members' instagrams with #bostoncalling
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Friday, May 24, 2013

healthy fish n chips

Fish n chips, a classic...a heavy greasy classic. I hate greasy foods, and this is always one dish I avoid with a passion if I see it on any menu. T, on the other hand, has a little celebration every time it is offered. To be a nice girlfriend, I decided to make some fish n chips for him....with a healthy twist of course. Baking the haddock and the fries make the tastes shine, while keeping your waistline slimmer.

Ingredients (makes 4 servings):
3 organic russet potatoes
2 tbs olive oil
salt & pepper
sprinkling of cayenne pepper
1 lb haddock
1 cup corn flakes, crushed
3 tbs butter, melted
1/2 cup nonfat milk 

1. Preheat the oven to 475F. Cut the potatoes into somewhere between wedges and matchsticks, a little bit bigger than you normal idea of french fries. Cover in warm water and let soak for 10 minutes.


2. Line a baking sheet in foil, drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Dry the potatoes with paper towels, lay them in a single layer on the foil, and shake to coat. Cover with foil, pop in preheated oven for 5 minutes, remove foil, and bake for another 10 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake another 10 minutes. Remove, flip, and bake a final 10 minutes, until golden brown and crisped.

3. Remove fries, cover, and set aside.

4. Preheat oven to 500F and cut haddock into large chunks. Coat fish in the milk before dredging and coating with the crushed corn flakes. 

5. Place on a baking sheet, and drizzle melted butter over the fish. Pop in preheated oven for 15 minutes, until crisped on top.

6. Whip up a quick tartar sauce if you don't have any on hand (recipe here).

7. Remove the fish when done, serve alongside the crispy baked fries, and enjoy!
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