Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fast and Easy Turkey Bolognese

Though I do try to curb my natural carb-a-holic tendencies by topping them with vegetables on occasion, sometimes, there's just no substitute for a big bowl of pasta with meat sauce.  This fast and easy turkey bolognese totally hits the spot on those cold winter (or SPRING WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME SO SOON) nights.

Traditional bolognese is made with beef and pork, carrots, celery, and wine.  Then, you simmer it forever and ever so all the flavors meld together in a big, delicious pot of happiness.  You should definitely do this sometime, because it is so worth the time, but I was low on time (starving) and wanted something a little lighter (my pants are snug), so I used ground turkey.

If you have any forethought at all, you should probably take the meat out of the freezer more the 2 hours before you cook it.  However, if you don't, just plop that ish on in there and break it up.  It'll be fine. 

Fast and Easy Turkey Bolognese:

1 Pound Ground Turkey
2 28 oz Cans Crushed Tomatoes
1 6 oz Can Tomato Sauce
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, Pressed or Minced
2 Bay Leaves
1-2 Teaspoons Italian Seasoning (or substitute dried thyme, oregano, and parsley separately)
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Heat up some olive oil in the bottom of a large pot.  When hot, add the onion and garlic.  Cook until soft.

Add in the turkey and brown.  When it is almost completely done, add in the tomatoes and seasoning.

Cover and bring up to a simmer; let it cook for at least 15-20 minutes, so that the flavors have some time to meld together.

Don't forget to remove the bay leaves before eating - ICK.

Serve over your choice of pasta and top with cheese.

If you wanted to spice it up some, definitely feel free to add whatever you want/have on hand.  If I had any wine (weird...), I definitely would have added a glug or 5.  Same with other kinds of random veggies (carrots and celery are traditionally used) or spices.

This makes enough for about 10000 people.  Luckily it freezes really well, so check your Tupperware supply before you start.  Now, slip into your carb coma and fall asleep.  You earned it.

More Brussels Sprouts Please!

Probably not what you'd usually expect to hear at the dinner table..but these blackend Brussels are delicious. They're crispy, spicy, lemony...just make them now.  Also, they're super fast and only take one pan.  That's it, no extra dishes to clean up, no random other bowl you discover you're going to need halfway through; just straight up put things in a pan, let them cook, and go eat.

In addition to the little baby cabbages, I also threw some broccoli in there, because it was on it's way out and people keep telling me it's mega healthy.  It was also delicious, but if I were to do this again, I would do two separate pans, since they cook a different rates.  There were a few pieces of broccoli that were way over done, and a few bsprouts that weren't quite ready yet.  I served them with some salmon and grits, because everyday is treat yo self day in my world.

Blackened Brussels Sprouts - Adapted from Mountain Mama Cooks

You will need:
Olive Oil
Garlic Powder
Brussels Sprouts

Chop the veggies.

In a heavy pan, heat some olive oil.  Add as much seasoning as you like (I kind of tried to coat the bottom of my pan).

Let the spices and oil heat up, around 2 minutes on medium-high.

Add in your veggies - you want it to sizzle, this is a good thing.

Turn down the heat and cover.  Set the timer for 8 minutes and DON'T PEEK.

When the timer goes off, check on them.  They should be nice and browned/blackened on the bottom and cooked through.  If not, re-cover and let cook a few more minutes.

This is definitely a recipe that you can tweak to your personal taste.  If you love the spicy, then add some red pepper flakes.  Serving with a Greek style main?  Use Greek seasonings.  Pairing with a stir fry?  Try a little bit of ginger powder.  The possibilities are endless really.

I'm definitely going to try this with a few other kinds of veggies and spices.  It seems like it'd be a good way to use up the little tiny bit at the end of the jar (please tell me I'm not the only one who has 1000000 random jars with like 3 crumbs of seasoning in them) and see what happens.