Turkey Patties

I am calling these patties and not burgers because they are not designed to be eaten between two slices of bread. They are delicious just as they are; on a plate, as a clean lean protein. Add some vegetables, some lentil salad, a green salad, and you have a meal that will fit in well with just about any diet plan.

Ingredients:
1.5 lbs ground turkey
1 C shredded carrot
1 small onion chopped fine
2 tsp. cumin
1 Tbs chili powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
Season with pepper

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together well and form into patties – it will make 4 large, or 5 medium sized burgers. Cook in a hot skillet the same way you would a hamburger.

French Lentils with Feta

French lentils with Feta

This is such a yummy dish I get raves every time I make it. I feel a little guilty though, because it is SO easy to make. It does not take long either. French lentils cook quickly, requiring only about 20 minutes to cook! This dish keeps well, so make enough to have some leftovers. The flavors develop once all of the ingredients are in, so don’t be too quick to add more salt. Also, all you would have to do to make this recipe vegan is omit the feta; just add a bit more of the other stuff. It still comes out a real winner!

Ingredients:
• 5 cups cooked **French lentils, cooled
• 1 15oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and cut into smaller pieces, liquid reserved
• 1/2 C sun dried tomatoes, cut into thin strips
• 1/2 medium red onion, diced
• 1 bunch parsley, chopped (about 1 cup)
• 8oz crumbled feta cheese
• Freshly ground pepper
• Salt only if necessary – the feta and artichokes usually have enough salt for the whole dish

Directions:

1. Begin with a bowl full of cooled lentils. These can be made a day or two ahead.
2. Add artichoke, tomatoes, parsley, onion, and mix well.
3. Add crumbled feta and pepper and mix some more.
4. Taste for seasoning. Add salt if desired, or add some of the reserved artichoke marinade.

**How to cook the lentils
Rinse lentils thoroughly. Place in a pot with water to cover more than twice the depth of the lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until lentils are just tender, 12 to 20 minutes. Drain and let cool uncovered.

Jewel Studded Sweet Potatoes

I got two calls this Thanksgiving for this recipe– so I think I will share it. I have been making since I was a little girl. It is easy, beautiful, and as healthy as it gets. It is full of vitamins A, C, B6, iron, calcium, as well as generous amounts of antioxidants. And, since it is a natural sweet, it will help curb cravings for the less healthy, refined sugar treats.

It takes about 10-15 minutes of prep time, and baking time depends on the size of potatoes selected. It is a twice baked recipe, but this is a huge time and oven space saver on T day since the second baking is very short.

1. Wash and scrub desired amount of Jewel or Garnet yams. Larger ones work better for this recipe.

2. Bake them directly on the oven rack at 375 degrees for about an hour and a half or until they are soft all the way through. the longer you bake them, the sweeter they will be. Tip: Put a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom of the oven to make cleanup a snap.

3. Remove them from the oven and let cool. This pre baking can be done a day or two ahead of time and is a huge time saver on T day. Store in the refrigerator.

4. Wash a bag of fresh cranberries discarding any that are soft.

5. Slice the potatoes into 1 1/2 inch thick slices and arrange in a baking dish so that they are touching but not tightly packed. Be sure to leave the skin on.

6. Dot the tops of the slices with the fresh cranberries pushing them gently into the potato so that they are half buried. Use as many or as few as you like– personally I like as many as will fit into the top of each slice.

7. Bake for about 20-30 minutes. The cranberries should burst and the sweet potatoes should be warm all the way through.

Goat Korma Curry

Last week, when I was at farmer’s market, I stopped in at the Sonoma County Meat Buying Club’s table. They had goat, which I have never cooked before, so I decided to try it. This is one of the easiest recipes I have made in a while, and it was spectacularly delicious. The meat was tender and sweet, not gamy at all, and the kids loved it too. We ate it with Brown rice. Some nan would have been nice. Good ole Trader Joe’s sells that too. Next time I get goat, I will be sure to remember to buy some nan.

Ingredients:
1.5 lbs stew meat (in this case goat, but lamb or beef would be just fine)
1 jar of Trader Joe’s korma curry simmer sauce
1/3 jar water
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 TBS ghee (butter or olive oil would work fine)
1 TBS peanut butter
1 tsp soyaki (a trader Joe’s condiment)
1 more small clove of garlic, smashed

Directions:

1. Sautee onion and garlic in 1 TBS of ghee until translucent and soft. Remove from pan and set aside.
2. Add remaining 1 TBS of ghee to pan and brown meat on high heat.
3. Add jar of korma simmer sauce and water. Put onions back in with the meat. cover and simmer on a very low heat for at least an hour. (I left it just barely simmering for 2 1/2 hours – I heard goat was tough)
4. Mix peanut butter, soyaki and small garlic clove together into a paste. Thin it with some of the liquid in the pan so that it is easy to incorporate into the rest of the sauce, then add it back in and stir. – That is it. It is ready to serve!

Kale and White Bean Soup

Kale and White Bean Soup

This soup is very satisfying and nutritional powerhouse. Kale is an excellent source of vitamins, calcium, phytonutrients, and fiber. The beans are a great source of protein and fiber, which help lower cholesterol, stabilize hormones, and promote digestive health. This soup will hold well for up to a week, and freezes marvelously.

Ingredients

•    1 lb dried white beans such as Great Northern, cannellini, or navy
•    2 onions, coarsely chopped
•    2 tablespoons olive oil
•    4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
•    5 cups chicken or vegetable broth or organic bullion w/5 cups water
•    2 qt water
•    **1 (3- by 2-inch) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
•    2 teaspoons salt
•    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
•    1 bay leaf (not California)
•    1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
•    **1 lb smoked sausage such as kielbasa (optional), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
•    8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into ½ -inch pieces
•    1 lb kale (preferably lacinato), stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped

**leave this out for a VEGAN version

Preparation

Cover beans with water by 2 inches in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander and rinse.

Cook onions in oil in an 8-quart pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beans, broth, 1 quart water, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary and simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 45 minutes.

While soup is simmering, brown sausage (if using) in batches in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning, then transfer to paper towels to drain.

Stir carrots into soup and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in kale, sausage, and remaining quart water and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.