Sandy's Kitchen: turkey

Showing posts with label turkey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label turkey. Show all posts
Are you looking for freezer friendly meals? I get asked about freezer meals all the time and for good reason! We don't always have time to cook every night, but sometimes we may have an evening or two a week to prep for future meals. We may have busy schedules, but we still want delicious home cooked meals right? Lasagna has always been a great choice when wanting a meal that freezes well! Instead of traditional carb-laden lasagna made with pasta, make lasagna using spaghetti squash. It has a mild flavor which tastes wonderful with marinara sauce. It has all the flavors of regular hearty lasagna, but this version is lighter and healthier! A dish your entire family can enjoy!

Roasted spaghetti squash, creamy ricotta cheese, sweet Italian turkey sausage, marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese! Comfort food to the max!

Spaghetti squash does have a tendency to release water when cooking. This is natural! I do find it to be less watery when I roast the squash in the oven rather cooking it in the microwave. Oven roasting is now my preferred method of choice. I think roasting makes all veggies taste better!

Begin by cutting the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and then scooping out all the seeds with a spoon. Get all those loose goopy (is that a word?) strands that are mixed in with the seeds too! Line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean-up. Spray the squash with olive oil cooking spray and season with salt and pepper if desired.

Place the squash cut side down and bake until tender.

I love how the squash gets nice and brown around the top edges.

Use a fork along the flesh to make long spaghetti-like strands in a bowl.

Delicious spaghetti squash strands! Ready to be used or eaten!

Measure out 1 cup of spaghetti squash and place it on the bottom of a container. Sprinkle basil and garlic powder on top. Then add ricotta cheese. I used foil containers because I was freezing additional future meals for later. These foil containers are great because they can go from the freezer to the oven without cracking or breaking, unlike glass containers. I got these containers from Amazon. Click HERE for the link!

Next, remove the sweet Italian turkey sausage from their casings and cook until the sausage is cooked thoroughly. Drain the fat and set aside.

Measure out 3 ounces of sausage and spread it over the ricotta cheese. Top with tomato sauce.

Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese on top. Bake for about 30 minutes or until heated thoroughly and cheese has melted.

I was able to make four lasagnas with my spaghetti squash. Three of those meals went into the freezer and the other one is getting in my belly! Label the containers with the name, date, and re-heating instructions. Yummy, healthy, comfort food prepped ahead of time! Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

1/4 cup 2% Mozzarella Cheese, shredded (1/4 Lean)
1/4 cup Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese (1/4 Lean)
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder (1/2 Condiment)
2 tsp grated Parmesan Cheese (2/3 Condiment)
1/2 tsp dried Basil (1/2 Condiment)
1 cup Spaghetti Squash, cooked (2 Greens)
1/2 cup Great Value Italian diced tomatoes, blended (1 Green)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Place spaghetti squash on a baking sheet and spray with olive oil cooking spray. Season lightly with salt and pepper, if desired. Place the spaghetti squash cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes or until squash is tender. Remove from oven and let cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using a fork, scrape the flesh to get spaghetti-like strands. Measure out 1 cup of spaghetti squash and place on the bottom of an oven-safe container. Sprinkle garlic powder and dried basil on top of spaghetti squash. Then drop small spoonfuls of the ricotta on top.

Remove the Italian sweet sausage from their casings. Place the sausage in a medium sized skillet and cook over medium-high heat until cooked thoroughly. Drain the fat from the sausage. Measure out 3 ounces of cooked sausage using a food scale. Sprinkle the sausage on top of the ricotta cheese. Then add tomato sauce on top of the sausage. Next, add mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 to 35 minutes or until heated thoroughly.

Makes 1 Serving

Each serving provides
1 Lean, 3 Greens, and 1.6 Condiments

If you decide to freeze them, place in the fridge the night before you plan to eat them. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 to 40 minutes or until heated thoroughly.

Christmas is almost here! Less than a week away and one of the most important meal times for my family on Christmas day is breakfast! Of course, no one ever wants to wait for a delicious hearty breakfast on Christmas morning because there is too much excitement going on! That is why I usually  make a breakfast casserole. The preparation is done the night before so all you have to do is pop it in the oven while opening presents! 

This is my first time making a breakfast casserole with kabocha squash, but I loved how it turned out! Kabocha squash tastes similar to butternut squash, pumpkin or sweet potatoes. Now... I have made breakfast casseroles with sweet potatoes and white potatoes so I thought this squash would make a wonderful substitute for the higher carb laden potatoes. It makes a slightly sweet and savory casserole that my family enjoyed! That makes this mama happy!

I usually find kabocha squash at Trader Joes, but for some reason my Trader Joes no longer carried it. I finally found it at my local grocery store, Vons. They are also commonly found in Asian markets.

Take your kabocha squash and slice it in half. They have very tough skin and can be difficult to cut. Use a sharp knife and watch those fingers! Scoop out all the seeds and goop with a spoon and throw them away. Cut each half into wedges and then cut away the skin.

Cut the wedges into chunks so they can fit in the tube of your food processor. 

Preparing the kabocha squash is the hardest part in preparing the casserole. Well not hard, but time consuming. I wish they sold it already prepared in grocery stores! I know Trader Joes sells butternut squash already peeled and cut into chunks. I hope they will do the same to kabocha squash :)

Put the chunks of kabocha squash in a food processor with the shredding disc. You don't have to use a food processor but it makes it so much easier to grate and you save time! It would definitely be a great investment if you don't already have one!

Shredded kabocha squash! 

One whole kabocha squash is going to give you more than 2 1/2 cups needed for the recipe. You can freeze the chunks of leftover squash. Use them later to roast, throw them into stews or mash up as a substitute for mashed potatoes. They are so versatile!

Here is a link that explains how you can freeze them. Click HERE.

Layer the shredded kabocha squash in a prepared 9 x 13 inch glass casserole dish. If you are going to cook it the next day, I would use one of those disposable foil pans instead of a glass dish because glass can break if you put it directly from the cold fridge to the hot oven.

Next, add the red bell peppers. You can actually use any veggies you like. I had some red peppers I wanted to get rid of so I used those. Feel free to add more veggies since you still have 2 more servings of veggies per serving to make up your full Lean and Green for the day. Mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, yellow squash, assorted peppers are all good options.

Then sprinkle Jimmy Dean turkey sausage crumbles on top of the veggies. Use a food scale to measure out 6 ounces.

No thawing required. They will bake wonderfully into the casserole and give it the delicious flavor I remember from numerous Christmas breakfast casseroles.

Whisk a dozen eggs together.

Add your spices. I love sage because it has a sweet savory flavor that matches the flavor of this casserole. It pairs nicely with sausage and winter squash.

Pour the egg mixture over the sausage.

Sprinkle sharp cheddar cheese on top and bake for 40 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Enjoy!

Kabocha, Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole

2 1/2 cups kabocha squash, shredded (5 Greens)
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced (1 Green)
6 ounces Jimmy Dean turkey sausage crumbles (1 Lean)
12 eggs (4 Leans)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (1/2 Condiment)
1 tsp dried sage (1/2 Condiment)
1/2 tsp salt (2 Condiments)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper (1 Condiment)
1 cup 2% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese (1 Lean)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch glass casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside. If making this the night before, use a 9 x 13 inch disposable foil pan.

Cut the kabocha squash in half with a large sharp knife using a rocking motion. Scoop out the seeds and goop with a spoon. Not sure what to call it, so goop it is :)

Cut the squash halves into wedges. Remove the skin with a knife. 

Cut the wedges into large chunks so they can fit into the tube of the food processor and then shred. They don't have to be cut nicely because they are going to be shredded anyways. 

Measure out 2 1/2 cups of shredded kabocha squash and spread out along the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.

Sprinkle the diced red bell pepper over the kabocha squash.

Spread the Jimmy Dean turkey sausage crumbles over the kabocha squash and peppers. No need to thaw the sausage.

Combine eggs, almond milk, sage, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Whisk thoroughly. Pour the egg mixture over the sausage.

If you are cooking it in the morning, cover with foil and place in the fridge.

Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake uncovered for about 40 to 45 minutes or until cooked thoroughly. You may need additional baking time if it was in the fridge the night before. Allow to cool slightly. Divide into 6 equal portions.

Don't forget to add 2 more Greens per serving to complete your Lean and Green for the day! Enjoy!

6 Servings with 1 Lean, 1 Green, and 1 Condiment

Good news everyone! I am doing totally awesome on all four of my DietBet challenges! Yes, you heard me... FOUR! Yeah, I think I am officially addicted to DietBet! Being addicted happens to be a good thing for me because it has really kept my booty motivated and I hate to say it... that is kind of hard to do! I need all the motivation I can get. Losing weight and gaining a little extra cash sounds like a great combo to me! I am losing steadily and I am feeling wonderful! As some of you guys know, I started my own DietBet challenge called Sandy's Kitchen July DietBet that is still going on right now, but I also started one for August! Actually it starts July 31st, but runs through August. If you want to join us, click the link below. It costs $25 to play which goes into one large pot. You must lose 4% of your starting weight in 4 weeks, if you do, then you get to split the pot with all the other winners. Simple as that! Come join the fun!

So far I am down 22 pounds since I started Medifast. I still have 35 to 40 pounds left to go until I hit my goal weight. I am not entirely sure what I want my official goal weight to be. I am thinking 130 pounds since I am only 5'2", but may aim for 125 pounds. We will see as I get closer and closer to 130 :)

 As you can tell, I still have a ways to go to get to goal, but I am getting there one packet at a time! Soon I will be saying Hello to the 150's and Good Bye to the 160's! Sorry I won't miss you 160's, but it is time to move on! Good riddance!

I know this is almost too easy to be classified as a recipe, but I thought I would share it because it tastes too good not to post a little something about it. The recipe is just a mixture of Guy's Smokey Garlic Sugar Free BBQ sauce and low sodium soy sauce poured on top of Trader Joes turkey meatballs. That's it! Yeah, I know... definitely not Betty Crocker, but we all need these quick and easy recipes for days that are crazy busy! 

I have to say... these meatballs sure did hit the spot! I am a BIG fan of BBQ sauce! I love to put it on all my meats and use it as dipping sauce. Yum, yum, yum! Quite honestly, it is really hard to find a great tasting low carb sauce but this one works for me. I am really glad someone turned me on to this one! Thanks fellow reader!

Don't know where to get Guy's BBQ Sauce? Don't panic! You can get at Netrition's website. This is the best website to find all your low carb items and the price is very reasonable too, not to mention flat rate shipping! Just in case it is STILL sold out on their website, here is Guy's BBQ Sauce's main website, Guy's Award Winning BBQ Sauce. It is more expensive on their own website because of their shipping costs are really high so you my want to wait until it comes back in stock on Netrition's website.

Easy BBQ Meatballs

5 Trader Joes Turkey Meatballs OR
6 Jennie-O Homestyle Turkey Meatballs OR
10 Butterball Italian Style Turkey Meatballs (1 Lean)
1/4 cup Guy's Smokey Garlic BBQ Sauce (2 Condiments)
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce (1/2 Condiment)

Bake meatballs according to package. Trader Joes is 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
Combine BBQ sauce and soy sauce in a small bowl and pour over meatballs.

1 Serving with 1 Lean, 2.5 Condiments and No Healthy Fats Required

I love this Lean and Green meal because it definitely fits into the comfort food category. You have the yummy seasoned meatballs, the ooey gooey cheese and the Italian diced tomatoes that all yell COMFORT! I decided to use cut up meatballs because those just seem to be the rave right now on Medifast :) I did bake the meatballs in the oven first so that I could cut them into fourths but you can put them in the microwave. I just prefer them from the oven because they get nice and brown. I did notice liquid seeping out of the lasagna, I think it was from the squash or the ricotta cheese. No worries! I just drained it out by tipping the dish to the side. Make sure the lasagna doesn't tip out with it :) I am definitely making this one again!

Meatball Lasagna

5 Butterball Italian Style Turkey Meatballs, cooked and sliced into fourths or 
2 1/2 Trader Joes Turkey Meatballs or 
2 1/2 Jennie-O Homestyle Turkey Meatballs (1/2 Lean)
1/4 cup part skim ricotta cheese (1/4 Lean)
1/4 cup 2% reduced fat Mozzarella Cheese (1/4 Lean)
1 cup yellow squash or zucchini, sliced lengthwise (2 Greens)
1/2 cup Great Value Italian diced tomatoes (1 Green)
1/4 tsp garlic salt (1 Condiment)
1/4 tsp dried basil (1/8 Condiment)
1 tbsp reduced fat grated parmesan cheese (1 Condiment)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Layer zucchini or squash slices along the bottom of a medium sized casserole dish. Spread ricotta cheese over the squash. Sprinkle garlic salt and basil over the ricotta cheese and squash slices. Combine diced tomatoes with meatball pieces in a small bowl. Pour over ricotta cheese. Sprinkle mozzarella over meatballs and then top with grated parmesan cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is melted. There will be some water or liquid from the squash or ricotta. This is normal. I just drain it from the casserole dish by tipping the dish slightly to the side while making sure the lasagna doesn't pour it as well :) Enjoy!

1 Serving with
1 Lean, 3 Greens, and 2 .16 Condiments

This is a super easy recipe that you can literally throw together in a matter of minutes. One of the reasons why this recipe is so  quick to make is the use of frozen meatballs. You can use Trader Joe's Flame Broiled Meatballs (5 count as 1 Lean), Butterball Italian Style Turkey Meatballs (10 count as 1 Lean), Jennie-O Homestyle Turkey Meatballs (5 count as 1 Lean), Foster Farms Homestyle Meatballs (5 count as 1 Lean) and Market Pantry Turkey Meatballs (12 count as 1 Lean).

You only need a few ingredients to make the sauce: beef broth,
cream cheese, parsley, pepper and Greek yogurt. You can leave out the Greek yogurt but I added it to give the sauce a little tangyness. I served these meatballs over zucchini ribbons which is a great substitute for pasta! Enjoy!

Swedish Meatballs with Zucchini Ribbons

10 Butterball Italian Style Lean Turkey Meatballs, cooked (1 Lean)
1/2 cup beef broth (1/2 Condiment)
1 wedge light laughing cow cheese (1 Condiment)
1 tbsp sour cream (1 Condiment)
1/8 tsp pepper (1/4 Condiment)
1 tbsp fresh parsley (1/4 Condiment)

Zucchini Ribbons
1 1/2 cups zucchini noodles (3 Greens)
2 tbsp water

Heat beef broth and laughing cow cheese over medium high heat. Heat until laughing cow cheese is melted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream and add pepper; stirring until combined. Add to heated meatballs.

In a non-stick frying pan add water. Throw the zucchini noodles in and lightly toss until the zucchini starts to soften - about 3 minutes. The zucchini will cook quickly. Serve hot.

Serve meatballs over zucchini ribbons. Garnish with parsley.

1 Serving with
1 Lean, 3 Greens, and 3 Condiments

 I have been missing, but I finally found my way back. It has been a very long time since I last blogged. With moving to a new city (Las Vegas Baby!), getting situated in our new home, and getting my son's doctors appointments squared away, blogging just seemed to be placed on the back burner. (Not to mention, I fell off plan and ate everything under the desert sun! I think Vegas is the BUFFET capital of the world! Everywhere I go there is a buffet calling out my name. Geesh! Don't come to Vegas when you are dieting or at least if you are dieting and unprepared!) Now that I am all binged out, I really feel good this time around. Today is my third day back on plan and for the first time in a very long time I feel I can honestly get it done! I think it may be my twentieth time re-starting... okay... okay.... maybe more like the hundredth time, but who's counting? What is important is what I do today. I can't change the past so now I must move on. Forget that I had almost a dozen donuts one day last week, or the large pizza at one sitting and other unhealthy foods I won't mention. I think we can all relate to how difficult it is to lose weight. If it were easy, everyone would be skinny, right? I am not even quite sure why I love to eat so much. The comforting and happy feeling of eating that piece of cake or maybe two or possibly three pieces doesn't even last long because by the time I finish eating, I feel disappointed, disgusted, and even upset at myself. Well, change is coming... and I like it :) I will keep you posted on how my weight loss goes.

As for the recipe. I really enjoyed this one. I was looking for a tomato based soup that would remind me of spaghetti and meatballs and this did the trick. I think what I liked most about this recipe is that it uses only a few ingredients so it is great weekday meal for us busy people. My husband is hard to please and he really liked this recipe too. Not bad, considering he isn't on a weight loss plan. I would only have this occasionally because of the sodium content. Between the canned, diced tomatoes, beef broth and meatballs, you better drink lots of water! Enjoy the recipe!

Mama Mia Meatball Soup

5 Trader Joe Flame Broiled Turkey Meatballs or 10 Butterball Italian Style Turkey Meatballs or 5 Jennie-O Homestyle Meatballs (1 Lean)
1 cup Great Value Italian diced tomatoes, less than 5 g of carbs per 1/2 cup (2 Greens)
1/2 cup zucchini, chopped (1 Green)
1 1/2 cups low sodium beef broth (1 1/2 Condiments)

1/8 tsp black pepper (1/4 Condiment)
1/2 tsp Dried Basil Leaves (1/4 Condiment)

Heat meatballs in microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. I did this so I could cut the meatballs in 4 pieces. You could place them in the saucepan whole, if desired.

Puree diced tomatoes in a small chopper, blender or magic bullet until desired consistency. I did it for about 5 seconds so that it resembled more of a sauce than chunks of tomatoes.

Combine meatballs, zucchini, tomatoes, beef broth and basil in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Let simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.

 1 Lean, 3 Greens and 2 Condiments

Click Here to Print

This is a dish that I grew up with and that I absolutely love! My father grew up in a small town in Texas near the border closest to Louisiana so he was influenced by Cajun cooking. I spent most of my growing up years living in both Louisiana and Texas so dirty rice and gumbo were commonly seen on our kitchen table. I  used lean ground beef and andouille chicken sausage, but you can also use Jennie-O bulk turkey sausage instead of ground beef if you desire. I also replaced traditional rice with grated cauliflower making this dish healthier and low carb! Enjoy this recipe!

Cauliflower Dirty Rice

14 oz 93% lean ground beef or 14 oz Jennie-O bulk turkey sausage, uncooked (2 Leans)
1/4 cup green peppers, chopped (1/2 Green)
1/4 cup celery, chopped (1/2 Green)
3 tbsp onion, chopped (3 Condiments)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (1 Condiment)
1 tsp Creole seasoning (4 Condiments)
1/4 tsp black pepper (1/2 Condiment)
1/2 cup chicken broth (1/2 Condiment)
2 links Al Fresco Andouille Chicken Sausage, chopped * (1 Lean)
4 cups grated cauliflower (8 Greens)
parsley to garnish

In a large skillet, add ground beef, green peppers, celery, onion, garlic powder, creole seasoning and black pepper. Cook over medium heat until ground beef is no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Drain any excess liquid. Stir in chicken broth, chopped sausage, and cauliflower. Cover and cook for about 8 to 10 min or until liquid is absorbed. Garnish with parsley. Enjoy!

Makes 3 servings
Each serving provides
1 Lean, 3 Greens, and 3 Condiments

* If you would like to omit the Al Fresco sausage, you would need to add 1/3 Lean more to each serving such as 2 oz of chicken breasts or 2.3 oz shrimp. Or you can increase the ground beef or turkey sausage to 21 oz instead of 14 oz to get 3 full Lean and Green meals.

If you are craving lasagna and you want a complete lean and green meal, then this is a great recipe! I really like the use of spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta and it works so well in this recipe. This casserole is layered with spaghetti squash, a ricotta cheese mixture, Italian seasoned ground turkey, diced tomatoes and mozzarella! You can easily make your out Italian ground turkey, but hubby had picked up some Jennie O Italian seasoned ground turkey from the grocery store so I decided to use that in this recipe. It was easily convenient and I didn't have to add any other seasonings to the meat which meant no additional condiments for the meat!

I used a 9" square casserole dish to assemble the casserole and then divided it up into four servings. One serving was for tonight, one is for tomorrow and two of them are in the freezer for later.

I have to say that this is going to be another favorite of mine that I will continue to make time and time again. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Casserole

4 cups cooked spaghetti squash (8 Greens)
8 oz part skim ricotta cheese (1 Lean)
8 oz reduced fat mozzarella cheese, divided (2 Leans)
2 tbsp egg beaters
2 tbsp reduced fat grated parmesan cheese (1 Condiment)
2 cups Great Value Italian diced tomatoes, divided (4 Greens)
1/4 tsp garlic powder (1/2 Condiment)
1/8 tsp pepper (1/4 Condiment)
5 oz Jennie O Italian seasoned ground turkey 93%, cooked  (1 Lean)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prick squash with fork or metal skewer and roast in oven for an 45 to 50 min or until it seems soft when you press on it. Take it out and leave on the counter until cool.

When squash is cool, cut in half and scoop out the seeds and discard. Use a fork or spoon to scoop out the rest of the squash and set aside in a bowl. Measure out 4 cups of spaghetti squash and store the rest in the fridge. Add garlic powder and pepper.

Mix ricotta cheese, parmesan, egg beaters and 4 oz or 1 cup of mozzarella cheese together.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour 1 cup Italian diced tomatoes on the bottom of a 9 inch or 8 inch square casserole dish and spread evenly. Add squash. Top the squash with the ricotta cheese mixture. Then top the ricotta cheese mixture with the cooked ground turkey. Spread 1 cup of Italian diced over the meat. 

Bake for 30 minutes. Spread the rest of the mozzarella cheese over the top (1 cup) and bake an additional 20 minutes until cheese is melted and lightly brown. Let rest for 10 minutes or so to serve.

4 servings with 
1 Lean, 3 Greens, and  Less than 1 Condiment per serving

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