Tag Archives: turkey

Quarantine Cuisine Day #2 – Fiesta Salad

Day #1 wasn’t challenging as I had stocked up Tuesday with a pickup order from Walmart. Today I found myself with aging produce and a pound of ground turkey nearing its sell-by date.

Lunch is typically our main meal, so today I used these items to make two large servings of fiesta salad. It may contain Fritos chips, but it’s surprisingly healthful.

Brown and season the ground turkey.

Basically a salad of chopped lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and (optional) cilantro, the only cooking was browning the ground turkey. The cheese sauce was cheddar cheese soup heated in the microwave oven, thinned with 1/4 cup milk.

According to my recipe builder, we each ate 556 calories, including 57 g. protein and 18 g. fat. and 6.2 g fiber. It’s a fun dish as well as a good use-up of produce.

It’s early in the month, so we’ll see how the thirty-day challenge progresses. So how’s your quarantine going?

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Turkey Salad

From previous posts you know my husband is a turkey junkie. I roasted us a turkey for the Fourth of July! Most people do burgers and hotdogs, but not us. One of my favorite meals for using up leftover turkey is turkey salad.


Turkey Salad

(4 servings)


  • 2 cups shredded turkey meat
  • 1/4 cup chopped sweet onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 chopped hard-boiled egg
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • Pepper and dried dill to taste
  • (Optional) 1/4 cup pickle relish


Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for at least an hour for flavors to blend. Serve on a bed of lettuce with a slice of tomato or on bread as a sandwich.

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Cleaning Up Dirty Rice

My family loves spicy food, especially Creole and Cajun. One of our favorite dishes is Dirty Rice. Traditionally, Dirty Rice is made with rice and leftover livers, gizzards, and hearts from poultry. There is plenty of bacon fat and butter, too. Because I’m the only one in the family who will eat liver, and because we try to follow a heart-healthy diet, I’ve had to lean up and clean up traditional recipes.

Here is my version of Dirty Rice. I use the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker, but I’ve made it in my cast iron dutch oven, stovetop, too. Just add cooking time and a bit more broth if you aren’t pressure cooking.


Not-too-dirty Rice

Makes 4 meal servings or 8 side servings


  • 12 ounces turkey sausage
  • 1 Tbsp. safflower or Canola oil + 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2¼ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups medium grain brown rice (white rice will overcook)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced (should be green, but we like red)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. dried Cajun seasoning mix
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat pot without the lid using the sauté setting. When it’s hot, add the oil and butter.
  2. Brown the ground turkey sausage.
  3. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and rice. Sauté.
  4. Add the garlic and Cajun seasoning mix, remove from heat (hit “cancel”) and stir to “bloom” the spices.
  5. Pour in the broth and deglaze any cooked-on goodness to enhance flavor.  Secure lid to cooker, and set for 20 minutes (If using a stovetop pressure cooker, cook for 15 minutes).
  6. When cooking time is up, remove from heat (hit “cancel” and unplug), and allow pressure to drop on its own a minimum of 10 minutes.
  7. Release any remaining pressure. Carefully open lid and stir to fluff the rice.
  8. Taste test and add salt or pepper as needed.
  9. Serve as a side or main dish. Be sure to bake cornbread to go with it.

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Turkey leftovers? No problem!

For the holidays, I’m recapping some of our favorite turkey leftover recipes. Remember, it’s easy to shred leftover meat in the Vitamix, food processor, or mixer. I use shredded leftover turkey to make turkey salad, turkey burritos, and turkey barbecue sandwiches.


Turkey BBQ Sandwiches
Serves 2
(I serve these with Cole Slaw made using the Vitamix)

1 cup shredded turkey dark meat
1 cup prepared barbecue sauce of choice
2 whole wheat burger buns

Combine turkey and barbecue sauce in a one quart pan. Cover and place over low heat for gentle heating. After mixture is completely warmed through, remove pan from heat and serve on the burger buns.


Turkey Tetrazzini
Serves 4-5

(I use a Kitchen Craft covered skillet, but this recipe can be baked in a conventional oven. I prefer the electric skillet because the entire dish is prepared in one pot, reducing clean-up time in the kitchen. Also, a quality liquid core electric skillet uses less energy than an oven):

Dry sauté in the skillet:

1 cup sliced, fresh mushrooms
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced

After the mushrooms have browned, add:

1½ cups cooked turkey, cubed
4 oz. uncooked angel hair pasta, spread evenly across vegetables and chicken in skillet (or 1½ quart baking dish)

In a 1 pint measuring pitcher, blend:

1 10 ¾ oz. can Campbell’s® 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
½ cup milk
¼ cup water
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Pour soup mixture over turkey and pasta. Be sure all pasta is covered.

If using a skillet, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Do NOT remove lid to peek. If baking, cover casserole with foil and cook in a pre-heated 375°F oven for 30 minutes.

Garnish with finely chopped fresh parsley and additional parmesan cheese if desired. Serve with a garden salad and whole grain bread. Serves 4.

With the rising cost of canned goods, I’ve started canning my own turkey stock, which is easy using the pressure cooker and freezer-safe, pint canning jars.  But whether you make your own stock or buy it, you’ll enjoy making soup from leftover turkey.  Here’s one suggestion, Turkey Noodle Soup:


Turkey Noodle Soup

Makes 4 servings

In a 3 quart pot over medium heat, add

2 teaspoons olive oil
brown for 5 minutes:
1 clove garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
4 stalks celery (including the leaves), sliced
1 bell pepper (any color, but I use red), seeded and chopped


1 quart turkey stock or chicken broth
1 cup water
Seasonings – your choice
1 ½ cups cooked turkey, cubed

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer and cover. Don’t remove the lid and you’ll be able to cook on the lowest setting.

About 10 minutes before serving, add:

1 cup dry whole wheat noodles, or any whole wheat pasta

Taste test for seasonings. You may want to add salt or pepper. When the noodles are al dente, serve the soup.

The beauty of this recipe is the cooking time is flexible. The soup can simmer for 20 minutes or a couple of hours because the starchy pasta isn’t added until the last 10 minutes. It’s a light, healthy meal for those days following the overindulgence of a holiday meal. Double or triple the recipe and feed a crowd on a cold night.

One more tip: You can adapt this for the slow cooker. Add the pasta in during the last hour and turn to Low.

Here’s one I modified from a GE recipe.  Theirs is baked in a casserole dish, but I use the electric skillet.


Turkey Cashew Casserole
Serves 6

In a pre-heated electric skillet, melt:

1 Tablespoon butter

Sauté for five minutes:

2 cups chopped celery
1 large onion, chopped


5 cups cubed cooked turkey

Mix together in a large mixing pitcher or bowl:

1 cup turkey or chicken broth
2 cans reduced-sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup
dash of hot sauce

Pour over chicken and cover.  Simmer (220°) for 20-25 minutes (or bake in a casserole dish at 350° for 30 minutes in a traditional oven).

Sprinkle cooked casserole with:

1 cup cashews
10 oz. chow-mein noodles

Serve and enjoy!

I saved my favorite for last, turkey burritos!  This recipe can be adjusted according to how much leftover turkey you have.


Turkey Burritos
Makes 6

Preheat oven to 375°.  In a medium bowl combine:

1 cup shredded cooked turkey
1 can Rotel® tomatoes and green chiles
1 cup reduced-fat shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 small onion, diced
1 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning (or your choice)

Mix together and divide into six equal portions.  Fill each of the:

6 whole wheat tortillas

with a portion of the mixture.  Wrap tortilla around mixture into a roll.  Place burritos in a 9×13 casserole dish.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and uncover.  After 5 minutes, remove each burrito from the casserole dish and serve.

Happy Holidays and Happy Cooking!


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