Bahn Mi Wannabe

The juxtaposition of savory protein and fresh greens elevates sandwiches to other worldly status in my opinion. The decadent Bahn Mi is case in point. I translated this concept for dinner two ways:

Pulled pork topped with cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh basil, spinach, salt and pepper

Ground turkey (seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper) with cheddar and cucumbers

Monday Quarterback Pesto

My low-lactose spinach dip may not have scored big on Super Bowl Sunday, but it made a delicious pasta sauce on Monday night!

For the dip, I followed this recipe as a guide, swapping almonds for cashews, using fresh garlic in place of powder, and goat cheese instead of cream cheese.

For the pasta, I added leftover turkey meat from burritos (previously seasoned with cumin and chili powder, plus chicken broth) to cooked pasta, and stirred in two spoonfuls of the spinach dip. Delicious!

Killer Meatloaf

Turkey + Gruyere + apples + spinach = killer meatloaf, with a side of mashed potatoes.  Back in December, I thought I had made the “Best Meatloaf Ever” with manchego, apples and leeks. Well, turns out Gruyere is the secret weapon to making a killer meatloaf.

Same principles apply: ground turkey, shredded apples for moisture and a little sweetness, plus a dose of green (chopped spinach in this case). But the smoky flavor of the Gruyere leaves a memorable taste that will forever be hard to beat in meatloaf experimentation. Creamy mashed potatoes are an ideal side too – and last night I learned that a fork works better for fluffiness, than a potato masher.



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Nouveau Hamburger Helper

I like to experiment in the kitchen and tonight’s dinner was case in point. It reminded me of Hamburger Helper, even though I’ve never technically had it before. I browned ground turkey in a large saucepan, and added onion soup mix  plus water while it simmered to add some flavor. Meanwhile, I boiled pasta and added sliced banana squash to the meat mixture. I poured the pasta into the pan with the turkey and squash and mixed it all together. Voila! Nouveau Hamburger Helper (I think)!

Completely random, kinda delicious!


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Counting Down to Monte Cristo

No time to cook? Have milk, eggs, bread, deli meat, jam and cheese? I wax nostalgic (Disneyland’s Blue Bayou) and cheat my way through Monte Cristo sandwiches.

A Monte Cristo is a fancier version of French toast with a hearty center: turkey, ham or pastrami; jam, and cheese. Powdered sugar is optional.

My way is from memory and couldn’t be easier. Make batter from equal parts egg and milk. Fry enough soaked slices of bread to make two sandwiches. Meanwhile, warm the deli meat in the microwave, then serve along with melted cheese and jam between slices, et voilà!

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Dinner with David – Feb. 19, 2009

I love to cook, but I don’t have a lot of time to plan out my menus (especially during the week). The purpose of this blog is to recap what I throw together on busy weeknights or lax weekends, so I can inspire others and archive my successes.

My debut dinner recipe: Leftover egg noodles (a well-spent $4 from The Pasta Shop, sold at San Francisco’s Ferry Building Farmer’s Market) with sauteed bell peppers (added Wednesday night!) and ground turkey meatballs (added tonight, see below).

I first learned how to make homemade meatballs from Everyday Food and it’s really pretty simple once you learn the principles (ground turkey or beef, bread crumbs, egg). For tonight, I combined:

1 package Foster Farms Ground Turkey – Lean

1 Thomas English Muffin, crumbled by hand

1 egg

Salt and pepper, to taste

Topped with:

2 tablespoons, Capellino Pesto Pine Nut Sauce

After combining the first four ingredients in a bowl by hand, I shaped 1-inch meatballs and put them in a pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil. It took about 10-15 minutes of flipping the meatballs until browned throughout, then I mixed them in with the leftover pasta, plus pesto sauce. The result was delicious!

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