Let’s face it, we’ve just come out of the “turkey season” for roast turkey. A lot of people regard turkey as something they eat twice a year…Thanksgiving and Christmas, and don’t touch for the remaining ten months of the year. For others, it’s a regular on the menu, although it’s usually ground or turned into lunch meat or other processed meats.
Recently, I’ve tried to upgrade our diet, avoiding highly processed foods, and trying to include more natural and whole grain foods in our diet, despite the budgetary challenges that has delivered. While ground turkey is versatile, it’s also processed, and the grinding process means that there are more opportunities for contaminates–everything from additives to bacteria–to join in with the meat. So, I opted for a smaller, yet still whole, frozen turkey breast.
So what am I going to do with it? Obviously, for a couple a five or six pound chunk of meat is a lot, far more than we would eat in two meals, my usual goal for anything we cook. (Leftovers for more than two meals seems more like a boring chore than an adventure.) First of all, it’s not going to be “roasted” in the usual sense. It’s going into my favorite-small-appliance-of-the-month: my Wolfgang Puck digital multi-cooker. It cooked our brown rice for last night, and today, it will cook that turkey breast to juicy doneness. It also will allow me to brown it before slow cooking it, ensuring that it does stay juicy as well as cooks to become tender.
The cooked turkey, while it will be served in slices tonight alongside instant dressing, vegetables, and brown rice (yeah, I cooked extra last night to reheat for today) it will also become many other things over the coming few days. While I adore turkey sandwiches and could eat them daily, my husband is not a huge fan of them. For him, there will also be quick & easy meals, such as turkey quesadillas with diced turkey and cheese melted into a tortilla (he loves anything ala tortilla anyhow!)
Cheese is another great equalizer, and many picky eaters love anything that is enveloped in a cheese sauce. Turkey’s mild flavor means it goes well with it too–we’ll have chunky cheese sauce drizzled over a bed of steamed broccoli…with plenty of turkey with it. Tuna casserole, another comfort food favorite, is just as much a comfort food when it is made with diced turkey, peas, cream of mushroom or celery soup, and the egg noodles too.
Tonight’s meal is the opening act to a weekend of simple meals, and even if we were Super Bowl fans, the turkey breast that is being prepared tonight would do us well, with everything from his quesadillas to my turkey-and-mayo sandwiches. Even diced and served ala nachos, turkey is a great addition with a moderate cost.
What’s your favorite turkey based dish?