Steff’s Meat Sauce (4)

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When I cook I try to make the dish healthy by cutting down on fat and sugar where possible. So, for this recipe I replaced ground beef with a mixture of ground chicken and ground turkey – a tip from my friend, Steff. I also bulked up the sauce with cannellini beans.

Because both chicken and turkey give out a certain amount of water, you may find that the sauce is a bit too runny. If so at the end of the cooking time cook for a little longer at a higher heat to reduce the liquid.

Just before serving I add small pieces of goat’s mozzarella which start melting and going gooey (more credit to Steff) and I serve this sauce over rice noodles – the thicker kind if you can find them – but it would be good with a baked potato, over rice or zucchini ‘pasta’.

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large onion – finely chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

1 pound of ground chicken

1 pound of ground turkey

1 cup passata

1 cup chicken broth

2 oz. goat’s mozzarella – cut into small pieces

Heat seasoned oil in a cast iron casserole dish and, when sizzling, add the onion and let soften and brown, then add the garlic, stir and let cook for a few minutes.

Stir in the ground chicken and turkey and break up the meat so it isn’t in clumps. Let the meat brown as this will add more flavor to the sauce.

When the meat is nicely browned stir in the passata and the broth and bring to the boil and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat and sprinkle the cheese over the top. Serve before the cheese fully melts.

 

Sweet Potato ‘Lasagna’ (4)

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This recipe has only a passing resemblance to lasagna: the sheets of pasta have been replaced by thinly sliced sweet potato; the meat is a combination of lean, ground beef and ground turkey instead of the more usual ground beef and Italian sausage; there is no ricotta cheese or bechamel sauce. On the other hand there is a tomato sauce combining passata and tomato paste and the herbs are basil and parsley.

I layered the dish starting with the meat sauce followed by a layer of sweet potato slices and continued on finishing up with a top layer of sweet potato. I covered the dish with aluminum foil to enable the topping to cook without drying up.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 medium onions – finely chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

1 pound of lean, ground beef

1 pound of ground turkey

24 fl. oz. passata

1 tbsp. tomato paste

1/2 cup of beef broth

2 tbsp. parsley – finely chopped

2 tsp. dried basil

2 sweet potatoes – finely sliced in a food processor or on a mandolin

Heat the oil in a cast iron casserole dish or large skillet and when sizzling add the on ion and garlic and let soften and brown.

Add the beef and turkey and let brown for a bit before adding the passata, tomato paste, beef broth, parsley and basil.

Stir well and when simmering place a layer of this mixture in an ovenproof dish followed by a layer of sliced sweet potato. Repeat once or twice more depending on the size of your dish, ending up with a top layer of sweet potato.

Cover the ‘lasagna’ with aluminum and place in the oven for 45 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave the ‘lasagna’ in there until the oven cools.

 

Turkey Pie (4)

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The turkey version of Shepherd’s Pie is a lighter, leaner version and at this time of year may be a good way to use up leftovers from Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner – turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy or turkey broth (all presuming there are any).

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

3 tbsp. olive oil – of which 1 tbsp. is seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 oz. onion – chopped

2 lbs. ground turkey

8 oz. carrots – cut into slices and the slices cut into quarters

8 fl. oz. turkey or chicken broth + 5 tbsp for the mashed potatoes

8 oz. frozen peas

1 1/2 lbs. mashing potatoes – peeled and cut into chunks

Heat 1 tbsp. oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper in a skillet and when sizzling add the onion and let soften and brown then remove to a large bowl.

Add ground turkey to the skillet and sear it then add to the onions along with the carrots and peas.

Pour over 8 fl. oz. broth and mix well before placing mixture in an ovenproof dish.

Cook potatoes in boiling water until soft enough to mash, drain and mash with 3 tbsp. oil and 5 tbsp. broth.

Spread mashed potato over the turkey mixture and cook in oven for 40 minutes.

Citrus Honey Chicken (4)

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Chicken often needs a sauce or herbs or a good gravy to make it less bland and because I poached the chicken in the citrus juices it was also very moist. At the end of cooking some of the juices were added to a honey and soy sauce mixture and then poured over the chicken.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

2 chicken breasts

1 tbsp. olive oil

Juice of 1 orange

Juice of half a lemon

Juice of half a lime

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp. gluten free soy sauce

1 tbsp. honey

Tear off a piece of aluminum foil big enough to wrap the chicken breasts in and put it in a roasting pan. Place chicken breasts on top and pour over the oil followed by the various juices then season well. Wrap the chicken breasts well in the foil ensuring that none of the juice escapes.

Cook for 45 minutes, basting every 15 minutes.

When cooked remove the chicken, cut into slices and place on a warm plate.

For the sauce mix the honey and soy sauce together then add 2 tbsp. of the citrus juice that the chicken was cooked in.