Turkey Tomato Sauce + Zucchini

Not your typical tomato sauce.  Full of veggies and lean ground turkey.  It's perfect over roasted spaghetti squash, zoodles, pasta or used for stuffed zucchini.  

To make the stuffed zucchini: Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Cut zucchini lengthwise and scoop out seeds, making a well for the sauce and arrange on a baking dish.  Spoon prepared sauce into zucchini.  Place in oven and roast 20 minutes.  Top with grated cheese while it's still hot. 

Makes about 1 quart.

Turkey Tomato Sauce 

small splash olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, seeded, diced

2 stalk celery, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb ground turkey

28 oz canned tomato puree

2 bay leaves

4 thyme sprigs, stems discarded

1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder

Heat oil in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Add diced onion.  Cook until soft, 5 minutes.  Add bell pepper, celery and garlic, cook 5 minutes.  Add turkey: cook, breaking up meat, until cooked through, about 8 minutes.  Stir in tomato puree, bay leaves, thyme, worcestershire sauce and cayenne powder.  Simmer 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  

 

Grilled Portobellos + Creole Tomato Sauce

creoleporto01.jpg
creoleporto03.jpg

There's a restaurant in Ithaca, New York called Maxie's Supper Club that I am obsessed with.  Their margaritas come in pint glasses and there are things like tasso gravy and mighty mighty gumbo on the menu.  They also have chicken fried tuesdays.  (And who doesn't need a little fried chicken on a tuesday?)  

I'm getting carried away.  The reason I bring up my beloved Maxie's is that they have something on the menu that is grilled portobellos with creole tomato sauce.  While I've never seen or ordered it I've haven't stopped thinking how good it sounds.  Cam and I decided to give it a go.

We had sauce leftover and ate it over roasted spaghetti squash.   

(If you are vegetarian, omit worcestershire sauce.  It contains anchovies.)

Serves 4. 

Grilled Portobellos + Creole Tomato Sauce

splash olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, seeded, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

4 cloves garlic, diced

2 green onions, diced, white and green separated  

1 28 oz tin tomatoes

3 bay leaves

4 thyme sprigs, stems discarded

s + p

splash worcestershire sauce 

1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

pinch sugar

8 portobello mushroom caps, cleaned, stems removed

In a medium pot, on medium high heat, cook onion in splash of oil until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add bell pepper, celery, garlic, green onion whites and thyme, cook, stirring, 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, bay, thyme leaves, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and cayenne.  Boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Adjust seasoning with sugar, salt and pepper.  Stir in parsley.  

While sauce is simmering, cook mushrooms on medium high heat in a grill pan on the stove.  About 5 minutes on each side.  Mushrooms can also be roasted in 425 degree oven, loosely covered with foil for 35 minutes.  

Once mushrooms are done, top with warm tomato sauce.  Garnish with green onion greens.  We served ours with kale sauted with garlic.  yum. 

A Healthier Meatball

htm02.JPG
htm01.JPG

Who doesn't like a meatball?  This is a healthier version that uses lean ground turkey breast instead of the usual beef pork combo and spaghetti squash instead of pasta.   

For the sauce, I'm pretty flexible.  I just use whatever fresh herbs I have lying around and then supplement with dried ones.  For this I used fresh thyme, fresh savory and dried oregano which went well with the meatballs.   

Serves 4. 

Herbed Turkey Meatballs over Roasted Spaghetti Squash + Simple Tomato Sauce

2 spaghetti squashes  

olive oil

s + p

1 shallot, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

fresh thyme leaves, from 5 sprigs

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

2 tablespoons milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1 lb lean ground turkey breast

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

for the sauce 

olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

fresh herbs and dried herbs

1/4 teaspoon dried red chile flakes

28 oz tin crushed tomatoes 

s + p

Heat oven to 375.  Cut each squash in half lengthwise, scoop out and discard seeds.  Lightly oil, salt and pepper squash halves.  Place cut side down on a large baking sheet and roast about 45 minutes or until done.  (A fork will easily pierce the skin and flesh.) 

Meanwhile, get the sauce going.  In a small pot, heat a splash of olive oil and saute onion until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic, herbs and chile flakes, cook 1 minute.  Add tomatoes and simmer, 20 - 30 minutes.  Finish with salt and pepper.  

While the sauce is simmering get the meatballs going.  In pan, heat a splash olive oil and saute shallot until clear and soft, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic and saute 1 minute more.  Add thyme, chile flakes, oregano and fennel seeds, cook 1 minute more.  Set aside.  

In a large bowl, combine milk, egg, and bread crumbs.  Add shallot mixture, turkey, grated cheese, salt and pepper.  Mix ingredients with clean hands until evenly distributed.  Form into 1 inch meatballs, there will be about 12.  

Heat a splash of oil in a pan on the stove and add meatballs.  Turn frequently to cook all sides, cooking for about 10 minutes until internal temperature of meatballs reads 165 degrees.    

OR

Sear/brown all sides of meatballs in skillet on the stove.  Place in 375 degree oven and bake for 8 minutes or until internal temperature reads 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.  

Remove squash from oven when done.  Let sit until cool enough to handle.  Use a fork to scrape out flesh into serving bowls.  Discard skins.  Season with salt and pepper.  Top with sauce and meatballs.