|Mom’s minestrone soup = love|
These turkey taco lettuce wraps, from the very first time I made them, got added to the rotation immediately. They are incredibly healthy: you make your own taco seasoning, so you avoid all the preservatives and bad things in the grocery store seasonings, the lettuce wrap completely eliminates the corn taco you would otherwise use, and if you use the guacamole recipe from a couple days ago, you get the added bonus of the avocado health benefits.
Also, this is fun to eat! It’s a little messy but so worth it. If you’re having trouble with the lettuce wraps, you can always shred the lettuce and put the turkey and toppings over it like a turkey taco salad.
TURKEY TACO LETTUCE WRAPS (adapted from Skinny Taste)
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
– 2 lbs. ground turkey
– 1/2 vidalia onion, minced
– 1/2 yellow, orange, or red bell pepper, minced
– 8 oz. tomato sauce
– 1/4 c. water
– Any kind of lettuce for the wraps – boston bibb works well, as does iceberg or romaine (seen here)
– 2 tsp. garlic powder
– 2 tsp. cumin
– 2 tsp. salt
– 2 tsp. paprika
– 1 tsp. chili powder
– 1 tsp. oregano
1. Mix ingredients for taco seasoning, adjusting to your preference (if you like it a little hotter, double the chili powder), and set aside.
2. Over medium high heat, brown the turkey.
Look at these guys! Gorgeous. Making squash blossoms has always seemed pretty out of my league – they’re so delicate, and seemingly decadent. But I couldn’t resist. I bought a bag, went home, and googled the trash out of “squash blossom recipes”. The basic premise seemed simple enough – stuff them with something, then either deep fry, bake, or pan sear them.
Since I’d been alerted to the fact that it was Rosh Hashanah, and Brad and I have basically decided on combining our different religious backgrounds to include “traditions”, I thought I’d make him a little pan-seared squash blossom, stuffed with a filling of ricotta, apple, and honey (for a sweet new year). We could have eaten these for dessert instead of a side at dinner. They were savory, so pretty, and honestly, they looked like SO much more of an effort than they actually were to make. So here we go.
RICOTTA, APPLE, & HONEY-STUFFED SQUASH BLOSSOMS
* We had about 8 blossoms in total, but a normal person would probably have eaten 2, max, as a side to dinner
– Squash blossoms
– Good quality ricotta, approx. 2/3 cup
– 1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg, or to taste
– 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
– 1/2 apple of your choice, microplaned (no skin)
– 2 tablespoons organic honey
– extra virgin olive oil (REAL olive oil, see this post for a heads-up on the olive oil you may have been consuming)
1. Be unable to walk by squash blossoms without thinking they’re so pretty, and then mentally talk yourself into the fact that you can cook with them.
|oh, hello there!|
2. Wash out the blossoms – gently. You can kind of ply them apart with the larger end of a chopstick. Just make sure any bugs, etc. are out of the blossom.
|that center part, the polleny-looking thing, has gots to go.|
8. Serve alongside dinner (ours was Greek Yogurt Chicken and baked leeks). Have your non-practicing, but still tradition-sentimental, Jewish fiance think you’re the most thoughtful thing ever because you remembered his New Year.
So we’ve talked about my avocado obsession, right? I could eat them all day long. Not only are they delicious, but they’re so good for you, and there are a million articles about how they promote heart health, blood sugar regulation, even anti-cancer benefits! Also, according to this site, the avocado is “colloquially known as the Alligator Pear, reflecting its shape and the leather-like appearance of its skin.”, which totally makes sense. Ha. The Alligator Pear.
Anyway, this guacamole recipe is super easy and perfect with Pretzel Crisps, which we should basically buy stock in at this point, because we go through so many of them on a weekly basis. It’s also a great topper for turkey tacos, which are up next.
(serves 4 regular people, or 2 people who live in this house and really love guacamole)
4-5 cherry tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 of a large vidalia onion, diced
cilantro (approx. 2-3 tablespoons)
juice of 1 lime
kosher salt to taste
1. Peel and dice the avocados. I’ve found that an easy way to do this is right in the avocado half itself (see the dice in the avocado half in the picture above?). Then just run a knife around the edge and the diced pieces should kind of just squeeze out into the bowl. Mash this gently with a fork. As you add the other ingredients, the avocado will continue to get smoother, so it depends on how chunky you like your guac.
2. Add the lime juice (this will also prevent the avocado from browning) and the kosher salt, so the salt can kind of blend with the acid in the lime juice.
3. Add the diced tomato and onion (try to make these pieces the same size) and cilantro, mix everything together. Adjust seasonings and enjoy!
|Hilton Head Island|
|No trip would be complete for BAF without some lox.|
|Fried Green Tomato “BLT”|
Incredibly, I have never been to the Scranton Farmers’ Market until this week. Holy crow, have I been missing out. Gorgeous produce, cheeses, meats,even flowers (!), all from local farms and farmers.
|Look at these Farmers’ Market tomatoes!! Gorgeous.|
1. Dice up 1 vidalia onion and maybe 1/2 a bunch of asparagus. Asparagus spears will naturally break off at the part of the stem that gets woody if you just bend it until it snaps.
6. Once you’ve rolled your burrito, roll it up in a paper towel (this will help it not get soggy when you microwave it, I find that Viva “choose-a-size” is perfect for smaller burritos), and then wrap that tightly in a piece of aluminum foil. Put the assembled, paper-toweled, foil-wrapped burritos in a freezer ziplock bag.
When ready for breakfast, remove one of the burritos, remove the foil (as I learned from watching my babysitter when I was 6 microwave a hamburger still in foil, microwave + aluminum foil = bad news bears), and heat for 1 minute on one side, flip to the other side, and microwave for 1 minute more.
4. Verrrrrry thinly slice the radishes and the avocado. They should be paper thin – a microplaner will be able to accomplish this, but it usually just takes a couple practice runs and tossing out the thicker slices before you get it right.
5. Toss the greens with the salad, top with the radishes and the avocado. At the cooking class we went to, the folks at Summerhouse noted that the paper-thin slices “take this recipe from a salad to an event”, and I totally agree.