Turkey Meatloaf with Onions and Herbs!

Sunday was my boyfriend’s birthday.  However, if you did check out my workout week 3 update, we had a very sick morning to start things off.  He started off feeling sick and skipping work while after tending to him, at noon, I didn’t feel so well either.  After that, things managed to taper off as the meds did their work and with some rest (for my boyfriend) and some busying and relaxing about (for me), I picked up my spirits and started cooking.  Although the original plans of making chicken pot pie was diminished, I used what we had at hand to make my first meatloaf ever! Keep in mind, I come from a Chinese family, eating meatloaf is not on the menu, rice is 😉

I made this turkey meatloaf with onions and herbs from the Looneyspoons Collection. I aim to cook through that book this year and I think its pretty doable.

Turkey Meatloaf

Turkey Meatloaf

This is inspired of the recipe called Loafstyles of the Rich and Famous from Looneyspoons Collection by Janet and Greta Podelski. This is modified to how I did it since I made a bit of changes.

Ingredients

Makes 6 servings

3/4 cup chopped onions

1 1/2 lbs ground turkey

1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats

1/3 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup minced fresh shallots

1 egg

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp minced garlic

3/4 tsp dried Herbes de Provence

1/2 tsp each dried coriander, salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350F.

2) In a large bowl, mix together onions and all ingredients.

3) Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.  Pat turkey mixture into pan.  Bake for 1 hour, or until no longer pink in center.  Pour off any liquid from pan.  Invert onto a platter, slice and serve.

The original recipe is with apples.  To me, that seems a bit wacky, so I didn’t do it.  However, if you were to do that, you’d start it off with melting 2 tsp of butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat .  Then you add apples and onions.  Cook and stir for about 5 minutes, until onion are tender and let it cool.

The other changes that I made are: replacing 1% milk with chicken broth; minced fresh parsley with shallots; dried marjoram with dried Herbes de Provence and finally dried sage with dried coriander.

The herbs make for a nice spice combination to the taste.  The turkey loaf is just moist enough and quite delicious.  The only thing I would change is to minced those onions a lot.  I was lazy and had a bit of time constraints so I did it as quick as I could, other than the fact that I was tearing up like made from chopping it.

Whats also really nice other than the taste and the texture if that its a healthier recipe and makes for a good and simple meal.  I think I’m starting to really like meatloaf and I’m going to explore a bit more into it.

What do you like in meatloaf? Would you think that the apples would’ve been a fun addition?

Linguini with Chicken, Broccoli and Peppers in Light Sesame-Ginger Vinaigrette

The main course of Sunday`s meal is finally here.  Its long to type these recipes up or else I`d load you all with it in one post. This turned out to last me to the next night for leftovers and some for lunch as well.

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Whats great about this recipe is that its loaded with veggies.  The sauce is quite delicious and pretty healthy as well.  Plus, I love chicken and this had it also.

The recipe is called Orient Express in the Looneyspoons collection by Janet and Greta Podelski and here it is:

Makes 4 Servings

12oz uncooked whole wheat linguini*

2 tsp olive oil*

1 cup chopped onions

2 tsp minced garlic

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup each reduced sodium soy sauce and ketchup*

3 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar*

1 tbsp each freshly squeezed lemon juice, sesame oil and grated gingerroot

2 tsp liquid honey

1 tsp hot pepper sauce *

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp cornstarch

2 cups chopped or sliced cooked chicken breast

1 1/2 cup broccoli florets

1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper*

1 cup carrots, cut into thin strips*

Instructions:

1) Prepare linguini according to package directions. Dran and keep warm.

2) While pasta is cooking, prepare sauce.  Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic.  Cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes.  Add broth, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, lemon juice, sesame oil, gingerroot, honey, hot pepper sauce and black pepper.  Mix well and bring to a boil.  Blend cornstarch with an equal amount of water until smooth.  Add to sauce.  Cook and stir until sauce is bubbly and has thickened, about 1 minute.

3) Add cooked chicken pieces, broccoli, red pepper and carrots to sauce.  Mix well.  Cook 3 to 4 minutes, until vegetables are tender-crisp.  Pour chicken-vegetable mixture over warm linguini and toss to coat evenly.  Serve hot.

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As usual, I had some modifications and I’ve indicated them with *asterisks.  First of all, I used normal linguini and not whole wheat. I’m still working on the bundles of pasta sitting in my cupboard that my mom bought.  I ran out of olive oil so I used grapeseed oil.  Apparently, its really good for you also.  I lowered the quantity of the ketchup by half.  As for the rice vinegar, I only have the normal type, I’m not sure what seasoned rice vinegar is or what its seasoned with.  I’ll have to look into that and see if it would have made a difference in taste.  I omitted the hot pepper sauce completely as I don’t own it and I wouldn’t be able to eat it if it were added.  As you can see, I decided to dice the carrots and peppers instead of slice in thin strips.  Either would’ve been fine.

Also, I have cooked chicken highlighted because I didn’t read the recipe beforehand and when it came to the part that I needed cooked chicken, I flustered about in the kitchen trying to not spoil the sauce but cook chicken and multitask at my max potential to get it all together. My boyfriend was tremendous help and came to make sure that nothing was burnt and mixed the vegetables and chicken and sauce together when the time came.

This dish tasted A-MAZ-ING! I’m starting to think this cookbook can do no wrong. I think I had one slightly over sweet recipe and changes here and there but most of the time, its absolutely delicious.  I’ll definitely be trying out more of their pasta recipe although, next week, I’ll be aiming to try out the Pad Thai recipe for one.

Some people like the texture of Spaghetti, or they like lasagna, and some like rigatoni, I’m a huge fan of farfalle.  Do you have a special type of pasta that you like?

Sunday Cooking Part 1: Minestrone Soup

Sunday is my day to cook dinner.  Most other days, my boyfriend does the honors because of work schedule of course.  With dragonboat season being on break right now and work calming down a bit, I’ve had time to research and make a decent meal from scratch.  After talking about it for a while, I finally cracked down and made Minestrone Soup.

I’ve never made soup before.  The closest thing to soup I’ve ever made was simmering chinese vegetables and then it would turn into a nice little soup once you put in ginger.  So this was fun but had so much preparation.  I think I spent 30 minutes just chopping all the ingredients and vegetables, etc.  Other than that, it was pretty easy to do.

I found this recipe in a newsletter from my gym (that I used to go to).  I don’t understand why they still have me on the list, but at least its healthy.  It was originally a Turkey Minestrone Soup but my boyfriend and I both prefer Vegetable Minestrone Soup. So as usual, I’ll post the actual recipe and then show the modifications I had done.  I have to translate from a French recipe so if you see any measurement errors, please inform me.

Turkey Minestrone Soup

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 big onion, diced

2 medium carrots, diced

8 branches of celery, cut in pieces

8 cups (2L) of no-fat chicken broth

3 1/2 cups (871 mL) canned conserved tomatoes, diced

2 cups (500mL) cooked turkey, in cubes

2 2/1 cups (500mL) canned white beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups cooked macaroni (preferably whole wheat)

1 teaspoon dried basil

Salt

Pepper

2 cups spinach, chopped coarsely

Directions:

1) In a big pan, fry garlic and onions in oil for 3 minutes on high heat.  Add the vegetables (carrots and celery), broth, tomatoes, and basil and bring it to a boil.

2) Reduce the temperature and let simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

3) Add in the turkey, the beans, macaroni and the spinach and let it cook for around 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Here’s what I did: I made Vegetable Minestrone.  I didn’t use turkey instead I made another dish which I will post up tomorrow.  I didn’t add macaroni, spinach or basil.  No macaroni because my boyfriend didn’t want it and well, I just forgot to buy spinach altogether (and the basil too).  Also, I replaced the white beans with green ones and I bought them fresh instead of canned.  That didn’t affect the taste in the end.  Believe me on that.  It had plenty of taste as is.  Also, in my terms, I always believed that beans are considered vegetables so I just added it along with the carrots and celery.  I don’t think it made too much difference.

In the end, it turned out really good.  The taste was perfect, there was lots of veggies, everything was balanced, not too sour either.  I think we’ll be exploring more soups.  Meanwhile, Part 2 is coming up tomorrow!