Monday, September 14, 2009

Turkey Sausage and Zucchini

So the one night of the week that we didn't have guests I was faced with being rather busy that day (the only day to myself to get a lot of work done) but resisted getting take out for dinner.

I came up with this instead.

Turkey Sausage and Zucchini
This is adapted from Simply Recipe’s Stuffed Zucchini with Turkey Sausage

I was faced with having zucchini that needed to be cooked, but none of them large enough to be stuffed and one that arrived broken in my produce delivery. Certainly could have made a stir fry but I wanted to try something different. I also did not have fresh herbs on hand and so I decided to come up with something that could be pulled from the freezer/pantry.

2 small/medium zucchini, sliced
Drizzle of vegetable or olive oil
1 lb ground turkey
½ small onion, chopped
4 mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves pressed garlic
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp salt free seasoning (Mrs. Dash)
2 pinches kosher salt
¼ cup grated parmesan or any other grated/shredded cheese you prefer

In a baking dish, drizzle with oil and then arrange slices of zucchini to cover the bottom. Season them with salt, pepper and some salt free seasoning. Place in oven to bake at 350 degrees. While zucchini is cooking, heat a sauté pan with a drizzle of oil, the onion, garlic and mushrooms. When browned, add turkey and then season with basil and salt free seasoning. Combine thoroughly and cook for about 10 minutes or until turkey is cooked through. Remove zucchini from oven, spoon the turkey mixture over the top of the zucchini and top with cheese. Return to oven for 10 minutes.

My 10 year old was skeptical at first and picked out some of the chopped mushrooms, but then asked if there were leftovers to pack in her lunch. We decided that we liked this as a quick, satisfying meal, but maybe not something you’d serve company. We also had an unbaked pre-made loaf of garlic bread (from having company earlier that week) that I added to the meal.
The stuffed zucchini recipe that inspired this is definitely company-worthy, especially with the fresh herbs. The key is making it well seasoned. I think adding either some tomato sauce or even Italian style stewed tomatoes would be good, it would just make it more like a pasta sauce and maybe with alternating layers of the turkey, cheese and zucchini it would be a heavier casserole.

Catching Up

WOW I've let the days go by and didn't get to blogging about my pantry/freezer progress.
There have been some challenges but I still think overall it's not bad. I wish there was a way to not spend a single dime, but I'm kidding myself because we have needed a few things. Plus we had company; over night guests for two nights, then my birthday. So it was a little unavoidable but still pretty good.

I for the first night of guests I made dinner almost entirely from food already on hand. I grilled a pork tenderloin (from the freezer) that I basted with a simple balsamic glaze (just heat some honey and balsamic vinegar on the stove until it reduces). I also made a delicious tomato pie from Simply Recipes. I used the tomatoes I received from my CSA delivery and I made my own crust, which I must say turned out pretty good. Then I just prepared some green beans cooked with a little butter and dill seasoning. (The seasoning is from Pampered Chef, and I love it.)

The shopping I did in preparation for the guests was getting some bagels, juice, milk and some other drink options. Not bad. The next night we had more guests join us, but they insisted I not cook and paid for the purchase of some rotisserie chickens, salad and garlic bread. I baked brownies and some peanut butter cookies. We actually had 2 less people than anticipated and was left with 1 whole chicken uneaten, one Caesar salad kit unopened and 2 loaves of garlic bread unbaked. I contemplated just eating it the rest of the week but instead decided to freeze the chicken and the bread to save for another week.

So it was just 2 nights of guests and it was a lot of fun and I felt pretty good about how I used my resources.

The following night I will post separately and and then the next night after that was my birthday and after much debate I decided to just have people over and we had pizza and the salad we had not eaten from two nights before (it held up just fine in the fridge). Plus we had plenty of leftover drinks and I picked up chips and dip and had a super good cake called Slice of the Tropics. (ACK, no photo!)

A good blogger would have better details. If I was not trying to sneak in blogging and other work between tending to sick children I'd get my receipts in order and determine how much as been spent so far. I'm going to try and get to that soon.