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Muffin Tin Mini Pumpkin Pot Pies | Just Take A Bite

Muffin Tin Mini Pumpkin Pot Pies

Turn Thanksgiving leftovers into a fun and delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner. Muffin tin mini pumpkin pot pies are perfect for the whole family.

Muffin Tin Mini Pumpkin Pot Pies | Just Take A Bite

The Thanksgiving feast is over. You’re left with a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

There isn’t enough for a full meal. Or is there?

Combine those leftovers to create muffin tin mini pumpkin pot pies that the whole family will love. What kid doesn’t like pie for dinner?!

It only takes a half cup of pumpkin (or squash) to create a fun post-Thanksgiving brunch or lunch. The pumpkin replaces the traditional pot pie cream sauce.

Start with a simple crust (only 4 ingredients!) that you can quickly mix by hand. This is a great project for kids. They love to work with their hands and press the dough into the muffin cups.

Muffin Tin Mini Pumpkin Pot Pies | Just Take A Bite

The filling is made with pumpkin or squash, vegetables and turkey. Don’t forget the real star of the show – turkey broth!! It is packed with vitamins, minerals and gelatin.

Prepare them all at once or in steps as you have time.

Muffin tin mini pumpkin pot pies are simple, versatile and delicious! Plus they are a great way to use Thanksgiving leftovers or to enjoy a taste of Thanksgiving any time of year.

Head over to Super Healthy kids where I show you how to make this fun dish that can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

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I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Sausage Seasoning For Sensitive Palates

Sausage Seasoning For Sensitive Palates | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

I don’t usually cook breakfast in the morning (except warming my daily mug of soup).  That may seem surprising for someone that gets up early and loves to be in the kitchen.

But here mornings are for easy, get it on the table quickly meals.  That means things like yogurt, homemade granola, fruit, baked goods, nuts, cheese, smoothies, gummies, hard boiled eggs and dried fruit.

Morning is my time to get work done before the kids get up.  Not to mention I have one child that often wakes up early and is ready for breakfast the moment his feet hit the floor.  So breakfast is usually something prepared the night before.

But we do LOVE all breakfast foods – pancakes, waffles, french toast, eggs, bacon and of course sausage!  Breakfast foods are some of our favorites.  So we have breakfast for dinner once a week.

My daughter has a very sensitive palate…i.e. won’t eat anything “spicy.”  That includes just about any seasoning.  It’s rare that she can eat anything in a restaurant without it burning her tongue.  If your little one is the same way check out this post on “picky eating.”  And read on to find out how we make sausage that is not spicy but has lots of flavor. 

Sausage Seasoning For Sensitive Palates | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie We often buy our sausage from a local farm.  It tastes very good and is high quality meat.  My daughter will eat a little bit of it.  But not much.

So recently we got a half pig.  Part of that included sausage.  I opted to just get plain ground pork instead of the butcher adding seasoning.  I didn’t want ten pounds of sausage that my daughter wouldn’t touch.

That meant I had to come up with my own sausage spice blend so we could still enjoy sausage on our breakfast for dinner nights or in our squash soup.

This seasoning uses common herbs and spices and is easy on the palate.  There is a bit of coconut sugar added to make sure it is well tolerated in a sensitive mouth.

You can mix it up fresh for one batch of sausage or make a large batch and have a jar of it on hand whenever you need it.  This sausage seasoning also works well for burgers and chicken.

You can even mix the seasoning into the meat, shape the sausage patties and freeze them on a tray for easy sausage any time.

There is no need to take sausage off the menu if you have a sensitive palate to cook for.  Simply make your own spice blend so everyone can enjoy delicious sausage with their favorite breakfast foods. 

Sausage Seasoning For Sensitive Palates | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Sausage Seasoning For Sensitive Palates
A very mild, yet flavorful seasoning for homemade sausage.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  2. 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  3. 1/2 tsp. basil
  4. 1/2 tsp. celery salt
  5. 1 tsp. dill weed
  6. 1/2 tsp. mustard powder
  7. 3 tsp. coconut sugar
  8. 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients.
  2. Add to one pound of ground meat (pork, turkey or chicken).
  3. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Form patties and cook in coconut oil, lard or tallow in a skillet.
Notes
  1. The seasoning mix can be prepared in advance. It can also be made in large batches and used as needed.
  2. You can add an egg to the meat and seasoning mixture as a binder.
  3. One batch totals about 7 tsp. So if you make a larger batch you can use 7 tsp. of it per pound of meat.
  4. You can mix the meat and seasoning and form patties in advance. Simply place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, freeze them and then store them in a sealed container. Thaw as many patties as you need at a time.
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Pesto Sausage Cakes (GAPS legal, grain free, dairy free, nut free)

Last night for dinner I was going to make zucchini sausage muffins.  But it was a HOT day.  So I didn’t really want to turn on the oven.  So I figured I’d make zucchini sausage cakes instead.  I already had zucchini and sausage thawed.  But the zucchini was not cooperating and was super stringy…which I knew Rebecca would not touch.  So I came up with a new recipe for pesto sausage cakes.  I happened to make a fresh batch of pesto yesterday morning.  I also happened to make a fresh batch of mayo in the morning…which worked out well…I served these with pesto mayo.  These cakes turned out very well!  And they were really easy to throw together.  I used ground pork.  Ground chicken or turkey would work well too.  I don’t measure ingredients when I make this kind of food, but I’ll try to give a rough estimate of quantities.  If you want to make this grain free you can use coconut flour in place of the bread crumbs.  I made 6 cakes with a bread crumb coating and 3 without.  It works well either way.  I like the crunchy coating, but it’s easier for the kids to eat without it.

I’m happy with how well these turned out.  Even Abram kept saying “mmmm” as he was eating his.  I liked them so much I had another one for bedtime snack and another one for breakfast today 🙂

This post is linked to Fat Tuesday at Real Food Forager.

Pesto Sausage Cakes

1 lb. ground pork, chicken or turkey
1/2 cup pesto (My pesto is nut and dairy free.  It is just peas, evoo, salt and garlic blended together.  Use whatever kind you like.)
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup bread crumbs or coconut flour (optional, but it helps bind things together)
salt, garlic powder, cumin to taste

bread crumbs or coconut flour to coat (optional)
fat for cooking (palm shortening, coconut oil, lard, butter)

Mix meat, pesto, eggs, bread crumbs and seasoning.  Form into 8-10 patties.  Coat patties in bread crumbs or coconut flour.  Heat fat in skillet over medium heat.  Cook patties in fat until cooked through, about 8 minutes per side.

Serve with extra pesto or pesto mayo (mix equal parts pesto and mayo).

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Simple Crockpot Gumbo (GAPS-legal)

This week I’m trying some new recipes since we’re doing the letter N.  And last night we needed to have dinner ready as soon as we walked in the door from our Christmas program since it was already going to be late.  I found a recipe on One Little Word She Knew for New Mom Gumbo.  The idea is that it’s so easy to make that even a new mom has the time and energry 🙂  I modified it slightly to use what we had on hand and to make it GAPS legal.  Justin says ours wasn’t really gumbo since it didn’t have rice.  It was more like a chunky stew.  You can add the rice if you want.  Or make rice separately and serve the gumbo on top.  I’ll have to try that sometime, but we didn’t have time last night.  This was really good.  And very easy!  You can use whatever beans and veggies you have on hand.  I did add corn and pinto beans, which are not GAPS legal.  But that’s what we had.  I figure a few pinto beans aren’t going to make a huge difference 😛  I soaked all of my beans and lentils before adding them to the crockpot to make them easier to digest.  I also didn’t do it in so many steps.  I just put everything in and let it go.  I’ll post the recipe the way I made it.

Simple Crockpot Gumbo

3 chicken breasts (can be frozen or thawed)
small onion, chopped (I didn’t add this, but it would be good)
3 tsp. salt
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 cup dry beans (I used a combo of navy beans, pinto beans, green lentils and french lentils…soaked in water and whey overnight)
5 cups water or chicken broth or a combo of the two
vegetables (I used peas, broccoli and corn)

1 cup brown rice (optional)
2 cups chopped tomatoes (optional)

Place all ingredients except rice and tomatoes in crockpot.  Let cook on high 4 hours.  Shred chicken with a fork.  Add rice and tomatoes and extra broth if necessary.  Adjust seasoning.  Cook another 3 hours (or more), until rice and beans are fully cooked.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday with family at our house.  Thought I’d share our menu.  It was quite a feast!  I made the hot food (I’ll post my dishes in green).  My family brought some of the sides and desserts (I can’t vouch for the health factor of those :P).  I did my best to eat safely.  But I know I took plenty of little tastes that add up.  My weakness wasn’t so much the goodies…it was my mom’s layer salad.  I’ve been craving salad lately, and it tasted so good!  It’s the only thing I took seconds of.  Definitely not GAPS legal, but I suppose it could be worse.  I’m glad Thanksgiving is only once a year 😉  I am very thankful for a wonderful family, for a God who loves me more than I can comprehend and for what He is doing in my life.  I have been through some rough days/weeks recently (and will likely have more to come after yesterday!) but I know I don’t have to worry because God has a purpose for this season of my life.  And He will supply my needs.  For that I am thankful.  Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the spread on the table.  Oh well.  At least we got a family picture.  We were blessed to be able to celebrate with my grandparents.  And some of my extended family joined us for dessert.  My older brother, SIL and nephew couldn’t join us, but I’m sure they had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well.

I’ve added a list of ideas of what to make with the leftovers.  The first few are the items I made over the weekend.  Justin enjoyed all of them.  And all of the leftovers were used.  I wish there was more squash soup left 😛  I ate all the leftovers in a couple days.

Thanksgiving 2011

turkey (recipe)
squash (with honey and butter)
peas (with butter and sea salt)
mashed red potatoes (with butter, raw milk and sea salt)
gravy (from our turkey drippings)
apple raisin stuffing (or dressing…it wasn’t in the bird) (recipe)
fresh fruit with dip (pineapple, strawberries, grapes)
corn souffle (recipe)
cranberry sauce
applesauce (homemade)
layer salad
rolls (recipe)

pumpkin pie
pumpkin pecan pie
pumpkin cheesecake (updated recipe to come)
dutch apple pie (recipe)
whipped cream
peanut butter brownies
chocolate cupcakes (decorated like turkeys)

Leftover Ideas:

potato pancakes (mix mashed potatoes, cream and egg; shape into a pancake; fry in butter/lard; serve plain, with ketchup or topped with turkey)

leftover stack (layer warmed stuffing, mashed potatoes, turkey and gravy)

stuffing cake with turkey and apple sauce (mix stuffing and a little mashed potato; shape into a pancake; fry in butter/lard; cook turkey in the same pan in butter/lard; place cake on plate, top with turkey, top with a mxture of applesauce and apple butter (or leftover cranberry sauce))

stuffing hash (mix stuffing and a little mashed potato; cook in butter/lard in a pan, stirring/flipping periodcially until golden brown; remove from pan; fry egg in butter in same pan; top hash with egg)

turkey in gravy (put leftover turkey in a casserole dish, add broth/stock, lard and butter to the pan; cook at 350 for at least 30 minutes – until the gravy simmers and thickens a bit)

squash and turkey soup (heat leftover squash with broth/stock (I also added some chopped carrot); simmer for 30 minutes; puree with immersion blender; add cut up turkey; simmer 20 minutes; add heavy cream, sour cream, yogurt or milk)

turkey noodle soup

turkey shepherd’s pie

cashew, avocado turkey salad

turkey nuggets

turkey broccoli couscous

turkey pot pie

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Turkey Pesto Zucchini Bake (grain free, egg free, dairy free, GAPS-legal)

Last night for dinner I made a very simple casserole.  I had thought about making zucchini lasagna.  But we just had spaghetti and chili.  So I decided to use the same concept but use my homemade pesto instead of a red sauce.  And I used ground turkey instead of beef…white meat seems to go better with pesto to me.  This was very easy to make and was quite good.  I put cheese on part of it (for Justin and Rebecca). I made part without for me.  The only thing I didn’t like was that it got pretty watery from the zucchini and the pesto (lots of oil in the pesto).  I think if I make this again I’ll either partially cook the zucchini first or at least salt it and let it drain a bit before making the casserole.  Otherwise it was very good!  As usual Rebecca wasn’t a big fan…she doesn’t like zucchini or summer squash.  So she ate turkey w/ pesto and cheese 😛  Rebecca wanted me to take her picture too when I was taking pictures of the food 🙂

Turkey Pesto Zucchini Bake

2 medium zucchinis or summer squash
1 cup pesto (I use my homemade pea-sto that is dairy free)
1 lb. ground turkey or chicken
shredded cheese (optional…I used a mix of raw cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan)
salt and garlic powder to taste

Season and cook ground meat and set aside.  Slice zucchini thinly, lengthwise.  You can add it raw or steam/cook it first or salt it and let it drain a bit.  In 8×8 baking pan layer zucchini, pesto, meat and cheese.  Repeat.  Top with a final layer of zucchini, pesto and cheese.  Cover with foil*.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour, removing foil half way through.

*I don’t usually use aluminum foil on our food.  If using it, either cover the pan with parchment paper before the foil or make sure the foil is not touching the food.

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Pancake and Sausage Muffins

For dinner last night I tried another Heavenly Homemaker recipe (and there are more to come:).  Ever since Laura posted her pancake and sausage muffin recipe I’ve wanted to try them.  Pancakes and sausage are great on their own, but mixed together?  Awesome!  All three of us loved these.  And they are very easy to make.  Plus they make a lot so you can freeze some for a quick breakfast.  I only made a half batch and got 11 muffins.  I also doubled the amount of meat (used a 1/2 lb. for a half batch).  We like ours meaty 🙂  Another great thing about them is that you can soak the grains.  Always a plus for me.  I didn’t have buttermilk on hand, so I used a combo of sour milk (milk + vinegar) and plain yogurt.

This recipe would also work well if you want to serve pancakes to a large group but don’t want to stand at the stove forever.  They would be great without the meat.  Just make the muffin part and then you have a ton of pancakes done at once 🙂

I think this will be one of our new favorites.  Pancakes and sausage covered in butter and real maple syrup.  Mmm 🙂  I’m still trying to figure out how to take decent pictures with our new camera.  So bear with me.

Pancake and Sausage Muffins

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 cups milk or buttermilk (I used a little more than this.)
2 eggs
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 pound cooked (and at least partially cooled) turkey sausage (or nine sausage links, cut in half) (I used pork breakfast sausage…1 lb. per full recipe)
Real grade B maple syrup

To soak grains:
If you want to soak your flour overnight to break down the phytates to aid in digestion, mix the flour and cultured buttermilk in a glass bowl, cover and let it sit on your countertop for 12 hours or so. The next morning, mix the remaining ingredients in and bake as directed below.

To make w/o soaking grains:
If you don’t soak the flour ahead of time: Mix dry ingredients together. Add milk or buttermilk, eggs and melted butter. Stir in browned turkey sausage.

Pour batter into 18 buttered muffin tins. (I don’t recommend paper muffin liners for this as it will stick.) (A full recipe for me would make 20 – 22 muffins).  Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes (mine took about 25 min.) or until the muffins are lightly browned. Serve with butter and maple syrup.

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Beef Jerky

A few days ago I took out our last 2 steaks from last year’s beef.  I thought we could grill one on Sat. and one on Sun. to use them up.  Well, we ended up not needing much dinner on Sun. because there was so much food at Justin’s class open house.  So I had thawed steak in the fridge…with no plans for it.  I decided to try making beef jerky last night.  It’s been on my to-do list for at least a year now.  And it was fresh in my mind since I just ordered some from our co-op, and my SIL just made some too.  The cut I used was a sizzler (I think this is a really good cut to use for jerky…not much fat, no bones).  The recipe I used is from the user guide for my dehydrator.  So easy…and SO GOOD!!!!  I’ve always loved beef jerky.  And this is one of the best I’ve tasted.  I’ll be making more for sure!  I didn’t realize it was so easy to make.  And I was surprised by how quickly it cooked.  I have just a basic dehydrator, and it was done in less than 10 hours.  I did cut my beef very thin.  I think that helped.  So glad to have this tasty snack on hand.  But I’m guessing it won’t last long.  I only used a pound of meat.  You can use the same recipe for any kind of meat…chicken, turkey, even ground meat.  I did n’t actually measure my ingrdients.  I just added what looked good.  Just make it to your liking.

Beef Jerky
(recipe for 4 lbs. of meat)

3 cups soy sauce
1/2 lb. brown sugar
spices of your choosing (I didn’t add any.  Maybe I’ll experiment with that in future batches.)
1/4 cup liquid smoke (optional…I added it…really adds a great flavor)

Mix ingredients in a bowl and let stand while you cut the meat.  Trim off all fat.  Slice meat 1/8 – 1/4″ thick.  Increase marinating time if meat is thicker.  Marinate meat in mixture for about 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes.  Drain.  Place on dehyrdrator trays to dry.  Drying time can be anywhere from 8 hours to 2 days, depending on your dehydrator and the thickness of the meat.  Store in clean jars with tight lids or plastic storage bags.

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Chicken Florentine Artichoke Bake

I’ve had this recipe for Chicken Florentine Artichoke Bake tagged for a LONG time now.  And I’ve even had it on my meal plans several times, but somehow never ended up making it.  I got the recipe from my cousin’s wife’s blog.  And my SIL has made it as well.  I finally made it last night.  It’s really good!  We all liked it.  I made a couple modifications because of time and what I had on hand.  But it was still very good.  This makes a lot of food!  There are plenty of leftovers and some in the freezer now.

Chicken Florentine Artichoke Bake

8 oz. dried bow tie pasta (I used broken garlic parmesan fettucine and some whole wheat penne…using up odds and ends)
1 small onion, chopped (I left this out to save a step)
1 Tbsp. butter (left this out)
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk (it ended up a little soupy…I’d probably add less milk next time)
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/4-1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (opt…I didn’t add this)
2 cups chopped cooked chicken  (I used roast turkey from the freezer)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I used a combo of shredded colby jack and goat cheese…again, using up what’s in the fridge)
1 14oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 10oz. pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1/2 cup oil-packed dried tomatoes, drained and chopped (I don’t have any tomatoes in the house, so I left this out)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs (I left these off)
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. butter, melted (I left this out)

Preheat oven to 350. Cook pasta according to package. Drain. In medium skillet cook onion in 1 Tbsp. butter for 5 min. or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, seasoning, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Stir in chicken, Monterey cheese, artichokes, spinach, tomatoes, half the Parmesan, cooked pasta, and onion. Transfer to a 3 qt square baking dish (9×13).

Bake, covered, for 20 min. In small bowl, combine remaining Parmesan, bread crumbs, paprika, and melted butter. Sprinkle mixture over pasta. Bake uncovered, 10 minutes more or until golden. Makes 6-8 servings.

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Crockpot Pizza Soup

I tried another recipe from A Year of Crockpotting yesterday.  This was really easy to make and tasted really good!  The whole house smelled like pizza 🙂  The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was that it was too spicy.  But that was only because the pepperoni I happened to use was spicy.  It was turkey pepperoni.  I had some in the freezer.  I’m not a big fan of pepperoni, and this particular kind is quite spicy.  We don’t like a lot of spice.  But other than that it was really good.  Rebecca didn’t eat much…I think because of the spice.  Normally she loves sausage.  But she only ate a couple chunks.  I didn’t have pizza sauce in the house, so I just added plain tomato sauce and some extra seasoning.  I didn’t add much pasta.  Justin said he would have liked more.  For the sausage I used some lean sweet italian turkey sausage (uncooked) cut up in little chunks.  Overall this was very good.  I’ll definitely make it again…just with less spicy pepperoni or without any pepperoni.  The sausage by itself would be good I think.  And another positive…I got Justin to eat mushrooms 🙂

Crockpot Pizza Soup

1 jar (14 oz) of pizza sauce (I used a 15 oz. jar of tomato sauce, then added some salt, pepper, garlic powder and brown sugar)

3 empty jars full of water
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup baby tomatoes, cut in quarters (I used 1 can diced tomatoes)
2 already-cooked Italian sausage (I used 2 sweet Italian sausages (uncooked), cut/broken in chunks (casing removed))
1 cup sliced pepperoni, sliced in quarters (I used Hormel turkey pepperoni)
8 fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1/2 Tbsp. dried)
1 Tnsp. dried oregano (I used a pizza seasoning blend in place of the basil and oregano)
1/2 to 1/3 cup of dried pasta (I used organic whole wheat penne)
shredded mozzarella cheese (to add later)

Use a 5 or 6 quart crockpot for this recipe. Serves 4 hungry adults, or 2 hungry adults and 2 kids with enough leftovers to feed them all again.

Wash and prepare veggies. Dump them into the crockpot. Cut up the sausage into small pieces. Add to crockpot. Cut up the pepperoni, add it, too. Add basil and oregano. Pour in the pizza sauce, and follow with three empty jars of water.

Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours. Everything in this is already cooked, so you are really only heating through and allowing the flavors to meld.

Thirty minutes before serving, add the dry pasta, and turn to high. My pasta only took 20 minutes to soften quite nicely.

Garnish/top with shredded mozzarella cheese.

I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.