Whole 30 Greek Turkey Tomato Sauce with Spinach

My mom is great at sharing. She always buys in bulk and ends up giving me half of what she bought! And sometimes she gives me things she doesn’t like. She had a big bag of Penzeys Spices Greek seasonings that she (thinks) she didn’t enjoy. So she gave it all to me! To my delight I love it! And I love my momma. I have been using the new spice mix in some yummy recipes, like my new spinach burger and this recipe here, greek turkey tomato sauce. It’s basically a greek spiced ground turkey spaghetti sauce, or Bolognese as the italians call it. The spice mix is nothing crazy, just salt, oregano, marjoram, lemon peel,  and ground pepper. It gives great flavor though, similar to gyro meat. mmmmmm. Check out Penzey’s spices if you never have, they’re awesome! My mom lives right one of their shops and I love stopping in there. This sauce is easy to make and you can get it on the table quickly if you are hungry. Add some spaghetti squash or veggie noodles and you’re set! My husband really likes this recipe and he eats it plain. Generally right out of the fridge in its storage container, cold! Our microwave is broken or he might bother to heat it up. But turning on the stove and putting things into a pot is such a pain, right? Oh well, its his food!

Whole 30 Greek Turkey Tomato Sauce with Spinach

Yield: 10 servings of 5.5 oz

Nutrition per serving

Calories 130.6

Fat 6.1 g

Sodium 527.4 mg

Carbs 4.6 g

Fiber 1.2 g

Sugars 2 g

Protein 16 g

 

Ingredients

about 1 ¾ lbs ground turkey, 93/7 fat content, mine was actually 26.9 oz of meat

3.3oz yellow onion, diced, or one small onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups fresh spinach leaves

one 28 oz can organic whole peeled tomatoes in juice (crush by hand before adding if using these), or two 14 oz cans diced tomatoes in juice

½ Tb coconut or extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp kosher salt

Cracked black pepper to taste

2 tsp Penzey’s Greek seasoning spices, or Greek seasonings of choice. The penzeys blend is delicious and includes lemon peel!

 

In a large dutch oven or skillet heat oil and add in onions and garlic. Saute until onion starts to soften and turn opaque and the garlic is toasty and fragrant. Add your turkey, pepper, salt and Greek seasonings. Cook the turkey through until there’s no pink left and the juices are dried up. Add in the tomatoes with their juice in a hot spot in the pan. Tomato juice should bubble and cook a bit. At this point mix everything together and add in the spinach leaves. Let the spinach wilt then taste for spicing and add more if necessary. You can let the sauce simmer for a bit if its too wet for your liking. I leave mine wetter since its not uncommon for me to put mine straight into the refrigerator for future meals. When I do this the meat tends to reabsorb some of the juice and get drier, so I leave more juice in mine. I love this served alone or over spaghetti squash. I have a new veggie slicer that makes noodles out of almost any veggie! I can’t wait to make some zucchini noodles and serve this sauce over it!

 

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veggie noodles from my new slicer!

 

Dutch Oven/Crockpot Lime Cilantro Shredded Chicken

IMG_4998Dutch Oven/Crockpot Lime Cilantro Shredded Chicken

Yummmmmm. That’s what I have to say about this recipe. I love finding new ways to make chicken since I eat it a looooooooot. My family is addicted to all things tex mex, we ate homemade mexican about 2-3 times a week growing up and we all loved it. We usually had ground beef however and I never even questioned it! I am branching out in my adulthood =) This recipe was spur of the moment but it happened to turn out Gluten free, (bonus!) and super easy as well. The lime and cilantro skillet sauce is fantastic alone, but I like to up the flavor factor by adding in my own spices, onion and garlic. Since I love spicy food I did use 1/2 tsp cayenne and that might be too spicy for some. Feel free to add or subtract from this recipe according to your taste and how convenient the ingredients are. I’ve only made mine in the dutch oven, but I imagine its just as good in the crockpot. My only warning is- don’t skip the sauteing steps! I hate the way onions taste cooked in the crockpot from raw. blech. Follow the steps and you’ll have yourself one delicious dish that everyone will enjoy!

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yield: 10 servings, 4.2 oz each

Nutrition

Calories: 147

Fat: 3.1 g

Sodium: 434.6 mg

Total Carbs: 4.4 g

Fiber: 1.6 g

Sugars: 1.6 g

Protein: 26.1 g

Ingredients

½ Tb coconut oil

2.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breast

8 oz onion, diced. 1 med-lg

4-5 garlic cloves, diced

1 tsp each: cumin, coriander, chili powder, smoked paprika, kosher salt

½ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp fresh cracked black pepper

1lime, juiced and zested

1 pouch Frontera skillet sauce Key Lime Cilantro flavor (gluten free!)IMG_5140

  • If using a dutch oven preheat oven to 310°. If not, get your crockpot out of storage and plug in!
  • Heat coconut oil in a large skillet or your dutch oven.
  • Add in diced onion and garlic and saute until onion is almost translucent, 7-10 min.
  • Measure in all the spices and salt and pepper and let them cook with the onions and garlic to develop flavor.
  • Nestle chicken breast into the bottom of the pot, move them around a bit first to get them coated in the spices.
  • Cook a few minutes, them turn them over to cook and coat the other side. They don’t need to cook through.
  • Once the chicken has cooked about 7 minutes total add in the juice and zest of the lime, and the skillet sauce. You can substitute salsa if you cant’ find the Frontera sauce, but the sauce is delicious!
  • Stir in the sauce, juice and zest.
  • If using your dutch oven, put the lid on and place the pot in the oven. Cook in the oven for about 50 min to an hour.
  • If using a crockpot, pour everything in your skillet into your crockpot and cook on high for an hour, or on low for 2 hours. You want it cooked through, but not overly done to where the meat loses its juices and gets dry.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, shred it with two forks and let it sit and absorb the sauce for about 10 minutes. IMG_5141

This was amazing over quinoa with avocado slices. It is also great wrapped in a corn tortilla with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt! Pretty much anything you can do with shredded meat this would be wonderful with. (Taco bar for a Mexican themed party!) When I’m heating up leftovers I usually am picking at the cold meat and it is also delicious! I hope you enjoy this recipe, its easy and tasty as heck!IMG_4999

What’s for lunch?

 

Tuna my way.

Canned tuna can be a super easy and quick way to put a lunch together for yourself that is tasty and filling. If you like tuna that is. If not, you’re out of luck on this one. I make mine with diced apples, celery and caraway seeds. I use light mayo and a lot of lemon juice, salt and pepper too. I love the caraway seeds because I used to eat tuna on rye, but since I have cut most bread from my diet I usually just use romaine hearts to eat my tuna in. Little tuna lettuce wraps that still have the rye flavor mixed in. I love it. Yesterday I had mine with just some baby carrots that my wonderful mother in law brought me from her food co-op. (She is always bringing me her extra produce and I love it!) I also stuck some leftover avocado into my tuna and it really added some creaminess to it.

Yesterdays lunch breakdown:

Romaine: 5 large leaves

1 can solid white tuna (starkist)

1 Tb Light mayo

1.1 oz avocado

78 g celery, about 2 sticks

3 oz apple diced, about 1/3 of a medium fuji

lemon juice of half a lemon, salt, pepper and 1 tsp caraway seeds

3 oz baby carrots

lots of water!

Total calories: 341

Jalapeno Gorgonzola Turkey Meatloaf… now thats a mouthfull!

 

I’ve made very few meatloafs (meatloaves?) in my life. I like them, but it never pops into my head when I’m thinking “what the heck am I going to make for my dinners this week?” I would like to start changing that. Growing up I always had the standard ground beef meatloaf with ketchup on top. Don’t get me wrong, I love it that way! However since I’m trying to be a health conscious person, I figured I would try to make mine a bit less fat and cholesterol laden. I also happened to have gorgonzola cheese, quinoa and jalapenos sitting in my fridge getting old. (does gorgonzola even get old? I mean, it’s already moldy, right?) My first attempt at this was made with ground chicken breast, and though the flavor was great, the texture was off. Next attempt was more succesful with ground turkey. So much better! I also made the cheese chunks a bit larger this time so it didn’t just blend into the meat. With larger pieces you really get the flavor of the cheese in every bite. Unless you search around and eat all your chunks of cheese at the beginning. Which may have happened. Have I told you I have a problem with cheese? It’s really a problem with loving all food, but cheese is hard for me to resist. Also, peanut butter. I can’t stand it when Christian abandons his peanut butter sandwiches. It feels like sacrilege to throw them away. Sorry about that tangent. Back to meatloaf. Try it. Enjoy it. Try it with a different cheese, such as feta, if you aren’t a fan of blue cheese. I will probably try it without the mexican spices next time. Maybe an italian version with italian herbs and chunks of fresh mozzarella or parmesan? Hmm I’m getting hungry. Enjoy this picture of Christian as you peruse the recipe.IMG_4784

 

 

 

 

Jalapeno Gorgonzola Turkey Meatloaf

Yield: 8 servings, around 132 g each (see note below)

Nutrition

Calories: 217

Fat: 11.1 g

Sodium: 212.8 mg

Total Carbohydrates: 4.4 g

Fiber: 0.9 g

Sugar: .4 g

Protein: 27.5 g

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I put a small plastic sandwich size baggie on my hand while dicing and seeding my jalapenos. I had some super spicy ones once that burned my hands for a few hours after cutting! It was terrible, so I now recommend gloves or the bag method.

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Ingredients! Onion powder not pictured. It doesn’t like the papparazzi. also, I forgot about it during the photo shoot.

Ingredients:

2 lb 93% lean Ground Turkey*

½ of a medium Onion, diced (3.8 oz)

2 medium Jalapenos (2 oz), seeded and diced (or not seeded, whatever your heat level preference)

1 whole Egg

4-6 cloves Garlic, minced

2 oz Gorgonzola or Blue Cheese, crumbled, but not too small

½ cup cooked Quinoa

1 tsp each: Kosher Salt, Pepper (fresh ground preferred), ground Cumin, Onion powder, Garlic powder, Smoked Paprika, Chili powder, ground Coriander, Worcestershire sauce

dash of Cayenne pepper (again, to your preference. I like spice, so I mayyyy have done a large dash)

2 tsp Franks RedHot hot sauce, or hot sauce of your choosing.

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  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray a loaf pan with non stick spray, or coat with ¼- ½ tsp Coconut oil.
  • Put the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl and add all the spices, minced garlic, diced onion, diced jalapeno, Quinoa, and Gorgonzola.
  • In a small bowl crack egg and whisk together with the Worcestershire and hot sauces.IMG_4795
  • Add the egg/sauce mixture to the turkey and slowly incorporate all ingredients. Try not to over mix, as the meatloaf can get very dense and brick like!
  • Once all the ingredient are mixed together, and you can no longer see large streaks of spices, put the meatloaf onto your prepared loaf pan. You may need to use a spatula and spread it out a little if it doesn’t by itself.IMG_4797

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    Into the oven you go!

  • Place into preheated oven and bake for a little over an hour, or until internal temperature reaches 155°-160° F.
  • Let the meatloaf rest until it reaches the recommended temperature of 165°.

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    Looks like a brick, tastes like heaven.

  • Slice into 8 equal portions and devour. I couldn’t stop taking little pieces from the sides of the pieces as I was portioning it out!

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    Mmmm.

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Side dishes for Meatloaf. Steamed Brussel Sprouts and Roasted Squash(es).

*I did make this the first time with ground chicken breast and it turned out much too dense and solid. I like my meatloaf tender and the fattier turkey was perfect. You could certainly trade out the higher fat meat for lower, just be aware that the texture will change.