Creamy Ground Turkey Casserole

In my effort to purchase minimal groceries this month (and try to use up what we already have), tonight’s dinner was an experiment.  However, it turned out to be a very  tasty experiment.

 

Ingredients:

1 lb of ground turkey

3 Cups minute rice (We use Minute Brown Rice)

1 1/2 Cup Chicken broth

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp chopped garlic

1 Yellow Bell pepper, chopped

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Cup sour cream

1 pkg Cream Cheese

1 Can diced tomatoes in juice

1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded cheese

1/2 8oz can of tomato paste

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Saute onion, bell pepper and garlic in the olive oil for a couple of minutes and then add the ground meat and Italian seasoning. Keep cooking until meat is browned.
  3. Add sugar, salt, , garlic powder, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste and keep cooking for a few more minutes (you want the flavors to blend together).
  4. Then add the cream cheese and sour cream and cook until melted into the sauce.
  5. Put the dry rice into a 9×13 casserole dish and pour the chicken broth over the top.
  6. Pour meat/sauce mixture on top of rice.  The sauce does not have to completely cover the rice.
  7. Top with the shredded cheese of your choice.
  8. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  9. If there is too much liquid in the casserole then remove the foil and cook another 10 to 15 minutes.

 

 

Snack Mix Using Mike’s Seasoning

Dry Mix

 3 cups rice chex

3 cups corn chex

3 cups cherios

1 cup party peanuts

2 cups pretzel sticks (we use Gluteno’s)

2 cups cheese crackers (we use Van’s)

Seasoning

3 tablespoons worchestershire sauce

1 stick butter + 2TBSP, melted

1 tablespoon onion powder

3 tablespoons Mike’s seasoning

Optional: 1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Directions 

Mix dry seasonings into the melted butter.

Mix dry ingredients together and then drizzle 1/2 the seasoning mix over it. Stir well. Add the remaining seasoning slowly while continuing to stir. 

Once evenly coated put in a sheet pan or large tossable aluminum pan. Spread out as thinly and evenly as possible.

Bake at 250 for 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes.

Cool well before storing.

 Yogurt Popcicles

Homemade Yogurt Popcicles 

This recipe is super simple. It’s a great alternative to ice cream. I like to give these to my toddler because I can control the ingredients and the sugar.

Ingredients:

  • Whole milk yogurt – plain (Stonyfield Organic is our choice)
  • Pureed fruit or fruit/veggie blend
  • Honey (optional)
  • Popcicle molds

Directions:

1. Prepare a fruit puree (see my previous posts for suggestions) or use a preprepared baby food pouch.

2. Spoon 1/2 Cup of plain yogurt into a bowl.

3. Add fruit puree to yogurt. Add as much as you like -to taste. I normally use 1/4 cup, but have used as much as 1/2 Cup. 

4. Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of honey, depending on the sweetness of your fruit.

5. Spoon  into popcicle molds and freeze.

I normally use whatever fruit I have that is getting close to the end of its life.

Favorite flavors: 

  • Strawberry, blueberry, and blackberry
  • Peach and banana 
  • Cherry and strawberry 
  • Peach and mango

Favorite popcicle molds:

These are fun shaped silicone molds. Silicone molds make them very easy to come out (even without running under water). I really like these molds for toddlers and small children because they are much smaller than standard sized popcicles.

Zoku individual popcicle molds (Amazon)

Koji popcicle molds (Target)

Fruit and Oat Muffins

Tonight I tried out a new muffin recipe that was recommended to me in one of my mommy groups.  I was looking for a healthy full size muffin, because Genevieve has started preferring full sized foods.  She has been refusing my mini muffins, but at a recent family reunion, she ate half of a full sized one.

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Tonight I tried the “Straw-nana Muffins” posted here. While I used the base of this recipe, I did make a few modifications, which I will share below.

When looking for a “full sized” muffin recipe tonight, I had a few requirements.  I wanted to use up an over-ripe banana that was sitting in my fruit bowl, I wanted to use oats, and I preferred the recipe to be gluten free (I eat gluten free, but my daughter does not).

The original recipe called for 1 cup of mashed strawberries, which I did not have.  I substituted a mix of apple, peach, blackberry, and cherry and used my Ninja food processor to “mash” and mix them.  The original recipe also called for 1 cup of chopped strawberries to be folded in the dough just prior to baking.  I substituted blackberries for strawberries and only used about 1/4 cup.  Also, the original recipe allows the choice of coconut sugar or maple syrup – I chose to use coconut sugar. I did add 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil to my finished mix- just because.

Once I had my batter deposited in my silicone liners, I topped them with a dried fruit and seed mix to make the tops pretty.

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Dry Ingredients:

2 cups oats – processed into “flour”

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Wet Ingredients:

1 cup fruit – mashed

1 1/2 over-ripe banana

2 eggs – beaten

1/2 teaspoon coconut oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions

Mix wet and dry ingredients separately and then together. Spoon into a silicone lined muffin pan.  Top with dried fruit and seeds. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes (mine were closer to 20) or until they can pass the toothpick test.

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Oatmeal Blueberry Yogurt Pancakes

I found a recipe for no sugar added pancakes that use yogurt on Pinterest, and I thought they would be a perfect recipe for Genevieve.  I am always looking for great food ideas for Genevieve, because I dont want her to have any added sugars and I really watch her sodium intake.  I try to avoid processed foods for her as much as possible.  We live in a very rural town, so non-processed foods are really hard to find and healthy pre-packaged toddler foods are just not available very often.  It amazes me that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no added sugar or salt under the age of 2, yet almost all the baby food products are full of it!

The original Oatmeal Blueberry Yogurt Pancake recipe I founds was from Ambitious Kitchen.

I did make a few tweaks to the recipe.

My version:

  • 1 over-ripe banana
  • 1 cup Stoneyfield Organic Whole Fat Plain Yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cups Organic Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • Raspberries, broken into pieces (optional)
  • Coconut Oil for frying

Add all ingredients to the blender, except the coconut oil and berries.  Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes so that it will thicken.  Cook in a medium temperature skillet or on a griddle with the coconut oil.  If desired, add a few bits of berries to the tops of your pancakes when the batter is still soft.  Cook until golden on each side.

Notes: This made aprox. 9 small pancakes for me.  It is important to let the batter sit and thicken.  The first 2 pancakes I made were still gummy in the middle, even though the exteriors were cooked perfectly.  This stopped happening after I let the batter sit and thicken. Initially the batter had the thickness of a watery milkshake, but thickened to a pretty dense batter.  The thickness of this can be adjusted by adding more oats or thinned with a tiny bit of milk, if needed.

These are gluten free.

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PS. My husband normally hates the food I fix for Genevieve because it is too bland or the texture is off-putting to him.  He said these were yummy!

My Favorite Gluten Free Snacks (purchased, not made)

I know that store bought snacks, especially gluten free ones, are not very healthy.  I know they contain lots of sugar and other things that aren’t so good for you.  That being said, I dont always have the time or the desire to make everything from scratch.  When I want a quick snack, these are my favorite gluten free products.

 

Glutino Chocolate Chip Cookies

(These are crunchy cookies.  If you prefer a soft cookie, I would recommend Wow or Enjoy Life)

Midnight snack: Simple Truth Organic Fat Free milk and @Glutino Chocolate Chip Cookies #milkandcookies #glutenfree #glutino #blog | January 18, 2016 at 11:38PM

Mi-Del Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

(Glutino’s are probably my 2nd favorite brand of sandwich cookie, but I think the Mi-Del brand has a slightly less powdery texture)

midels_chocolatesandwich

Schar Honeygrams

(These make the best s’mores! Kinnikinnick’s are good too, but are a little on the thick side)

scharhoneygram

Enjoy Life Snickerdoodle Cookies

enjoylifesnickerdoodle

Glutino Sesame Pretzel Rings

(These are great on their own and they are also good added to chex mix)

glutino sesame pretzel

Lance Gluten Free Peanut Butter Crackers

(These are my newly found favorite and they are amazing.  They are really hard for me to find where I live and I love them so much, I dont want to share with my husband!  These are so good, I think they need to sell the cracker component on its own too – they taste just like Ritz crackers!)

Lance_GF_Sandwich_900x550

King Arthur Brand Brownie Mix

(These brownies are just amazing.  Some people prefer the Betty Crocker gluten free mix, which is cheaper, but hands down the King Arthur brand wins in our house.  My husband isnt gluten free and he prefers the King Arthur brownies to any other brand, gluten free or regular.  Note: We like to add a cup of peanut butter to our mix prior to baking – yum!)

kingarthurbrownie

Pillsbury Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

(This is found in the refrigerated biscuit section in a small tub.  These cookies cook up soft and yummy and make the house smell so good!)

pilsburyglutenfreecookiedough

 

What are your favorite gluten free snacks?

 

Toddler Meals: 01/15/2016

Genevieve's lunch today - green beans, Plum Organics Chicken Meatballs, Dempsey Gluten-Free Rosemary Cracker Bread, Swiss cheese, raspberries, kiwi, carrot and celery sticks with ranch dressing, and dried apple slices. #17monthsold #toddlermeals #healthytoddler #homemadebabyfood #plumorganics #dempseybakery #daycarelunch #blog | January 15, 2016 at 07:00AM
Genevieve’s lunch today – green beans, Plum Organics Chicken Meatballs, Dempsey Gluten-Free Rosemary Cracker Bread, Swiss cheese, raspberries, kiwi, carrot and celery sticks with ranch dressing, and dried apple slices. #17monthsold #toddlermeals #healthytoddler #homemadebabyfood #plumorganics #dempseybakery #daycarelunch #blog

This is the first time I have ever given her a dip to go with her veggies. I know she likes to dip her chips, or at least pretend to, but I generally I have been trying to get her to like her veggies as veggies. I know though, that it’s important to introduce new things, so today that new item is ranch dressing. The ranch dressing isn’t organic, but it is preservative free.

Smoked Gouda Green Bean Casserole

I have blogged this recipe before, and even linked it to Pintrest, but the blog post seems to have dissapeared.

This recipe is gluten free and a family favorite.

Smoked Gouda Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients:
4 cans green beans
1 block of smoked Gouda (shredded)
Worcestershire sauce
2 cups heavy cream
2 pkgs sliced mushrooms
1/2 package cream cheese
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 large yellow onion
1 cup shredded cheddar
Chicken stock
Corn starch
1/4 cup gluten free flour mix
2 tablespoons almond flour
2 tablespoons corn meal
3/4 stick of butter
Peanut oil (for frying onions or oiling cookie sheet)
Extra virgin olive oil ( for drizzling on top of onions if baking)
1/2 tablespoon Onion powder
1/4 tablespoon garlic powder
To taste: salt, pepper

Notes: I prefer to use low sodium french green beans. Fresh green beans can be used if you prefer. When preparing the onion topping, you can either deep fry or bake the onions. I will discuss baking them, but could also deep fry them in peanut oil instead. Sometimes my husband does this just prior to frying his turkey, if we are preparing one. This recipe primarily uses smoked Gouda cheese, but I do like to add a small topping of Cheddar at the end because it melts well and helps make the dish look finished. It also helps keep the onions on top. Basically, smoked Gouda is what makes this dish taste amazing, but cheddar had different melting properties, so it makes a better topping.

First shred the smoked gouda cheese. I use most of a block and I have never measured it. Maybe 3 or 4 cups. I know its more than two cups. In my opinion, you can never have enough cheese.

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Onion Crisp Directions:

Mix almond flour, gluten free flour mix, and cornmeal in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Slice onion 3/4 of large onion into 1/8 inch slices.  Set aside remaining onion for casserole. Lightly coat with cooking spray. Toss in flour mixture.

Remove coated onions to an oiled cookie sheet. Spread evenly and drizzle with oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes and then flip and bake until brown on both sides. Total cook time will be 20 to 30 minutes.

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Casserole Directions:

Open 4 cans of green beans and rinse them well. Once drain add the beans to a large bowl. Add 4 shakes of Worcestershire sauce and toss beans to evenly distribute.

Dice remaining onion. In a large saucepan melt the butter and then add the garlic, onion, and mushrooms. Cover and periodically stir. Add chicken stock as needed to prevent burning, add flavor, and help facilitate the cooking process. I normally only add enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Keep adding stock until cooking is finished. Cook until mushrooms are tender and then keep cooking uncovered until the liquid has cooked away.

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Add cream and cream cheese and cook on low for 5 or 10 minutes. Then add pepper and a teaspoon or so of cornstarch. Cook a few morn minutes until thickened. Add a handfull of Gouda cheese and stir until melted.

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Add cream sauce to beans and stir well. Add onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Spray non-stick spray into a 9×13 casserole dish and then add half the bean mixture. Top with a layer if Gouda cheese. Repeat with remaining bean mixture.

Bake on 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Remove and top with cheddar cheese and onion crisps. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.

[Insert picture of finished casserole … Oops we ate it before I rembered to take a picture]