Smoked Turkey and Cheese Brunch Torte

This was an awesome recipe my mom found in Taste of Home years ago and she’s been eager to make it ever since.  Easter’s potluck breakfast was finally her opportunity, and it was awesome!  Sadly she didn’t even get a chance to try her creation, so I made it again so she’d get to try it.  This is definitely a great standby and would be just as good made vegetarian with some extra spinach and mushrooms or whatever vegetables you have on hand (asparagus?  roasted butternut squash? sautéed cabbage?).  When I made this I used one layer of provolone and one layer of smoked Gouda which was delicious and added extra smokiness.

Next time I plan to try it with a lot more spinach, the recipe only called for 6oz, but I used a full package of spinach and still didn’t think it was enough.  I’ll also try this next time with 1/2 egg whites just to lighten it up a bit and because the egg is not a major flavor, so I think it’d be fine with egg whites substituted in.

Smoked Turkey and Cheese Brunch TortSmoked Turkey and Cheese Brunch Torte slice (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 8

Adapted from Taste of Home (April/May 2011)

  • 2 tubes (8oz each) refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 2 pkgs (or more) fresh baby spinach
  • 1 pkg (8oz) fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 7 eggs
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lb thinly sliced smoked turkey
  • 1/2 lb sliced provolone cheese
  • 24 oz jar of roasted sweet red peppers, drained, sliced and patted dry

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Place a greased 9″ springform pan on a double layer of heavy duty foil.  Wrap pan securely with foil.

Open one tube of crescent rolls and shape to press into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until set and just beginning to brown.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet sauté mushrooms in olive oil over medium-high heat.  Once mushrooms have had a chance to brown, add in the spinach and toss together until spinach has wilted.  Remove to a paper towel to drain and pat dry before using.

In a large bowl, whisk together 6 eggs, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and pepper.Smoked Turkey and Cheese Brunch Torte (A Seat at the Table)

Layer the prepared crust with half the turkey,cheese, red peppers, spinach, mushrooms, and egg mixture.  Repeat layers.

Use the remaining tube of crescent rolls to form a crust on top.  Beat the remaining egg and brush over the dough.

Bake for 45 minutes, then cover with foil if it’s browning too quickly, and let cook for an additional 15-20 minutes.  Carefully run a sharp knife around the edge to loosen.  Let stand for 10-20 minutes before slicing (the longer the better…I have no patience for letting food sit, so you can see how oozy delicious it is hot).  Serve hot or at room temperature.  Enjoy!

Thai Turkey Sliders with Cabbage Slaw

These were delicious!  I was a huge fan of this meal.  It’s veggie packed, with lean but moist and super flavorful turkey patties that are conveniently baked in the oven.  While I did have a bit of a challenge finding green curry paste (…how is that not at my local Asian market??), I was able to find it in the international aisle at larger chain grocery store.  And while usually I’m a bit hesitant to buy new sauces that require refrigeration, I’m sure that this green curry paste will be gone soon, because these sliders are definitely going to be made again and again.  While I just served these on top of the slaw, you could easily serve them on mini-buns for the full slider effect.  Since I knew I wouldn’t eat all of the slaw in one day, I only dressed the amount of slaw I was going to eat and saved the rest for leftovers, makes for super easy and convenient lunches during the week!

Thai Turkey Sliders with Cabbage SlawThai Turkey Sliders with Cabbage Slaw

Serves 4-6

Adapted from Lemons and Anchovies

Cabbage Slaw:

  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 4 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp agave syrup (or honey)
  • 1/2 green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 4-5 kale leaves, stems removed, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced (I didn’t have one, but it sounds delicious)

Prepare the slaw first so it has time for the flavors to meld.  Combine first four ingredients in a bowl, and whisk to combine.  In a large bowl, toss to combine remaining ingredients (if you’re nervous about the jalapeño you can omit it, but it just ads a nice mild heat).  Pour dressing over the slaw and toss to combine.  Let sit while you prepare the remaining the turkey sliders.

Turkey Sliders:Thai Turkey Sliders

  • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 2 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt or mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp green curry paste
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp chili-garlic paste (or sambal oelek)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.  In a large bowl, combine panko, green onions, jalapeno, and ground turkey.  In a large measuring cup, whisk together the remaining ingredients.  Pour sauce over the turkey mixture and mix until just combined (this is probably easiest to do with your hands).  Divide meat into 12 patties and place on prepared baking sheet.  Bake for about 17 minutes, then turn on the broiler and broil for 1-2 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and serve over cabbage slaw.

Turkey, Spinach, and Quinoa Lasagna

Lasagna is a great winter food.  It’s cheesy comfort on a plate.  It’s also a great way to sneak some more vegetables into your diet and served with a side salad, it’s downright nutritious and delicious.

I was intrigued by this recipe since it added quinoa to the mix.  And actually in the final product I didn’t really notice the quinoa.  But I like the idea especially if you make a vegetarian lasagna, it’s a great way to add some extra protein.  I added some zucchini and onion, but you can add whatever vegetables you have on hand, just sauté them up and mix them in with either the tomato sauce or the ricotta.  I went ahead and doubled the recipe below and made two 9×13″ pans of lasagna, it takes a little bit of extra time, but then you’ll have a spare that you can share, freeze or serve for a large crowd.

Turkey Spinach, and Quinoa LasagnaTurkey Spinach and Quinoa Lasagna

Serves 6-8

Adapted from Chasing Some Blue Sky

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 jar (24oz) tomato pasta sauce
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 pkg frozen spinach (I used about 10oz, but next time I’d use the whole 16oz bag), thawed and squeezed to remove excess liquid
  • 3 cups low-fat ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 8 oz mozzarella (sliced or shredded)
  • 8-12 no-boil lasagna noodles

In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add diced onion and sauté until it begins to soften, then add zucchini and garlic.  Sauté for a few minutes until veggies begin to brown.  Remove veggies to a plate while you cook the turkey.  In the pan add a little more olive oil if needed and cook the ground turkey, breaking it up into small pieces as you go.  Once the turkey has cooked through, add the vegetables back in and add tomato sauce, balsamic and wine.  Let simmer while you assemble the ricotta mixture.Turkey Spinach and Quinoa Lasagna with Salad

In a large bowl, mix together strained spinach, ricotta, eggs, cooked quinoa, spices, and parmesan.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

To assemble, scoop about 1 cup of the tomato mixture into the bottom of your 9×13″ pan.  Lay noodles in a single layer over the tomato mixture.  Scoop ricotta mixture over noodles, top with tomato mixture, then sprinkle with a thin layer of mozzarella, repeat with noodles, ricotta, tomato and mozzarella, until your pan is full, ending with the layer of mozzarella on top.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until top begins to brown and cheese is melted.

Turkey and Dumpling Soup

Unfortunately the chest cold that hit my parents over Thanksgiving weekend has now come to me.  The only good thing about being sick is that it gives you an excuse to have your favorite comfort foods.  One of my favorites is Chicken and Dumpling Soup–way better than Chicken Noodle in my opinion.  I even convinced a soup-hating friend that soup is actually delicious with this soup.  Since we have leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, this is the perfect time to whip up a batch of Turkey and Dumpling soup.  This is delicious, full of veggies, turkey and dumpling clouds.  And even better, we had all the ingredients on hand.

If you make this with chicken instead of turkey you can get one of those pre-made rotisserie chickens from the grocery store or you can cook some chicken breasts in the oven/stove.

Turkey and Dumpling Soup

Serves 4-6

  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4-5 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4-5 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen peas


  • 2/3 cup bisquick
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 1 Tbsp chopped herb, like basil or parsley (optional)

In a large heavy pot, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add onion, carrots, celery, bay leaves, and thyme.  Saute until vegetables are soft.  Add butter and flour and mix for about 1-2 minutes.  Add chicken broth and mix well, bring to a boil.  Adjust seasoning as needed.  In a separate bowl use a fork to mix bisquick, milk and herbs together.  Reduce heat to a simmer and add peas.  Then spoon dumpling batter into the soup, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes, until dumplings have fluffed up.  Spoon into bowls and enjoy!

Apple Turkey Burgers with Cheddar and Caramelized Onions

Sadly apple picking at my favorite farm has ended.  Mom and I made a good showing this year, I think we went fruit picking at least twice a month since the farm opened in late spring.  While I will miss the abundance of apples, it will be nice not to try and force 20 lbs of apples into the fridge and I can probably do with a break from apples for a little while (if you eat three apples a day do you keep the doctor away for an extra long time?).

One of my favorite bloggers, Iowa Girl Eats, had this recipe for Orchard Turkey Burgers that sounded so intriguing.  I’ve had it pinned since August, and just happened to pick up some ground turkey at the store and on the way home I knew this is what I had to make.  It was delicious!  I loved that it doesn’t need to be served on a bun.  The apple in the burgers is subtle but keeps them super moist and tender.  The extra-sharp cheddar contrasts with the caramelized onions to create a real flavor explosion!  Definitely a keeper recipe!

Apple Turkey Burgers with Cheddar and Caramelized Onions

Serves 8

Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

  • 2 jumbo onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lbs lean ground turkey
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, grated
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • extra-sharp cheddar cheese, sliced

Heat large skillet over medium heat.  When oil is hot, add sliced onions.  Cook the onions slowly over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.  Season with salt to taste.  Cook for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown and deliciously caramelized.

Meanwhile, mix together turkey, grated apples, thyme, garlic and onion powder, sat and pepper.  Divide mixture into 8 equal portions and form into patties.  Lightly brush the outside of the patties with olive oil.  Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat.  When pan is hot, add patties.  Cook for about 2-3 minutes until golden, flip the burger and add cheddar cheese on top.  Cook for another couple of minutes until browned on the bottom and cooked through.  Serve over a bed of greens and top with caramelized onions.

lunch: Turkey Wrap & Lentil Salad

This past week I made some lentil salad for lunch.  This is one of my go-to vegetarian salads.
It’s super convenient for lunch since it can be served room temperature and has a ton of protein in it.  You can find the recipe here.  I added a tomato in the morning before leaving for work.

I also mixed things up and added a Turkey Wrap one day.  This was an easy and delicious way to throw a sandwich together and is just a little bit different than the usual bread.  For the Turkey wrap I added pepper-jack cheese, smoked turkey, a handful of spinach, and some hummus on a whole wheat tortilla.  Delicious and versatile.

lunch: sandwiches

Packing lunches has been an interesting challenge.  I enjoy figuring out new and creative ways to make a healthy, quick, tasty lunch that doesn’t require refrigeration or heating.

This week I took sandwiches for lunch.  An easy standby, sandwiches can have a lot of variety.

Turkey, Cheese and Hummus Sandwich

  • Sandwich bread
  • Sliced Smoked Turkey
  • Spinach
  • Pepper jack cheese
  • Hummus

I try to get in as many veggies as possible, but eating a salad at my desk at work just seems messy.  So this week I’ve packed a sliced tomato topped with cottage cheese and edamame:  a delicious side salad.







I also like to take along a piece of fruit as my dessert.  Recently plums and peaches have made an appearance.

Turkey Meatballs

I was trying to decide what to make for my cousins who were coming over the other night.  The three of them are 8, 4 and 2 years old, and I was trying to think of something easy that would go well with the leftover Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella Pasta Salad and Roasted Green Bean, Mushroom and Barley Salad.  So I settled on Turkey Meatballs.  These were delicious!  The addition of zucchini keeps these really moist and with the garlic and seasonings they’re definitely not a bland boring meatball.  Two out of three youngsters loved them.  I put out BBQ sauce and ketchup, but I didn’t think these needed any sauce.

Turkey Meatballs

Makes about 25 (I forgot to count!)

Adapted from Iowa Girls Eat

  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pkg ground turkey breast (I used 1.3lbs)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top, grease well with cooking spray.  Grate the zucchini, dice the shallot and mince the garlic.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with your hands.  Roll the mixture into balls, about 1 Tbsp each.  Line the meatballs on the wire rack and bake for 12-14 minutes, cut one in half to make sure all the pink is gone before serving.