Healthy Recipes to Keep You Fit and Fabulous

Posts tagged ‘turkey’

Backyard Turkey Burgers


I woke up early Thursday morning in the mood for a spin class!  OK, that’s a complete lie.  I woke up in the mood to sleep until 12 and do nothing all day, but I forced my butt out of bed at 7:30, and headed to the gym for an 8:45 spin class.


I toasted a whole wheat sandwich thin and topped it with a childhood classic- peanut butter, bananas and honey!


I’m still trying to figure out the best way to eat throughout the day, due to my new class schedule.  I have to leave my house at 12:40 in order to be in my seat a little before 1:30.  Class runs until 4:45…so when the heck do I eat lunch?!  I’m usually not hungry around noon, so I decided to try packing my lunch and eating in the car.  Part 1 of my meal was a Lemon Chobani Greek Yogurt:

At around 3:00, our professor gives us a 20-minute break.  I took that opportunity to run out to my car and eat a salad that I packed.  It included butter lettuce, red and yellow bell pepper strips, and Naturally Fresh Ginger Dressing <—– amazing.

I forgot that ginger dressings tend to fall under the “less is more” approach, so this was a little too dressing-heavy for my taste.  I’ll be more careful next time!

After I finished eating, I went back to class to spend another 2 hours pretending I know what all of these numbers represent:


My family visits North Carolina every year, and one of our food traditions is to go to Backyard Burgers.  I always thought this fast-food restaurant was indigenous to NC, but I came to find that we have one here in Orlando.  Fortunately, I have managed to steer clear of the burger joint, but that doesn’t mean I can’t recreate my favorite BBQ Bacon Burger at home!

I loosely followed my own recipe for BBQ Turkey Burgers, and Corey put them on the grill.  I decided that one little slice of regular bacon won’t kill me, so I topped my little burger-of-love with a crispy slice.

We served our burgers on whole wheat sandwich thins.  On the side, we enjoyed plenty of sweet potato fries and steamed broccoli.  Delish!

Hope you’re weekend is off to a great start- I’m heading to Ft. Lauderdale today!  

Ash Wednesday and Turkey Enchiladas

Going on trips is always fun, but it does kind of mess with your routine.  We drove home really early this morning, and ended up going right back to sleep when we got home.  After catching up on some sleep, we woke up to an invitation from Corey’s mom to go to lunch at an Italian restaurant that she and I absolutely love.  Anytime she’s craving it, she calls us up and says, “Will you guys go eat red sauce with me?” I’m always on board for that!

Our impromptu nap resulted in me skipping breakfast, which is something I try to never do.  But, sometimes it happens!


We hopped in the car and headed to the restaurant, which is called Adriatico Trattoria.

I always order the same thing, which just happens to be my favorite meal of all time- Eggplant Parmesan!

Sea of Red Sauce!

This dish is to die for.  Although it is certainly not a health food, this particular Eggplant Parmesan is much lighter than other restaurant-versions, because Adriatico lightly cooks it in olive oil, and then bakes it, as opposed to frying.  Their marinara sauce is so amazing that we always order extra sides of it with our meals!  I had every intention of taking half of my lunch home, but somehow…my plate was practically licked clean.  See what happens when you skip breakfast?!

After lunch, we went to Corey’s parents house and hung out for a little while.  Corey’s mom brought out a small treat for us to try:


A yummy chocolate fudge mini cake from Whole Foods!  I like to consider everything that comes from Whole Foods to be healthy, so let me just live in my dream world where this cake is calorie free, just for today 😉 .

We brought Bella over to the house with us so she could play with Corey’s family dog, Zoe, while we went to lunch.  What I’m about to show you is mildly disturbing.  You’ve been warned.

Is it normal that every time we take Bella to Corey’s parents house, she runs immediately into the living room, drags this giant stuffed dog into the middle of the floor, and starts doing this:

Caught in the act!

I had to stealthily sneak the camera over the edge of the couch to get this picture, because if she knows we’re looking at her, she stops and then slumps away in embarrassment.  She’s a GIRL dog for crying out loud! Where did I go wrong?!

After lunch, we came home and hung out for a while before getting ready and going to church.  We don’t normally go to church on Wednesdays, but today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent- the days leading up to Easter.

I thought that I had been to such a service before, but apparently, I haven’t, because I was surprised by what took place.  Our pastor gave a great sermon regarding the meaning of Ash Wednesday, and then we were called to the front to have ashes placed on our foreheads in the shape of a cross, to mark our commitment to Christianity.  It was a really interesting experience, and I feel that I have a much better understanding of the meaning of Lent.  This brings me to my announcement…

It is a tradition during Lent to give up something in your personal life that you enjoy, in order to focus on your commitment to God.  I have tried to give up things in the past, but I have never successfully stuck to it, which is not good!  I am determined to stick to it this time, and I have decided to give up…drum roll please…

Bye Bye!


After my dad told me that this was what he was giving up for Lent, I started thinking about it and realized that it would be a great thing for me to give up, too.  I really don’t drink during the week, but, seeing that we are in college, drinking is kind of the thing to do on the weekends.  Not anymore!  You can just call me Sober Sally for the next 40 days!  Woo hoo!


I decided to make an old favorite with a twist, and ended up with a baking dish full of Turkey Enchiladas!

Turkey Enchiladas

Servings: 3-6


6 whole wheat tortillas

1 lb ground turkey

1 packet taco seasoning

2 cans mild or medium enchilada sauce

1 small can of chopped green chiles

1 onion, chopped

1/2 cup fat free shredded cheddar cheese

fat free sour cream, for topping


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a skillet with cooking spray and add the chopped onion.  Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the turkey meat and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.

Drain the oil from the meat, and then add the taco seasoning and 1/2 cup water and mix together.  Continue cooking for 2 minutes.

Add the can of green chiles to the meat and mix together.

Next, pour 1/2 of a can of enchilada sauce into the bottom of a baking dish.

One by one, fill each tortilla with a few spoonfuls of the meat mixture.  Fold the sides in like a burrito, and place seam side down in the baking dish.

Pour all of the remaining enchilada sauce all over the finished enchiladas.

Top each one with cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes, then serve topped with a dollop of sour cream.

I served our enchiladas with a side of roasted carrots.  Yes, carrots.  I have no idea why, but I was really craving cooked carrots!  They were a lovely compliment to our Mexican feast.

After dinner, I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies for dessert.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite in the mood to create my healthy Whole Wheat ones, so these just came from a tube.  I also had a glass of almond milk!

Cooks + Almond Milk

Well, I’m going to go attempt to catch up on my missed sleep!  Have a great night!

Are you giving up anything for Lent?  If so, what did you decide to give up?

Sweet ‘N’ Spicy Turkey Meatloaf

It’s been a long time since I was able to just sit at home and watch Food Network, but I finally got to have one of those days this week.  I caught an episode of “The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Garlic”, and Ina Garten introduced me to the most delicious-looking meatloaf I’ve ever seen.  I don’t even like meatloaf.  It was a mixture of beef, veal and pork, with a head of roasted garlic thrown in the mix.  The chef served it with a sort of meatloaf au jus over the top.  My mouth was watering.

Since seeing that glorious meatloaf, I’ve been telling Corey all week that I was going to make my own version of it.  Healthified, of course.  Tonight, I finally got around to it!  I searched the internet for some tips and tricks, and compiled a recipe of my own for this sweet ‘n’ spicy creation.

There were two perks to making this dinner.

A) I got to use my new garlic press that Corey found for me at a garage sale





And B) I got to finally use my loaf pan by Giada de Laurentis!

It’s the little things in life.

Sweet ‘N’ Spicy Turkey Meatloaf

Servings: 6


1.4 pounds ground turkey

2 Spicy Italian Turkey Sausages, removed from casing

1/4 cup beef broth

1 Vidalia onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons tomato sauce

3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1 cup Panko breadcrumbs

1 egg

For the top:

4 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons BBQ sauce


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a saute pan, spray non-stick spray and place over medium heat.

Throw in the onion and garlic and cook until the onions are browned.

Pour in the beef broth and deglaze the pan, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom.  Add the tomato sauce and remove from heat.  Stir in the parsley, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce.  Allow mixture to cool.






In a bowl, add the turkey meat and the sausage meat.  Pour in the onion mixture, egg, and breadcrumbs.  Use your hands (washed!) to mix everything until well combined.

Place meat into a loaf pan and use a spatula to spread it around evenly.  Pour the ketchup and BBQ sauce over top and spread into an even layer.

Place in the oven for 40 minutes.  Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees and cook for another 20-25 minutes, to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. *Tip*: I placed another loaf pan on the bottom rock and filled it with about 3-4 inches of water.  The moisture keeps the meatloaf from drying out.



Back in Business! Recipe: Asian Turkey Burgers

If anyone were to look up the term “dumb blonde” in the dictionary, I am almost positive my picture would be next to it.  Remember my “broken” camera I’ve been going on and on about?  Well, as soon as I walked out of Best Buy with this little beauty…:

Canon Powershot SD1400

I got home and inserted my memory card from my old camera.  The screen read “Memory Card Locked”.  Oh, crap.  That’s the message that popped up on my old camera! That wasn’t the issue, though.  I had this problem a long time ago on my old camera, and I Googled it and found out that there is a switch on the memory card that you have to push the opposite direction to unlock it.  When the message popped up the second time on my old camera, I had forgotten that the switch was on the actual memory card, and instead, flipped some tiny switched that was on my camera, which then fell off.  Well, as soon as I saw the message on my new camera, all the previous Google-knowledge I obtained months ago came flooding back, and I remembered what the problem was.  I flipped the switch on the memory card, stuck it back in my old camera…and what do ya know? Back to normal.  So, now, I have two perfectly functioning Canon PowerShots sitting in front of me.  However, one is older and is not a beautiful shade of pink.  I guess I have a decision to make!  Anyways, let’s move on to dinner.

I have never been a big fan of ground turkey meat, but, once I started eating healthier, I developed a taste for it.  Even so, I have still never been a fan of turkey burgers.  Corey and I were out of dinner ideas when we shopped last weekend, so we just picked up a package of pre-formed turkey burgers and decided to save them for later in the week when we were feeling less-than-motivated to cook up a big dinner.  That would be tonight.

Turkey meat is very lean, and pretty bland, as well.  You really have to give it some flavor unless you want to bore your tastebuds to death.  I decided to make a marinade for our burgers.  I don’t think marinating burgers is really a normal thing to do, but I gave it a try anyway.  I went with an Asian-flavored marinade, covered the burgers, and refrigerated them for 30 minutes.  After grilling them on an indoor grill pan, I sliced an onion and caramelized it in a saute pan.  I topped the burgers with the onions and served them on Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Rounds with a side of roasted broccoli.  The burgers turned out perfectly.  Great flavor, and the grill pan gave them a nice crust on the outside.  Crunchy, delicious, and healthy!

Asian Turkey Burgers

Servings: 4



16 oz. ground turkey, formed into 4 burger patties

5 tablespoons Low-Sodium Soy Sauce

2 tablespoons Stir-Fry Sauce or Teryaki

1 tablespoon Ken’s Herb & Garlic Marinade

1 tablespoon Makoto Ginger Dressing

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Caramelized Onions:

Servings: 4


1 white onion, thinly sliced into rounds

2 tablespoons Low-Sodium Soy Sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


After forming patties, place in a container that has a lid.  In a bowl, mix together the above ingredients after “ground turkey”.

Pour marinade over the patties, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.





After marinating, heat grill or grill pan, spray with nonstick spray (for grill pan), and cook burgers about 5 minutes on each side, or until no longer pink in the middle.




In a saute pan, spray with nonstick spray and add the onions.  Cook for about 5 minutes, add soy sauce, and then cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until caramelized.  Top burgers with the onions and serve on whole wheat buns.

Fall Weather Has Arrived! Recipe: Slow Cooker Southwest Chili

Fall is my favorite time of year!  We don’t get quite as much of a season-change here in Florida as they do in other states, but I’ll take any temperature drop that I can get.  There’s nothing like coming in from the cold weather to a warm house with the aroma of chili that’s been cooking all day in the CrockPot drifting through the air.

For Christmas last year, my parents gave me the best. gift. ever. A fabulous, 6-quart slow cooker…in RED, to match my kitchen decor.  I use it for a ton of different recipes, and tonight, I decided to make a delicious pot of chili.  My mom makes a great chili that uses black beans and corn.  I took the best parts of her recipe, added some ground turkey and spices, and came up with my own version.

Slow Cooker Southwest Chili

Servings: 6


1 pound ground turkey

2 onions, chopped

2 green bell peppers, chopped

2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs (white parts on the inside) removed, unless you like spicy!

1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can corn, drained and rinsed

12 oz. light beer (I used Michelob Ultra)

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons garlic powder

Fat Free Cheddar Cheese for topping

Fat Free Sour Cream for topping

1 lime wedge for each serving, to be squeezed on top

2 tablespoon EVOO


In a large pot, heat the tablespoon of EVOO over medium heat.  Throw in the ground turkey, and cook until no longer pink, using your spatula to break it up very well.  Drain the fat/oil from the pot and remove the meat to a plate, set aside.  Heat another tablespoon EVOO, add the onions and green peppers.  Cook until translucent and slightly browned.  Throw in the jalapenos.  Add the meat back to the pot.  Add the seasonings- chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder.  Pour in the bottle of beer, using spatula to scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pot.  Bring to a simmer.  Pour mixture into your slow cooker.  Add the tomatoes and their juices, the corn, black beans and kidney beans.  Mix everything together until well combined.  Place lid on the slowcooker and cook on HIGH for 4 hours, or on LOW for 6 hours.  When ready to serve, squeeze lime over individual bowls, and top with cheese and sour cream.

Turkey Sausage Meat Sauce Over Angel Hair

If you can’t tell, I’m kind of obsessed with Italian food.  I love the richness that every dish has, but I DON’T love what it does to my dress size!  I can’t give up all of my favorite foods for the sake of being a skinny bitch.  Therefore, this is yet another one of my Italian favorites that I have adapted to be healthier.

Turkey Sausage Bolognese

Servings: 4


4 Turkey Sausages, remove meat from casing

1/2 onion, chopped

8oz. white mushrooms, sliced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 28 oz. can Tomato Puree

1 28 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt and pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 medium carrot, diced

1 celery stalk, diced

1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded


In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO over medium heat.  Add the turkey sausage and cook until no longer pink.  Remove from pot, and drain the fat.

Add the onion, carrot and celery.  Cook until translucent and slightly tender, about 4 minutes.  Season with some salt and pepper.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the mushrooms and cook until browned.

Add the sausage back to the pot.  Pour in the tomato puree, followed by the crushed tomatoes.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil and oregano.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve over whole wheat pasta of your choice.

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