If you read through posts by people who are struggling with weight loss, you can find a few common challenges. One of the top challenges we face is meal planning. I often share that particular problem, especially when my business is busy. During December, for example, I was going from one party to the next and certainly not getting the sleep that the experts say is so important. My hours were weird and my eating habits even stranger. I was pretty much a poster child for what NOT to do to maintain a healthy weight. But, my job is my job and there isn’t always a lot I can do about my busy schedule. What I CAN do is avoid making it worse by beating myself up with a guilt trip, and instead plan for future successes.
I have learned a few tricks when it comes to planning meals and making sure that I have something that makes healthy eating doable under even the worst circumstances. One of those tricks is to precook that can be used as a base or addition to other things. By itself, this is not really a meal, but when added to other things I can get a quick and easy WOW factor – and I need that WOW factor to keep my taste buds happy.
I’ve never shared my “stuff” here before, only because I used to think it was a lame little cheat. But in thinking about it, “stuff” can often save my week. I think that makes it worthy of sharing.
This week, I’m sharing my favorite recipes that use the turkey crumble “stuff” recipe listed below. The “stuff” recipe makes four full protein servings, and this is how I use it on STEP!
- Add 4 ounces of cooked turkey crumble and 2 ounces of cottage cheese to 5 beaten eggs to create four servings of delicious southwestern turkey scramble. Top with toasted corn tortilla strips and a few spoonfuls of homemade salsa for a delicious breakfast or lunch with 1 protein, 1 starch, and 1/2 vegetable.
- Turkey Zucchini Boats: Use a spoon to dig a groove into a halved zucchini. Fill grooves with 4 ounces of cooked turkey crumble and place in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until hot for a quick single serving meal with 1 protein and 1-2 vegetables (depending on the size of your zucchini).
- Baked Turkey Stuffed Tomato: Mix 6 ounces of cooked turkey crumble with 1/2 cup of cooked grain (quinoa, barley, millet, bulgur, rice) and 2 ounces of cottage cheese. Divide mixture and stuff into two hollowed-out tomatoes (you can even chop up the tomato pulp and add it to the stuffing mixture). Bake at 350 degrees until heated through, about 15 minutes. Makes 2 servings with 1 protein, 1 vegetable, and 1 starch.
- Turkey Lettuce Wraps: Warm 4 ounces of cooked turkey crumble and serve with butter lettuce leaves for tasty lettuce wraps for a great lunch-on-the-go with 1 protein and 1 vegetable.
- Fiesta Salad: Combine 2 ounces of cooked turkey crumble with 2 ounces of black beans. Warm and toss over chopped lettuce, then top with homemade salsa and crispy corn tortilla strips for a tasty taco salad with 1 protein, 1-2 vegetables, and 1 starch.
- On-The-Run: Add 4 ounces of cooked turkey crumble to almost any savory prepared ThermoSnack, such as chicken soup, nacho cheese pasta, or chili with beans for a quick single-serve meal with 1 protein and 1 ThermoSnack. Throw in a few extra veggies to make it even healthier.
- Turkey Meatballs: Mix the onion-chili mixture with the raw meat and seasonings instead of sautéing it. Add one beaten egg and roll into balls. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Or skip the egg and form it into burger patties. Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
You get the point! I have a few different versions of “stuff” that I like to make and these tasty combinations really save me on especially busy days.
Isn’t “stuff” grand?
Turkey Crumble Recipe Ingredients
- 1 Poblano chili pepper
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 package lean ground turkey (20 ounces)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (any kind)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon light salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1/4 cup minced cilantro
Using tongs, hold, chili over an open flame on your gas cooktop, rotating until all sides are well charred. If you don’t have a gas cooktop, place chili on a baking sheet under your broiler, rotating frequently until chili is well charred. When chili has cooled enough to handle, cut in half and remove seeds and veins. Chop and set aside.
Place a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, coat with cooking spray and add onions. Cook, stirring, until onions are softened and have a few brown spots, about 5 minutes. Add chilies and garlic and cook for one minute longer, until fragrant. Remove mixture to a plate and return skillet to heat without cleaning.
Coat skillet with additional cooking spray and add ground turkey. Cook, breaking up large pieces with a wooden spoon. When most of the pink is gone, add cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder. Season with half of the salt and pepper. Return reserved onion and chili mixture to skillet and cook, stirring until the turkey is cooked through and mixture is well-combined. Add cilantro and season with remaining salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
Note: Vegetable content in this recipe, at less than 1/4 vegetable per serving, is too small to journal. But you can add some delicious turkey sausages to really boast your protein intake for the day.
Makes 4 servings