I retreated downstairs to find a movie on Sunday evening after finishing these amazing stuffed sirloin steak rolls and tuned in to see the Minnesota miracle happen live instead. I’m not an avid football fan so I was merely keeping tabs on the score via […]
Courses: Main Dishes
I rarely post noodle style meals. I’m just not a huge noodle eater and tend to lean towards rice in most cases. These skinny ramen noodles that I recently discovered, however, have me indulging in EVERYTHING noodle. These are a millet and rice based ramen […]
Like any true Minnesotan, I’m a sucker for a hearty hotdish like tater tot hotdish. This is especially true once the mercury starts dropping in the sub-freezing range. Now, I know some of you are wondering what the heck is a hotdish?!? It’s just the Minnesota way of saying casserole. So if you prefer, call this a turkey tot casserole but I’ll still call it turkey tot hotdish… or perhaps turkey totdish? Traditionally, a tater tot hotdish is made with ground beef, cream of mushroom soup and usually some form of vegetable stirred in to make this a one dish meal.
In this little riff on the traditional version, I’ve used ground turkey to make this a little leaner but equally as tasty since turkey also has a nice rich flavor. I avoid any canned soups these days so I use a homemade roasted garlic cream of mushroom soup in this recipe and just thickened it up a bit to be more of a gravy consistency. The other change I’ve made was to use those homemade tater tots I recently made and top it with pickled jalapenos for a little kick! Of course, you can still use the frozen tots in a bag (or use slices of potatoes like in this recipe) but look for tots that are all natural and do not contain preservatives. I personally think the homemade tots take it over the top. Tater tot hotdish with turkey and homemade tots elevates this casserole from church basement potluck to haute comfort food worthy of company.
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, reduced sodium (or coconut aminos)
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup mixed frozen vegetables
- 1 pound tater tots or enough to cover the top of the hotdish
- shredded cheese for garnish, optional
- pickled jalepenos for garnish, optional
- CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP:
- 5-8 ounces mixed mushrooms (cremini, shitake, oyster), roughly chopped
- ½-1 head garlic, roasted (or use 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced)
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 cups low sodium broth of any kind
- ¼ cup dairy cream (or almond milk or coconut milk for dairy-free)
- 2-3 tablespoons tapioca starch or gluten free flour blend, mixed with water to form a slurry
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a saucepan, saute the mushrooms, shallot and garlic in a small amount of butter or olive oil until mushrooms have given up their moisture and the shallots are softened.
- Add the broth and cream.
- Puree about ¾ of this soup base in a blender or with an immersion (stick) blender and return to the pot to cook.
- In a small dish, mix the starch or flour with a small amount of water to form a slurry slightly thinner than a paste.
- Gradually stir this into the mushroom soup and heat until it becomes a gravy consistency. Turn off heat and let sit until ready to use.
- Meanwhile, in a saute pan, cook the turkey with the onion, worcestershire and pepper until the turkey is fully cooked.
- Stir in frozen veggies and then add the mushroom soup. Stir to combine.
- If your saute pan isn't oven friendly, transfer this to a casserole baking dish.
- Top with a layer of shredded cheese (optional), then a layer of tater tots, and then another layer of shredded cheese (optional).
- Cover baking pan with foil and bake about 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 5-10 minutes to toast the tops of the tater tots.
- Serve hot topped with pickled jalepenos!
Take your (wild) game to the next level of flavor with these venison steaks smothered in a sweet smoky aioli! Venison is a deliciously high protein meat that’s also low in fat which makes it perfect for individuals who are watching their calories but still […]
My daughter went hunting for the very first time this year. I learned to hunt when I was about her age and remember sighting deer with my dad, though I never really took to it. I preferred to help cut the meat into its proper pieces and wrap it for the freezer. My daughters have already had exposure to this process as well and this time around, my middle daughter was able to simply observe the hunt as we obviously want to play it safe her first time out. Next time she hunts, she will have had more formal safety training as well as practice so we may let her carry a rifle as well if she’s proven responsible. This time around, she watched from her two-person deer stand alongside her dad (and uncles) enjoying daddy-daughter time in the woods on a chilly fall weekend. The lessons she learned were of how to hunt safely, acquiring the skills for survival (should it ever be necessary), why we hunt, and just as important: observing the time-old link to our food as omnivores. It’s so important to me to have that relationship of where our food comes from.
I believe we should know (or at least do the best we can to know) where our food comes from and the environment in which it was raised. I believe this is equally important for both meat and plants. So many disregard the environment of plants and the way our grains and vegetables are grown and the the soil it comes from. The mono or multi culture it’s grown in makes a significant difference in its nutritional value as well as its environmental impact. This is equally as important as knowing our meat sources. In this case, our deer was hunted from a local forest, allowed to live a free and happy life, consuming a rich diet of plants making his meat a desirable and nutritionally worthy meal for us as well. THIS is what farm (or field) to table eating truly looks like. It’s also important to me to give thanks to the animal for providing for us. So thank you, deer, for providing the venison, tender and tasty, to be made into this delectable venison tenderloin with creamy mustard sauce.
Venison tenderloin with creamy mustard sauce starts with the best, most tender morsels. Usually this is the tenderloin, but chops or even steaks will work in a pinch. Lean meats, like venison, benefit from a marinade so in this case, I’ve marinated the tenderloin overnight in the same yogurt sauce that gets drizzled over top. Cook these fellas on a grill or cast iron grill pan if you want the pretty grill marks. Otherwise, a nice saute in a fry pan works just as well. I’ve served these alongside a woodsy mushroom wild rice with kale and toasted pecans. Let me tell you, the toasted pecans steal the show. Sprinkle these toasted morsels of nutty wonder over top your finished tenderloin and into the rice. If the yogurt sauce happens to migrate into your rice, don’t worry, you will be one VERY happy hunter.
- 1 pound venison tenderloin, chops, or steaks (you can use beef tenderloin or any other lean meat too)
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup beef broth, low sodium
- ¼ cup stone ground mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- MUSHROOM KALE WILD RICE:
- 1 cup wild rice
- 3 ½ cups beef broth, low sodium
- 8 oz mushrooms, diced
- 2-3 stems kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- Combine the yogurt, ½ cup beef broth and mustard in a blender and blend until smooth. Reserve ½ cup of this yogurt-mustard sauce and set aside to be used as a topping. Pour the remaining yogurt-mustard sauce over the venison and let marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 24.
- Make the wild rice: combine wild rice and beef broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Turn rice down to a simmer. Cover and simmer 55-60 minutes.
- In a sauté pan, toss mushrooms and kale with a small amount of olive oil and cook until the mushrooms have reduced and browned.
- Add sautéed mushroom and kale to the rice and continue cooking rice until rice is done.
- In the same pan used to saute the mushrooms, toss in the pecans and toast on medium high until fragrant and lightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl.
- Remove venison from marinade and shake off any extra liquid.In the same sauté pan used for the mushrooms and pecans, add a little more olive oil if needed and cook venison on medium low heat on all sides until desired doneness.
- Serve venison with the reserved yogurt-mustard sauce spooned on top and a generous helping of wild rice on the side.
- Sprinkle EVERYTHING with toasted pecans.
In an attempt to eat more fish and make it fun for the kids, I tried my hand at forming fish cakes, which are basically a hamburger patty but made with fish. They are not as difficult as one might think. These pretty little patties are full of colorful diced peppers making it look a little like a confetti cake when you cut into each delightful bite. The trick to making these stick together is to add moisture in the form of an egg and a little homemade mayo. I’ve also thickened them slightly by including flax meal (ground flaxseed) which not only helps them hold together similar to the effect of a flax “egg” but also adds omega-3’s making these even more healthy for you!
Lightly fried in olive oil, these confetti fish cakes form a deliciously browned crust perfect for saucing. The sauce I’ve created for these is just a tad spicy and has only two ingredients: mustard and harissa sauce. If you’re not familiar with harissa, it’s a simple Moroccan red pepper sauce consisting of red chilies, red bell peppers, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and salt. In this recipe, I used the spicy harissa sauce but it is also available in mild with more red bell pepper added and less of the heat.
- 1 pound whitefish of any kind, cooked and finely flaked in a food processor (about 2 cups flaked)
- ½ green or yellow bell pepper
- ½ red or orange bell pepper
- 2 tablespoon red onion or shallot, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2-3 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoon flax meal (ground flax seed)
- ¼ cup harissa sauce
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- Heat a sauté pan on medium high with a small amount of olive oil.
- Sauté peppers, onion and garlic a few minutes until the onions start to become translucent and lightly browned.
- While peppers are frying, combine fish, egg, lemon juice, mayo, and flax meal in a bowl and stir until well combined.
- Add pepper, onion and garlic to the fish mixture and combine.
- Form mixture into four patties and place into hot pan with a little more olive oil.
- Cook about 4 minutes on each side until golden on edges.
- While fish cakes are cooking, stir together to harissa and mustard.
- Serve fish cakes with the harissa mustard sauce.
Like fish cakes? Try this unique version using salmon with a blueberry miso sauce!
This morning, I broke out my mini-greenhouse and got my garden seedlings planted! That means that spring is here (along with allergies, ugh…) and now I’m patiently waiting for the real weather warm-up to happen so I can play in the dirt everyday and enjoy harvesting […]