Thursday, October 18, 2012

Good food, good folks, good fun

This past weekend I had a few friends over for a Fabulous Females Night--specifically my busy mom friends. I asked that they each send me a copy of their favorite easy, go-to, weeknight meal and bring some to share. The result was five of us around my little kitchen table eating and talking about cooking, kids, and just about everything else under the sun. We all remarked how great it was to eat something we might never think of ourselves and how nice it was to get out of the house and chat, just the ladies. Truly, that's exactly why I did it: I don't give myself time with other female friends--sans kid--often enough. T actually encourages me to do so more frequently. I too often fall into the Teri Hatcher mode of metaphorically "eating the burnt piece of toast", taking the bad for myself so others can have the good. She wrote a book of a similar name...who knew a former Desperate Housewife could hit certain aspects of motherhood on the head so well? But I do--I take the scraps to make sure everyone else has what they need. That puts me in danger of the martyr role, and I do not want to go down that road. Fortunately I have T, who will never let me do that, and, as I wrote, he reminds me to get out of the house and have my own fun. And why wouldn't I want to have more nights like the one I just did? Do any of you do that? How do you avoid it (or do you)?

Additionally, feel free to pass along any of your own go-to, quick-and-easy meals. I've posted mine below, which I got right off of Pinterest. By the way, have you heard of AllRecipes' Dinner Spinner? It's an app for a smartphone that lets you find a recipe by using a few categories (Type of meal, main food, and length of time). For example, the other night I had tilapia and no recipes, so I chose "main meal", "fish", and "20 minutes and under", and the site came up with numerous choices. I also read the comments on my chosen recipe selection for additions and suggestions, several of which enhanced the meal. Having started this new diet/way of eating with T, we've chosen to get creative, and we value each bite, so I want to truly enjoy what I eat...while sometimes whipping it together quickly. You understand.

Greek Turkey Burgers
(linked to the source for copyright and picture purposes;
my comments in italics)

2 cups extra lean turkey (99 Percent Fat Free)
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs (we can't do grain/bread right now, so I used ground flax seed)
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped (if you use a jarred kind, make sure to get the type that is in water, NOT oil)
1/2 cup artichoke hearts, chopped (Again, water, not oil. I used canned.)
1/4 cup Feta cheese
pinch of salt and pepper
4 low calorie whole wheat muffins (100-110 calories) (We didn't use the English muffins--no grain--but we didn't feel at all deprived)
4 T fat free sour cream

In a bowl, add the turkey, Panko, garlic, oregano, basil, 1/2 tsp salt, and egg. Using your hands, mix until combined. Split into four equal portions and form into patties. 

You’ll need  a skillet that has a lid. Place it over medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. Allow to get hot but not smoking. Cook the patties for about 3 minutes, or until browned. Turn over and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth to the pan, cover and allow to steam for about 10 minutes or until the internal temperature of the patties reaches 165 degrees. Remove from pan and allow to drain on a stack of 3-4 paper towels. 
In a bowl, add the artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, feta, and a pinch of salt and pepper. 

Lightly toast the English muffins. Spread the English Muffins with 1/2 T fat-free sour cream on each side. Place the turkey patties on the English muffins, add the artichoke/red pepper mixture.

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