Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dinner at home with friends

Tonight my friend Rochelle is coming to dinner.  I was planning to make spaghetti with ground turkey, but since I have company I decided to turn it up a notch.  Also with only 1 pound of turkey in the fridge, I wanted to make sure there were plenty of leftovers for lunch tomorrow and lower the points a bit.  Here's what I came up with:

Suzanne's Turkey Bolognese

2 TBSP olive oil
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
1 lb. ground turkey
1 jar marinara or homemade tomato sauce*
3 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet and brown the mushrooms without salt.  Don't skip this step or your mushrooms will lose flavor and texture.  It takes about 10 minutes, but you can use the time to prep your other veggies.  Once the mushrooms are brown, add the onion and peppers and saute for 5 minutes until the onions are translucent and the peppers begin to get tender.

Move the veggies to one side of the skillet and add the ground turkey.**  Brown the turkey then mix the turkey and veggies together.  Add the sauce, garlic, salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer the sauce until your pasta is cooked.  Add 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and toss just before serving. 

1 cup of pasta with 1 cup of sauce is 10 WWPP.

*Normally I like to use my own homemade sauce, but I didn't have any in the freezer so I cheated a little with a good jarred sauce from the grocery store.  I used Classico's Tomato and Basil Marinara.  I'll post my recipe for homemade sauce soon.

**You could take the veggies out to brown the turkey, but I don't have room on my counter and it just dirties another dish so I just move them over to the side while the turkey browns. 

I served my Turkey Bolognese with a mixed green salad with a simple balsamic vinaigrette:

1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper

Whisk in a big bowl and toss with salad greens.

Makes 3 servings at 2 WWPP each.  I always alter my oil to 2tsp./serving and 1 tsp./serving of vinegar.  When it's Just Omar and I, I use 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar and 4 tsp olive oil.  To be honest, I don't always measure, but I try to get 2 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar.

I hint for taking salads to work: Put your dressing in the bottom of the container.  Place your salad greens gently on top plus any toppings you like.  When you're ready to eat your salad, toss it all together.  This keeps your salad from getting soggy and wilted and prevents having to carry the dressing in a separate container.  It really works!

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