Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 serving*
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper, freshly ground
pinch of dried oregano

Whisk all ingredients.  Add salad greens and toss. 

*Multiply ingredients by desired number of servings.

Thanksgiving Shepherd's Pie

Turkey filling:
1.25 pounds ground turkey
1 large or 2 medium onions chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1 - 14.5 oz. can turkey (or chicken) stock
1 TBSP fresh sage, chopped (or 1 tsp ground)
1 TBSP fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
1 TBSP fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 - 10 oz. bag of fresh spinach
1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg (or same amount of ground nutmeg)
salt and pepper to taste
1 TBSP butter
1 TBSP flour

Sweet potato topping:
4 medium sweet potatoes
2 TBSP butter
1/4 cup brown sugar (more if you like sweeter potatoes)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg (or same amount of ground nutmeg)
1/4 cup milk
4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel sweet potatoes and chop into 1 inch pieces.  Place in a pot and cover with cold water.  Add about 1/2 TBSP of salt and boil until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.  In another large saucepan brown the ground turkey.  When the turkey is completely cooked add the onion and cook until translucent, 3-4 minutes.  Once the onions are soft add the wine, turkey stock and herbs.  Taste it, then add salt and pepper to your liking.  I used about 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper.  Maybe a bit more, I don't really measure salt and pepper most of the time.

Chop your spinach.  Add chopped spinach to the turkey mixture.  Once the spinach is wilted, melt 1 TBSP butter.  Add 1 TBSP of flour and stir until mixture is mixed smooth.  This is called a slurry.  A slurry is a great way to thicken a sauce or gravy without lumps.  Add the slurry to the turkey mixture and cook another 5 minutes or until your sauce has thickened quite a bit.  It will thicken even more as it cools.

Drain the sweet potatoes and return to the pot.  Add butter and mash well.  Add cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, vanilla and milk.  Mix until smooth.

Pour the turkey mixture into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.  Spread the sweet potatoes over the turkey mixture.  Crumble the blue cheese over the sweet potatoes.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes before serving......if you can.  The longer it sits, the thicker your sauce will be.

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.

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