Turkey: No Longer Just For Christmas

If you ask an American what they think of when you say ‘turkey’, you are likely to get ‘Thanksgiving’ as your response. Ask a Brit and you will be told ‘Christmas’.

I think this confirms that turkey is definitely not a meat that’s regularly featured on menus around either the US or the UK. Many people complain that it is both dry and tasteless, which puts them off using it in recipes.  Which I think is a shame, because it’s low in fat and usually pretty inexpensive.

So today, I have a recipe for you that showcases turkey in a non-tasteless, non-dry extravaganza.

A couple of months ago I cooked a weeknight dinner for a few friends and wanted to whip up something that wouldn’t break the bank.  Ground turkey definitely fits into this category.  Combined with a sumptuous assortment of herbs, spices and veggies, the end result was approximately 48 little balls of happiness. Pair with a hearty stir fry and a glass or two of a light red wine or a fruity white, and there you have a wonderful weeknight dinner for friends.

Turkey Meatballs with Asian Style Noodles (adapted from The Gluten Free Goddess)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 large spring onion or scallion (or 2 small), processed or diced very fine
  • 1 medium large carrot, processed or diced very fine
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, processed or diced very fine
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, processed or diced very fine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, processed or diced very fine
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon raw agave nectar or real maple syrup
  • Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste

METHOD

  • Preheat the oven to 350º degrees F and line a baking sheet with a baking paper (parchment paper).
  • In a large mixing bowl, break apart and blend the ground turkey with the bread crumbs, using a sturdy metal spoon.
  • Add in the diced/processed spring onion, carrot, minced garlic, grated ginger, and fresh herbs. Mix just until blended.
  • Add in the fresh lime juice, molasses, agave and mix lightly.  Season with salt and pepper as you go- but don’t add too much salt.
  • Form small meatballs using the palms of your hands to roll and round spoonfuls of the mixture. They should be roughly the size of a golf ball (but mine ended up being smaller than that).
  • Place the meatballs on the baking sheet as you roll them and bake in the center of the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes until no longer pink inside.
  • Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack and brush them with a little olive oil.
  • Serve immediately with Asian style noodles.  I used the veggies I had on hand – spinach, carrots, sugar snap peas, red pepper, red onion, cilantro and stir fried in a wok with cooked whole wheat spaghetti.  The sauce I used was 1 minced garlic clove, half a red chili (deseeded), 1 tbsp peanut butte, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of sesame oil.  If you want to use the Gluten Free Goddess’s recipe you can find it here.
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One thought on “Turkey: No Longer Just For Christmas

  1. Here in Australia turkey, in a number of forms, is becoming a very cheap, lean and tasty alternative on the supermarket shelves. Since most of us gave the turkey a ‘flick; for Christmas many moons ago, and we do not celebrate a Thanksgiving, it is a very simple shopping choice. There are special sites for info and recipes, but most of us have worked out our own ways to ‘treat’ the bird. Personally I love to bake marinated turkey legs with sweet potatoes and parsnips, whatever the spices I use – and there is always plenty left over for salads and wraps!

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