Sunday, January 20, 2013

Turkey Sausage Breakfast Gravy - Dairy, Soy Free with Wheat Free Option

  I've done a few different breakfast gravy recipes that were decent, but after a recent trip to Penzeys Spices and finding this breakfast sausage seasoning, our lives have been changed for the better! I now can make turkey breakfast sausage anytime with the ground turkey of my choosing rather than having to use the ultra watery Jenni-O tube of ground turkey sausage we had been relying on. I HIGHLY recommend you pick yourself up some of this seasoning mix. Seriously. Also, using coconut milk instead of almond milk really improved the flavor and made the gravy whiter than the previous versions. To boot, this recipe is a lot simpler in that you make it all in the same skillet without having to remove the meat. This is really good stuff, we had it for breakfast one day and then for dinner two days later because we loved it so much!

Turkey Sausage Breakfast Gravy 
1.25 lb lean ground turkey
1 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbl Penzeys Breakfast Sausage Seasoning*
2 Tbl Bisquick, GF Bisquick, or other GF flour of your choice
1 cup unsweetened plain coconut milk, plus more if needed
1/2 tsp sea salt
a few cracks of fresh ground black pepper

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add turkey and sausage seasoning. Break meat up with wooden spoon and stir until completely browned, about 5 minutes. Push all of the turkey meat to the back of the skillet, allowing the juices to come to the front. Add the flour to the juices and stir quickly to form a paste. Whisk the coconut milk into the flour paste until there are no lumps, then incorporate the turkey into the flour/milk mixture. If it is very thick, add more coconut milk. Remember that the gravy will thicken slightly as it cools so try to get it just slightly thinner than you'd like. Stir in salt and pepper and taste, adjust seasonings as desired. (For spicier gravy, add a pinch more of sausage seasoning). Serve over hot biscuits or toast.

 * The ingredients are:  salt, sugar, paprika, black pepper, dextrose (a simple sugar), nutmeg, cayenne pepper, sage, and thyme. I do not know the exact amounts of each, but you could try to make your own seasoning (and store in a small mason jar or other air tight container). Here is my best guess at the measurements for an 4-6oz jar:

4 Tbsp salt
4 Tbsp brown sugar
4 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp black pepper
2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less depending on how spicy you want it)
1 tsp sage
1 tsp thyme 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Turkey Fried Orzo - Soy, Rice, Egg Free

 The first Saturday of every month, Chris and I leave the kids at Parents Night Out and go to a Chinese buffet. The place we go to isn't extravagant or anything, but I love going because I can get my fill of fried rice that otherwise is totally off limits to us. We've done fried quinoa at home and while it's good, it just doesn't hit the spot the same way.
  Maybe I'm the last person on earth to know about orzo, but I had no idea what it was until I was walking down a grocery store isle this morning and noticed a box of what looked like rice in well known pasta brand box. Intrigued, I bought a box and then went home and Googled "What to do with orzo" and found that most people used it in place of rice in recipes. (For those like me who don't know, orzo is tiny rice shaped pasta. The brand I found was made entirely out of wheat, no eggs or other ingredients.)
 I decided to try to make fried 'rice' with the orzo and it was great! Of course, with no real traditional soy sauce and without the egg, it still isn't spot on, but it's much closer than fried quinoa!

Turkey Fried Orzo

1 package turkey cutlets, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 Tbl olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
several cracks of fresh ground black pepper
1 Tb olive oil
half white onion, diced
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups cooked orzo, drained
2 Tbl coconut aminos (soy sauce substitute)
1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
3 stalks green onion, diced

In a wok or large skillet, 1/2 Tbl heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add turkey to wok, sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir fry until completely cooked. Remove from wok and set aside.
Add 1 Tbl olive oil and fry onions until transparent. Pour vegetable broth into wok and cook until it is reduced by about half. Add in cooked orzo and stir constantly, scraping the bottom to avoid sticking, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add coconut aminos, peas and carrots, and stir rapidly, about 5 minutes. Return turkey to wok and stir until heated through. Stir green onions is just before serving.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Apple Sage Turkey Chops

  Turkey breast cutlets. I wish there was something nice I could say about them, but I can't. They are dry, filled with gristle, and generally awful. Around here it's very easy to find turkey breast cutlets, but finding their delicious cousins, turkey breast tenderloins, is a whole different thing. We have to go 40 miles into Fort Worth and even then the only place we can find them is the Joint Reserve Military Base which has limited to no access to the general public, especially not for grocery shopping. Needless to say, we don't get a hold of them often,so I'm trying to find more things to make with the dreaded cutlets.
  In the past, we've always tried to use cutlets in the place of chicken breast in recipes, but I mentioned to my husband that they seem more like a pork chop than a chicken breast when *LIGHT BULB* it hit me! What if I prepare them like pork chops? Maybe I could find a way to make them more edible and to be honest, I do miss pork chops. So I tried my favorite pork chop recipe and it came out really great. My husband even said if we fed them to someone who didn't know, they wouldn't be able to tell they weren't pork chops. The meat was moist and juicy and I did not notice much gristle, at least in my piece. I'd like to try breading them at some point, but for now, here is my recipe!

Apple Sage Turkey Chops

1 package turkey breast cutlets (usually 3 large 'chops')
1 1/2  tsp sage
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 Tbl GF all purpose flour OR whole wheat flour
2 Tbl olive oil
1 medium white onion, sliced
2 red apples, cored and sliced thinly
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbl brown sugar

Mix flour and seasonings in a small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of each cutlet with seasoning mix, retaining about 1/2 for later in the recipe.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet (use a skillet you have a lid for) over medium high heat. Once just barely smoking, add chops and brown, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Remove cutlets and set aside. (Turkey will still be uncooked in the middle.) Add onions to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add apple slices and cook another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir in vegetable broth, brown sugar, and remaining flour mixture. Bring to a boil. Return cutlets to the skillet. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 6-8 minutes.

Serve cutlets with apples and onion on the side and sauce from the pan drizzled over the top.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Always look on the bright side of life.

Have you ever seen Monty Python's The Life of Brian? It's great. I've been singing the song "Always look on the bright side of life" all day today.  When dealing with a serious and life long condition as in the case of multiple food allergies and EoE, it's obviously very important to take it seriously and always be on alert. But with that said, I think it's equally as important to have a sense of humor and be able to laugh at the situation just a little, or you will spend your life in a miserable state. I found this video about dealing with multiple food allergies that had my husband and I cracking up that I just have to share. Being a big fan of Les Miserables since I saw the play as a teenager and since I own or have owned every single product shown, this video is right up my alley! I hope you all enjoy it and no one gets offended. Remember, it's not making fun of people with food allergies, just poking fun at all the hoops we must jump through to prepare safe versions of foods.