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Friday, January 22, 2010

The Wages Of Sin . . . .

Eventually, the piper must be paid.

I had a physical yesterday, and even though I did my best to block out reality -- closing my eyes, sticking my fingers in my ears, and singing "The Old Gray Mare She Ain't What She Used To Be" when I stepped up on the scale -- I still know that my holiday merry-making has caught up with me.

It's Foodie Friday, and for the people who live in That Old House, it's a real meal!

Visit Michael at Designs by Gollum for some wonderful recipes and food ideas;
continue reading if you want to see one of our tried-and-true healthy eating recipes.


Hello 2010.

Time to say Goodbye to Paula-Deen-style cooking, and Hello to Jean-Niditch-style cooking. (Now if you are old enough to know who Jean Niditch was, you are old indeed.)

Time to make Turkey Stew.

Years ago, B.C. (Before Children), when Howard and I lived in New York City in a third floor walk-up railroad flat, this was one of our go-to dishes for those times when all those stairs and city walking weren't enough to stave off some pudge.

It was cheap, also important in those days. And, it didn't seem like diet food. We also discovered that in every week that included Turkey Stew in at least one of its dinner menus, we lost weight.

So, as my Brooklyn-born Mom used to say, "What's not to like?"

Here's the recipe, as I make it for just the two of us -- nothing fancy, nothing special, but I think it pretty much will fit in with anyone's New Year's resolutions. There will probably be leftovers, and they are good heated up for lunch the next day.

The ingredients are changeable and you can put in what and how much you want when it comes to the vegetables; consider the recipe more of a suggestion than a strict blueprint!

Turkey Stew

I start by chopping up some onions (always) and zucchini (usually), and smashing some fresh garlic, and getting them all hot and bothered in a nice big pan, snuggling up with a drizzle of olive oil. I add herbs, too -- a bit of dried rosemary or thyme, a good palmful of dried parsley, and some salt and pepper. Be generous with the seasonings.

Next, a package of ground turkey, or ground chicken:

Put it in a micro-safe dish, attack it with a knife and fork and separate it into little pieces,
cover and microwave it for about 6 minutes, till it looks like this:

I used the picture with all the hot steam obscuring the details of the microwaved ground turkey;
microwaved turkey is not the most attractive stuff you've ever seen, kinda pale.

Take some green beans and sacrifice them to the cause. Since I'm reproducing our cheapie young-married version of this dish, I'm using canned green beans ... the no salt added kind.

You can use frozen or fresh, but we always include green beans;
they take the place of the pasta or rice that otherwise might go into a dish like this.

Stir 'em up with the other veggies, get 'em all hot and bothered too.

Then, in goes a few tablespoons of tomato paste, right smack in the middle of the pan.
Cook that tomato paste, stirring it into the oil and seasonings in the bottom of the pan.
Cooking tomato paste before stirring it into a dish with liquid gives it more flavor.

Then add in the cooked ground turkey, and let that mixture cozy up for a few minutes, covered.

Next, open up a big ol' can of whole tomatoes -- whatever your favorite brand is. I'm partial to Redpack.
I was going to let the whole tomatoes cook in their round intact plumpness,
but Howard took the wooden spoon and smashed them into chunks, the big brute.
(He doesn't like whole tomatoes squirting out at him from his dinner plate.)

Anyway, you add the whole tomatoes, or crushed tomatoes if you prefer,
and cover the pan and let that whole mess get all hot and bothered for about 10 minutes.

We are waiting... and humming ... and waiting ... and voila!

Turkey stew!

Dish it up.

And that's it.

I add a dash of extra salt to mine, and we both sprinkle on a bit of grated Romano
or Parmesan cheese to add a bit of zing and fool us into thinking it's Italian food.

Personally, I like to add in some chicken stock while it's cooking and make it
more soup-y, but Howard likes it this way so that's the way I make it most of the time.

No fancy tablesetting; this is a real meal, and we're taking our big bowls into the study to watch some television while we have dinner. I know that's not the best way to eat, but my husband works a wicked long day, and if he wanted to eat dinner on the stairs, or on the roof, I'd be okay with that!

Well, maybe not the roof.

You can add bread on the side; we don't. I've got to go back to the doctor in 3 months. . . .

And a moment of reality: I had lovely big fresh sliced mushrooms all ready to put into the Turkey Stew, and forgot them. Duh. Next time. -- Cass


  1. This looks WONDERFUL!!.. Thanks for sharing, going to try it this weekend. We're both battling the buldge. *sigh*

  2. Cass, I am right there with ya' on the wt. loss thingy...*sigh* Never ending battle, huh?

    I will definitely be trying your version of this stew. I never would have thought to add the green beans nor the tomato paste so its very different than any stews I've made.

    Thanks for sharing it with us.


    p.s. Check out DottiesWeightLossZone for tons of delicious WWatcher recipes. I used to live there daily & it has a wealth of helpful wt. loss info.

  3. Interesting dish and yes, I KNOW who Jean is. We're taking it easy as well -- only fruit for dessert (unless we have company) and watching those carbs (translate into very little bread and potato!)

    I would like it more soupy as well!

  4. Its better without the mushrooms, truly!

    Oh my stomach is growling now...
    looks delightful!

  5. I'm always looking for new ideas and something different to cook for evening meals as I tend to get stuck in a bit of a rut and we end up eating the same thing every week! This looks really good and easy too so I will give it a try.

  6. I would like to pretend I don't know who she is but I am kidding no one especially myself.
    I have all these ingredients in the house right now. I should make it tonight.
    I always forget something when I photograph my cooking. Usually it is to take a picture of it before we eat.

  7. Looks delish, you say that is what you ate to lose weight...I just may have to give it a try....and yes, I know who Jean Nidetch is...I have visited her the past two Wednesday's!

  8. This does look yummy and thanks for the reminder that I have to get off the fattening comfort food kick and get back to watching what I eat. Soon our weather will warm up enough here in Florida, so I can head back down to the beach.

  9. Your turkey stew looks wonderful! Think I'll add that to my list of things to make for next week.

  10. Looks Yummy....sounds good, except for the whole maters! I can't stand a big chuck of cooked tomatoes......

  11. That looks so good - love one dish meals. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Know what you mean about the extra lbs.:(
    have a great weekend.

  12. I love using ground turkey - it's a new found love. I really like the way it accepts the flavor of garlic!


  13. Yes, I do remember Jean .... and that makes me really old I suspect! Your dish looks so tasty and perfect on this day ~ it is snowing gently out here in the High Desert.

  14. Oh that look so GOOOOOOD! Thank you so much...I will be making some soon!

  15. Oooh, that looks fantastic! Save some for me! :D

  16. Oh, that looks really good Cass. You take pictures like a food pro!! Really, they are good! I hate dr. scales they always seem heavier don't they? Hugs, Cindy

  17. That looks really good and I feel healthier just looking at it! Valerie

  18. I made lots of turkey soup with the carcass and froze some. Tastes good and is low calorie. I should eat it for supper every day for months! Don't the pounds creep on. After being thin all my life (until recently) it is really hard.

  19. That looks soooo good, just my style of cooking. Turkey not so available here but there is always chicken. And I agree that "browning" the tomato paste really brings out and deepens its flavour.

    I'm all hungry again now!

    Many thanks for sharing this, dear Cass

  20. Oh my goodness, this looks so good and if it healthy, I've got to try it Thanks, Cass!...Christine

  21. What a fun site, just found you and glad I did...great recipe!

  22. Ahhh, I love good cookin'!!
    I have to add this recipe to my collection. Thanks for sharing!

    I love your blog!!!


  23. Looks like a very hearty meal for those cold nights :)

  24. This looks perfect for a couple of reasons - it doesn't seem to take a whole lot of time and it looks like it might help my waistline, which is once more heading to the point where it could match my age. Yikes!


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