Exotic Leftover Turkey

THE NEW COMFORT FOOD
The Christmas Turkey brings to life family gatherings. Such a warm and loving atmosphere of uncles, aunts and good friends. The turkey was enthusiastically embraced as a Christmas tradition and it was considered an “exotic bird”, especially by the upper crust in England during the 16th century. In 1950 turkeys became affordable for the middle class. By making a Thai turkey dish from leftovers may also be considered exotic – for now.
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LET’S EAT…SIMPLE.

leftover_turkey

Turkey Leftovers

I make my leftover Thai turkey every year now. First, I make sure I buy a large enough turkey so I can get about a pound (.46 kilos) of leftover, tasty turkey meat. I have two great meals from one turkey every year. Too tired to cook? Freeze leftover turkey and make this delicious, nutritious meal another day! Make it once and you will enjoy the tantalizing flavours with rich creamy coconut milk. Your family will love it!
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img_4370INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 large red bell pepper, cut into strips
2 medium carrots, trimmed and shredded
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons easy home-made  or jarred Thai Red Curry Paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons palm sugar or light brown sugar
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1 pound left over turkey, cubed or strips
3 tablespoons chopped Thai basil leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Cooked jasmine rice, accompaniment
Sprigs fresh cilantro, garnish
INSTRUCTIONS
1. In a large wok or saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
2. Add to the pan shallots, saute a few minutes
3. Add to the pan garlic and saute a few more minutes.
4. Add to the pan shallots, bell peppers, and carrots.

Easy Sliced Red Peppers

Easy Sliced Red Peppers

5. Stir-fry until soft (2 to 3 minutes).
6. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant (30 seconds to 1 minute).
7. Stirring, add the fish sauce and sugar, then add the coconut milk and bring to a boil.
8. Simmer until thickened slightly (about 2 minutes).
9. Add the turkey, stirring  (about 5 minutes).
10. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and cilantro.
Serve over jasmine rice, garnished with cilantro sprigs.
Optional: Add more greens such as leftover peas, spinach, bok choy, celery or kale.

Red Thai Curry Chicken with Jasmine Rice

Red Thai Curry Turkey with Jasmine Rice

In Thailand, POPULAR dishes using red curry paste cooked in coconut milk and are added to meat such as chicken, beef, pork, duck or shrimp are fabulous.

ALTERNATIVE COOKING METHOD
If you are using raw chicken or turkey, you can use a Pressure Cooker to prepare your Thai Red Curry in about 30 minutes
didyouknow
DID YOU KNOW?  Turkey is an excellent source of lean protein and selenium and a good source of vitamin B6.  Selenium is involved in thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems, immune function and DNA repair.  Turkey is also rich in vitamin B3, which helps to control insulin and blood sugar.

HAT2FOOD TIPS: If you don’t have fish sauce handy you can use anchovies. My mum always had fish paste in the frig. She bought it in a squeezable tube and kept it in the door of the frig. She would also keep anchovies in a small glass jar tucked away in the frig. They really come in handy. Hard boiled eggs with anchovies on toasted rye bread was a typical treat in our house.

SPECIAL FESTIVE COLOURS for your Exotic Leftover Turkey. Add green peppers for a MERRY CHRISTMAS and enjoy  the holidays with FESTIVE, ‘HEALTHY’ RED AND GREEN PEPPERS!
red_green_peppers

Spice Jars~Holiday Gifts

VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE!

How about giving you friends and family a spice jar this holiday season?
  I had a few people over for dinner the other night and they were raving about the shredded Mexican chicken I had prepared. I surprised them all when I gave each one a jar of ‘holiday’ spices. When I fill my spice gift jars, I add enough spice for two meals.
This dry mix of spices will add a unique zing to any chicken dish. Most of these spices you will have in your own cupboard. Try the suggested chili powders for this mix. My spice blend has just the right amount of heat and flavor to make all your guests ask for the ‘secret’ recipe.  In fact you can give them a jar of spices as a gift this holiday season! If you are able to prepare your own fresh ground cumin adds a great dimension to the dish. Fresh is always more fragrant and the taste is sensational. Do you want great flavor without adding a lot of heat? This would be a good mix. THE REAL GIFT IS THE RECIPE!

Combine the spices in the Mexican Chicken recipe and package.  This is the perfect hostess or other gift to give along with the printed recipe!

Combine the spices in the Mexican Chicken recipe and package. This is the perfect hostess or other gift to give along with the printed recipe!

INGREDIENTS
2 teaspoons ground cumin (grind you own in a mortar and pestle )
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon powdered red chili ~ i.e. Ancho, chile de arbol, New Mexican Chile.
Dash of Cayenne pepper ~ or ~  to taste
1 teaspoon salt  ( use Kosher,  sea salt or Himalayan pink salt )
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

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Mexican Shredded Chicken ( recipe inside ), Chocolate Chili Truffles ( in box )

I like giving my friends and neighbors little treats this time of year, spreading happiness and good wishes.
holiday-hugs-snowman
didyouknow2DID YOU KNOW? Spices not only  excite your taste buds but are composed of an impressive list of phyto-nutrients, essential oils, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that are essential for overall wellness. Spices have been part part of our food ever since the spice trade began and when salt was a form of currency. Today we value healing spices even more. Thanks to the Arab and European explorers, whose contributions in spreading them from their place of origin to the rest of the planet has immensely broaden their use and popularity all over the world!

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Mortar & Pestle, Garlic Powder, Cumin, Cayenne, Salt, Pepper &  Ancho Chili Powder

Chocolate Chili Truffles ~ Holiday Gifts ~

Deliciously dark (not-decadent) “Chili” Truffles. This recipe hails from  “South Of The Border Down Mexico Way!”  Around Christmas time I start whipping up my holiday truffles.  Add 2-3 truffles into mini boxes. Decorate with festive ribbon or glittery Christmas stickers and you’re ready to spread some cheer! Friends and family like your truffles even more knowing that you made them yourself and added a spoonful of love to each one! 💖

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INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups whole almonds
1 1/2 cups fresh dates(pitted)
1/2 cup (or more) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (Ancho, New Mexican, etc.)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of cayenne pepper
chocolate (preferably couverture or chips or whatever you have for coating ) optional
INSTRUCTIONS
1. Pulse almonds in food processor until almost like almond butter. This will take several minutes.
2. Add the pitted dates and mix thoroughly.
3. Add the cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt, vanilla extract, chili powder and cayenne and process again until ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
4. Form mixture into bite sized balls.
5. Optionally coat with chocolate.
To do this, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or Bain Marie. Dip the balls into this mixture and leave to set on a piece of parchment. They can be placed in the refrigerator to set faster. Box these and give away as gifts or enjoy yourself.
Tempered chocolate.. great tips on dipping are marvelous!

didyouknow2DID YOU KNOW?
You will not experience any sugar drop with these little beauties since they are sweetened with dates. The usual ingredient of cream is replaced by almonds along with its multitude of health benefits. These truffles are perfect for vegans and those of you who are lactose intolerant.
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HELPFUL LINKS
My truffle boxes are called a Bow Top Favor Box.  I buy them at the Bulk Barn on the corner. I found a huge supply at McCall’s in Toronto, ON, Canada, ( no bow top boxes ). For their truffle boxes see: cake boxes page 6. online at www.mccalls.ca
Buy  online ( large orders ): boxandwrap.com  [ from the U.S. — All shipping destinations –select ivory bow box– ] Local shops are your best bet. Happy hunting!

White ‘Bow’ Boxes, Truffle Cups & Foil Wrap

How about your dinner party? Each guest will have the chocolate chili truffles right on their plate before seating. I have not set my table yet..but this is what it might look like with golden truffle boxes on each plate. White boxes are very festive too.

At the famous Harrods in London’s Knightsbridge you can buy a box of handmade truffles with flakes of edible 24-carat gold  that will set the buyer back an eye-watering £190 ( $238 U.S. $315 CAN dollars ). Champagne filled and studded by 100’s of Swarovski crystal on the box itself. I have enjoyed edible gold leaf chocolates at home and at restaurants. Decadent, but impressive! (You can buy edible gold leaf online ~ sometimes hard to get).

Harrods Gold Leaf Truffles

Harrods Gold Leaf Truffles

kids32VARIATION: Add any coating you like for the truffles; ground almonds,  chia seeds, shredded coconut  and what ever you have handy in the kitchen. Ask your kids what they would like as a coating and let them roll the truffles in the coatings. Easy and fun!   Raspberry Extract  in the mix adds another dimension to your truffles.  Chocolate, chili and raspberries are a match made in heaven! Kids love them too! No sugar rush!

 

Game Day Spicy Meatballs

These are a healthier alternative to the typical  game day feast of nachos, chips, wings and pizza. They are so tasty and will not last long.  Delicious and nutritious snacks!

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INGREDIENTS
img_42491 pound ground chicken (or turkey)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg, whisked
3 tablespoons unseasoned whole-wheat bread crumbs
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Hungarian or hot paprika
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves, about 1 small sprig or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, about 5 sprigs or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon sugar substitute
1 lemon, zest only
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS:
1) In a large bowl thoroughly mix the chicken, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, Worcestershire, paprika, onion powder, oregano, thyme, brown sugar, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a bowl.
2) Gently mix in the chicken (to avoid any toughness in the meatballs) and form into mini meatballs, slightly smaller than a golf ball; it should make 28 to 30 meatballs.
3) Warm the butter and oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
4) Transfer the meatballs to the pan and do not disturb for 3 minutes to brown well.
5) Turn, cooking another 3 minutes without disturbing.
6) Keep cooking until browned and cooked on all sides, but still juicy and plump with a spring to the touch.
7) Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Serve with cocktail skewers or toothpicks for game day!

img_4258Both chicken and turkey are a great alternative to beef when making meatballs and these meatballs are healthier than pizza, wings or chips for that game day snack!  These are also great for those who want to build their muscles to compete with or become  football players or just build a little bit of muscle like myself.

While turkey has a slight edge from a nutritional standpoint, the price of chicken is more stable year-round, and boneless, skinless cuts of turkey breast can be found easily at most grocery stores.  A 1-lb. serving of skinless, boneless chicken breast contains 135 calories per serving, which is 12 calories higher than the same serving of turkey. The ratio of protein to fat is also slightly lower than turkey with 25 g of protein and 3 g of fat per serving.

Amino Acid Profiles
Another important consideration is the amino acid profiles or each meat. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and different amino acids have different effects on muscle gain. Specifically, the branched chain amino acids, or BCAAs — isoleucine, leucine and valine — are linked to optimal muscular growth and repair. Again, turkey is slightly superior to chicken in its content of BCAAs. One serving of turkey contains 1,420 mg of isoleucine, 2,176 mg of leucine and 1,451 mg of valine. A serving of chicken contains 1,230 mg of isoleucine, 2,073 mg of leucine and 1,297 mg of valine.

Key Lime Pie made with Avocado

lime-fruitKEY LIME PIE is another pie my friends remind me to make. Fresh key limes is the secret ingredient. Try and get the key limes instead of regular limes. It tastes just as good either way. The first time I had the Blonde Giraffe’s” key lime pie in Key West, Florida I was hooked. It was that good. Using a family recipe from their Brazilian grandmother, the Blonde Giraffe‘s pie shop flourished and delivered key lime pies all over the U.S. (No longer delivers (the pies) and the Blonde Giraffe has moved). They added key lime zest to the whipped egg white topping. Instead of their traditional evaporated milk, we will be using whipping cream + cream cheese.  We will also be adding avocado to this health -TRENDY key lime pie!

Best Key Lime Pie I Ever Had!

Best Key Lime Pie!

BLONDE GIRAFFE – Home of the award winning KEY LIME PIE! When I came down to Florida, my sister would leave a Key Lime Pie in the freezer for us. What a treat! I would get up at night and wander into the kitchen for a treat and hack away at the key lime pie like a block of ice. It was just as good frozen! I guarantee it!
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INGREDIENTS
300 grams cream cheese
200 ml whipping cream for mixing with avocado
150 ml Whipping Cream
1 medium-large Avocado, cut into big cubes
1/4 cup sugar – Stevia, organic coconut sugar, etc.
30 ml water
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
Zest of 2 limes
1 sachet Gelatin Powder
Limes + Key Lime Concentrate + Key Limes

Limes + Key Lime Juice + Key Limes

Pie Crust:

  • 1 cup shelled walnuts
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar substitute
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed anise seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

    1. DirectionsHeat oven to 350 degrees F. In food processor, pulse walnuts until finely ground. Add graham cracker crumbs, 1 tablespoon sugar, anise seeds and salt; pulse just until combined. Add 2 tablespoons water; pulse until ingredients are thoroughly combined and resemble wet sand. Press into bottom of an 8 1/2-inch springform pan. Bake 20 minutes; cool completely.

      The walnuts are a healthier option.  The tiny amount of anise seeds give it an interesting flavour.An almond crust would also be a very healthy option.

Three-Ingredient Crust

This easy-to-make crust contains just three ingredients and browns up beautifully. You might even like it better than traditional pie crust!

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar substitute

Instructions (pie crust)

  1. Melt the butter.
  2. Combine the sugar and almond flour in a bowl.
  3. Pour the butter into the almond mixture and stir until well combined.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently until all the almond flour is incorporated with the butter and the dough forms a moist ball in your hands.
  5. Place the ball of almond flour dough on the bottom of the nine-inch spring form pan.
  6. Use your fingers to press the dough evenly out the sides.

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Zest the lime first before extracting the juice. Set aside the lime zest and juice
2. Place the gram crackers in food processor until finely ground. Add 8-12 dates (less is better), Hint: moisten the dates with  the water -use kitchen sheers to cut and drop the dates into the crumb mixture before turning the blender on. Add salt and melted butter. Process until a moist crumb forms. Press crumb mixture onto the bottom of a 10 inch diameter spring form pan or 10 inch diameter mousse ring.  Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes to set.
3. Boil 150 ml of whipping cream in a small sauce pan and add it to the gelatin powder in a medium bowl, stir for 2 minutes until completely dissolved. strain through fine sieve. Cool it down.
4. Using a food processor combine avocado, cream cheese, sugar, 200 ml. whipping cream, lime juice, zest and 30 ml of water until everything is smooth and well combined.. Pour in the cooled gelatin cream mixture and continue processing until well combined, cream and smooth in texture.key-lime-pie-avocado
5. Pour avocado lime cheese cake into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top. chill in the freezer for 1 hour to set.
6. Release the pie from the pan if using spring form pan. If using a mousse ring (which I used I this recipe) use a blow torch and run around the edge of the ring to loosen the mousse and remove the ring.
7. Garnish with lime slices and zest on top.
TOPPING
Whipping Cream (optional)

 

HAT2FOOD TIPS
You can substitute quark  (even cottage cheese) for the cream cheese to have a lighter side. My aunt (German influence) always uses quark in baking her cheese cakes. For this recipe I was able to produce an 8 inch and one 4 inch pie. This recipe can fill a 10 inch pan too.
IMG_3667didyouknow2
WHIPPING CREAM:  People sometimes use half and half as a substitute (12% milk fat) for whipping cream. “Whipping cream” is made up of 30 percent fat, while cartons labeled “heavy cream” or “heavy whipping cream” must contain 36 percent milk fat. The fat gives stiffness to the cake or pie. That is why we added the gelatin -for stability. Evaporated milk contains 7.5% milk fat. Remember…the evaporated milk is still susceptible to microbiological spoilage even though the evaporated milk is packaged in cans and heat-sterilized. Tropical countries use evaporated milk a lot since refrigeration may be a problem in some areas.