The turkey, as we know it, originates from the forests of North America. When this bird was first spotted by the Europeans eons ago, they thought it was a kind of guinea fowl. The name turkey comes from the fact that the birds were imported to Central Europe via the country Turkey. The Europeans then called the bird turkey fowl, and eventually the name was shortened to turkey. How’s that for a piece of turkey trivia?
Today, turkey is most often associated with Thanksgiving, when families all over the United States make a big deal of preparing an elaborate dinner. There is, however, no reason not to enjoy turkey during other times of the year. And even on Thanksgiving, while the tradition is to roast a whole bird, you can celebrate with turkey served in a different way.
Here are 7 ways to prepare turkey aside from simply roasting it. Enjoy these turkey recipes!
Meatloaf is a classic dish that brings comforting feelings most of the time. While not everyone wants to eat meatloaf every day, the occasional treat is usually welcome.
Basically, meatloaf is just ground meat which is baked or smoked. The differences lie in the kind of meat that is used, as well as the spices included in the mixture.
If you like your meatloaf, using turkey meat is a healthy alternative. This recipe calls for both white and dark meat, ensuring a good balance between fat content and flavor. It also uses shiitake mushrooms, adding texture and a different flavor as well. To top it off, pour on some spicy tomato jam. This is just the beginning – there are other turkey recipes for meatloaf that will cater to your preferences.
Sometimes, you just don’t feel like eating ground meat. I have to admit that, depending on the dish, sometimes I can’t even tell what kind of meat I am eating if it’s ground. If you wish to eat something more solid, grab some turkey tenderloin.
Turkey tenderloin is the meat that can be found under the breast. This is a long strip of white meat that is very tender, thanks to its being relatively unused by the bird.
Many turkey recipes call for buttermilk, and this recipe for turkey tenderloin is no different – much like when you make fried chicken using buttermilk. Can you imagine how good this is? It also calls for Dijon mustard, ensuring that bland will NOT be in your vocabulary.
We all love a good burger, and I know I especially appreciate one after a long night out. For some reason, the greasy meat slathered with sauce and packed in between two tender buns satisfies a craving that cannot be described. Of course, one can also enjoy a good burger without all the grease and fat.
This is where this Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey Burger comes into the picture. It’s turkey, so it can’t be all that unhealthy. It comes stuffed with mozzarella, so you still have that gooey consistency. What else can you ask for?
When it comes to the sauce, we all have our preferences, and if you like Mediterranean flavors, nothing comes close to Greek Turkey Burgers with Spiced Yogurt Sauce. And with yoghurt being the main ingredient for the sauce, you don’t have to worry all that much about the calories!
I have always said that putting food on a stick makes things more fun, but wrapping a nice tortilla made from maize adds just as much fun! I think that is one reason I fell in love with enchiladas. Technically, you can call something an enchilada as long as there is some sort of filling placed inside a rolled flour or corn tortilla.
My personal preference are chicken enchiladas, but I don’t mind Turkey Enchiladas, especially if you make a wonderful sauce. This recipe is perfect for when you’re in a rush as it is very easy to make. What’s more, it requires reduced-fat sour cream, and so just like many other turkey recipes, it’s relatively healthy.
When you find yourself with a little more time, I suggest this alternative recipe for Green Chile-Turkey Enchiladas. Those green chiles will certainly make the dish more interesting. Just make sure you tell everyone they’re chiles and not green beans or some other innocuous vegetable!
Fajitas is another Mexican dish that never fails to make my gastric juices flowing. Just with like enchiladas, I like a good mix of pork and chicken when it comes to fajitas. Still, turkey is a great substitute, especially if you follow this recipe for Southwestern Turkey Fajitas. Poblano chiles, lime juice, and cilantro – delicioso!
Here’s an alternative recipe for Turkey Fajitas, this time minus the fresh poblano chile. It does make use of picante sauce, though.
For something really, really easy, try these Turkey Fajita Wraps. As I said, the tortilla makes it better – not to mention the fact that these are easier to handle when you’re in a rush. Even better, you can wrap these fajitas using plastic film, and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to gobble them down. Talk about convenient!
Turkey CasseroleDid you know that the word “casserole” is French for saucepan? Hence, when you cook and serve food in a casserole pan, it can be called a casserole. You can make a casserole of practically anything, and turkey is no exception. If you do not feel like using the entire bird, a casserole is a perfect dish to make, and it will feed an army if need be!
This recipe for Country Turkey Casserole is perfect for a group of 5, but you can always make more if necessary. Doubling the recipe is not that hard, as the original only takes 35 minutes to prepare.
There are people who will not eat turkey without the stuffing, and if you are expecting people like that at the table, then make this Turkey and Stuffing Casserole instead. If you want to up the ante and serve something that deviates from your run-of-the-mill casserole, this Slow Cooker Turkey-Wild Rice Casserole will guarantee your success.
Turkey PastaPasta lover? You can always incorporate turkey into your favorite pasta dish. If you can do that with chicken, why not turkey? I like the idea of this Turkey-Porcini Tettrazini for so many reasons. One, it makes use of egg noodles, which are an always welcome change from my usual spaghetti or capellini number 1. Two, it has porcini mushrooms, which give a nice flavor to the dish. Three, you can use leftover roast turkey!
If bolognese is what you are craving for, have no worry, you can also use turkey for this classic pasta dish. Turkey Spaghetti Bolognese is very easy to make – all you need is some ground turkey.
This recipe for Turkey Pasta Primavera takes you to an even easier level. In less than half an hour, the meal can be served!
Basically, think about substituting chicken with turkey – ground, shredded, or however way you want it. You’ll still come up with a deliciously healthy meal. Have fun with these turkey recipes!
Photos via amalthya