Empanadas

I know you’ll take one look at the picture and say, But Jean, empanadas aren’t round! I know, they’re supposed to be half-circles but this gluten-free dough is supposed to have an egg to bind it together and the flax egg just didn’t work as well so I made full-moons. They taste delicious, just don’t try to eat them with your hands! I used ground turkey in mine but any ground meat will work.

In a small bowl combine:

1 tablespoon ground flax

3 tablespoons water or aquafaba

Let sit about 5 minutes until it sets then make the dough. In the bowl of the food processor put:

3 cups gluten-free flour (whatever blend you have works)

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

2 tablespoons date sugar

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup vegan margarine, Earth Balance, or Spectrum shortening (put in around the food processor, not in just one spot)

Pulse until the mixture is a coarse meal. In a small bowl combine:

1 flax egg (that you made above) [OR if you can use it, 1 large egg)

1/2 cup oat milk (or other non-dairy milk)

Add to the food processor and pulse until the dough comes together. Remove from the processor into a food storage bag and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes. While the dough chills, make the filling. In a 12″ skillet heat over medium heat:

1 tablespoon olive oil

Add:

1/2-1 teaspoon paprika

1/2-1 teaspoon cumin

1-2 teaspoon dried oregano

Heat just until fragrant, about 30 seconds then add:

1 small onion diced

Cook to soften the onion, about 2 minutes and then add:

1 pound ground meat, like turkey, beef, or pork

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Cook, breaking the meat apart as it cooks, until the meat is done, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the skillet to a bowl. Add:

1/3 cup sugar-free ketchup mixed with 1-3 teaspoons hot sauce (hot sauce optional)

1 small can mild (or medium whichever your family likes) green chilies

1/2 cup non-dairy cheese shredded, whatever cheese you can eat (I used parmesan)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Stir to combine and let cool. Before the dough is chilled, line a 24×24″ space on a counter with plastic wrap and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

When the dough is ready, take out of the bag and cut the dough into two pieces. Put one half back into the bag and the refrigerator and put the other half on the counter with the plastic wrap. Press down on the dough to flatten slightly and then cover with a sheet of parchment paper. Roll out the dough to about 1/8″ thickness. Cut in whatever size you desire (I used a bowl that’s about a 6″ circle). Use a spatula to pick up the dough and move to the lined cookie sheet. Place about 3/4 of a cup of the filling** in the center of the disk and cover with a second disk of dough. Seal the edges together, if necessary moisten the edge with water (I didn’t need any water with my dough).

Repeat, rerolling the dough until all the dough is used and the filling is gone. I was able to make 4 of the 6″ size. If you’re able to use the egg in the dough, you can probably fold over the dough to make the half-circles and therefore can make more empanadas. Use a small knife to cut air holes in the tops of the empanadas so steam can escape. Spray with a non-stick cooking spray or brush with oat milk or egg wash if you can use eggs. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Makes four servings (6″ size). Serve with guacamole, salsa, or as I did, just slices of avocado.

**Of course, if you’re using a smaller circle to cut your empanadas, you’ll use less filling in each.

Sesame Turkey with Green Beans and Shitake Mushrooms

Here’s another recipe amended from the CHICKEN BIBLE, modified a little since I don’t like really hot and spicy foods. Once the vegetables and turkey are diced, the recipe is very fast and simple to put together. It only took me about 15 minutes to put together, after about 45 minutes of cutting and dicing! Be sure to follow the temperature instructions or it will take longer to cook and the turkey breast meat may get dried out.

In a small bowl (2 cup) combine the sauce ingredients:

1/2 cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

5 teaspoons date sugar

1-4 teaspoons sriracha*

1 tablespoon soy sauce substitute

2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon arrowroot, tapioca (or cornstarch)

1 minced garlic clove

Whisk to combine and set aside. In another small bowl (1/2 to 1 cup size), combine the garlic mixture:

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 minced garlic cloves

1 teaspoon grated (or minced) fresh ginger

Mix to combine and set aside. In a medium bowl (or I used a gallon food storage bag) combine the seasoning mixture:

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

3 teaspoons soy sauce substitute

1 teaspoon arrowroot, tapioca (or cornstarch)

Add:

1-2 turkey tenderloins (1 1/2 pounds), cut in bite size pieces

Mix to coat the turkey with the season mixture. In a 12″ (or larger) high sided skillet (or a wok if one if available), heat over medium heat:

2 teaspoons olive oil

When shimmering, add half the turkey and stirring constantly over HIGH heat, brown for 3-4 minutes. Remove to a bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel and repeat with the other half of the turkey, removing the second portion to the same bowl and recover with towel. Into the empty skillet, heat over medium heat:

1 tablespoon olive oil

When shimmering (this will only take a second since the pan should already be sizzling hot from the turkey), add:

1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut on the bias into 1″ pieces

Cook, stirring constantly over medium high heat for a minute or two. Add:

8-10 ounces sliced shitake mushrooms

Stir constantly until mushrooms start to brown and beans are slightly crunchy. Move the beans and mushrooms to one side of the skillet and add the garlic mixture and heat until you can smell the garlic, about 30-45 seconds. Mix into the vegetables then add the turkey and any juices back into the skillet. Whisk the sauce mixture and pour it into the skillet. Stir constantly until it thickens, about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with more sesame seeds if desired or sliced green scallions. Make 4 servings. Serve over rice or quinoa.

*Most Sriracha sauces contain cane sugar. If you, like me, wish to avoid cane sugar, I found one sriracha sauce at Whole Foods, YELLOWBIRD Blue Agave Sriracha Sauce which has no sugar in it but uses Blue Agave syrup instead. If like me, you prefer your food to be on the mild side with just a little spice, use 1 teaspoon of sriracha sauce. It gave me just a hint of heat in the back of my throat. I might increase it just a little in the future, especially if I make the dish for my grandson who likes things, the hotter the better!

Stuffed Turkey Rolls

I found some turkey breast filets at the store the other day and wondered how to cook them without drying them out. Turkey breast filets can be either too thick or too thin; these were very thin. I used to make a turkey “napoleon” for my husband and I wondered if it would work as a roll. It not only worked, but they turned out delicious. The stuffing can be made ahead and is enough to stuff 6-8 turkey filets depending on their size. Of course, any stuffing recipe will work but I made my sausage and mushroom stuffing, adding half a pear for a little sweetness and it turned out succulent. The stuffing is the most time consuming part of this process.

Serves 3-4.

To make the stuffing, over medium a 10″ skillet, heat:

2 tablespoons olive oil

When hot, add:

1/2 medium onion, finely diced

2 small stalks celery, finely diced

1/2 medium pear, minced

3 ounces mushrooms, finely diced

Stir and reduce heat to medium low. Cover the vegetables for about 5 minutes until they are tender. While they cook, break up 2 slices of bread (I used the quick oat bread recipe on this blog). If using a different bread, be sure to crumble into small pieces. When the vegetables are soft, add them along with the oil to the bread crumbs, mix thoroughly. To the skillet add:

4 ounces sausage, any kind your family likes

Cook thoroughly, breaking it up as it cooks into a “minced” meat consistency (like hamburger). This should only take a couple of minutes. Add to the stuffing mix along with:

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 to 1 teaspoon of ground sage

If your turkey filets are square, you’ve hit the jackpot! Mine were triangular. Add about 1/3 cup of the stuffing on the longer side of the filet and pull the smaller side over it. I used bacon to wrap and hold the roll but I would suggest using porchetta instead because the bacon had too strong a flavor and almost overpowered the turkey roll.

Once rolled and wrapped, secured with toothpicks if necessary, place in a 10″ skillet with a little oil so that the bacon doesn’t stick. Cook over medium heat for approximately 2-3 minutes per side, getting all four sides.

While the turkey rolls are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in another 10″ skillet. When hot add:

3 ounces of mushrooms

1/2 medium pear, minced

Cook for a 2-4 minutes, salt and pepper to taste and add:

2 tablespoons all purpose gluten-free flour

Stir to combine so that all the oil is floured and cook over medium low heat for 1-2 minutes to cook the flour. Add:

1 1/2 to 2 cups turkey (or chicken) stock

Stir to combine and stir constantly until thickened into a gravy.

Serve the turkey rolls over mashed potatoes (or rice), adding gravy to each of the servings. Enjoy!

Turkey Hash

Hash is a favorite of mine. It’s so tasty and so versatile. Any meat, any vegetables can be used in hash. It’s not just corned beef hash anymore! After I made the roasted turkey breast the other day, I had over half the breast left (since there’s only one of me and the recipe served 4). I’d already cooked plenty of sweet potatoes (but there’s nothing wrong with cooking more!) and had some rainbow carrots in the freezer. Hash is so easy to make, hope you’ll give it a try.

I served this with the leftover turkey pear gravy! Oh so delicious

In a large skillet (12″), heat over medium heat:

2 tablespoons olive oil

When shimmering add:

1 medium onion diced

3-5 celery stalks, diced

When the onion is becoming translucent, add:

2 cups diced cooked sweet potato (or white if you prefer)

1 cup cooked rainbow carrots, sliced or diced

2 not quite ripe pears, peeled and diced

1-2 teaspoons minced garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix to combine and continue cooking until sweet potatoes start to brown. Stir in:

2-3 cups cooked turkey, diced

Lower heat to medium low and cover. Cook for approximately 2-3 minutes until turkey is hot. Remove lid, stir. At this point, if eggs are allowed in your diet, crack 4 eggs on top of the hash, cover and cook until eggs are ready. Serves 4.

Roasted Turkey Breast with Pears and roasted sweet potatoes

I’m always looking for new ways to cook chicken and turkey. A couple months ago, I blogged a recipe for pork loin with a pear gravy. It came out so good I wondered how pear would go with turkey. Turns out placing sliced pears (or you could use apples) under the skin of the turkey breast keeps it moist while it’s roasting (just be sure not to over cook it!). And yes, I made gravy and added some cooked pears to it, oh so delicious!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. To feed four:

4-5 pound bone-in turkey breast

Clean thoroughly, removing any feathers or pin feathers left behind along the outside of the skin. Push your fingers under the skin and break the membrane holding the skin to the meat. Prepare a baking dish large enough to hold the turkey along with 2 cups of diced sweet potato. Spray the dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place the turkey in the dish, skin side up.

Wash, peel, core and slice:

1 medium, not too ripe pear making sure all the slices are about the same thickness

Place the pear slices, overlapping slightly between the skin and the meat of the turkey breast. When the pears are in place, , salt and pepper the pears. Using small skewers, pin the skin to the meat to hold the pears in place. Salt and pepper the skin (I also used some garlic powder along with some sage).

Peel and dice up (large pieces) 2 medium sweet potatoes and place around the breast, spray the sweet potatoes with a non-stick cooking spray (or before you add them, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to them and stir to coat). Salt and pepper the potatoes. (My mother always used white potatoes.)

Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees for about an hour to 75 minutes or until the breast measures 155 degrees when a thermometer is inserted in the thickest part. (It should be cooked to 160 degrees but it will continue cooking after you take it out of the oven.)

Remove the pins and the skin. Cover loosely with a large pan or, if no alternative is available, aluminum foil (should be a last resort!). Let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with the pear slices.

If gravy is desired in a 4 cup saucepan heat:

1 cup turkey (or chicken) stock

1 medium ripe pear, peeled cored and mashed

Bring to a boil. While it’s heating whisk together:

1/2 cup turkey (or chicken stock)

2 tablespoons all purpose gluten-free flour

When the stock is boiling, whisk in the flour slurry and keep whisking until the mixture thickens, turning it down to medium heat after adding the slurry. Simmer for about 5 minutes to cook the flour and serve. If you have lumps of flour or large chunks of pear, feel free to run the gravy through a medium sieve to remove them before serving.

Turkey Imperial

I enjoy turkey just as much as chicken and it’s always a nice change from the chicken grind. But it can be very dry if overcooked. Here’s a recipe that comes out moist and delicious! Lots of flavor and very easy to make if you can find turkey breast fillets. If not, use chicken breasts, remove the tenderloin and pound out the breasts to about 1/2 thickness. Serves 4.

4 turkey breast fillets or 4 chicken breasts pounded to 1/2 inch*

Preheat oven to 425 degree and spray a large baking dish with non-stick spray. The fillets or breasts should fit comfortably in the dish without touching. Salt and pepper the meat and set aside. In a small bowl mix:

1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs

1/3 cup dairy-free parmesan cheese, grated (Follow Your Heart makes a great one)

4 tablespoons olive or avocado oil (or vegan margarine or butter melted)

1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 teaspoons fresh minced thyme)

2 teaspoons dried parsley (or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley)

1/2 teaspoon Herbamare (or sea salt)

1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

Mix to combine making sure all the bread crumbs are moistened. Spread evenly over the fillets or breasts. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the fillets are 160 degrees and the crumbs are well browned. Serve with a sauce:

1 cup chicken or turkey stock

1/2 cup non-dairy milk of choice (NOT soy)

whites of 3 scallions diced

2 teaspoons spicy mustard

Whisk mustard into the stock mixture and heat in a saucepan over medium heat. When hot add a slurry made with:

2 tablespoons gluten-free all purpose flour

1/3 cup non-dairy milk

Whisk the slurry into the stock mixture and continue whisking until it thickens, about 2 minutes.

Be sure to put the sauce UNDER the fillets so that the crumb mixture stays crunchy. Garnish with the greens from the scallions.

*If the turkey fillets are too thin (want about 1/2 inch thickness), stack several, I think I actually had to stack 3 in one case. If the turkey is too thin, it will get dried out before the topping browns.

Fusilli with Turkey, Swiss Chard, and White Beans

Hope all my followers aren’t getting tired of pasta dishes! Here’s one that’s even more delicious than the last two. I do love Swiss chard, such a great flavor; I do choose rainbow or red chard because I can’t eat green leafy vegetables but feel free to use any chard you find at your market. And the meat and beans can be changed around as well, depending on your family’s taste – chicken, pork loin, even a sausage would work great in this recipe as well as any canned beans.

Start an 8 quart pot of water to boil. When boiling, add:

1 teaspoon sea salt

8 ounces gluten free fusilli (or whatever pasta you have on hand)

Cook the pasta per package instructions, usually between 8-10 minutes for fusilli. When the pasta is el dente, add to the boiling pot:

12 ounces of Swiss chard, washed with the leaves from the rib and broken into pieces (discard the ribs)

Bring back to the boil and cook for 1-2 minutes. Drain the chard and the pasta and return to the pot. Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over the pasta so it doesn’t stick together. Set aside.

In a 10″ skillet heat:

1 tablespoon olive oil

Add:

12 ounces cooked and diced turkey (or chicken, pork, or sausage)

2 teaspoons minced garlic

15 ounces cannellini beans with the liquid

1/2 cup chicken stock

1 teaspoon dried mixed Italian herbs

Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer until the sauce is reduced by about half. Pour over the pasta and chard along and add:

1/4 to 1/2 cup non-dairy shredded parmesan cheese

juice of 1/2 a lemon

Stir to combine and serve. Have some extra cheese to top each serving. Serves 4-6.

Stroganoff (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free)

I looked at a recipe for tempeh stroganoff, thought about turkey instead. It reminds me a lot of turkey tetrazzini in looks but definitely not in taste. I think this is mainly due to marinating the meat in my “fake” soy sauce and the addition of vinegar to the sauce.

When I think about stroganoff, I immediately think it should be served on egg noodles. Since I’m allergic to eggs, that’s not possible but I managed to find some pad thai brown rice noodles that worked quite well.

I used turkey in this recipe but it could be made with beef, pork, chicken or tempeh and be equally as delicious. Other vegetables would also do well in this sauce like green peas, string beans, or carrots.

Makes 4 servings.

In a medium bowl, mix:

12 ounces meat or tempeh cut into strips

3 tablespoons “fake” soy sauce (you could use tamari or coconut aminos)

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Marinate in the refrigerator 30 minutes up to overnight.

In a large skillet heat:

2 tablespoon olive oil

Add meat (drained) and saute for 3-5 minutes, turning to sear. Remove from pan and set aside. Add:

1 medium onion, diced

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons dried thyme

24 ounces sliced or diced mushrooms (I used a mixture of 3 different mushrooms)

Salt and black pepper to taste

Cook until the onions are soft and the mushrooms cooked. Stir in:

2 tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour, more or less depending on the oil in the pan

Mix in:

2 cups non-dairy milk

2 tablespoons seasoned rice, sherry, or wine vinegar

Stir until mixture begins to thicken. Add the meat. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Serve over noodles, rice or quinoa. Garnish with fresh parsley or chives.

Carrot Chowder (dairy-free, gluten-free)

Carrots are so versatile. Not only are they great in savory dishes like soups, salads, stews, curries, and stir-fries, but they also work very well in desserts. Here’s a great carrot soup with a hint of creamy tomato soup that’s hearty and satisfying. If you want a vegan soup, substitute the ground turkey for a ground vegan product and the chicken stock for vegetable stock.

In a Dutch oven pot, heat:

1 tablespoon olive oil and add:

1 pound ground turkey or chicken, when browned add:

1/2 cup chopped celery and

1/2 cup chopped onion and cook until onion is translucent

Add 2 1/2 cups grated carrots

32 ounce can of tomato puree

1 cup non-dairy yogurt

1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1/2 teaspoon thyme, marjoram, and/or basil (I use a pre-mixed Italian blend that includes all three)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon date sugar

Cover, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. I like to serve this with seasoned croutons (gluten free of course) or gluten free rolls. Serves 4-6 depending on if you want it for an appetizer or a main dish.

Easy Creamed Turkey Soup with Vegetables (dairy-free, gluten-free)

This is an easy way to use up extra turkey (or chicken if you prefer). I didn’t have a lot of soups growing up because my father wasn’t a “soup” guy. But a long-time friend really loved creamed soups and when she was dying of cancer, one of the few things I could always get her to eat was my cream of chicken or turkey soup. So here’s the recipe revamped without the dairy or gluten.

In a medium size Dutch oven, heat:

2 tablespoons olive oil

Add:

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced turnip and/or parsnip

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon dry sage

Saute over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add:

2 tablespoons gluten-free all purpose flour and stir to mix and absorb all the fat. Let cook for several minutes before adding:

2 cups chicken or turkey STOCK (use stock not broth for a stronger flavor)

1 small bag of mixed vegetables (if you’re like me, remove the corn; wish someone would make mixed frozen vegetables without corn!)

Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer until vegetables are cooked, 10-15 minutes.

The soup will thicken while it simmers so stir occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

When the vegetables are cooked, add 1 cup of non-dairy milk and 1-2 cups of cooked brown rice. Heat and serve.

Variations if you don’t care for sage or tumeric, or just want a different taste!

Italian: Add 1 tablespoon diced garlic and substitute thyme, basil, marjoram, and/or rosemary for the sage and tumeric.

Indian: Use a peeled and diced sweet potato instead of the turnip/parsnip. Add 1 tablespoon of curry powder instead of the sage and before the flour. Curry powder needs to develop its flavor so cook it for a few minutes before adding the flour and stock.

Mushroom: Add a 6-8 ounce box of sliced baby bella or whatever mushrooms you love instead of the mixed vegetables.

Vegan: Use vegetable stock instead of chicken or turkey and delete the meat. Add a drained can of your favorite beans.