Tuesday, February 8, 2011

In the Rotation

I’ve recently made a couple of new recipes that were a big hit with the whole family, so I thought I’d share them with you. For each recipe, I’ve copied it as is, but also included any modifications that I made.

Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf (from All Recipes)


  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 (20 ounce) package ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon water


  1. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute; remove from heat to cool.
  4. Stir the turkey, cooked quinoa, onions, tomato paste, hot sauce, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire, egg, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until well combined. The mixture will be very moist. Shape into a loaf on a foil lined baking sheet. Combine the brown sugar, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire, and 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl. Rub the paste over the top of the meatloaf.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, about 50 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Let the meatloaf cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

My Alterations

  1. I was afraid the hot sauce would give it too much kick for my kids, so I substituted BBQ sauce.
  2. I’m not a fan of a sweet sauce on top of meatloaf, so I decreased the brown sugar and added BBQ sauce.

My Review

This was great! Generally, I am not a huge fan of using ground turkey in things such as meatloaf or burgers, where the meat is really the main focus. There’s just something about the texture and moisture that usually seems off to me. Well, that was not the case with this meatloaf. The quinoa did something wonderful for the texture of the meatloaf, and it was very moist. The kids gobbled it up, and my husband raved about it.

Beef & Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff (from Eating Well)


  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
  • 1 pound flank steak, trimmed
  • 4 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons cognac, or brandy
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, or parsley


  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add steak and cook until browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. (The meat will be rare, but will continue to cook as it rests.) Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut lengthwise into 2 long pieces then crosswise, across the grain, into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
  2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion, thyme, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are very tender and lightly browned, 8 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables; stir to coat. Stir in broth, cognac (or brandy) and vinegar and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to a simmer, and continue cooking, stirring often, until the mixture is thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in sour cream, chives (or parsley), the sliced steak and any accumulated juices. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more.

My Alterations

  1. I didn’t have any cognac or brandy, so I used spiced rum. I boiled the mixture a few minutes extra to make sure all the alcohol cooked off (didn’t want to intoxicate the kiddos!!)
  2. I didn’t have flank steak, but used a similar cut of beef.

My Review

OMG! All I can say is DELICIOUS. Here is the crazy part…I do not like mushrooms at all. But, the beef was so tender that I couldn’t tell the mushrooms from the beef. I made sure I cut the mushrooms super thin. I served this over brown rice with a side of green beans. I’m sure it would be equally good over noodles. I was fully prepared for the girls to turn their noses up at this (chicken nuggets were just waiting to come out of the freezer). They devoured it! You must make this!


  1. Okay, going for the turkey loaf this week. In-laws are visiting and vegetarian dinners are on the back-burner (really bad, unintended pun)

    Love ya, my sweet friend. And love your writing, too. You are doing an amazing job!

  2. I am going to go google "quinoa" now because:

    1. The recipe looks yum + I love meatloaf
    2. I feel like a big loser for not knowing what it is...

  3. Kristen - Let me know how you like the turkey loaf! One commenter on the stroganoff recipe said they used all mushrooms to make it a vegetarian dish. Sounds very shroomy to me, but I am not a mushroom person.

    Patra - I didn't know what it was either until my healthier grain eating friends kept mentioning it. I've only used it in this meatloaf, but now that I have a whole container of it, I will have to find other recipes!