Yum Peaceful Cooking: Turkey Challenge and Salubrious Sunday's Floppy Fourth

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Turkey Challenge and Salubrious Sunday's Floppy Fourth

Oh...I had great plans. I had all the ingredients. I had all the time. I guess it just wasn't meant to be. I can't even blame the recipes. Well, I can blame one of them.


I had a turkey breast in the freezer. The "challenge" this month at BakeSpace.com was to make something with turkey. I've roasted several whole turkeys and I've made lots of stuff using ground turkey and turkey sausage. What I really wanted to do was cook a turkey tenderloin. But noooOOOOooooo.....my grocery store didn't have one. So I bought a breast on the bone instead. And I marinated it using my fancy schmancy good-for-you-healthy Balsamic Marinade. I let it sit over night in the fridge. I then stuck it in a roasting pan.....


covered it with tin foil and stuck it in a 325' F oven for a couple of hours or until the little line on the meat thermometer was in the "poultry" range. (aaahhahaha...I made a funny. get it? poultry...range? eeeh...never mind)

Oh ya...during the last 1/2 hour or so, I did pull back the foil so the skin could brown....


The flavor of the skin wasn't what I was looking for.....you just can't beat that Thanksgiving Day turkey skin! Turkey skin isn't like chicken skin. Cooked chicken skin tastes great with various flavors. Turkey skin doesn't, apparently. I really tried getting that through my head. But my head must be a lot thicker than I thought. I tried not to eat the skin after that first taste....but I kept going for it...(reflex I guess) and then I'd be sorry the minute it was in my mouth. Did I think it was going to get better? It took a couple of times before I finally stopped.

Anyways....after it rested a bit, I "carved" it....


Eh...not bad. Not great....but not bad.

Now for the sides. I used 2 recipes from my Cooking Light recipe book.


Thats the best I can say. Lets go over the evidence and I'll let you decide.

We'll start with the:

Green Beans with Roasted Onion Vinaigrette


2 lbs green beans, trimmed
2 red onions, peeled
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 sprigs fresh thyme (I hate thyme...I used rosemary)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard

uh umm.....brain fart time. I read the word "ground" and therefore used powdered mustard (thinking once ground, it becomes powdered). That was not a good move. It was actually a rather BLONDE move!!! Why didn't the ingredients just SAY prepared mustard? sigh...I should've used something like Dijon. Actually, I shouldn't have used any mustard at all. I don't know what my problem is. When I'm trying a new recipe, even if I KNOW that I don't like an ingredient, why do I use it? I don't like mustard! Duh....I should've used horseradish.

Preheat the oven to 400'

Cook green beans in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and plunge into ice water, drain again. Place beans in a large bowl. (I like my veggies a little softer so I didn't make them take the plunge.)

Cut the onions in half, vertically. (you're guess is as good as mine....vertically is relative to which way your onion is lying. right?). Drizzle the cut side of each onion half with 1/4 teaspoon olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place one thyme sprig (or rosemary in my case) on 1 onion half and top with the other half.


Wrap each regrouped onion in foil. Bake for 1 hour or until tender. Cool to room temperature. Toss the thyme away and chop the onion.


Combine remaining tablespoon of olive oil, vinegar and mustard.....(do not use ground mustard as shown)


Add onions and green beans. Toss to combine. Serve chilled


It looks pretty and all.....

I wonder how it would've tasted if I had done it right? Or if I had used horseradish instead? Btw....the onion was fabulous!

Serves 8
Calories: 83 (29% from fat); Fat 2.7g (sat. 0.4g, mono 1.7g, poly 0.4g); Protien 2.9g; Carb 14g; Fiber 4.8g; Chol 0mg; Iron 1.6mg; Sodium 109 mg; Calc 65mg

And now for my next flop. There are a few things funky about this recipe, as you'll see along the way. But first and foremost was the use of processed cheese. You know...Velveeta style? Hmm. Cooking Light thinks thats a good thing? And as I go over the recipe for the blog, I'm just now noticing for the first time the word "light" before the words "processed cheese". I smell an oxymoron. And no...I didn't use light processed cheese. I used the regular processed cheese in all its crappy glory. I should've listened to my nagging instincts and used good ole cheddar. I think it would've tasted better. Even if I had used light cheddar, it would've been beddar....(oh ya...I'm full of it tonight). But hey!! I bought no fat milk for the recipe!! Woo hoo!! I'm so proud of me.

Broccoli, Cheese, and Rice Casserole


1 cup uncooked instant rice
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup fat free milk (beams proudly as I display my purchase)
4 oz light processed cheese, cubed (such as Velveeta)
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 (10 oz) packages of frozen, chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed 30% reduced sodium, 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup

I used fresh broccoli, slightly steamed. And I added a few sliced mushrooms cuz I like em. And next time I will add more liquid. Or maybe I'll just use cooked rice. I'll tell you why in a minute....

Preheat oven to 350' F

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and then scoop into a 2 quart casserole dish.


Bake for about 45 minutes.


I don't know if you can tell by this picture but some of the rice is still hard. Arrrgh!!! See? Do you think precooked rice would've been a good idea? So I added a couple of spoonfuls of water, mixed it up....sprinkled some real cheese on top and covered it with foil. I let that sit on the counter for a few minutes. Then everything was fine.....


I think the Velveeta was a stupid ingredient. Health wise and flavor wise. Cheddar cheese would've been much better, not as strongly flavored and much better for you. Anyways...as published in the cookbook, this recipes nutritional facts are as follows:

Yields 8 servings
Calories 137 (29% from fat); fat 4.4g (sat 1.7g, mono 1.4g, poly 0.9g); Protien 6.6g; Carb 19.2g; Fiber 2.2g; Chol 8mg; Iron 1.1mg; Sodium 410mg; Calc 160mg

my thoughts: I wonder why cooking light seems to use instant rice so often. And what do they have against fresh veggies? It seems that several recipes call for frozen veggies. There also seems to be a lot of partially processed ingredients that are called for. I'm quickly losing my faith in "Cooking Light". It may be light but its not as good for you as I thought.

I sure hope next Sunday's Salubrious dinner is much better.

I just have one last thing to say....

Thank God for Double Stuff Oreos


And YES...I used WHOLE MILK to dip that baby in

(besides....even an Oreo doesn't know what to do with processed milk. have you ever noticed that skim and low fat milk don't get absorbed by oreo cookies? try and see, I dare ya)


  1. Hey, I posted my recipe for roast turkey breast in BS test kitchen, see if you like it.
    Do you mind if I say a few things?
    I think cooking light and cooking healthy don't always go together (at least if you follow what cookbooks say). So just use your instinct and common sense.
    I make a seasoning for grilled veggies you could easily use for those beans: mix olive oil, 1/2 teasp Dijon, salt and balsamic vinegar. It's awesome, and I'm not even a fan of mustard or Dijon or anything similar.
    When I make any roast, I brown it first with a few tablespoons of oil, on stovetop, and then stuck it into the oven, covered. This way, the meat stays juicy on the inside.
    Don't give up on salubrious meals, perhaps give up on that book only.

  2. You have me rollin' in my chair over here woman! LOL! The turkey certainly LOOKS great...so moist..just peel back that pesky skin! The onion...ahhhh. LoL on processed cheese...and nice ending...balance out that whole light thing! :D

  3. You know, I've never really been a fan of Cooking Light. For every recipe I've tried of theirs that's good there are like three that just suck. Ah well, live and learn.

    Everything looks great, I'm sorry it wasn't very good. Except the Oreos. :)

  4. Dajana - thanks for the tips. I just get so stuck on following a "new" recipe cuz I want it to turn out right (or at least the way it's suppose to)...but, there are some things I really do need to change when my gut feeling is screaming at me LOL. I'll have to try your veggy marinade, it sounds wonderful. I like dijon a lot better than regular mustard and with the balsamic counter balancing it...mmmm

    Heather - funny how my photo of not so good tasting food comes out better than the ones for food that tastes good! LOL. I'm thinking I should've added some kahlua to that milk. owell..hind sight and all

    Bob - ya...Cooking Light. You won't find me subscribing to their magazine. I'll just have to doctor up all their recipes (and make them all fattening in the process I'm sure LOL)


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