Mini Turkey Meatloaves & Sugar Free Ketchup

This is a great recipe for diabetics, which uses homemade sugar free ketchup. You can buy low sugar ketchup and you can buy low salt ketchup, but I need both for a client, so I made my own.



Mini Turkey Meatloaves

Serves 4

Makes 8 mini meatloaves (serving size = 2 meatloaves)

1 onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped or grated
1 1/4 lbs turkey, ground, (at least 90% lean)
2 egg whites
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper black

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Liberally coat a muffin tray with oil spray and set aside.

Coat a large skillet with oil spray and sauté the onions, peppers, and carrots over medium heat until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and allow the vegetables to cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, add the ground turkey, egg whites, cooled vegetables, ketchup, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Using your hands, mush the ingredients together until they are fully incorporated. Divide the meat mixture between 8 muffin cups, smoothing the tops of each mini-meatloaf to make it level. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Cooked mini meatloaves may be individually wrapped and frozen for up to 2 months.


Sugar-Free Ketchup

Makes 3 cups

12 oz tomato paste
4 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs mustard
1/4 cup + 2 Tbs water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Combine all ingredients and whisk until combined. You may wish to blend in order to ensure the spices are evenly mixed throughout.

It is best to let the ketchup sit together in the fridge for a couple of hours, or overnight, before serving so that the flavors blend together well.

Store in an airtight container in fridge.

Check the ingredients of your tomato paste. The only item listed should be tomatoes.

Roast Turkey Breast with Zesty Dry Rub

I’ve been cooking for a client who is on a VERY restricted diet. Their aren’t many things he can eat. A few weeks ago, I made an Herb Roasted Turkey Breast.  Here is a new version from Family Circle magazine, using a dry rub.  There is a gravy recipe included, but I skipped the gravy.


Roast Turkey Breast with Zesty Dry Rub

Serves 6 to 8

1 whole turkey breast on the bone (6 to 7 lbs)
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs fresh lime juice

Dry Rub
2 tsp onion salt
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

2 Tbs all-purpose flour
14.5 oz can chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat large roasting pan with nonstick vegetable-oil cooking spray. Rub turkey on all sides with olive oil and lime juice.

Dry Rub
Mix onion salt, chili powder, dried oregano, cumin, garlic powder, allspice and cayenne in small bowl. Rub 1 1/2 tablespoons mixture over turkey.

Roast turkey in the oven for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F on instant-read thermometer. Remove turkey to a warm place; let stand 10 minutes.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons drippings from roasting pan. Sprinkle flour and 1/2 teaspoon of remaining dry rub over bottom of roasting pan; cook over medium-high heat, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan, for about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in chicken broth until smooth; cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Strain gravy through sieve into gravy boat; keep warm.

Cut off each 1/2 of the turkey breast from the bone. Wrap one 1/2 and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 4 months, for later use. Slice other 1/2 of turkey breast and serve with the gravy.

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

This roasted turkey recipe is from “Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?“, by Ina Garten. I removed the salt, for a client who can’t eat anything with salt. This is great to make for turkey sandwiches.

IMG_0670 IMG_0671 IMG_0672


Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

Serves 6

1 whole bone-in turkey breast, 6½ to 7 lbs
1 Tbs minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 tsp dry mustard
1 Tbs fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 Tbs fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs good olive oil
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 cup dry white wine

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the turkey breast, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan.

In a small bowl, combine the garlic, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice to make a paste. Loosen the skin from the meat gently with your fingers and smear half of the paste directly on the meat. Spread the remaining paste evenly on the skin. Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.

Roast the turkey for 1¾ to 2 hours, until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest and meatiest areas of the breast. (I test in several places.) If the skin is over-browning, cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil. When the turkey is done, cover with foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with the pan juices spooned over the turkey.

Pasta with Mushrooms and Turkey Sausage

Here is a great weeknight pasta dish to feed your family. Of course, this would exclude my daughter who only eats pasta with butter and Parmesan. It’s her loss!

Pasta with Mushrooms and Turkey Sausage

Serves 4 – 6

1 Tbs olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3/4 lb hot or mild Italian turkey sausages, casings removed
10 to 12 oz button mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed
12 oz pasta
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish

In a heavy, very large fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the sausages, increase the heat to high and cook, breaking up the meat with a fork, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Add the button mushrooms and rosemary, and season with salt and pepper. Stir until the mushrooms begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bay leaf and boil until almost all of the liquid evaporates, about 4 minutes. Add the 3/4 cup broth and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, adding more broth if needed.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, stir well and cook until al dente, about 11 minutes. Drain the pasta, add to the pan with the sauce and stir until the sauce coats the pasta. Remove from the heat and stir in the 1 cup cheese. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

Transfer the pasta to warmed individual bowls or a large warmed serving bowl. Garnish with the parsley. Serve immediately and pass more cheese at the table.

Note: The sauce can be made a day ahead and then reheated before adding the pasta and cheese.

Turkey Meatloaf

One of my clients needs foods for her freezer. I made these mini turkey meatloaves. You can also make them in muffin tins for individual servings or a large loaf pan to feed a family. This is a very simple recipe. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the final product!

Turkey Meatloaf

Serves 5

2 Tbs butter
1 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1¼ lbs ground turkey
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 egg (or ¼ cup egg substitute)
¾ cup ketchup
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper

Melt butter in a skillet.

Cook onion and garlic in melted butter for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Place mixture in a large bowl to cool for 5 minutes.

Combine turkey, bread crumbs, egg, 1/4 cup of the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper with onion mixture.

Press meatloaf into an 8×4-inch loaf pan.

Spread remaining ketchup on top.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50-55 minutes. (Internal temperature should reach 165 degrees.) Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Turkey Meatballs with a Chipotle Barbecue Cranberry Sauce

Recently, I have catered event after event. I have been developing some new hors d’oeuvres to add to my repertoire. Here is a new meatball recipe that got some rave reviews.


Turkey Meatballs with a Chipotle Barbecue Cranberry Sauce

Makes 16-20

1 lb ground turkey
1/3 cup oats
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbs Worchestershire sauce
2 Tbs sage, minced
1 Tbs rosemary, minced
1 Tbs thyme, minced
1 Tbs chives, minced
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 Tbs thyme, minced
12 oz cranberries
½ cup orange juice
¼ cup molasses
3 Tbs honey
2 Tbs light brown sugar
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Place all ingredients for the turkey meatballs in a large mixing bowl and mix together until just combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Take two tablespoons of the mixture and form into a meatball. Place onto a lightly greased baking sheet and repeat until all of the turkey mixture has been used.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned and completely cooked through.

For the sauce:
Sauté the diced onion in a little olive oil, add the garlic and thyme in a saucepan and then add the cranberries, orange juice, molasses, honey, brown sugar and chipotle peppers.

Place first six ingredients into a saucepan and stir. Bring the mixture to a simmer, over medium to medium-low heat. Once the cranberries begin to macerate, about 10 minutes, stir in the remaining ingredients.

Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened and reduced by 1/3. Serve with meatballs.

Turkey Gumbo Soup


Today’s post comes from Pat in Seattle, WA. She got the recipe from a Cajun cooking show on TV.



Turkey Gumbo Soup

1/3 cup olive oil
½ cup flour
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
¾ lb andouille sausage, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into half-moons
2-3 heaping cups chopped or shredded cooked turkey meat
2 qts chicken stock
3 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp or more dried thyme
salt and pepper
gumbo file powder
2 green onions, sliced, or parsley for garnish.

Cook a roux of oil and flour until a dark caramel color, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Add vegetables and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add sausage and cook another minute. Add the turkey, stock, Worcestershire and thyme and continue to cook on low for about an hour uncovered. Correct seasoning if necessary.

Serve over rice (long-grain white, boiled), sprinkle with file powder and green onions or parsley.

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes


Guest blogger Jessica (Denver, CO) from Beauty Marks again. This one was too easy for words and, most importantly, was a HUGE crowd-pleaser. You can spice it up with chili powder or jalapeños if you’d like, but I kept it mild for the timid in my house.


Slow cooker Sloppy Joes

1 lb (or 17.6 oz. if you’re buying Jennie-O) ground turkey

1 medium onion, diced

½ red pepper, diced

1 tsp garlic powder

olive oil

1 cup ketchup

1 Tbs brown sugar

1 tsp dry mustard

1 cup tomato sauce
alt and pepper to taste

Sauté onion and pepper in olive oil till soft. Add garlic powder and stir. Add turkey and sauté till cooked through and somewhat browned. Dump into slow cooker; add remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Baked Pasta with Sweet Italian Sausage & Kale

Kale is a nutritional superfood. It should have it’s own cape! It has
antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer nutrients to name a few. On the downside, it has a large concentration of Vitamin K, which can be a problem for people taking blood thinners because it promotes clotting; the green also contains oxalates, which in lab tests have been associated with kidney stones and some gallstones. Eat raw kale is not a good idea, it will result in digestive issues.

This recipe is a great way to introduce some kale into your family’s diet. Everyone loved it.



Baked Pasta with Sweet Italian Sausage & Kale

Serves 6

1 lb penne or other short pasta
1 medium (about 1 lb) bunch kale, stems discarded and leaves cut into 2-inch pieces
3 Tbs olive oil
1 package (20 oz) turkey Italian sausage, casings removed
1 onion, chopped
Kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Tbs flour
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup part-skim mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook the pasta according to package directions, adding the kale during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain the pasta and kale and return it to the pot.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until beginning to brown, 5 to 6 minutes; transfer to a bowl.

Add the onion and remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet, season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Sprinkle the flour over the onion mixture and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stirring constantly, gradually add the milk. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes; stir in the crushed red pepper.

Add the sauce to the pasta and kale and toss to coat. Add the sausage, tomatoes, ricotta and mozzarella and toss to combine. Transfer the pasta mixture to a 3-quart or 9- by 13-inch casserole dish. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and bake until heated through and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

Sloppy Bombay Joes

A friend of mine told me about Aarti Sequeira’s sloppy joe recipe.  It’s a sloppy joe with an Indian twist.  I consider myself a sloppy joe expert, given that I have made them for hundreds of school children for almost 10 years.  These are really delicious and different and actually a bit healthier using ground turkey.  I served them with Broccoli Slaw.  You’ve really to try these!


Sloppy Bombay Joes

Serves 4-6

2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 Tbs minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 serrano chile, seeded and finely minced (save the other half for the turkey)
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp paprika
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup water

3 to 4 Tbs vegetable oil
Small handful shelled pistachios, about 1/4 cup
Small handful raisins, about 1/4 cup
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 large white onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, seeds and membrane removed, finely diced
1/2 serrano chile, seeds intact (don’t chop it up unless you like things spicy!)
Kosher salt
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 tsp honey
1/4 cup half-and-half
Small handful chopped fresh cilantro (soft stems included)
4 to 6 hamburger buns

Begin by making the sauce: Warm the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, until it shimmers. Add the ginger, garlic and serrano pepper. Sauté until the ginger and garlic brown a little. Add the garam masala and paprika and sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile for the turkey, in large skillet, warm 2 tablespoons of oil. When shimmering, add the pistachios and raisins. Cook until the raisins swell up and the pistachios toast slightly. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Return the pan to medium heat, add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of oil, and warm until shimmering. Add the cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for about 10 seconds, or until some of the sizzling subsides. Stir in the onions and bell pepper; sauté until softened and starting to brown. Add the serrano pepper. Sauté for another couple of minutes, seasoning with a little salt. Stir in the turkey, breaking up the big lumps. Cook until opaque, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, your sauce should be ready. Pour the sauce into the skillet with the turkey. Stir and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.

Once the turkey is cooked and the sauce has thickened a little, remove the serrano pepper (unless you want to eat it whole, like my Dad does!). Add the honey, half-and-half, pistachios and raisins. Stir through and taste for seasoning. Before serving, garnish with fresh cilantro.

Toast the buns, fill with the turkey mixture and serve.