Greek Style Turkey Meatloaf

My body can’t handle two nights of weekend partying anymore.  So this past Friday night, I decided to stay in and experiment with meatloaf.  I know what your thinking, exhilarating!  Well. let. me. tell. you. It certainly was. This recipe test will now be a part of future ‘easy’ dinner nights! Give it a whirl.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1lb ground white meat turkey
  • 1/2 lb ground dark meat turkey
  • 1/3 c. chopped dill
  • 1 c. crumbled feta
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion, small dice
  • 1/2 c. chopped celery, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c. stuffing mix** optional,or add 2 slices of bread
  • 1 slice of sandwich bread, small cubed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350*F

To start, sweat the onions and celery in 1 tbsp of olive oil until tender, but not browned. Add garlic for the last 60 seconds and stir around.  Remove the pan from the heat and reserve while you prep the meatloaf.  In a large bowl combine the turkey meat, dill, eggs, bread, stuffing mix, salt, pepper, and celery/onion/garlic mix.  Mix together with hands, once incorporated add the feta and mix again. Bake in a loaf pan for45-55 minutes.

OR do one extra step and make a roulade with spinach. Turning this into a roulade makes for an extra special presentation and also adds some extra nutrients! Not to mention, color! Spread a large piece of plastic wrap on your counter, add the meatloaf and pat down to about 3/4″. Once you have a flat surface that’s roughly in the shape of a rectangle, start sprinkling a layer of drained, chopped spinach over the meat (buy a block of frozen spinach, drain, ring out the water and use).

Using the leverage of the plastic wrap, begin to tug the plastic on one side and roll up the meat end to end.  DO NOT Roll up with the plastic wrap inside:) Bake for 45-55 minutes uncovered, let rest for 5-10 minutes and serve with Tzatziki sauce for an extra Greek kick! (click for Tzatziki recipe).

** I had left over stuffing mix from thanksgiving laying around, so I added this instead for a hint of flavor not offered by the boring binder of sandwich bread. I combined it with one piece of sandwich bread to make sure the moisture stayed in the meatloaf. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, so I did both to be safe. Next time I will add just stuffing mix if I have it laying around still.

I hope you enjoy this healthy spin on meatloaf, thanks for reading, xo-G

Better-than-your-favorite-Asian-take-out: Pork Dumplings.

I love dumplings.

They are little presents full of happiness for your mouth and almost every culture has their version; pork, fish, beef, vegetables or sweets can be baked, fried, steamed, or boiled. What a versatile food! But when I think of dumplings, I think of Asian pork dumplings, my favorite.  Savory, spicy, and a tad sweet all in the same bite.  I didn’t realize until I started making them the other day that I’ve never actually had homemade dumplings; I usually just order them at restaurants. And lets be honest, they probably pull them from a cardboard box in the freezer.

I have this great little Sushi place a few blocks up from my apartment called Zen, and until the other day they had my all time favorite pork dumplings. Well Zen, I’ve found you out and I have an even better recipe. My dumplings have the same flavors, but with actual chunky ingredients, not a solidified ball of meat, which makes them a slam dunk.

Skip the take out tonight, and whip up these little pockets of love, you will thank me.

INGREDIENTS:

Blanching the Bok Choy:

  • 8 oz Bok Choy
  • 2 qts water
  • 2 tsp salt

In a small pot bring water and salt to a boil. Once a boil is reached, add bok choy stems and blanch until tender (about a minute).  Shock in cold water.  Next, add the bok choy leaves to the pot and blanch until wilted, about 30 seconds. (this will happen quickly so keep a close eye) Shock the leaves in cold water.  Remove the bok choy and pat dry on paper towl, set aside.

Making the filling:

  • 1 lb Lean Ground Pork
  • 2 egg whites, whipped until frothy
  • 2 oz soy sauce
  • 1 oz sake (optional)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1.5 oz sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup Scallions, diced
  • 8 oz bok choy, diced
  • 2 tbsp Ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp, pepper
  • 2 tsp, red pepper flakes

In a mixing bowl, whip the egg whites until frothy. Combine the pork and mix in the soy sauce, sake, sugar, sesame oil, and mix well together with hands or a fork.  (*Having a box of disposable kitchen gloves nearby is good for a project like this).  After the liquids are mixed, add the ginger, scallions, garlic, pepper, red pepper, and bok choy. The filling is now ready.

Why make pot sticker wrappers when you can buy them! No brainer. A package of gyoza wrappers contains 40-50 wrappers and will cost around $3. Boomski!

To start making the dumplings, line your work space with a piece of parchment paper, this will minimalize the gyoza wrappers from sticking to the bare counter.  Also, place a piece of parchment paper in a sheet tray, this is where you will place your ready-to-be-cooked bundles of tastiness.

Lay out 5 or so wrappers to start on your parchment lined work space. In the center of each dumpling add about a 1/2 tablespoon of filling. This will be trial and error.  I started off with a full tablespoon and quickly found out that the wrapper could not encase that much, but 1/2 tbsp was too little.  You’ll figure it out. Using a finger, dab in a small cup of water and run it along the edge of 1/2 of the gyoza wrapper, fold in half and secure the seams with a few good pinches, pressing the dough together.  Try to make sure to get most of the air out. Reserve on the parchment lined sheet tray and begin the process again with the remaining wrappers and filling.

Cooking the Dumplings:

Flash steam/boil them 4 or 5 at a time in a saute pan filled with about 3/4″ boiling water. This will take about 1-2 minutes.  Pull them from the water and let sit on a parchment lined sheet tray. In a second saute pan add enough cooking oil to coat the pan, around 1/2 inch and heat just until the oil begins to smoke. Make sure the dumplings are fairly dry before tossing in the hot oil.  Scorching hot oil and water do not get along.  Pan fry until golden brown on both sides and serve with my dumpling dipping sauce.

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp ginger, finely minced

Let me know how yours turn out! Thanks for reading- xo, G

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