Sun-Dried Tomato Turkey Meatballs

Almost one month since my last post, yikes! The dietetic internship has been very busy to say the least. I really miss the part of my life where I had free time to experiment with cooking. I’m going to work harder this month to show my face here, so to speak.  Due to working seven days last week, I had to relinquish control of grocery shopping to Mr. Applebutter.  All sorts of full fat cheeses and ice cream made their way into my house, but so did some organic veggies and free-range beef. I was proud!

Enjoy this easy spin on the classic spaghetti and meatballs.


Sun-Dried Tomato Turkey Meatballs
Serves: 3 (3 meatballs per serving)

1/4 cup whole wheat low-sodium seasoned breadcrumbs
9 large drained, rinsed and chopped Sun-Dried Tomatoes (in oil)
2 tsp dried parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. reduced fat Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon skim milk
3/4 pound 97% lean ground turkey


1) Preheat oven to 350˚F.

2) Combine breadcrumbs with tomatoes, parsley, garlic, Parmesan and salt in a large bowl. Mix with beaten egg and milk to incorporate. Add ground turkey to the mixture and combine by hand.

3) Form into 9 medium-sized balls and arrange on a large baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Be sure to turn halfway through cook time.

4) Remove from heat and serve with your favorite sauce and whole wheat pasta.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 214 calories, 6g fat, 10g carbohydrate (1.5g fiber), 30g protein


Turkey, Spinach & Feta Panini’s with Cranberry Honey Spread

Last week was rough on the cooking front. I had a LOT of flops. One was so bad that we threw it out and ordered a pizza. A really greasy, cheesy pizza. I think Dan was ecstatic. That’s only happened one other time that I can remember since living in this apartment. That’s not saying I haven’t chosen a bad recipe or screwed one up more then twice, but usually we can choke it down. My problem is truly crockpot recipes. I have SUCH a hard time finding good crock pot recipes! They always turn out looking and tasting and smelling like something excreted from a zoo animal. If anyone has a good source, please comment below. I would love some help.

With that being said, I didn’t have a recipe to give you on Thursday. Sometimes that’s going to happen, but I think it’s better then giving you one that will drive you to greasy pizza. I think know this recipe will fully make up for it. It was absolutely delicious, and I’m super excited that it was completely an applebutterharmony invention!


Turkey, Spinach & Feta Panini’s with Cranberry- Honey Spread

Serves: 3

8 oz bone-in skinless turkey breast (I bought 1lb of the split turkey breast which worked great and I still had 8 oz leftover for sandwiches for the week), thinly sliced

1-2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

2 oz baby spinach leaves

3 tbsp. reduced fat crumbled feta cheese

9 oz ciabatta bread



1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries [I used frozen], thawed

2 tbsp. 1/3 less fat cream cheese

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp. honey


  1. Trim turkey of visible fat, rub with 1-2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Lightly salt and pepper on all sides. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray and cook turkey in 325 degree oven for 55-65 minutes or until the turkey has reached a safe internal temperature of 165 F. Use a meat thermometer! [please note, this cooking time was for the entire 1 lb of turkey breast that I mentioned above so if you actually use 8 oz it may cook faster].
  2. While the turkey is cooking, chop the onion and prepare the cranberry spread (see below).
  3. Cranberry spread: Making sure cranberries are fully thawed, combine with 2 tbsp. reduced fat cream cheese, honey, olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Blend with an electric mixer until well combined. You may still have some chunks of cranberries, that is ok.
  4. Cut bread into 3 oz pieces and slice lengthwise to form 3 open sandwiches. Top about 1 tbsp. of cranberry spread onto each of the 3 sandwich “bottoms.” Then top each bottom with equal proportions of sliced onion, fresh spinach & crumbled feta cheese.
  5. Once turkey is done, slice into 1/2″ slices and add 4-5 slices to each sandwich bottom. Add the tops and cook in a panini press (or george foreman) until pressed to your liking, about 4-5 minutes depending on your bread.
  6. Eat with fresh veggies or a salad for a well balanced meal

Hint: If you have an hour to bake the turkey on a weeknight, it’s definitely easy enough because all of the prep can be done by the time the turkey is done. If not, save it for a Saturday and use the hour of baking time to snuggle up with a good book.

Nutrition Facts (per sandwich): 448 calories, 11g fat, 52g carbohydrate, 23g protein.

Thai Peanut Turkey Burgers

These were yummy and unique.  I really enjoy Thai flavors, I think mostly because I love incorporating peanuts or peanut butter into everything I can.

You may notice that these burgers look a little teeny in their buns.  The original recipe called for 8 semi-small burgers, but since it’s hard to find buns other then sliders or regular size, I altered the recipe  to be 6 instead of 8 semi-small ones.  If you follow the recipe below, yours will better fit your buns ;)

Thai Peanut Turkey Burgersadapted from Prevention RD

Makes: 6 Burgers

1 lb 97% lean ground turkey
2 medium carrot, shredded
2 large scallion, minced
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sweet chili sauce
1/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter
freshly ground salt & pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
6 whole wheat burger buns
6 small handfuls mixed greens

Garlic-Parsley Mayo:
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp. dried parsley

1 tsp sweet chili sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder


  1. Combine the burger ingredients, turkey through ginger, in a mixing bowl and combine thoroughly.  Spray a large non-stick skillet or grill pan with cooking spray and heat  over medium-high heat. Form the turkey mixture into 6 patties.  Cook burgers for about 5-6 minutes per side, until cooked through
  2. Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for the garlic-parsley mayo in a small bowl and mix well.
  3. Toast the buns if desired and serve the burgers on buns with dollop (about 1.5 tsp) of garlic mayo and small handful of mixed greens.

Nutrition Facts (per burger): 230 calories, 12g fat (1.5g saturated), 22g carbohydrate, 24g protein

Turkey-Veggie “Sloppy Joes”

I found this recipe and loved the idea of making a dish that makes my stomach hurt just thinking about into a fiber-packed meal while not sacrificing flavor.  I was never a fan of the original sloppy joe, but I hope those that are find this version just as satisfying!

Turkey-Veggie “Sloppy Joes”– very slightly adapted from chocolate broccoli

1 large Vidalia onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, drained and squeezed dry
1 pound 99% lean ground turkey
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (14.5-ounce) can low-sodium fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1 large zucchini, grated
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
3/4 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
8 whole wheat hamburger buns


  1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil or medium high heat. Add in onion and spinach, saute until onion is just softened, about 4 minutes.
  2. Crumble in turkey, garlic, and tomato paste- stirring to combine. Heat for 2-3 minutes so turkey begins to cook.
  3. Next, stir in crushed tomatoes, grated zucchini, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper, salt, and pepper.
  4. Bring to a low boil; cover and reduce heat- simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Spoon 3/4 cup turkey mixture onto each bun half; top with 2 tablespoons cheese.

Two “Burger” Ideas

We had pretty dreary weather when both of these pictures were taken so to make up for the poor photography I will give you two recipes in one!  They were both yummy, although the first was a little healthier then the second.  Feel free to change the “stuffing” ingredients to whatever you like really, I just liked this combination.  Have a healthy and happy holiday!

Stuffed Turkey Burgers

Makes 4-5 Burgers

Continue reading

Turkey Artichoke Stuffed Peppers

So I was really hopeful for all the new recipes I had this week, but two of the four kind of flopped.  One I just have to tweak a little and then it will be up here.  Here’s a delicious one that I got from pinterest, (my new obsession) and is originally from this blog.  I’m so glad I found it because it’s fairly simple for a stuffed pepper recipe, really healthy, and as a bonus, it’s very pretty on the plate!  The recipe includes Bulgur.  Bulgur is a whole grain, most often made from durum wheat.  It’s kind of like couscous texture if you’ve never had it.  Just be advised since it is made from wheat which contains gluten, you wouldn’t be able to tolerate it if you have Celiac’s disease.  Otherwise, it is a very healthy whole grain that’s super easy to make!

Before I give you the recipe, I just wanted to say that if anyone would like to see a certain nutrition topic on here.. please feel free to leave a comment on this post.  I don’t really know what people would like to read about as far as nutrition topics go and I’d love some input :)


1/4 cup bulgur (you may have to buy this from the organic section of your supermarket)
4 large red bell peppers
1/2 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon few dashes crushed red pepper
1 15oz can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, and chopped
1 cup lowfat cottage cheese (I used 1% milkfat)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (I used a few sprinkles of dried basil instead)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (I used a few sprinkles of dried parsley instead)
1/4 cup grated pecorino romano Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce


In a small saucepan, combine the bulgur with 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, until water is absorbed. Set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Carefully cut the stems from the peppers and remove the seeds and inner ribs. Cook the peppers in boiling water for about 5 minutes; drain and let cool.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Cook the ground turkey, onion, and garlic in a skillet over medium heat, stirring to break up the ground turkey, until browned. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Add the chopped artichoke hearts and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Remove from heat.

In a bowl, combine the ground turkey mixture, cooked bulgur, cottage cheese, basil, parsley, and 3/4 of the pecorino romano Parmesan cheese; mix well.

Spray an 8×8″ baking dish or small casserole. Fill the peppers with the turkey mixture, packing the stuffing in well. Place the peppers in the baking dish and spoon the spaghetti sauce over. Sprinkle with remaining pecorino romano.

Bake, uncovered, for about 25 minutes.

Bobby Flay’s Turkey Meatloaf

Before I start this post, I just wanted to encourage any readers to scroll down this page and look to the right for a section titled “Follow Blog Via Email.”  By clicking “Follow” and entering your email, it will simply email you when I make a post.  This way you don’t have to keep checking back, and it’s completely anonymous so I don’t see your email or who you are.  I hope that will be a little helpful with my sporadic posting schedule!

Now for the yummy stuff..

While I can’t say I’m a huge fan of Bobby Flay as a person, you can’t deny the guy knows how to cook.  This meatloaf that he makes is so flavorful.  Yes, it’s made from ground turkey instead of beef, but don’t let this discourage you!  You don’t even taste the fat difference with all his added flavor.  I would recommend to do all the chopping for this recipe before you start cooking so it keeps the process moving smoothly.  I really think you will love this one, it’s worth the work!


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced (my note: If you’re on a budget sub one of these peppers or both for a green bell pepper- they are cheaper)
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed to a paste with coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (90 percent lean)
  • 1 cup panko (coarse Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the zucchini, bell peppers, garlic paste and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are almost soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Whisk the egg and fresh herbs in a large bowl. Add the turkey, panko, grated cheese, 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and the cooled vegetables; mix until just combined.

Gently press the mixture into a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes in a small bowl; brush the mixture over the entire loaf. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.