There are countless times I have drug myself through the door at the end of a very busy day wondering what’s for dinner. It’s times like these that I know not to sit down on the couch because there’s a very good chance I won’t get back up. Especially not to cook dinner!
But somebody has to do it.
I love it when I can find ways to help myself with the drudgery of dinner. And of all things discovered at the grocery store, Jennie-O’s lean ground turkey is one of the leading go-to meal making materials available. I can always count on Jennie-O in a pinch.
For those of you who have read, “I Wish the Grinch Stole Thanksgiving Instead,” you are probably falling over from shock right now. Especially knowing how I feel about turkey. But as much as I hate to admit it, this ground up goo has saved my tired arse countless times when I haven’t wanted to cook.
So let’s talk details…
Compared to the little tubes of Lean Ground Chicken, which I find MUCH tastier, the ground turkey lasts longer in the fridge. And if you’re in a pinch, you are not going to search the freezer for a quick fix unless it’s a frozen pizza. It is for this reason alone that having a tube of ground turkey on hand is essential. It has saved me more than once on a night that I needed a quick and tasty meal that doesn’t require a 2 hour ride on the exercise bike afterward.
Just for fun, I thought I’d share some eye-opening examples of the calorie burn required for your favorite fast food fixes. Check out DailyInfographic for a handy chart here, and if you like KFC, be prepared for some shocking stats!
Trying to be mindful of healthier eating, I always look for leaner meal options. That being said, I had to do a little comparison shopping to see how and where I could lighten things up without breaking the budget.
The Spruce Eats website offers a great comparison chart for ground meats that shows you just why your spaghetti sauce may be more calories than you think. Especially if you’re using the 73% ground beef.
As you can see, both the ground chicken and ground turkey are the lowest in calories making an easy swap for any ground beef recipe... and that’s exactly how I found my go-to recipes.
In order to make your life (and mine) so much simpler, Jennie-O got clever with her ground turkey offerings. Not only did she make plain ole ground turkey, which the good Lord knows I loathe unless you can somehow mask the taste, she also made Taco Seasoned Ground Turkey, which saves you from having to add season packs to it.
Go-To Meals to Count on in a Pinch…
Having a couple of tubes of ground turkey varieties on hand in the meat drawer at all times, the first recipe I grab for a fast fix is some form of taco meal. Once you brown the meat, you can add any assortment of Mexican style food ingredients you have in the house.
For example, you can...
1. Make a salad and top it with browned ground taco turkey. Add a little bit of cheese and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, and you'll tame that tapeworm in your belly in no time!
2. Brown a couple of CORN tortillas and load the shell with taco meat, lettuce, tomato & onion for Taco Tuesday! Add some fresh made guacamole and salsa to make it extra filling and delicious.
3. Layer a small baking dish with 2 layers of corn tortillas, browned taco turkey, a can of black beans and top with shredded cheese. Make it fancy-schmancy by adding salsa, black olives, green chilis, jalapenos, refried beans and/or enchilada sauce in whichever layer you wish. Pop it in a 400° oven for 20-25 minutes till the cheese is bubbly for Mexican Lasagna. Top with chopped green onions and plain Greek yogurt to give it some extra zest, and viola!
With the taco seasoned ground turkey, you can go wild with an endless list of ingredients or keep it as simple as your cupboards are bare. Just be creative and have fun. For example, chili tomatoes and chili beans could easily substitute missing ingredients for taco night.
OR... if you have chili ingredients, make some chili!
It doesn’t matter which of the ground turkey tubes you have either. They will all work fine, but if you like your chili HOT, make sure you grab the Charizo Seasoned Ground Turkey for a flame-thrower meal you’re sure to love.
Spaghetti is another go-to meal I love to make, especially using the Italian Style Turkey Sausage. Simmered in the sauce of your choice, this stuff will make your favorite noodle topper deliciously decadent.
I like to lighten up my spaghetti meal even more by substituting calorie filled noodles with baked spaghetti squash. I am telling you… spaghetti squash IS the bomb when it comes to Italian night. By lightening up the meat sauce and noodles with these substitutes, you’ll have plenty of room in your daily calorie intake to add a piece of garlic toast to make your meal over the top!
If you’re going to try a couple tubes for yourself, double check the use or freeze by date before tossing it in your grocery cart. Nothing is more disappointing than when you go to use it and realize it is expired.
All of these meal ideas are so quick and easy, and I’m sure there are a ton more recipes you could try if you think about it. If you'd rather someone else do the thinking about what to make for dinner, Jennie-O has a whole list of recipes to try, so take a LOOK!
And please... If you’ve stumbled across a recipe you think is fabulous, by all means share your ideas by replying to this post below.
Won't you try a Fast & Furious meal idea soon? I'm certain you will love it!
Thanks so much for reading!
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DailyInfographic, How much energy you need to burn off 8 junk foods, https://www.dailyinfographic.com/how-much-cardio-does-it-take-to-burn-off-a-big-mac
Jennie-O , 2020, Nutritious & Easy Turkey Recipes, https://www.jennieo.com/recipes
Rattray, Diana, 2019, Calorie and Fat Content of Ground Beef and Poultry, https://www.thespruceeats.com/ground-meat-poultry-calorie-and-fat-content-3054046