Last Sunday night dinner for 2012!
What to do with leftover turkey? This time of year is always a challenge. The turkey dinner has come and gone but there are still some leftovers that need using up. In the past I have frozen leftover turkey meat but it always seems to be very dry and tasteless when it comes time to use again. This year I decided to use up as much leftovers within a week, and find creative ways to prepare new dishes. We had a couple of meals that just repeated Christmas day, with a few little additions and last night we had the last of the turkey.
I received a new book this year from Santa called the Flavour Bible written by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg and spent some time reading the beginning chapters on how to make your food taste great! The book is not a cookbook but it offers ideas around creating exceptional dishes based on imaginative and harmonious flavour combinations. This week I was up for the challenge.
I had about a pound of cut up turkey to use and for some reason my mind and stomach were telling me we should add some shitake mushrooms and fennel and create something special. This was the start of the preparation of our dinner.
This is what I suggest:
Sauté some onions and garlic in coconut oil for about 3 minutes and then add sliced fennel and chopped carrots continuting to cook for another 3 minutes or until softened. Rehydrate the shitake mushrooms for 10 minutes in warm water and place in the pan with the vegetables and sauté for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper as you cook to allow the flavours to take hold. Add approximately ½ cup of white wine and put the turkey in with the vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes. Take the juice and zest of one lemon and add it to the dish as it continues to simmer. I sprinkled some turmeric over the ingredients in the pan and added some chopped rosemary and parsley so their flavours would blend and give it some depth. After tasting the dish, I thought it needed a little something else so I added some chopped up dried apricots. This added a bit of sweetness to the pot. The sweetness of the apricots and acid of the wine and lemon juice made this a light and tastey dish. The addition of the turkey not only used up the meat but added a rich flavour to the dish.
The vegetables served for dinner included roasted butternut squash with lemon rind, parsley and toasted pecans, and red chard sauteed in apple cidar vinegar and dried cranberries. We also had some rice, a wild rice blend from Costco. I would serve everything again except for the rice.
Dessert was a bit of an afterthought that included the fabulous Gluten-Free Christmas cake and shortbread cookies.
Now that 2012 is over, I am really looking forward to 2013. It is starting to look like a year for changes and action with respect to educating people on healthy nutrition and the power of good food.
Please join us next week for another addition of Sunday Night Dinner at Julia’s Place.
Health Benefits of Fennel:
- Fresh bulbs give sweet anise-like flavor. Much of it is due to high concentration of aromatic essential oils like anethole, estragole, and fenchone (fenchyl acetate). Anethole has been found to have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
- The bulbs have moderate amounts of minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. Their juicy fronds indeed contain several vital vitamins such as pantothenic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin in small but healthy proportions. 100 g fresh bulbs provide 27 µg of folates. Folic acid is essential for DNA synthesis and cell division. Their adequate levels in the diet during pregnancy can help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn babies.
- In addition, fennel bulb contains an average amount of water-soluble vitamin, vitamin-C. 100 g of fresh bulbs provide 12 mg or 20% of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals. Further, it has small amounts of vitamin A.
- The bulbs have very good levels of heart-friendly electrolyte potassium. 100 g provides 414 mg or 9% of daily-recommended levels. It is an important electrolyte inside the cell. Potassium helps reduce blood pressure and rate of heartbeats by countering effects of sodium. Fennel also contains small amounts of minerals such as copper, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and selenium.
- For more information on the nutritional qualities of fennel please visit: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/fennel-bulb.html
Shiitake mushrooms contain an active compound called lentinan, a polysaccharide that has been studied for its ability to strengthen the immune system. (www.drweil.com)