Friday, September 25, 2020

Glorious Garden Food:Turkey meatballs and meatloaf

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We are still in the throes of dealing with all the garden produce. I purchased a large package of ground turkey and knew I wanted to make some meatloaf and some meatballs. 

Including vegetables in my meatloaves is standard as it helps the low fat chicken/turkey, which can be quite dry.

Here you can see how nicely these meatballs brown, I then pop them in the freezer in bags, easy to pull a few out for dinner and heat them in the toaster oven.

My 3# package of ground meat made all this.

Cooking for two ---can mean too many leftovers can be boring, so I cook a lot, package and freeze meal sized portions. Each of the meatloaves were cut in half, and bagged. The meatballs freeze nicely loose in bags.

I often split the meat mixture into three parts and add the seasonings of choice to each.

You can see how tender and delicious these meatballs were.

CHICKEN/TURKEY Meatloaves/meatballs with low salt options also gluten free

Mix together
1# of lean ground Turkey/Chicken
add 1 cup of whole oats (long-cooking)
(this will make one meatloaf or 15-16 large meatballs)

1 1/2 cups total -shredded of one or more of the following: zucchini, yellow summer squash, carrots, celery, or apples.
1/2 cup chopped sweet peppers or hotter if you wish

1/2 cup chopped onion

3 cloves of chopped garlic (optional)

1 TBSP of Chicken Seasoning OR Mrs. Dash or Italian seasoning, or a seasoning mix of your choice. 

Other additional options would be 1 Tbsp Chili powder and/OR fresh basil, cilantro, oregano,  OR poultry seasoning or fresh Rosemary for a Thanksgiving vibe. 

1/2 tsp ground pepper

Add salt to taste, or 1 Tbsp of lemon juice for low-salt

Add 3/4 cup of one of these liquids: Milk, or tomato sauce/castup, or chicken broth. (All three of these have salt in them-watch your numbers)

Mix thoroughly and let sit for 15 minutes. If mixture is still stiff add a bit more liquid until you can easily form loose meatballs or loaves. (Remember the vegetables and the liquid add moisture instead of the fat and the oatmeal will absorb this.)

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes for meatballs

Use a thermometer to test meatloaves to poultry safe 165 degrees or above.  Mine took  1 hour and 20min.

You will not get run-off for gravy, but the meatballs can easily be popped into sauce for a terrific spaghetti. I often make a basic white parsley gravy with low-fat milk for the more savory selections. 

 When using three pounds you can split the mixture before adding seasonings and have three different choices.


WHAT  is your favorite GARDEN FOOD?

Do not use my photos without linking back to this post on my blog.

Thank you for your cooperation, 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Tip Toe-ing into Fall

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Well, Fall is definitely coming... 

to N. Illinois.

No, this isn't another Sunflower post...I just wanted you to see how  he birds, squirrels, and raccoons have picked all these sunflower heads CLEAN!



I really found the heads interesting though, just as they are.


I managed to roll the MONSTER pumpkin *(without any mice or wheels) to the deck and then lift this up on the bench in the backyard.


The Pumpkin is so round, but flat on the back side. I was cleaning out the sunflower heads while picking beans on the ladder and brought down so many of the heads as they were empty. My shoe is an 11 womens' so you can get a gander at how big this huge pumpkin really is.



So while I'm plopping the sunflowers on the bench...I get a great idea---to maybe make a display in the front yard with these.


Thinking I planned to use an upside down galvanized round tub, but, when I went to the garden center to get a few MUMS they were selling bales of fresh hay for $6.99. 

The hay bale becomes a shelf and mulch all rolled into one. 


The sunflower heads are great to add to my pots where the flowers have given up. 
Petunias are simply done with the heat and dry. 
I added two garden center pumpkins, all those pumpkin plants and we only ended up with the large one and some gourd sized ones which are still holding on the vines.


I'm looking for my "Happy Fall, Y'all!" sign and so far no luck. I was incapacitated last year to put things away, so goodness knows where it is?

I will show this again, as I change the vignette.