Friday, April 30, 2010

Day 7 Week ~Turkey, Dry Milk & Pasta=Comfort

On this last day of the last meal for the Hunger Awareness Program we certainly will not look at ground turkey quite the same. While the meals were all tasty & challenging too much of a good thing does become just that...too much!! Both Bytes from Texas & Texas to Mexico (we are Mother & Daughter) thought ground turkey would be a good choice for our "Meat" of the week on our Food Pantry grocery list. I was reminded of an old episode of M*A*S*H where the character Hawkeye Pierce throws his tray down in the mess hall complaining about the same meat item they had eaten for far too many meals. No, this was not a "river of liver" Hawkeye was complaining about but variety truly is the spice of life. Even with Help from the "Hamburger Helper"; our conceptualizing for Ground Turkey was starting to stagnate. The meatless meals were actually some of our best or maybe we just enjoy Breakfast for Dinner too much at our house. As we read the other Austin Food Bloggers entries for this Blog event we thought chicken seemed to be a much more versatile meat. We enjoyed this challenge & look forward to the next Capital Area Food Bank event. The upcoming Stamp Out Hunger event is only a week away (May 8th) but I am already setting my sights on what donations I will leave next to my mail box. Whatever we take part in a Local or Mobile Food Pantry, Food Drive or Disaster Preparedness & Relief we are helping to strengthen our community.

This Florentine Meatball Casserole made a warm comforting meal. The creamy sauce, spinach & oven browned meatballs were able to be made in less than an hour. A pleasant spin on the standard Spaghetti & Meatballs.

Florentine Meatball Casserole
1 lb ground turkey
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 egg
1/4 cup minced onion
1 Tbsp fresh Oregano
1 Tsp pepper
1 cup (8 oz) wilted spinach, squeeze excess moisture out
1 cup shredded cheese, Cheddar, Monterrey Jack or Parmesean
8 oz. Spaghetti noodles, cooked & drained

To make meatballs; mix together turkey, oats, egg, pepper, oregano then form meat into 16-18 medium large meatballs (golf ball size). Bake on cookie sheet in oven at 375* for 30 minutes or till they are browned on all sides.
Make Alfredo Sauce as follows.

Powdered & Evaporated Milk Alfredo Sauce

1 (12 ounce) can Evaporated milk
2 tablespoons Powdered Milk
1/4 cup Butter
2 tablespoons Flour
3/4 cup Grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder
1/4 cup milk
Shake together powdered and evaporated milks; set aside.
Melt butter in medium saucepan; stir in flour to make a roux; cook until bubbly.
Gradually whisk evaporated milk into the roux; cook sauce over medium heat, stirring, until bubbly.
Reduce heat; add Parmesan cheese and garlic salt; stir until melted.
Thin sauce to desired consistency by stirring in up to one half cup milk.

Mix together alfredo sauce, spinach & noodles. Layer 1/2 into a greased 9x13 casserole dish. Lay cooked meatballs over the top of the noodle mixture & top with the last 1/2 of the noodles. Spread Cheese over this layer. Bake 20 minutes till bubbly & cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

7 Days of Breakfast.

As part of the Austin Food Blogger Hunger Awareness program we made breakfast all 7 days which fell in the guidelines of our Food Pantry, SNAP/WIC food purchases. Eating a healthy breakfast each morning really is the most important part of the day. Whether it was Cheerios, Oatmeal, Rice Porridge or Eggs the meals were simple & used few ingredients. We were able to use all of our pantry items save a can of fruit & a few potatoes. I look forward to taking part in this project again, the challenge was both a reality check & made me think grasp the concept of walking in someone's shoes if even for a week.


Angie's Recipes said...

What a great comforting pasta dish! I really adore this Florentine meatball casserole. It looks so pleasant and delightful served on a bed of Alfredo pasta.
Have a lovely weekend.

Dee said...

Thank you, Angie. I hope your have a wonderful weekend too. Enjoy the Spring weather:)

Hornsfan said...

Looks great to me but I'm definitely not going to be buying ground turkey for a few weeks LOL :)

Tangled Noodle said...

What a great-looking dish to finish up your Hunger Awareness Program menu week. While a week of ground turkey is a bit much, you seem to have been well up to the challenge!

jackie said...

Oooooh this does look good! I definitely am not part of the household that enjoys breakfast for dinner!!

bonnie said...

great dish, we love florentine flavors..great week of eats..