As a spin-off to my slow-cooker turkey breast soup blog, I want to share a recent recipe I’ve been having fun with.
Like the soup recipe, I still coat the defrosted turkey breast in pesto and cook it in the slow-cooker. What’s different on this one is that I throw in whatever vegetables I have on hand (I’ve done onion and different squash varietals, red peppers, carrots, etc.), add in just enough broth to help their flavors mingle and keep them from sticking, then, I serve them on top of fresh kale. The heat from the meat and veggies wilts the kale just enough.
I add a little Israeli couscous for my son since he needs the additional carbs, but we don’t.
Using spinach or kale as a rice or pasta substitute is a great, easy way to completely revamp the nutritional profile of your meal. Between the fiber and the overall nutritional makeup of dark, leafy greens, you’ll stay full longer, and avoid unnecessary starches. You don’t have to completely change your diet to eat more cleanly; just make easy swaps like this one.
This meal is great all-around because it’s ready whenever we finish our whirlwind day and are ready to eat, and it’s family friendly. Eating well as a rule is easier than trying out a fad-diet. It’s just too hard to make a special, healthy meal for one person. You need options, like this one, that everyone can enjoy. Eating well should taste really good.
When we were living in Italy, the three ingredients I missed the most were kale, sweet onion, and spaghetti squash. For all the fabulous ingredients I enjoyed there, these three were simply unavailable.
- Kale is fabulous because it holds up better than spinach when cooked, and… you can make healthy chips with it. I’ve never seen my husband so excited about eating greens as when I make kale chips.
To make kale chips, rinse kale and tear leaves into chip size pieces. Toss with 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large ziploc or other container and spread into one layer on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt, bake at 350F for 10 minutes, turn off the oven and leave in for another 5 minutes, remove and let sit for 5 minutes. They should come out crispy and delicious.
- I grew up in Georgia and was spoiled by our endless supply of sweet onions from Vidalia. For those of you who don’t know, Vidalia is in Georgia. If it’s sweet, it comes from Georgia. Trust me. In Hawaii, they have sweet “Maui” onions, and they taste like home. I love throwing these on the grill, or using them in soups, salads, etc. to add a natural sweetness.
- Spaghetti squash is nature’s answer to low-carb diets. How fabulous that God made a vegetable that acts just like spaghetti! You can find it in the produce section along with other squash varieties. It looks like a yellow, oval melon.
To cook spaghetti squash, pierce it like you would a potato for baking, place in an oven-safe, rimmed pan or casserole dish, and bake at 375F for one hour. When you remove it, it should feel soft. Slice the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, then scrape the insides with a fork. Everything but the skin will come apart like actual spaghetti. Use/top it with anything you would normally serve over pasta, or season with a little butter/oil and salt as you would a squash.