We are one day closer to the weekend (yippee), and after a long first half of the week, the weekend can't come soon enough.  

If you're feeling a tiny bit over the weekly grind, like I am today, then you'll love that this recipe requires minimal prep work and very little clean up.  It's also packed with protein and tons of satisfyingly delicious flavors. 

Taco, Vegetable and Rice Skillet

Total Time: 25 minutes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes

What you'll need
1/2 pound lean ground turkey
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup water
1/2 packet taco seasoning
1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise into 1-inch thick pieces
1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Rotel® diced tomatoes and green chiles 
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup instant brown rice
1/2 cup frozen corn 
1/4 cup Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Directions
1. Add ground turkey and green pepper to a large skillet.  Continue to break up meat over medium heat until ground turkey is crumbled and cooked through.  Add water and taco seasoning; stir well until liquid is absorbed. 
2. Add zucchini, beans, tomatoes and 1/2 cup water. Increase heat and bring to a boil.
3. Add rice and corn; mix well. Cover; remove from heat and let stand for 7 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. 
4. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.  Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from ReadySetEat.com
 
 
Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  It was a busy one for the O'Dempsey's.  There were bridal parties and graduation parties to be attended, housework to get done and of course a little cooking in the kitchen to top the weekend off. 

Today, my husband and I are celebrating our one year wedding anniversary!  I feel like just yesterday Adam proposed, and now here we are celebrating one year of marriage.  It's amazing how quickly time flies.  

In honor of our anniversary, I'm serving up a juicy and ever so delightful burger for two.  You're going to love all the explosive flavors that are packed into these turkey burgers.  They offer the perfect amount of kick, while still maintaing a good-for-you profile.  Hope you like them! 

Pico de Gallo Enchilada Turkey Burgers
Total Time: 35 minutes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes

What you'll need
For the Burgers

1/2 pound lean ground turkey 
1/2 bell pepper (any color), diced
1/4 sweet onion, diced
2 tablespoons enchilada sauce
1/2 jalapeño pepper, sliced (optional)
seasoned salt 
garlic salt 
non-stick cooking spray 
2 slices monterey jack cheese
2 hamburger buns 

For the Pico de Gallo 
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2-3 tablespoons lime juice 

Directions
1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine ground turkey, bell pepper, onion and enchilada sauce. If you want to spice up your burgers, also add jalapeño slices.  Mix well.  Form ground turkey into two burger patties.  Season with seasoned salt and garlic salt. 
2. Spray a medium skillet or grill pan will cooking spray.  Heat over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.  Add burger patties; cook for approximately 7 minutes on each side (time will vary depending on thickness of patties). 
3. Meanwhile, in a separate mixing bowl combine Pico de Gallo ingredients.  Mix well. 
4. Once burgers are cooked to desired doneness, top each burger patty with one slice of cheese.  Heat until melted. 
5. Place turkey burger on a hamburger bun or roll.  Top with Pico de Gallo.  
6. Serve with a side of tortilla chips and leftover Pico de Gallo.  Enjoy!
 
 
You can create tacos a variety of different ways, and here's how I like to do it.  There really isn't anything fancy or unique about my recipe.  It's classically simple, yet simply delicious.  And it's a great use of the leftover ingredients I had from previous recipes this week!

Turkey Tacos

Total Time: 25 minutes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes

What you'll need
1/2 pound lean ground turkey
1/4 onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 taco seasoning packet
1/4 cup water
5-6 hard or soft taco shells
lettuce, shredded
tomato, diced
shredded cheddar cheese
salsa
sour cream

Directions
1. Add ground turkey, onion and bell pepper to a medium skillet; cook over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, about 10 minutes.
2. Add water and taco seasoning; mix well until liquid is absorbed.
3. If desired, warm your taco shells in the oven according to package directions.
4. Stuff each shell with the taco meat mixture and your favorite taco toppings (I used lettuce, tomato, salsa, shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream)
5. Serve and enjoy!
 
 
While these certainly aren't the traditional meatballs that your Grandma used to make, they are just as delicious.  The Asian inspired spin on a classic, family favorite is definitely one for the recipe book.  Serve them with a side of steamed green beans, and you've got yourself a hearty and flavorful low-carb dinner for two.

Asian Turkey Meatballs
Total Time: 30 minutes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes

What you'll need
1/4 cup panko crumbs
1/2 pound lean ground turkey
1 egg
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
3 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 pound green beans, steamed

For the Dipping Sauce
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon water
1 scallion, chopped

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 500°F.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine ground turkey, panko, egg, salt, scallions, ginger, cilantro, 1
tablespoon soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon oil; mix with your hands until combined well. 
3. Shape 1/4 cup meat mixture into a ball and transfer to a baking dish. Repeat with remaining mixture. 
4. Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
5. For the dipping sauce, mix together lime juice, water, soy sauce, and remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in a bowl. Add scallions.
6. Meanwhile, steam green beans until desired tenderness; toss in half of the dipping sauce until green beans are evenly coated.
7. Transfer meatballs to a serving dish. Stir sauce, then drizzle over meatballs.  Serve and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from SkinnyTaste.com
 
 
Enjoy your tacos from the oven with this simply delicious take on a Tex Mex favorite.  You'll love how easy it is to simmer, mix and bake to create a hearty meal for two.  Once baked, you can also add your favorite taco toppings to make your meal even more delectable! 

Taco Bake
Total Time: 45 minutes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes

What you'll need:
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound lean ground beef or turkey
salt and pepper
1/2 package taco seasoning
8 ounce can tomato sauce (or you can substitute enchilada sauce and then omit taco seasoning)
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles
1 small can of corn (or 1/2 cup frozen)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup Bisquick
1/2 cup milk
1 egg

Directions:
1. Add onion and olive oil to a medium skillet; saute over medium heat until slightly tender (about 3 to 5 minutes).  
2. Season ground meat with salt and pepper; add to skillet with onion.  Brown meat until no longer pink.  
3. Add tomato sauce, taco seasoning, corn and Rotel tomatoes.  Mix well.  Stir in cheese. 
4. Transfer mixture to a small baking dish.  
5. In separate bowl, mix together Bisquick, egg and milk.  Pour over the top of meat mixture.  
6. Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown.  
7. If desired, serve with chopped tomato, shredded lettuce and sour cream.  Enjoy!
 
 
Tacos in the form of a pot pie?  Sure...why not?  The flaky, buttery crust adds a comforting touch to the zesty flavors of taco meat, crisp vegetables, salsa and creamy jalapeño dressing.  

Taco Pot Pies

Total Time: 30-32 minutes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10-12 minutes

What you'll need
4 ounce can Pillsbury Original (or reduced-fat) Crescent Rolls
1/2 pound lean ground turkey 
1/2 taco seasoning packet 
1/4 cup water
1/2 can (about 5 ounces) Rotel Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies 
1/2 can yellow corn, drained 
1/4 onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced 
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese 
salsa
creamy jalapeño dressing 
2 x 14 ounce oven safe bowls

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 
2. Brown ground turkey in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Continue to break up meat with a spoon until it is cooked through, about 10 minutes. 
3. Stir in water and taco seasoning; let simmer for 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.  Divide taco meat and pour into each oven safe bowl.
4. Return skillet to your stove top.  Add diced tomatoes with green chilies, corn, onion and bell pepper. Cook vegetables over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.  Divide and pour vegetables over the taco meat.
5. Add a layer of shredded cheddar cheese.
6. Open crescent roll package and unroll the dough.  Fuse two of the crescent roll triangles together to form a rectangle, then fold the rectangle in half width-wise to thicken the dough.  Place crescent rolls over the top of each bowl (I'd recommend greasing the rim of the bowl first).
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown. 
8. Carefully remove the bowls from the oven.  Top with salsa and a drizzle of creamy jalapeño dressing.  Enjoy!
Be sure to save the leftover Rotel Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies, yellow corn, onion, bell pepper and taco seasoning for tomorrow's recipe -- Turkey Taco Chili.  Stay tuned!
 
 
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In today's featured recipe for two I'm making "skinny tacos" by replacing taco shells with lettuce.  In doing so, I'm cutting out calories and carbohydrates, and I'm gaining a fresh, crisp way to enjoy yummy tacos. 

Skinny Taco Lettuce Wraps
Total Time: 25 minutes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes

What you'll need
1/2 pound lean ground beef or lean ground turkey
6 large butter lettuce leaves
6 tablespoons yellow corn 
1/2 cup matchstick carrots
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/2 packet Taco seasoning
1/4 cup water
salsa

Directions
1. Add beef to a skillet and cook over medium heat until it is cooked through, about 10 minutes, while continuing to break down meat until it crumbles.  Add water and taco seasoning.  Continue to stir until liquid is absorbed.
2. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of taco meat to each lettuce leaf.  Sprinkle with corn, carrots and bean sprouts.  
3. Top with a dallop of salsa.  Serve and enjoy!
 
 
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I'm changing up my typical beef taco routine by ditching the taco shells and incorporating egg roll wrappers instead, in today's featured recipe for two -- Taco Egg Rolls!  

I'll be serving the Taco Egg Rolls with a really simple avocado salsa dipping sauce, as well as an extraordinarily wonderful Cilantro-Lime Side Salad.  Yum!



Taco Egg Rolls
Total Time: 37 minutes 
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes

What you'll need 
6 egg roll wrappers
1/2 pound lean ground beef or lean ground turkey
1/2 cup matchstick carrots
1/2 bell pepper, diced 
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/2 can yellow corn, drained
3-4 scallions, chopped
1/2 taco seasoning packet
1/4 cup water 
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the dipping sauce
1/2 avocado, diced
1 cup salsa 

For the salad
lettuce
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 avocado, diced 
3-4 scallions, chopped

For the dressing
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 lime, juiced
salt and pepper

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
2. Add beef to a skillet and cook over medium heat.  Continue to stir and break down meat until it is cooked through, about 10 minutes. 
3. Add water and taco seasoning to the skillet.  Mix well.  Let simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Top each egg roll wrapper with about 1 tablespoon of taco meat.  Sprinkle on carrots, bean sprouts, corn, bell pepper and scallions. 
5. Fold the bottom corner of the egg roll wrapper into the center of the roll. 
6. Fold both sides into the center. 
7. Roll the stuffed egg roll into the top flap to secure the sides. 
8. Brush the outside of the egg roll wrapper with olive oil. 
9. Transfer egg rolls to a greased baking sheet.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until egg rolls are browned and heated through. 

While the egg rolls are baking, you can create the dipping sauce and side salad. 

For the dipping sauce
1. Gently mix salsa and avocado together.  

For the Cilantro-Lime Side Salad
1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine lettuce, tomatoes, avocado and scallions. 
2. In a separate mixing bowl, combine vegetable oil, white wine vinegar, cilantro and lime.  Mix well.  Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add dressing to salad as desired.  Toss well.  Serve and enjoy!
The leftovers
You can use the leftover egg roll wrappers to create Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls. 

What you'll need
6 egg roll wrappers
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1/4 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
buffalo wing sauce
yellow corn, drained
1 cup broccoli slaw 
shredded cheddar cheese (or blue cheese crumbles)

Directions
1. In a small mixing bowl, combine chicken, onion, garlic and buffalo wing sauce.  Mix well. 
2. Top each egg roll wrapper with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the buffalo chicken mixture. 
3. Sprinkle on broccoli slaw, yellow corn and cheese.
4. Roll contents into the egg roll wrapper.  Coat the outside with buffalo wing sauce and a little bit of olive oil. 
5. Bake on a greased baking sheet for 10 to 12 minutes at 400 degrees F.
6. Serve with a side of blue cheese or ranch dressing.  Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Egg Roll recipe adapted from Can You Stay for Dinner?
 
 
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Today's featured Turkey Day leftover recipe for two is an old-favorite with an Italian (and Thanksgiving) twist.  With cheese filled tortellini and turkey, this upgraded version of traditional chicken noodle soup is hearty, cheesy and better than ever!   

Turkey Tortellini Soup
Total Time: 50 minutes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes

What you'll need
1 cup onion, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced 
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning 
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth 
2 cups cooked turkey, chopped
1 1/2 cups refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini (about 4 ounces)
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste 

Directions
1. In a large pot or Dutch oven heat olive oil over medium heat.  Mix in onion, celery, carrot, garlic and Italian seasoning. Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
2. Stir in broth.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. 
3. Add turkey and tortellini.  Simmer for an additional 8 to 10 minutes or until tortellini is cooked through.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
4. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Cuisine Tonight Quick and Easy Italian Magazine. 

*Note -- If desired, you can substitute the turkey for rotisserie chicken.
 
 
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While a classic cheeseburger is always delightful, sometimes it's fun to mix things up with new sauces and/or toppings.  So today I'm showing you how to make a mouth-watering Barbecue Turkey Burger.  Even when using extra lean ground turkey meat, this burger is moist, flavorful and simply delicious.  

I'll be serving the burger with a side of Sweet Pepper Potatoes.  The savory  potato bites and the sweet peppers are a great complement to the sweet and savory burger. 

Barbecue Turkey Burgers
Total Time: 25 minutes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes

What you'll need
1/2 pound lean ground turkey
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
2 cloves garlic, pressed with a garlic press
2 teaspoons seasoned salt 
1 cup barbecue sauce
2 hamburger buns 

Toppings
1/2 tomato, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced 
lettuce

Directions
1.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine ground turkey, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and seasoned salt.  Mix well. 

2. Form meat into 2 patties.  (I make my husband's a bit bigger than mine). 
3. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Add burger patties and sliced onion.  Cover skillet.  Let burgers cook for about 5 minutes on each side. 
4. Add barbecue sauce and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring sauce occasionally. 
5. Once the burgers are cooked through remove from heat.  Place them inside the hamburger buns and top with lettuce, onion and tomato. 
The side dish
I'll be serving the burgers with a side of Sweet Pepper Potatoes.

Sweet Pepper Potatoes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes

What you'll need
1/2 pound russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup sliced mini-sweet peppers
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste
minced fresh chives (optional)

Directions
1. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add butter.  Continue to stir to keep from burning.  Once butter is melted, add potatoes. 
2. Reduce heat to medium and sauté the potatoes, without stirring, until the potatoes are golden brown on the edges, about 8 to 10 minutes. 
3. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally,  until potatoes are golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes.
4. Add peppers and saute until tender, about 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
5. Remove from heat.  Garnish with chives.  Serve and enjoy!
Sweet Pepper Potatoes Recipe adapted from Cuisine Tonight For Two Magazine 

The leftovers
Since it is close to impossible to buy just two hamburger buns, you will most likely have about six buns leftover.  This drives me crazy, because I rarely end up using the remaining buns, and then they end up in garbage at the end of the week.  I'm honestly surprised that I haven't pulled a George Banks and ripped open a pack in the grocery store, so that I could remove all of the buns that I don't need.  

Since such behavior is borderline inappropriate, I decided to accept the leftover buns, and challenge myself to see how many unique recipes I could create using hamburger buns.  The end result was a week of  really great hamburger bun inspired recipes.  I'll be sharing these recipes with you next week during "Bun Week."  Stay tuned!!