Ground Turkey. The ever popular American protein. It’s lean, it’s flavorful and it’s versatile. Turkey always makes me think of Thanksgiving growing up. Thanksgiving with my family was always a momentous occasion. 20+ aunts, uncles, cousins and pets running wildly, talking loudly and drinking lots of Pepsi. Thanksgiving was an American holiday. My mom, one of my aunts, my cousins and I were all born and raised Americans. The rest of my family were immigrants who fully embraced the traditions of their newly found holiday. The biggest issue was that pretty much all of my Arabic relatives really, really hated turkey. They didn’t grow up with it and although it’s mild in the poultry family, it had a very distinct flavor that was a big turn off. Every year growing up, a large turkey was always prepared with the standard side fare along with an arsenal of Palestinian meat and rice dishes. By the end of the night the turkey was barely picked at, but the fully roasted lamb was just a pile of bones. Our family gatherings are smaller now that everyone is older, but it’s just not Thanksgiving without someone complaining about the turkey!
All jest aside, I do love turkey! It’s super quick to cook with and it’s great for an easy mid-week meal. I’ve developed this recipe over some time and it’s one of my staples. It’s mildly sweet, but super flavorful and hearty! For my veggie friends, this can be easily subbed with crumbled tempeh. Enjoy!
Spiced Ground Turkey and Quinoa with Citrus Dressing
This recipe is ready in 20 minutes and makes 3-4 servings. It’s also perfect for leftovers. Yum! You will need:
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 4-5 cups chopped kale (I like dino!)
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tbsp pine nuts (or pepitas, or pecans….your choice!)
- 1/2 cup orange juice, divided
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 bouillon cube
- Whatever spices you want! I used smoked paprika, cayenne garlic and onion powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium saucepan, mix quinoa and water and bring to a boil. Add in bouillon, cover and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes. You can also sub the water for stock, or just prepare the quinoa in water. I usually chose the most flavorful option!
In a large saute pan, heat sesame oil and brown the turkey. Once it is almost fully cooked, add in the garlic and kale. Once the kale begins to wilt, add in 1/4 of a cup of orange juice, pine nuts and the dried cranberries and cover and cook on medium heat until kale is completely wilted.
While all is cooking, you can prepare the dressing! In a tightly seal-able container, mix the remaining orange juice, olive oil, maple syrup and salt and pepper. Seal it tight and SHAKE, SHAKE SHAKE until it’s fully emulsified! Set aside.
Once the turkey mixture and quinoa are done you can either mix it together or serve one on top of the other! I think this is a bowl-worthy dish.
Once served, Garnish with green onions and dressing. I added a little bit of smoky hot sauce as well. Mmmm.
Hope you enjoy it!
Happy Hearts and Happy Tum Tums,