(Previously published in the Jewish Link 5/22/15
I don’t know about you, but I am loving the glorious weather we have been having. I am enjoying every minute I can spend outside, with my face turned to the sun (with sunscreen of course!) The problem is, I have found it is so easy to lose track of time with all this daylight. In the winter, my early warning sign is the darkening sky. The setting sun is in front of me as I race to arrive home before the kids. Then I know my hours are numbered, and I must put dinner on the table. But with the sun shining until way after the kids come home? No warning, just the sudden opening of the door, and hello, there they are. And then, goodbye, (if I’m lucky) just as easily, they head back out to enjoy what’s left of the day. The structure of my day seems to be gone, and the kids’ schedules have become erratic.
Spring is not only all sun and games, but it heralds in the dreaded regents, final exams, sports playoffs, and, late night school sessions to make up for all the work that wasn’t finished during the regular school year. So if I thought keeping track of my kids was hard before, now it’s virtually impossible. I never know who is coming or going.
So now dinner preparation has become a nightmare. Why? Because, primarily, I forget to make it. One kid will come home starving, and eat a yogurt while asking when will I make dinner. The next one walks in an hour later saying they aren’t eating because they found something to eat before they came home, and yet the next kid comes home two hours after the kitchen is cleaned up and asks “Where is dinner?”
See what I mean? It’s pretty frustrating. The best kind of dinner to serve under these circumstances is something in one pot or pan that is quick to put together, quick to clean up, and can go into the fridge and back out to heat in a jiffy. One such meal I made recently was a turkey stir fry, inspired by People magazine, which has started publishing a recipe or two each week. This one seemed right up my alley, and I set about cooking it for dinner. After all the vegetables were prepped, it came together pretty easily into one nice pot, and there it stood on the stove, until every last member of the family was done for the night. An even easier version than the one printed below would be to simply place all the vegetables, on a cookie sheet and roast them for 20-30 minutes, before stirring into the ground turkey. This dish is an awesome way to load up on veggies.
Enjoy the sun, and enjoy your dinner!
Turkey and Vegetable Stir-Fry
4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 large red onion, cut into medium dice
4 cloves garlic, minced, or 4 cubes frozen garlic
1.5 lbs. ground turkey
1/2 small head of cauliflower, grated in food processor (resembles rice) or cut into small florets
1 yellow zucchini, cut into half moons
1 green zucchini, cut into half moons
1 yellow pepper, cut into medium dice
1 red pepper, cut into medium dice
4 ounces snow peas, trim and cut in half
8 oz. white mushrooms, cut in quarters
4 cups broccoli florets
1.5 tsp. ground ginger,
2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet (12-14 inch), and add the onion and garlic. Sauté for a minute or two, and add the ground turkey. Stir the turkey with a wooden spatula, and keep breaking up the turkey into small pieces. When the turkey is no longer pink, remove to a bowl, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Add another 3 tablespoons of oil to the pan and heat. Add the vegetables and sauté for about 3 minutes. If it seems there are too many vegetable for the pan, cook them in batches. You want the vegetables to stay crisp, and not steam. Season the vegetables with 1 teaspoon salt, and add turkey mixture back into pan. Sprinkle with the ginger and soy sauce and heat through. Taste, and adjust seasoning to your liking. Use leftovers to fill a wrap!