Sunday, February 16, 2014

Convenience Food: Kalamata Olive and Turkey Meat Pucks

Eating food that hasn't been pre-made or packaged requires a lot more time in the kitchen.  When you need to eliminate certain foods from your diet, it’s a must to make your own from scratch.  I've eaten foods where the ingredient list should result in a food safe for me to eat.  I’m not sure if it’s the processing or trace amounts of something not included on the wrapper, but I know something is off when my throat gets sore or my head gets congested. Regardless, the only way to be sure what’s in your food is to make it yourself from fresh ingredients.

These meat pucks are terrific for cutting up and adding to salads or whole as grab and go meals.  I’ll eat them for breakfast with a green smoothie or as a snack with some cut up raw vegetables.  They’re great convenience food for traveling.  I can freeze them and put them in a cooler for overnight trips.  It’s nice to not have to completely rely on restaurants or grocery stores to get my basic food needs met.  At approximately 2 ounces each, they provide half the protein I like to eat in a meal. They help me maintain my self-control with food choices and avoid emergency occurrences where I’ll eat anything I can find!

You may modify the meat mixture to your heart’s content. Making and freezing a couple variations of these meat pucks allows you to vary your meals throughout the week without extensive cooking time. Substitute other ground meats for the turkey with beef, pork, lamb, or chicken. This is also a good recipe for including organ meats if you’re trying to up your intake of offal. I've also added shredded carrot, sweet potato, kale, and spinach to the meat mixture prior to baking with great results. Just make sure the vegetables are cut small enough to cook completely  with the pucks. Adjust the seasonings depending on what you prefer and have on hand.  If you omit the olives, make sure to add a teaspoon of salt to the mixture before baking. Be creative!

If there are two or more people in your household, make sure to make a lot of meat pucks.  These disappear quickly!
Kalamata Olive & Turkey Meat Pucks
Kalamata Olive and Turkey Meat Pucks
Chef’s knife, cutting board
2 Muffin tins to make 24 pucks
KitchenAid Stand Mixer with paddle attachments, or a large bowl and your hands
Standard ice cream scoop with a spring to release the food
Cooling racks preferred but not necessary

3.25 lbs Ground Turkey
3 Tbsp Solid Cooking Oil (lard, coconut oil or palm oil is preferred for high heat)
1/2 Onion, (5 oz) diced
30 Kalamata or Green Olives, pitted and chopped small.  Check the ingredient list on olives.  You want to make sure there isn’t something in them that you don’t want to eat.  The kalamata olives I found have red wine vinegar in them.  I did find some green olives with only olives, water, salt and lactic acid.
6 Cloves Garlic, minced (approx 2 Tbsp)
12 stalks Thyme, ¼ oz fresh stripped off stalks and minced, or 1 Tablespoon dried thyme
6 stalks Fresh Sage, 1/3 oz, leaves stripped from stalk and minced, or one teaspoon dried ground sage

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Prepare all the ingredients by cleaning and chopping them.  Place everything into the stand mixer and mix for 30 seconds to a minute until blended through.  Alternately you may just mix it all with your hands in a large bowl.  It’ll be cold and will take longer, so I prefer to use a mixer.
2. Grease the muffin tins with coconut oil or palm oil.  Turkey is low in fat, and you don’t want the pucks to stick to the pans.
3. Using the ice cream scoop, scoop the turkey mixture and press it against the bowl to fill the scoop. Release one scoop of meat into each muffin tin.  Once all 24 are filled, you may have a little extra meat mixture. Either evening add a little mixture to each muffin tin or refrigerate the remains for use in another meal.  I had 3.5 oz left over and refrigerated it to scramble with veggies tomorrow.
4. Flatten the top in each muffin tin to make each puck.
5. Place both muffin tins into the oven, close door and cook for 30 minutes.  Make sure to set the timer so you can track how long they've been cooking. (This note is for me since I could easily forget I have something baking or what time I put it in…)
6. After 30 minutes pull the muffin tins from the oven and turn off the oven.  Remove the meat pucks from the pans and place them on a cooling rack.  Eat them or once cooled put them in a lidded glass container for storing in the refrigerator.  You may also freeze them for future eating.  Enjoy!
Fresh, fresh, fresh!
Only a chef's knife and cutting board are needed for prepping all the ingredients, but you may use dried herbs and a garlic press if you prefer less preparation time.
Done and ready for eating, refrigerating or freezing

No comments:

Post a Comment