Monday, January 25, 2010

(Super Simple) Child & Adult-Pleasing Meal: Gingery Turkey Pitas

Perfect dinner tonight that successfully multi-tasked as both kid-pleasing and something we’ll enjoy too. I always give my kids what we’re eating, but it doesn’t always go over well with both of them (wheat berry salad as a recent case in point). But tonight did, so let me pass along this super simple recipe based upon one found in Real Simple Magazine’s September 2009 issue:

Gingery Asian Turkey Pitas with Pickled Cucumbers

This is a two step recipe, but each step takes mere minutes. Both the turkey and the cucumbers could easily be made ahead and you could just heat the turkey up again before serving.

Pickled Cucumber Salad

¼ cup of rice wine vinegar
2 English cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine rice vinegar, cucumbers, red pepper and jalapeno in a bowl and set aside for at least 15 minutes, ideally about an hour so the cucumbers get slightly pickled.

Gingery Asian Turkey in Whole Wheat Pita

Olive oil
1 pound ground turkey (or pork or chicken if you prefer)
2-3 teaspoons on fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ cup Hoisin sauce (found in the Asian aisle of most markets, make sure it is free of MSG)
Splash of soy sauce
Whole Wheat Pita Bread, halved

In a skillet, cook the turkey (or pork or chicken), breaking it up with a spatula or spoonula until no longer pink. I grated the ginger and pressed the garlic into the meat, as it was cooking, so the flavors melded nicely. Once the meat is cooked through, add the Hoisin sauce and soy sauce. Stir until the turkey and sauces are combined in the skillet. Serve in pita bread halves, stuffed alongside the Pickled Cucumbers.

(As you can see above, I “deconstructed” my children’s pitas… but my camera battery died before I took a photo of my plate, so you’ll just have to trust me that it’s a pretty meal with the bright cucumbers and peppers and the gingery pork nestled in the pitas as an adult meal too. On my children's plates above you'll see that I also gave them carrots and a small handful of wheat-free tamari almonds.)

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