Back to the Kitchen: Easy weeknight recipes

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The kids are back in school, the weather is a bit cooler and we are as busy as ever. Here are some great ways to make several meals from one starter. You can double the Turkey Meatloaf recipe and freeze half in individual loaf pans for the nights when everyone’s schedule means several dinner shifts. Make half of the rest and serve with mashed potatoes and gravy and fresh vegetables. The next night simply sauté it and add to the basic tomatoes sauce for an amazing turkey bolognese. (You can even use a good quality canned marinara sauce for additional ease.) Then you can roast a chicken or two and have three or more amazing meals!

Turkey Meatloaf

2 Packages Ground Turkey

1 Package Turkey Sausage

3 carrots

1 bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

3 celery ribs

1 onion

Garlic to taste (I like lots)

2 bunch scallions

2-teaspoon kosher salt

2-teaspoon black pepper

2-teaspoon cayenne pepper

2-teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 egg

1 cup Ketchup

2 cup half and half or heavy cream

Chop all veggies fine (in or out of food processor) Sauté in heavy skillet with 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil until tender. Add spices and let cool for 10 minutes. In large bowel mix ground turkey, turkey sausage; veggie mixes ketchup, egg and half-and-half. Fill loaf pan and bake at 375 for about one hour or until the loaf is pulled from the pan. Let stand for about 5 minutes and serve.

Super Easy Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

2 pounds red potatoes, quartered

4 cloves garlic

1-cup milk

4 tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Simmer potatoes and garlic over low heat until tender, and mash, blending with milk and butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. I like to mash my potatoes using a hand-held electric mixer. Serve with gravy.


1 onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1⁄2 pound mushrooms, sliced

1-tablespoon olive oil

2 1⁄4 cups chicken or veggie stock

3 tablespoons Wondra flour

In a saucepan heat olive oil and when hot sauté onions and garlic and cook until tender. Whisk in the flour and stock and cook, stirring constantly until mixture boils and thickens.

Basic Tomato Sauce

1/2-cup olive oil

2 onions, chopped

3 large carrots, chopped

6 cloves garlic

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4-teaspoon crushed red pepper

Pinch salt/ fresh pepper

12 Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced

1/2 cup red wine

In a large saucepan heat oil. Sauté onions, carrots, garlic and seasoning. Add tomatoes and wine and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir and smash the tomatoes. You can use a fork or an emulsion blender. Simmer for 30 minutes longer.

Roast Pear Chicken

1 roasting chicken

1 very ripe pear

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 sprigs fresh thyme

3 cloves garlic

2 onions



Melted butter for basting

Peel the onions and slice them in thin circles. Separate them slightly and line them in a roasting pan.

Rinse the chicken with cold water and pat dry removing all the neck and liver. Sprinkle the skin with salt and pepper. Place the whole pear the garlic, rosemary and thyme into the cavity of the chicken. Place the chicken on top of the onions and baste with the melted butter. Roast at 425 for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Chicken and Rice Stir-Fry

1 cup cooked chicken

2 green onions, sliced

2 large eggs

1-teaspoon salt

Pepper to taste

4 tablespoons oil for stir-frying, or as needed

4 cups cold cooked rice

1 – 2 tablespoons soy sauce

Lightly beat the eggs with the salt and pepper. Heat a wok or frying pan and add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the eggs. Cook, stirring, until they are lightly scrambled but not too dry. Remove the eggs and clean out the pan. Add 2 tablespoons oil. Add the rice and chicken. Stir-fry for a few minutes, using chopsticks or a wooden spoon to break it apart. Stir in soy sauce as desired. When the rice is heated through, add the scrambled egg back into the pan. Mix thoroughly. Stir in the green onion. Serve hot.

Chicken Salad Sandwich

1 pound cooked chicken

1/4-cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 large apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

1/3 cup diced celery

1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted

6 (4-inch) baguettes

6 large leaves red-leaf lettuce

Mix together first eight ingredients. Slice baguettes lengthwise and place lettuce on bottom halves. Top with chicken salad, cover with baguette.

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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