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I was looking for something different to do with ground turkey, feeling kind of tired of the usual tacos, meatballs, burgers.  I came across this recipe for a taco casserole-style dish, and was contemplating whether or not my family would like it.  My younger daughter came up behind me, looked at the picture on the screen, and asked, “Is that for dinner?  Cool!” So, I figured I’d give it a try.  It looked easy to double, so I decided to make an extra batch to keep in the freezer for a busy night when we needed a quick dinner.  The recipe author titled it, “Ground Turkey Taco Skillet,” but said that her son dubbed it, “Taco Explosion,” so that’s what my family has decided to call it.

Taco Explosion

Taco Explosion

I followed this recipe very closely, omitting only the green chilis (I was afraid it’d be too spicy for me, I mean, the kids) and tomatoes (and used a little extra salsa in its place).  A friend was having surgery and I wanted to give her some food to have in the freezer for her recovery, so I gave her the second batch.  Using lean ground turkey and light cheese, it was easy to make in a healthy way.  Everyone in our house, both adults and kids, adored this dish.  I served it with romaine lettuce, chunks of avocado, and sour cream, which complemented it perfectly.  What we didn’t finish at dinner was gone by lunch the next day.  This is definitely a dinner that will appear again in our rotation, as it was quite easy and so delicious.  I loved that it took something we loved (tacos) and made it fresh again.

Share your favorite dishes that bring something new to an old favorite.  To find out what’s new in our kitchen, stop by, or become a fan on Facebook.  Happy Spring!

I did not eat sloppy joes growing up, and cannot imagine my mother ever having cooked or served one in her life.  Standard weeknight dinners, such as pot roast or tuna casserole, did not grace our tables, as my Italian mother is much more of an elaborate cook.  I’d seen sloppy joes in the school cafeteria, but assumed they only came out of a can.  A while back, I came across a recipe for homemade sloppy joes in Parents magazine, and it actually didn’t look half bad.  Realizing I could use ground turkey in place of beef, and sneak in my favorite veggie enhancers, I decided to give it a go.  Now, it’s one of my favorite quick dinners.

Kid-friendly sloppy joes

Sloppy Joes

Making a few changes to the original recipe, I’ve found these to be quite yummy.  For starters, I use 93% or 99% fat-free ground turkey.  Once the meat is browned, I stir in ½ cup of butternut squash and ½ cup of diced apple.  Both melt right into the mixture, and the apples give it a great crunchy texture.  Instead of green peppers, I’ve found red to be more fitting, and if I don’t have them on hand, I skip them all together.  Finally, I omit the hot sauce, although my husband sprinkles it on his once they’re served.  Piled onto a whole-grain bun with a side of steamed veggies and fresh fruit, dinner is good to go.  Finally, one favorite trick with this recipe: Make extra!  I always make it with three lbs. of ground turkey, and triple the other ingredients.  Before we eat, I divide it into three batches, freeze two batches in quart-sized freezer bags, and use one for that night.  On a busy night in the future, it’ll be a welcomed home-cooked meal to save you the time of cooking.

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