Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lunch Week 17: Rigatoni with Ground Turkey and Vegetables

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it, unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Rigatoni with Ground Turkey and Vegetables
I had a ton of leftover vegetables and no room in the freezer due to the copious amounts of marinara and stock I have in there. So, it was only logical to combine the 2 issues. I only had to buy some ground turkey and a couple more veggies.

First the ground turkey. I don't prefer turkey. I prefer beef. But alas, I'm trying to be healthy here. It doesn't taste the same, I know. But it's a nice compromise. Take the turkey and brown it in a large stock pot. It'll let a lot of water out. Keep cooking it until the meat has completely browned and starts to crust onto the pan. Don't forget to add salt and pepper as it cooks too.
While the turkey cooks, I chopped and grated some vegetables. Here I have some green onion/scallions, carrot, anise/fennel, zucchini, onion, and garlic. I chopped up everything into a small dice. The carrots and zucchini were grated.
And here's everything in a large bowl ready to be cooked. Once the turkey has brown, add the vegetables. Add salt and pepper again, then mix thoroughly.
While the vegetables cook, they'll release come more liquid. Take this opportunity to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Then let the mixture cook down until most of the liquid has been released and evaporated.
Once the turkey and vegetable mix is ready, add your marinara sauce. Mix well.
Lastly, add you cooked pasta. I used rigatoni here. Use any pasta that you please.
I also like to fold in some basil for extra flavor.
And there you have it. A easy one pot meal filled with lots of vegetables and lean meat but lots of flavor. Keep in mind to continuously taste as you go. You'll have to adjust the salt seasoning many times.
The flavor is really rich with all those vegetables melting down into the sauce and the pasta absorbing it. This is a very satisfying lunch.

4 comments:

  1. What a sneakily healthy lunch! I would never have realized how many veggies are in there. Well done!

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  2. Ha! my word verification was unchly... that's like "lunch" in pig latin!

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  3. @CT: I know! You can't really taste the veggies either but you can taste the richness in the sauce. This is awesome!

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  4. Mmm pasta loaded with veggies and turkey. Maybe even kid-friendly.

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