Friday, January 9, 2015

Lunch Week 1: Turkey Patties and Potato Au Gratin

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week 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: Turkey Patties and Potato Au Gratin
While most people are dieting and trying to keep their new year's resolutions, I'm more concerned about eating well and using up ingredients let from the holidays. In my pantry, I had lots of potatoes and vegetables to be used. I hate throwing things out so instead, I made this week's lunch out of it. With the potatoes, I decided to make them au gratin because I also had leftover milk and cream. With the potatoes, I decided to also make turkey patties to be a bit more healthy. I had ground turkey meat in the freezer and lots of other vegetables like carrots, onions, and celery.

The potatoes were a bit old so there started growing roots. You can still use the potatoes but you have to cut the roots and eyes off. Cut deep enough to get the roots. Peel the potatoes and slice thinly. I used a mandoline to slice the potatoes about 1/8 inches thick.
And of course don't forget the cheese. Classic potatoes au gratin uses gruyere cheese. Here I had the cheese grated and ready to be sprinkled and melted.
Butter a casserole dish then layer the potatoes in a circle while overlapping each other slightly.
Keep layering then season generously with salt and pepper and top evenly with gruyere cheese.
Continue layering until all the potatoes are used up. Then pour on the warmed milk and cream that had a couple of garlic cloves that seeped in. Finish with the rest of the cheese then top with butter.
Into the oven at 425oF until bubbly and cheese is melted about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to set.
The turkey patties are very similar to my turkey meatloaf recipe where I saute cut vegetables until extremely soft. Then I added the cooled cooked vegetables to the ground turkey meat along with some bread crumbs. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
This lunch may not be entirely healthy but it's a balance of bad and good. I included lean ground meat and also lots of vegetables. Whatever the case may be, it's quite tasty indeed.

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