Recipe courtesy of Chef Bren Ankrum – Culinary Editor
As more folks seek out gluten free alternatives classic dishes such as macaroni and cheese lend themselves to this category by the replacement of wheat flours with the now available other flour choices such as quinoa or rice. I chose a quinoa pasta rotelle for this dish however elbows, or other formed pastas will work equally well. As turkey is an underused and, now, frequently available product in markets and offers up a lean alternative at an inexpensive cost I wanted to incorporate it into the dish in a somewhat Italian style using fennel seed, sage, onion, and jalapeno peppers for a little heat. Both goat cheese and white cheddar along with heavy cream and eggs are blended to, in the end, create a lighter version of pasta and cheese casserole.
For our meal this night portions of the casserole were added to an Italian style salad to round out the meal.
From time to time we publish recipes that on the surface, may not traditionally be considered “healthy”. However, there is one common theme; they are made fresh, with whole foods that taken individually are superior to any “processed” product. We present recipes in the same mind set for many reasons. One, the recipe is considered to be delicious. Two, it is meant for an occasional meal and not something you would eat every day or a lot of at any one sitting. Three, it is made with whole, fresh ingredients. So the point is, if you what a great entrée/snack/breakfast/desert and feel like being a little adventuresome, make it yourself, indulge and be proud of it!
PS – Any of our recipes may be altered by substituting or removing ingredients for dietary or preference reasons. If you have an aversion or need to reduce salt intake, for example reduce it or leave it out. Recipes are guidelines not written in stone. If you don’t like beets for example, substitute another root crop that you do like.
Our goal is to explore the world of whole foods and their delicious combinations and encourage everyone to join their own exploration while avoiding the health risks which may be associated with faux foods, artificial ingredients, and chemically altered food sources.
We hope cooking will become a fun and rewarding pass time for you and yours!
Equipment/ utensils required:
Chef’s knife, cutting board, mixing bowls, spatula, whip, saute pan, loaf pan(s), oven
1 box (8oz.) Quinoa pasta rotelle, elbows, or small shells.
1 lb. ground turkey, preferably organically raised
4 oz. crumbled goat cheese
1 ½ cups grated white extra sharp cheddar
1 tbsp. rubbed sage
1 tsp. fennel seed
½ cup onion chopped small
3 to 4 jalapenos chopped small
1 pint heavy cream, organic preferably
1 tbsp. olive or other oil
- Bring 2 quarts of water to boil with a little salt added. Drop the 8 0z. of pasta into the water and cook until al dente. Drain, stir, cool and place into a medium or large mixing bowl.
- Heat a cast iron skillet or non stick sauté pan to medium to medium high heat, add the oil , then place the onions, garlic, peppers, sage, fennel seeds, salt and black pepper and turkey and heat until turkey is browned and veggies have begun to caramelize stirring frequently to avoid sticking. Remove from heat and allow it to cool until the pasta is done and then add it to the pasta in the mixing bowl.
- In a separate mixing bowl add three eggs and whip to incorporate the whites and yolks. Add heavy cream and whip together.
- Add the cheeses to the bowl with the pasta and turkey mix. Fold together until cheese is well distributed throughout the pasta turkey mix and then place into a loaf pan. As loaf pans vary in size and you end up having more mix than pan place the rest in another baking container of a smaller size.
- Pour the egg heavy cream mixture into the pasta until the liquid fills to the top of the loaf pan(s)
- Bake at 350 degrees until brown on top and firm in the middle. Remove from the oven and let rest for up to 20 minutes, this allows the eggs, cheese, and cream to set and hold the product together for service.
- Cut into portions and serve.
Makes 6 servings
Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories: 664, Fat: 47.5 gm, Cholesterol: 275 gm, Sodium: 405 mg, Carbohydrates: 18.2 gm, Protein: 41.0 gm.