Monday, December 27, 2010

My Turkey Leftover Recipe

We were tired of the complete Christmas dinner leftovers tonight. I was determined to figure out a new way to eat that turkey with what we had on hand -- and we still had a bunch of veggies left (some raw, some cooked, some frozen). Thought I'd try something inspired by hubby's favorite Stir-Fry recipe. So here is what we made tonight for dinner:

My Turkey Leftover Recipe:
1 large onion, chopped
3 TBSP WT Garlic GSO, divided
1 1/2 cups turkey. cooked and chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 cup broccoli, lightly steamed
1/4 cup frozen peas
3 TBSP WT Rancher's Steak Rub, divided

Preparation: Put 2 TBSP of Garlic GSO in large skillet on Medium Hi heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Then add the remaining vegetables (use whatever vegetables you have on hand) and 2 TBSP Rancher's Rub. Saute for a few minutes until frozen peas are soft and mushrooms are lightly browned. Then add turkey, seasoned with remaining Rancher's Rub. Heat through and serve over par-boiled, butter-flavored potatoes.

To make the Potatoes:
6 medium potatoes, peeled, diced
2 - 3 TBSP WT Butter GSO
Coarsely ground Sea Salt, to taste

Place potatoes in pot of boiling water. Boil until slightly tender but still firm. Remove and drain. Drizzle with Butter GSO and sprinkle with salt.

If however you get distracted by the kids (or whatever the distractions are in your house) and over cook the darn potatoes. Just pull the milk out of the fridge and add a bit to the potatoes and mash them. The kids like it better this way anyway -- I'm sure their whole escapade was a distraction conspiracy so that I'd overcook the potatoes and my only option would be to mash them.

But anywhooooooooo ......

If you have broth or gravy on hand and prefer a saucier dish add it. You can thicken any broth with some melted butter and flour/cornstarch added to it before stirring into the skillet.

It was a great meal, loved by all ages (2 - 70 to be exact). Let me know how it turns out in your home or how you made your own special turkey leftover recipe.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Butternut Squash does a body good

Straight from our corporate newsletter this month's Health Tip on one of my favorite winter squash:

A popular side dish this time of year, butternut squash helps the body convert stored fat into energy. This winter gourd is a natural source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, phytonutrients and antioxidants. It's low in fat and delivers fiber, which helps support digestive and colon health. Butternut squash also provides potassium for bone health, vitamin B6 for the nervous and immune systems, folate for brain health and fetal development, beta-carotene for skin and vision health, and vitamin C for immune health. All the nutrients packed into butternut squash, along with a variety of ways to prepare it, make this gourd a healthy and delicious food to keep on hand.

Curried Apple Squash Soup

Serves 8

8 cups (about 3 lbs) butternut squash, cubed and peeled

2 large apples, peeled and chopped

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

4 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 cup apple juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons Wildtree Curried Garlic Blend

1 teaspoon Wildtree Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Blend

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Spray 4 to 5 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In cooker, add all ingredients except whipping cream.

Cover; cook on low heat setting 8 to 10 hours.

Blend soup in cooker with immersion blender, or blend soup in batches in blender container on low speed and return to cooker.

Stir in whipping cream and serve.

I was also talking to someone about this Thai Pumpkin Soup recipe that seems it would be perfect for a pureed butternut squash substitute. Here is the original recipe -- just substitute canned or home pureed butternut squash instead.

WT Curry Pumpkin Soup

15 oz. canned pumpkin (not pie filling just pureed pumpkin)

2 TBSP WT Thai Red Curry Paste

1 1/4 cup coconut milk (I used lite as I had it in my pantry)

1/2 cup water

Put pumpkin, curry paste, coconut milk and water in a pot on medium hi heat.

Stir or whisk to mix well.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Allow to warm.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December Freezer Meal Workshop Reschedule

This month's meal workshop is being postponed due to family illness. Please see the above flier for details. Just let me know via email what session works best for you.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Featured on another blog -- WOOHOO!!

Thanks so much to my client, Romantic Comedy Girl, for featuring me in her recent blog. Why I Hate my Kitchen. If you are wondering how she makes my freezer meal workshop yield 40 meals -- she is single and splits all each "meal" into the four servings. Sometimes splitting meals in half before putting them in the freezer. Sometimes cooking it all and refreezing leftovers or just reheating them for later in the week. SO SMART of her to make this healthy living choice and distribute the meals so well for her new lifestyle!
Thanks again for the mention "Girl"!
Looking to try out her methods -- contact me to reserve a space at my upcoming workshop this Friday @ 3pm or 7pm -- wildforwildtree AT

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My TV Dinner Delight

I grew up on TV dinners. Don't get me wrong, my parents did cook as well. But there were always frozen diners in the freezer. My parents are Baby Boomers and grew up with new convenience foods and so therefore I did as well. Whenever someone had to work late, I had some extra curricular activity or no one felt like cooking -- to the freezer we went. And even now, almost 20 years after I moved out of the house, my parents still stock their freezer with TV dinners. But when I left their house my world opened some. I cooked the family meals I'd learned, I watched Emeril and Rachel Ray and got a few more recipes and I learned that not ALL TV dinners were created equal. I started buying differently and cooking differently. The frozen food in my freezer was no longer the banquet, stouffers, michealina varieties but the upper scale, "healthier" varieties.
Now that I have my own family there are even less frozen "meals" purchased from the store. Most of my freezer is now split into two Frozen meal categories:
1. Prepped freezer meals ready to be cooked
2. Leftovers frozen for quick reheating -- THIS is my new TV Dinner. A way to have the convenience of a commercially packaged frozen meal -- but with my home cooked healthy food!!!

Fast forward to last week. Part of my pre-vacation prep is to always take left overs from the fridge and place them in the freezer. I use the same containers in both places so it literally takes me a minute to clean out and save the food from spoilage. Typically I leave it there until I'm working late or at a meeting and can tell hubby to pull something from the freezer and heat it up for dinner if he doesn't feel like cooking.

When we returned from our trip we must have all caught one of those pesky bugs you get from air travel (is there anyone who doesn't get sick traveling by plane during the Holidays?) Hubby and I were headachey and in no mood to make a grocery store run let alone stand at a stove for 15 - 30 minutes to prepare something to eat. SO just like in my childhood -- to the freezer we went. And looky there, a nice little selection of dinners! We had some tasty nachos with the leftover taco night ingredients I had dumped into one container. I just defrosted all the dish poured it over corn chips (yep rice and all) and topped with shredded cheese and melted it to perfection. SO YUMMY! Lunch the next day was Chicken Marsala bowls from Chicken Marsala I had chopped and added to the rice side dish we'd had with it originally. And tonight we had Lasagna. Now hubby did make it to the store so we had fresh veggies and salad fixins by this time. But I'm so so glad that I've instituted this practice before our trips or whenever we are tired of eating "those" leftovers. It saves us money for sure by not trashing the food and not purchasing commercially made frozen meals, saves time when we reheat them and saves our bodies from all that commercially processed, HFCS, MSG and preservative laden foods we'd otherwise have on hand.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Freezer Meals Reduce Stress and Tenderize Meat

Prepping meals one day a week will reduce cooking time, increase flavors and make meat more tender. This video post covers a typical freezer meal prep day for me and will showcase 3 meals for cooking later in the week. Enjoy the video and then look below for the recipes.

My rule of thumb is: if it is frozen prep it frozen. It is perfectly fine to use frozen meat when prepping freezer meals as they will marinate fully in the thawing process. I don't recommend thawing frozen meat to prep meals and then refreezing them or refreezing previously frozen meat.

Chicken Marsala
In a freezer bag combine:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Wildtree Marsala Sauce
2 TBSP Butter GSO
1 cup sliced mushrooms (if desired)
Place in freezer. Pull this meal out of the freezer the night before you'd like it for dinner and allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and until nearly dinner time the next day.
Cooking instructions:
Heat a frying pan over medium heat with a little GSO. Sear chicken quickly on both sides to brown (leaving sauce in the bag). Add 1 cup sliced mushrooms (of desired and not frozen with the meat) and Marsala sauce from the bag. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Orange Fusion Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup orange juice
1 TBSP Wildtree Pacific Fusion
Place in freezer. Pull this meal out of the freezer the night before you'd like it for dinner and allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and until nearly dinner time the next day.
Cooking instructions:covered baking dish, cook covered at 325 until chicken is cooked through (about 20 - 25 min.), removing lid last 5 minutes to allow browning. Remove chicken to resting plate. Place sauce in skillet on medium low heat and cook until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Pour over chicken to serve.

Balsamic Chicken Wings
1/3 cup WT Balsamic Dipping Oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 lbs chicken wings or drumsticks
Place in freezer. Pull this meal out of the freezer the night before you'd like it for dinner and allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and until nearly dinner time the next day.
Cooking instructions:
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Put chicken on Large Bar Pan or foil lined baking sheet and bake for about 35 or 40 minutes.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Maltodextrin -- is it all natural?

I live in a very healthy and health conscious society here in LA and I LOVE that. And since I rep an all-natural line of food products it does fit in well with that society. But it also means I get asked some health/product/ingredient related questions that I can not answer. Recently I was asked if Maltodextrin was all-natural as it is listed as an ingredient in a few of our products.
Well like any good rep -- I called the home office to find out! And anyone interested in any Wildtree product or ingredient could to the same by calling Wildtree at 1-800-672-4050 or asking their local rep.
We do in fact use Maltodextrin and it is in fact all natural and also gluten free! Wildtree is very cautious about the sources of their ingredients. Maltodextrin is a carbohydrate and natural cornstarch. In our case it is used as a natural drying agent. For example when we have a liquid spice that we want to use in one of our dry spice blends natural cornstarch maltodextrin is used to "dry" that liquid so it can be used in the dry blend.
The wise geek blog had a great post on the safety of maltodextrin ( Like many things in the world these days there are people with allergies to maltodextrin just like people have allergies to corn, eggs, peanuts, strawberries and many other natural items. However if you are not allergic, this is a safe all natural ingredient.