Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Kitchen Dinner - What Do You Have On Hand?

While I am away enjoying some fun in the sun, I'd thought I post some good home recipes.  This is one that I threw together with a random assortment of ingredients I had on hand.  When I first started cooking, I always followed a recipe pretty closely, rarely deviating from what someone else suggested I do.  Recently, however, I have become more comfortable cooking in the kitchen and have been able to look at a recipe and use it for inspiration.   

When it came time for dinner on a weekday night, I knew we had tons of things in our kitchen.  Not wanting to just add more to the fridge, I decided to grab some fresh ingredients from our CSA and others from the freezer and pantry and told Nick we were having "garbage dinner!"  He was not necessarily excited by this statement.

Whats on this plate?!

  • Corn kernals cut from two cobs
  • 3 small potatoes, chopped
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • dried cranberries
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of all spice
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 cup of pea tendrils
  • salt and pepper to taste
To begin I cooked the garlic in some oil.  Once that browned up a bit, I tossed in the potatoes and drizzled a bit more olive oil over top the potatoes, which I continued to stir until they were a bit tender.  Afterwards, I added the corn and ground turkey, allowing all the components to cook for a bit before adding the spices.  Just before the the ground turkey was cooked, I added the apples to the pan.  I wanted to give them enough time warm up a bit while still staying crispy.

Cooking away...
Once cooked, I tossed in some dried cranberries.  They were still in the cupboard and thought they would provide a nice vibrant color.

Almost there
While part of the dish was cooking away, I had cut the acorn squash in half and placed it in a microwave safe dish with a centimeter of water and let it cook in the microwave for about 12 minutes - until tender.  When it was done, I sprinkled the brown sugar over the top.

Acorn Squash with melted brown sugar
To serve, I placed the acorn squash on a plate and scooped the ground turkey mixture overtop and then garnished with a handful of pea tendrils and a few more dried cranberries.

Dinner is served!
This dish actually came together really well.  The colors on the plate made it look a lot more appetizing compared to how the ground turkey mixture start.  There were tons of flavors and textures in each bite, and the finished product sort of reminded me of a one-pot Thanksgiving dinner. To be honest, I wasn't planning on blogging this dinner, but as I got into cooking it, I realized this could work and it was worth some photos!  For my first, totally-unguided dish, I was pretty impressed with myself.

Do you ever have "garbage dinner" night?


  1. This looks like something I would order in a restaurant! We often have plates of random leftovers or just lots of odds and ends of roasted veggies. It's nice to have a tasty, pressure-free meal.

  2. Yes I definitely have those, too - I call them "kitchen sink" dinners :) Usually I throw everything together and make soup or stirfry, but they're hardly ever this pretty!

  3. Your "garbage dinner" actually looks very artistic!

  4. I almost always prepare meals like this. So much more economical, and it's fun being creative with what's in your kitchen!

  5. For garbage dinner, this looks pretty tasty. I do similar things when I have extras and some chicken sausage laying around!


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