Category Archives: Turkey

Gluten Free Chili and Cornbread Pizza

Gluten Free Chili and Cornbread Pizza - Colleen's Kitchen

This is my entry for the Krusteaz Blogger Bake-Off and is being submitted as part of that contest sponsored by Krusteaz for a chance to win prizes. I also received free products from Krusteaz as part of the contest.

When I was invited to participate in the Krusteaz Blogger Bake-Off, I was both thrilled and nervous. I was asked to create an original recipe using one of Krusteaz’s new Gluten Free baking mixes: Blueberry Muffin, Pancake, Double Chocolate Brownie, or Honey Cornbread. I knew right away that I wanted to do something with the cornbread because savory entrees fit squarely within my recipe development comfort zone. I’m simply not as experienced with or inspired by breakfast dishes or desserts. But what to make with the Gluten Free Honey Cornbread?

Gluten Free Chili and Cornbread Pizza - Colleen's Kitchen

I knew right away that I wanted to make something with Krusteaz Gluten Free Honey Cornbread mix.

I tossed around ideas of mixing something into the cornbread for a savory muffin or bread, but that just wasn’t original enough — cornbread muffins have been done. Then I thought of stuffing turkey breasts with a savory cornbread combination or making some sort of entree skillet bake with the cornbread, but both didn’t allow the cornbread to be the star of the dish like I wanted it to be. And then I had an aha moment: Pizza!

One of my favorite cold weather meals is chili and cornbread, so I decided to use the Gluten Free Honey Cornbread mix as the backbone for this recipe, as the crust that holds the entire pizza together, and then deconstruct chili for the toppings. In other words, top the cornbread crust with all the pieces and flavors of chili that I love, but not top it with chili itself. The result was a delicious and unique spin on two classic dishes: pizza as well as chili and cornbread. Here’s what I did:

Gluten Free Chili and Cornbread Pizza - Colleen's Kitchen

I mixed the Krusteaz Gluten Free Honey Cornbread mix with skim milk, canola oil and a lightly beaten egg. To make a crisper crust, I brushed my 15″ baking stone with 1 tsp of canola oil and then used a rubber spatula to spread the cornbread batter on the baking stone. I spread it to about 1/2″ from the edge of the stone and then baked it for 15 minutes at 375F.

Gluten Free Chili and Cornbread Pizza - Colleen's Kitchen

The cornbread bakes up evenly and golden on the baking stone and doesn’t run over the edge. It’s a perfect base for a pizza!

Gluten Free Chili and Cornbread Pizza - Colleen's Kitchen

Instead of an ordinary marinara, I made a chili sauce using tomato sauce, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, coriander, paprika, garlic, and salt to create a dark and delicious chili sauce. I like to make the most of the cornbread base and push the toppings as close to the edge of the crust as I can.

Gluten Free Chili and Cornbread Pizza - Colleen's Kitchen

To incorporate a little pizza flavor and texture, I then top the chili sauce with shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese.

Gluten Free Chili and Cornbread Pizza - Colleen's Kitchen

Next, I add cooked, crumbled lean ground turkey to keep the dish lean while also adding that meaty texture that chili requires.

Gluten Free Chili and Cornbread Pizza - Colleen's Kitchen

Thinly sliced red onion adds color and another layer of flavor.

Gluten Free Chili and Cornbread Pizza - Colleen's Kitchen

Juicy red tomatoes add more pretty color and get us closer to that rich chili flavor.

Gluten Free Chili and Cornbread Pizza - Colleen's Kitchen

I love the pop of green that a diced jalapeno adds to the pizza. And who doesn’t like a little heat with their chili?

Gluten Free Chili and Cornbread Pizza - Colleen's Kitchen

Finally I finish the pizza off some shredded sharp cheddar cheese. It adds the perfect finishing bite to the pizza.

Gluten Free Chili and Cornbread Pizza - Colleen's Kitchen

A final bake of 15 minutes at 375F and my Gluten Free Chili and Cornbread Pizza is ready to devour!

Gluten Free Chili and Cornbread Pizza - Colleen's Kitchen

I love to top my Gluten Free Chili and Cornbread Pizza with a little light sour cream and diced avocado. It’s a meal made in heaven!

Regardless of whether I win a prize in this contest or not, I think I knocked this recipe out of the park. It’s original, absolutely delicous, and I will definitely be making this again. To try it yourself, use the Krusteaz Store Locator to find the Gluten Free Honey Cornbread mix in your area and grab the detailed recipe below!


Gluten Free Chili and Cornbread Pizza
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 8 servings
  • Serving size: 1 wedge
  • Calories: 436.2
  • Fat: 18.2
  • Saturated fat: 4.0
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 3.7
  • Monounsaturated fat: 7.4
  • Carbohydrates: 49.5
  • Sugar: 19.9
  • Sodium: 956.8
  • Fiber: 3.3
  • Protein: 17.7
  • Cholesterol: 55.8
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Poultry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
All the delicious, comforting flavors of chili and cornbread combine for this easy and scrumptious Gluten Free Chili and Cornbread Pizza.
  • 1 box Krusteaz Gluten Free Honey Cornbread mix
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • ⅓ cup + 1 tsp canola oil (divided)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • ½ pound raw lean ground white turkey, cooked and crumbled
  • ¼ medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Brush a 15" diameter pizza baking stone with the 1 tsp of canola oil.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cornbread mix, remaining ⅓ cup canola oil, milk and egg until well combined.
  4. Use a rubber spatula to spread the cornbread mix evenly on the pizza stone. Spread to within ½" of the edge of the stone.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  6. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the tomato sauce, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, coriander, paprika, garlic and salt. Spread the sauce over the top of the cornbread, all the way to the edge.
  7. Top the pizza with the remaining toppings in the following order: mozzarella cheese, ground turkey, red onion, tomatoes, jalapeno, and sharp cheddar cheese.
  8. Bake 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  9. Let the pizza cool for 5 minutes before slicing into 8 wedges and serving.
Level of difficulty: Easy

Optional: top the pizza with light sour cream and diced avocado(not included in the nutritional information).


Farfalle Turkey Bolognese

Farfalle Turkey Bolognese - Colleen's Kitchen

As I continue to test new recipes, I’m having fun digging back into my archives and making some of my old favorites. This Farfalle Turkey Bolognese is one of my favorites because it’s just so darn easy. I also love that the sauce is made hearty with lots of veggies so I can cut down on the pasta and still feel full.

Farfalle Turkey Bolognese Recipe - Colleen's Kitchen

I tweaked this recipe just slightly from the original. I cooked the onion, carrot and garlic first before adding the ground turkey whereas in my original recipe I cooked them all together. I also used the cheese as a topping on each serving instead of stirring it into the dish. And the recipe was just as good as I remembered it.

Farfalle Turkey Bolognese
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4 servings
  • Calories: 408.5
  • Fat: 11.7
  • Saturated fat: 4.3
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1
  • Carbohydrates: 40.4
  • Sugar: 5.4
  • Sodium: 457.9
  • Fiber: 3.3
  • Protein: 32.0
  • Cholesterol: 91.1
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Poultry
A hearty meat and veggie sauce makes this easy, filling, and lean Farfalle Turkey Bolognese a true weeknight wonder.
  • 6 oz. dry farfalle pasta
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp red chili pepper flakes
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 can diced, no salt added tomatoes, drained
  • ½ tsp coarse sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 oz. fresh basil, chopped
  • 1.5 oz. shredded peccorino romano cheese
  1. Cook pasta according to pasta directions. Drain and rinse.
  2. Heat a deep skillet over medium heat and lightly coat with olive oil.
  3. Add the onion, carrot and garlic and cook until the onion is transparent.
  4. Add the turkey and continue cooking until the turkey is browned and crumbled.
  5. Stir in the the oregano, red chili pepper flakes, red wine, tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.
  6. Combine the cooked pasta with the sauce and mix well. Stir in the basil. Serve immediately topped with the cheese.
I have reduced the nutritional value of the wine by half, on the advice of my nutritionist, since it is reduced by half during the cooking process.


Pepper Lime Turkey Sliders with Sriracha Yogurt Aioli

Pepper Lime Turkey Sliders with Sriracha Yogurt Aioli - Colleen's Kitchen

I’ve been on a spicy kick lately. Roasted jalapenos, smoky chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, spicy sriracha sauce — it seems these hotties are literally peppering my recipe development lately. Is it the sunshine that’s been playing peek-a-boo with the rain in my neck of the woods lately? I’m not sure why. But really who needs an excuse to spice up a meal?

Pepper Lime Turkey Sliders with Sriracha Yogurt Aioli - Colleen's Kitchen

Extra lean ground turkey is infused with sweet roasted red pepper and tart lime then formed into patties and grilled on an open flame.

I’ve cleaned off the grill for the summer grilling season, and one of my favorite things to make is a good burger. I rarely use ground beef in my burgers, opting instead for a leaner ground turkey that won’t leave me feeling weighed down. And I especially love to craft burgers into sliders. The nutritional content of 2 sliders is approximately equivalent to that of 1 burger, but somehow I always feel like I’m eating more. I think it’s the visual trick of having 2 sliders on my plate instead of just 1 burger.

Pepper Lime Turkey Sliders with Sriracha Yogurt Aioli - Colleen's Kitchen

Make the aioli in a mason jar for easy prep, serving, and storage!

I elected to use an extra lean (99% fat free) for this recipe. One of the challenges of cooking with extra lean ground turkey is that the lack of fat means the meat can get too dry in the cooking process and also that the burger won’t hold together well on the grill. The trick is to bulk up the meat with additional ingredients that will both keep the meat from drying out on the grill and help to hold it together. In this case I added roasted red pepper, lime zest, and lime juice for moisture and additional flavor. I then added in an egg and a bit of bulgar to help bind the mixture together. It worked like a charm!

Pepper Lime Turkey Sliders with Sriracha Yogurt Aioli - Colleen's Kitchen

These may be the perfect sliders for summer grilling season!

To then offset the sweet red pepper and tart lime in the burger, I created a spicy, low-fat yet creamy aioli using roasted garlic, Greek yogurt, and sriracha. The roasted garlic adds a bit of caramelized sweetness to the aioli while the sriracha brings the heat. Drizzled over the slider patty, it’s a bite of heaven.

Not to be outdone, though, I then love to top each slider with a couple slices of creamy, cool avocado and a sprig of cilantro. Wow! This may be the perfect summer burger!

Check out the instructional video with some super tips on how to make the aioli prep even easier!


Pepper Lime Turkey Sliders with Sriracha Yogurt Aioli
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 5
  • Serving size: 2 sliders per person
  • Calories: 201.5
  • Fat: 6.0
  • Saturated fat: 1.3
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.6
  • Carbohydrates: 11.9
  • Sugar: 2.8
  • Sodium: 207.1
  • Fiber: 1.8
  • Protein: 25.1
  • Cholesterol: 73.2
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Poultry
Lean ground turkey is infused with sweet roasted red peppers and tart lime, grilled up and served on a scrumptious slider with a spicy sriracha yogurt aioli. Dee-lish!
  • Sliders:
  • 1 lb. raw, extra lean (99% fat free) ground turkey
  • ½ cup diced roasted red pepper
  • juice of 1 lime
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup bulgar
  • Aioli:
  • 1 whole bulb garlic
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  • ⅓ cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • juice of 1 lime
  1. Sliders:
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients until well blended. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Form the meat mixture into 10 equal-sized balls then press flat into a patty. Use your thumb to press a dimple in the middle of each patty to keep it from over-shrinking on the grill.
  4. Preheat your grill and lightly spray with oil. Cook the patties for 2-3 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
  5. Aioli:
  6. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  7. Slice the top off of the garlic bulb, exposing the cloves of garlic.
  8. Place the garlic bulb in a small baking dish and drizzle 1 tsp of the olive oil over the exposed cloves. Replace the top of the garlic bulb, cover the dish and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the bulbs are roasted and gooey. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  9. In a mason jar, combine the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil, Greek yogurt, sriracha, and lime juice. Use a fork to pop the roasted cloves of garlic from their papery skin and into the yogurt mixture.
  10. Place a blender blade and cap on top of the mason jar and screw it on firmly. Mount the jar on your blender and puree until smooth.
  11. To serve:
  12. Place a slider patty on the bottom of a slider bun.
  13. Drizzle the patty with a generous tablespoon of the aioli.
  14. Optional: top with 2 slices of avocado and a few leaves of fresh cilantro.
  15. Place the top of the slider bun in place and bite!
Please note that I did not include the nutritional value of the slider buns in this recipe because the availability and type of slider buns varies from store to store. Please make sure to factor those in to your finished product, the nutritional value shown here only includes the patty and aioli.


Butternut Squash Lasagna with Four Cheeses

Butternut Squash Lasagna

As much as I love my fresh tomatoes in the summer, I also love butternut squash in the fall. What’s not to love about this squash? It has little pulp and lots of meat, unlike other varietals. The slightly sweet, nutty flavor is delicious. And, it’s extremely versatile — you can bake it, roast it, saute it, puree it — the possibilities seem endless.


Butternut Squash Lasagna


I’ve been seeing lots of recipes for butternut squash lasagna popping up on the web, but all of them utilize pureed squash in the filling between layers of pasta. So I thought, why couldn’t you use strips of the squash instead of the noodles? And that’s exactly what I set out to do.


Butternut Squash Lasagna


I created a filling with traditional lasagna flavors of ground meat, mushrooms, spinach and creamy cheeses. Of course, I had to change it up a bit, first to lean it down and secondly to better marry the flavors with the butternut squash. To lean the filling down, I used an extra lean ground turkey breast and a skim ricotta. To shake the flavor up a bit, I added gorgonzola cheese, whose sharp, semi-sweet flavor pairs perfectly with this squash. I also used sage instead of the traditional Italian herbs because sage complements the gorgonzola and squash so well.


Butternut Squash Lasagna


For a finishing touch, I topped the squash first with what I call my secret ingredient in this dish: nutmeg. That’s right, it’s not just for pumpkin pie. A bit of ground nutmeg enhances the nutty flavor of the squash and, in my opinion, is absolutely essential to this dish.


Butternut Squash Lasagna


I then add salty, nutty parmesan cheese, a bit more of that earthy sage, and a sprinkling of chopped hazelnuts across the top. The result is a unique take on lasagna that is both lean and delicious.


Butternut Squash Lasagna


Do you like butternut squash? What is your favorite fall vegetable?



Butternut Squash Lasagna with Four Cheeses
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 6
  • Serving size: 1 wedge
  • Calories: 365.8
  • Fat: 14.0
  • Saturated fat: 6.0
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.7
  • Carbohydrates: 29.1
  • Sugar: 4.0
  • Sodium: 367.8
  • Fiber: 7.5
  • Protein: 32.5
  • Cholesterol: 106.3
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Poultry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Lasagna gets lean and gluten free by substituting strips of sweet, succulent Butternut Squash for pasta, yet retains its cheesy lusciousness with a smart mix of 4 cheeses.
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey breast (white ground turkey)
  • 1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 3 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1¾ cup light ricotta cheese
  • 2 oz. crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 oz. shredded, part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 lb whole Butternut Squash
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 oz. shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped hazelnuts
  1. Heat 1 tsp of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the ground turkey breast and cook until lightly browned and crumbly.
  3. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and cook for about 5 minutes more, or until the mushrooms are tender and have released their water.
  4. Gently stir in the spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes until the spinach has just wilted. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375. Brush the remaining 1 tsp of olive oil over the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan.
  6. Mix together the ricotta, gorgonzola and mozzarella cheeses in a medium mixing bowl. Add the egg, 1 tbsp of the sage, and a pinch of salt and continue mixing. Combine in the cooled turkey-mushroom-spinach mixture and set aside.
  7. Peel the butternut squash by trimming the top and bottom off of the squash then running your knife down the side of the squash to cut off the peel. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and pulp. Use either a sharp knife or a mandolin slicer to cut the squash into strips lengthwise about ⅛-1/4" thick.
  8. Lay strips of the butternut squash in a single layer across the bottom of the oiled baking dish. Use smaller pieces of the squash to fill in any holes created from the shape of the squash.
  9. Spread half of the meat-cheese mixture across the squash. Lay another layer of squash slices over the top of the meat-cheese mixture, again in a single layer and using smaller pieces of the squash to fill in any holes. Spread the remaining meat-cheese mixture over the squash then arrange another layer of the butternut squash slices on top of the meat-cheese mixture, again in a single layer and using any smaller pieces to fill in the holes.
  10. Sprinkle the nutmeg acoss the top layer of the squash. Then top with the shredded parmesan cheese, remaining 1 tbsp of sage, and hazelnuts over the top of the lasagna.
  11. Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes more or until the cheese is lightly browned on top. Let sit for 5 minutes before slicing into 6 equal wedges and serving.



Cherry Whiskey Turkey Burgers

Cherry Whiskey Turkey Burgers

World, meet Eastside Distilling.

I will tell you up front that I do not have any relationship with Eastside Distilling nor have they compensated me in any form for this blog post. I simply like the business and their product, and I hope you do too!

I discovered Eastside Distilling through a Groupon deal for a tour and tasting at their distillery, which is right next to my favorite local pie shop, Pacific Pie Company, and my favorite wine bar, Vie de Boheme. I figured the business was in good company so it couldn’t be bad, and boy was I right!

The tour wasn’t much, especially when I had just returned from a trip to Ireland where I went on a very Disneyland-like tour of the Jameson distillery in Dublin. Well, in truth it’s not a distillery anymore, it’s a showpiece for tourists like me. Still, after having gone through room after room of large pieces of equipment, complete with mannequin workers displaying the distilling process, touring a small business, such as Eastside, with just a single production room didn’t exactly bowl me over.

The people and the product, on the other hand, were phenomenal. The master distiller – a woman! – wasn’t on-site that day, but our tour guide and the servers were extremely knowledgeable about the process and their spirits. I love that they make everything there on-site and source most of their ingredients locally, such as the Oregon-Idaho potatoes for their Potato Vodka, grounds from Portland Roasting Company for their Coffee Rum, and Hood River cherries for their Cherry Bomb Whiskey. And bonus: the prices are extremely reasonable. I wound up buying a few bottles to take home with me.

I particularly fell in love with the Cherry Bomb Whiskey. It’s smooth and slightly sweet without being overly syrupy like some flavored whiskies can get. I immediately started thinking about how I could use it in a recipe.


Cherry Whiskey Turkey Burgers


Given that it was summer when I started working on this recipe, is it any wonder that my mind latched on to some version of a whiskey burger recipe? For my first attempt, I caramelized a sweet Walla Walla onion, threw in some mushrooms, cooked them in a reduction of the whiskey, and added this mixture to some ground turkey. By folding the whiskey mixture into the turkey, though, it lost much of the sweet alcohol bite that I love about the Cherry Bomb Whiskey.


Cherry Whiskey Turkey Burgers


The winning combination was when I decided to use the whiskey onion mixture as more of a condiment, a nest for the burger if you will. For the burger itself, I used an extra lean ground turkey, adding in some dried cherries to bring out the sweetness of the whiskey, and some bulgar and an egg to help bind the mixture together. Topped with a bit of melted brie, this burger is a piece of heaven on a bun.



Cherry Whiskey Turkey Burgers
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Serving size: 1 burger
  • Calories: 396.8
  • Fat: 8.3
  • Saturated fat: 2.0
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.7
  • Carbohydrates: 40.5
  • Sugar: 7.5
  • Sodium: 405.9
  • Fiber: 8.2
  • Protein: 35.2
  • Cholesterol: 95.6
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Poultry
A lean turkey burger nestles in a bed of sweet onions and mushrooms caramelized in a reduction of cherry whiskey, all topped with a bit of goat cheese brie. Can you say yum?
  • 1 lb. extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup raw bulgar
  • ¼ cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups sliced crimini (brown) mushrooms
  • ½ cup cherry whiskey
  • salt
  • 2 oz. goat cheese brie
  • 4 sandwich thins
  1. Combine the turkey, egg, bulgar, cherries and a pinch of salt. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and saute, stirring occasionally, until the onion pieces are caramelized (brown and melting), about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Add the mushrooms to the caramelized onions and cook about 5 minutes more until the mushrooms are cooked through.
  4. Slowly pour the whiskey in to the pan, stirring with a wooden spoon and using the spoon to loosen anything stuck to the bottom of the pan. Let cook until the whiskey has reduced by half then remove from heat.
  5. Form the turkey mixture into 4 equal-sized patties and grill 2-3 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Top each burger with a ½ ounce piece of the cheese.
  6. To serve, lightly toast the sandwich thin. Put a scoop of the cherry whiskey-onion mixture on the bottom bun, place the burger patty on top of the onion mixture, and finally put the top of the sandwich thin over the cheese.
Since the whiskey is reduced by half before consuming, the nutritional value of the whiskey has been reduced by half. The nutritional values include the sandwich thin. If you elect to use a standard bun, you will need to adjust the nutritional values appropriately.


Turkey Lasagna Cupcakes


One of the biggest revelations of my weight loss journey was portion size. Until I started reading labels and measuring and weighing foods, I had no idea that I was easily consuming 2-3 times the standard serving size with each meal. It’s no wonder I packed on all those pounds!

It’s easy to gauge the portion size of pre-prepared or packaged foods, it’s right there on the label. But when I go to serve up some delectable dish that I’ve created in my own kitchen, it’s always a bit of a guess-timate as to what is exactly one serving. Did I cut that into equal portions? And if it’s liquid, does it look like there are still 5 servings left in the pot?


That’s what I love about these cupcakes. There is no guessing, they are individually baked into the perfect portion size.

Lest you think I am talking about some sugary, sweet, frosted creation here, let me assure you that is not the case. This is hearty, rich lasagna baked into cute little cupcake-like packages. Hence, Turkey Lasagna Cupcakes.

I simply wrap a cooked whole wheat lasagna noodle around the cup then fill it with a hearty stuffing of lean ground turkey, shredded zucchini, tomatoes, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, and herbs. For an added touch, I “frost” the top with just a pinch of shredded parmesan and a kalamata olive. Buono appetito!

Turkey Lasagna Cupcakes
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 12
  • Calories: 186.2
  • Fat: 7.0
  • Saturated fat: 1.0
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1
  • Carbohydrates: 20.2
  • Sugar: 3.5
  • Sodium: 216.8
  • Fiber: 3.6
  • Protein: 17.7
  • Cholesterol: 4.7
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Poultry
A lean yet rich turkey lasagna with whole wheat noodles takes the pretty shape of a perfectly portioned cupcake. These are great for entertaining or as leftovers in the lunchbox.
  • 1 lb. ground white turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced, no salt added tomatoes
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • pinch sea salt
  • dash freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ lb. baby zucchini, shredded
  • 1 cup 2% milkfat cottage cheese
  • 2 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 12 whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 12 large, pitted kalamata olives
  1. Heat a pan over medium heat and coat it lightly with olive oil cooking spray.
  2. Add the ground turkey and garlic, cook until browned and crumbled.
  3. Stir in the basil, oregano, tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper and let cook for about 2 minutes more until the paste has softened up and the mixture is thick.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the zucchini, cottage cheese and mozzarella cheese. Set aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375.
  6. Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
  7. Lightly coat a 12-cup muffin/cupcake tin with olive oil spray.
  8. Trim off the bottom 2" of each lasagna noodle. Take the remaining long piece of noodle and wrap it around the side of a muffin cup. Place the 2" cut piece in the center on the bottom of the cup so that it curves up slightly inside the longer noodle forming the wall -- this will keep your filling from falling out. Repeat for all 12 noodles.
  9. Fill the center of each cup with the ground turkey mixture, making sure each is evenly filled.
  10. Top each "cupcake" with a pinch of the parmesan cheese and 1 kalamata olive.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cupcakes are heated through and the cheese on top is browned and bubbly.
  12. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.


Video Demonstration of Turkey Lasagna Cupcakes

Chipotle Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew


Over the past couple of months, I have been working on improving my food photos. I’ve invested in new dishes, props, backgrounds, and lights in an effort to boost the quality of the photos.



One of the limitations I have in taking these photos is a lack of natural light. You see, I video myself preparing these meals for my family’s dinner. That way food doesn’t go to waste and you all get a nice instructional lesson. I then take photos of the finished product after I am done filming (can I even still use that word if film isn’t actually involved?) and before I sit down to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Because I’m preparing this in the evening, I have to rely on artificial light for my photos.

I get out various props, set up the lights, and unfold my little step-ladder then clamber about the house shooting multiple photos from all different angles in search of the perfect shot. What do you think of my efforts? Have you seen an improvement?

I have made it my personal goal to get a photo on FoodGawker, which is basically a foodie porn site. They are extremely picky about their photos. I’ve submitted multiple photos to them over the past couple of months and I keep getting rejected with comments like: “underexposed,” “overexposed,” or (my favorite) “composition too tight.” Argh.

This week I learned that I am getting a nice very nice bonus from work, so I decided to buy a new camera. I did some research and found one recommended by other food bloggers that is a nice point-and-shoot camera with lots of great features, including a background defocus function. I ordered it Thursday and am impatiently waiting for it to be delivered like a kid waiting for Christmas.

And it seems this was just in time, too, for last night I experienced a death in my kitchen. I was in the middle of recording a new video when suddenly the tripod — with my camera attached to the top — tipped over and crashed loudly onto the floor. Now the lens won’t open when I turn it on, it keeps telling me I have the lens cap on. This is a nice SLR camera that I bought 5 years ago and has accompanied me on many adventures so I am more than a little sad at its loss. Plus, I couldn’t finish my video last night and let’s just say I was not at all happy about that in the moment.

Many of you know that I am embarking on a new adventure this week to Ireland. So now I’m a little panicked at the thought of not having my favorite camera in tow. I anxiously checked my Amazon ship notice last night and was relieved to see that my package was scanned into a Portland FedEx facility yesterday. I’m crossing my fingers that means that I will have my new camera on Monday so that I can get some play time in before I climb on the plane Thursday.

So next time you hear from me, I will be on the other side of the pond, getting in touch with my Irish roots and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in true Irish style. Hopefully I will have a camera to show some evidence of this as well. Of course, maybe I shouldn’t retain evidence of some events. 🙂

Chipotle Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew
Recipe by Colleen Fields
This sweet and spicy Chipotle Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew is just the recipe for a hearty apres-ski meal that will warm you from the inside out after a day on the slopes.

Yield: 4


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless turkey cutlets, cubed
  • 3 tbsp unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dry, marsala cooking wine
  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 chipotle pepper, minced + 1 tsp adobo sauce
  • 1 4 oz. can diced, roasted green chiles
  • pinch coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • dash cinnamon
  • 1 tsp minced fresh sage leaves

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a deep pot. Add the onion and cook until they are caramelized, about 20 minutes. The onion should be brown and gooey.
  2. Toss the turkey cutlet pieces with the flour until the turkey is well coated. Add to the pan and cook just until the turkey is no longer pink on the outside — it should still be pink on the inside though.
  3. Add the marsala wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the broth, sweet potatoes, chipotle pepper, green chiles, salt, cumin, honey, cinnamon and sage. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes. Serve, eat and enjoy!


Nutritional Information per per serving: Calories 279.6, Total Fat 4.3g, Cholesterol 45.0mg, Sodium 359.7mg, Total Carbs 27.0g, Dietary Fiber 2.2g, Protein 32.4g

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Turkey Meatloaf with Roasted Red Potatoes


This week has been a good week for Colleen’s Kitchen. First, my second book went live in the Kindle store and also on Smashwords for other e-reader formats. I had my second virtual meet-up via Skype with the members of my first Get Healthy Challenge — they are a great group of inspirational people and no technical challenges this time!  Then my Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Sausage and Bean Stew recipe was picked up by a major site. And finally, my personal story was published at After almost two years of sharing my journey and my recipes, things seem to finally be picking up.

That’s right, I started this little passion project of mine almost 2 years ago. It was in the spring of 2011, before I achieved my weight loss goal. A number of friends and family kept telling me I should write a book. I decided to start a blog instead to chronicle my journey and share my healthy kitchen discoveries with others.

As a new recipe enthusiast and cooking show aficionado, I was frustrated by the lack of cooking shows that focused on healthy eating. Don’t get me wrong, I love Giada De Laurentiis’ recipes, Rachel Ray and Emeril have occasional winners, Sara Moulton produces some deliciously gourmet fare, and the old Julia Child re-runs are a personal favorite. However, practically none of their recipes are designed for someone on a calorie budget. The portion sizes are often unrealistic and the ingredients often contain massive amounts of butter, oil, and/or cheese that are simply unhealthy. So I decided to produce my own videos to show people that delicious food isn’t something that is unattainable when you are trying to lose or maintain weight.

I started on Facebook where I could easily connect into my personal network, and used the video and notes tools on there. My first recipes were good, but quickly thrown together and not always tried and tested to the extent they should be. Flash forward one year.

I moved my videos over to YouTube and my blog entries to Blogspot where I could build a wider audience and monetize my activity. My little experiment turned into a passion project. I found myself jotting sudden inspirations for flavor combinations in the most random of situations. I started planning my dinners for the week to account for the experiments I was regularly conducting on days I wasn’t filming. Recipes don’t make it to my blog until they are perfect, which typically takes 3-4 tries.

Then several months ago I finally started compiling my recipes into a book. You might think this would be an easy task, but it was difficult because of the time involved. You see, through all of this I am still working full time at my day job. Plus with my catalog growing constantly, there never seemed to be an end in sight. So I decided to piece the book out into sections, publishing each separately. Soups and Stews and Salads have been published, and I am currently working on Poultry Entrees. Once I have published all sections, my goal is to then publish — in hard copy — a complete compendium including some additional bonus recipes.

With all of this comes the publicity machine. I have learned that publicity doesn’t just come to you. You have to promote yourself and generate your own. So with the assistance of a generous, knowledgeable friend, I have begun trolling those channels looking for opportunities to promote myself and my work. And it is starting to work. Perhaps I can finally get this little passion project of mine to pay for itself. That would be nice.

Recipes of the Week


Slow Cooker Mediterranean Turkey Meatloaf


  • 1 lb. raw lean white ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup bulgar
  • 2 oz. light feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 medium baby zucchini, shredded
  • 1 medium red onion, grated

Spray the inside of the slow cooker (aka crockpot) with nonstick cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Form into a loaf shape in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on lowest heat setting 8-10 hours. Remove from slow cooker and let sit for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

Number of Servings: 4

Nutritional Information: Calories 267.6, Total Fat 8.3g, Cholesterol 113.8mg, Sodium 311.4mg, Total Carbs 16.2g, Dietary Fiber 3.0g, Protein 32.3g

Roasted Red Potatoes


  • 1 lb. red potatoes, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves, minced

Preheat oven to 450. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl, tossing to coat the potatoes well. Spread into a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, turning the potatoes midway through to ensure they crisp well on both sides. Serve immediately.

Number of Servings: 4

Nutritional Information: Calories 109.4, Total Fat 3.8g, Cholesterol 0.0mg, Sodium 61.8mg, Total Carbs 18.2g, Dietary Fiber 1.8g, Protein 2.2g

Asian Turkey Meatballs in Cranberry Chili Sauce with Rice Noodles and Vegetables


You might have noticed that I like to use ground turkey in lieu of beef in recipes that utilize ground meat. I do this for a couple of reasons. First and foremost that turkey is a lot leaner than beef so is much more calorie friendly, but also because I honestly just don’t care for ground beef. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good steak, and you’ve seen beef recipes on here before, but I don’t like the taste of ground beef and the smell of it cooking makes me nauseous. I know, I’m a little weird, but that’s just the way it is.

So I use ground turkey. At the butcher counter the other day, when I asked for a pound of the white ground turkey, the  man behind the counter casually asked what I was making. “Asian meatballs,” I said. A look of horror crossed his face. “Oh, you can’t use the white ground turkey for meatballs. It’s too lean, it’ll dry out, your meatballs will taste like sawdust. You want the dark ground turkey or ground chicken.”

I smiled knowingly. He doesn’t know me like you do, my dear readers. He doesn’t know that I’m very familiar with this tendency of very lean meat. He doesn’t know that I have spent countless hours in my kitchen experimenting with ways to compensate for this. He doesn’t know that I have found a solution.

“Zucchini,” I say firmly. He raises an eyebrow at me.  “Shredded zucchini. I mix a little in with the ground turkey, it adds a ton of moisture as well as some good for you nutrients, without adding a ton of flavor or fat and very little calories.”

He considers this, but I can still see the doubt on his face. “Give it a try,” I say encouragingly. “The meatballs turn out moist, firm and delicious.” I go on to tell him a little more about the recipe and my kitchen experiments, and I can see he’s starting gain some appreciation of my culinary prowess. The doubt that marred his brow disappears.

I chuckle as I walk away. Cooking is like chemistry. The various combinations of ingredients can yield so many different outcomes not just in terms of taste but also texture and appearance. This is one of the many things I so enjoy about experimenting in my kitchen.

The recipe I am sharing with you today is one of my most adventurous to date. I admit there are a lot of different flavors in here, yet each one complements the other and is absolutely essential to the dish. The idea for this recipe began to germinate when I saw a recipe on Pinterest for Turkey Meatballs in Cranberry Chili Sauce. I thought that was an interesting combination so I followed the link and was disappointed to find that it was nothing more than store bought frozen meatballs in a mixture of canned cranberry jelly and Heinz chili sauce. Gross. I can do so much better than that. And I think I have. Let me know what you think.

Recipe of the Week


Asian Turkey Meatballs in a Cranberry Chili Sauce with Rice Noodles and Vegetables


  • 1 pound white ground turkey
  • 1 medium baby zucchini, shredded
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp shredded ginger root,
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh fresh mint leaves
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and diced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes


  • 1 cup whole, fresh cranberries
  • 2 tbsp pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 kefir lime leaves, ribs removed and leaves finely minced
  • pinch of coarse sea salt

Noodles and Vegetables:

  • 1.5 tsp sesame oil
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and diced
  • 12 oz. French green beans (haricot vert
  • 12 medium crimini (brown) mushrooms
  • pinch of coarse sea salt
  • 6 oz. rice noodles

If the meat mixture is too soft and doesn’t form rounded meatballs, add a tablespoon or two of panko bread crumbs.

Preheat the oven to 375. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Mix together all of the ingredients for the meatballs. Form into 12 rounded meatballs (3 per person), placing each on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, turning each meatball midway through to keep them rounded and get a slight crisp on each side.

As soon as the meatballs are in the oven, start the sauce as it takes about 25-30 minutes to cook completely. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add all ingredients and mix to combine. Let the mixture come to a gentle boil and continue to boil until all of the cranberries have burst and the mixture has thickened. If it gets too thick, add a little more water. If any cranberries don’t burst, simply smash them with the back of a wooden spoon.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the sesame oil. Add the scallions, mushrooms, green beans and salt. Cook until the mushrooms and green beans have browned slightly.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rice noodles and cook for 45 seconds to a minute and a half, until the noodles are just tender.

Combine the sauce with the vegetables. Remove the rice noodles from the water and mix into the sauce and vegetables. If the mixture is too dry, add a little of the water that the noodles were cooking in. Serve immediately with the meatballs.

Serving Size: Makes 4 servings

Nutritional Information: Calories 324.5, Total Fat 7.1g, Cholesterol 111.4mg, Sodium 320.2mg, Total Carbs 36.0g, Dietary Fiber 6.5g, Protein 31.8g

Turkey Keftede Burgers and Parmesan Zucchini Fries


I love zucchini.

There, I’ve said it. Let the great zucchini debate begin.

I am fully aware of the dreadful reputation this tender summer vegetable has in some circles. I include my sister in that group, she who, when we were kids, would hide her zucchini under the rim of her dinner plate or at the bottom of her glass of milk.

But I, being the oddball that I am, really do love it. It’s one of the staples in my summer vegetable garden. In French, zucchini is called “courgette”. Who couldn’t love a vegetable with a beautiful name like that?

I love taking the giant zucchini flowers and stuffing them with goat cheese and herbs. The flowers have a slightly peppery taste, and, when stuffed then rolled in olive oil and baked, they are a little bite of heaven.

Baby zucchini, however, are my favorite because they are so versatile. I love grilling them up with other fresh veggies like eggplant, onions, garlic, squash and tomatoes for a grilled caponata that is out of this world. I love them sauteed and tossed with some pasta, sundried tomatoes, herbs and parmesan cheese. One of my all-time favorites, though, is a gratin-like dish my mom made when I was a kid that consists of layers of zucchini, squash, tomatoes, onion and garlic topped with crispy  bread crumbs and parmesan cheese then baked.

Only when my garden is in over-drive do my zucchini make it to larger proportions. These larger zucchini are seedier and tougher then their baby selves so don’t fare as well as the star of the dinner show. Instead, they are better as a shredded supporting player, like in my Turkey Keftede Burgers featured below.

Keftedes are a traditional Greek meatball that starts with sauteed onion, shredded zucchini, and garlic then mixed with mint, bulgar and ground lamb, formed into balls and fried in olive oil. They are delicious but, alas, high in fat. I have taken all of the flavors of Keftedes and substituted a lean ground turkey then formed them into burger patties and grilled for a delicious, lowfat alternative. The shredded zucchini in these burgers is subtle, adding a moistness to the patties without overpowering it. You won’t even know it’s there.

By the way, these burgers are especially good topped with Tzatziki, a traditional Greek salad made from cucumbers, yogurt and mint.

I like to serve these burgers with a much more in your face zucchini dish: Parmesan Zucchini Fries. I seed the zucchini, cut it into french-fry-like sticks, toss them in egg white, then toss them with a mixture of panko bread crumbs and parmesan cheese and bake them. They come out golden, crispy and absolutely delicious.

So what are you waiting for? Go get some zucchini and start experimenting today!

Recipes of the Week

Turkey Keftede Burgers


  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup bulgar
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1 lb. raw lean ground turkey

Heat a skillet over medium heat, coat lightly with nonstick olive oil cooking spray. Add the onion then mix in the salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is transparent. Add the zucchini and garlic and continue cooking until the onion browns and caramelizes. Mix in the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen the crusty bits at the bottom of the pan. Let cook just a bit longer until the wine has reduced by at least half. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a mixing bowl, combine the mint, bulgar, egg white and turkey. Mix in the onion-zucchini saute mixture once cooled. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the meat mixture to firm up.

Form the meat mixture into 6 patties of equal size. Grill on a propane grill for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Serve immediately.

Serving Size: Makes 6 burger patties

I love to serve these stuffed into a whole wheat pita pocket and topped with a dollop of Tzatziki (recipe below). Neither are included in the nutritional breakdown of this recipe.

Nutritional Information: Calories 152.2, Total Fat 5.5g, Cholesterol 53.3mg, Sodium 141.1mg, Total Carbs 7.8g, Dietary Fiber 1.9g, Protein 16.6g



  • 3/4 cup nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped chopped fresh mint
  • 1 large cucumber, scored and seeded
  • 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt

Whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, and lemon juice. Stir in the garlic, mint, cucumber and sea salt. Serve immediately.

Serving Size: Makes 6 servings of about 3 tbsp each

Nutritional Information: Calories 68.6, Total Fat 4.7g, Cholesterol 0.0mg, Sodium 83.3mg, Total Carbs 3.4g, Dietary Fiber 0.4g, Protein 3.1g

Parmesan Zucchini Fries


  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1/4 cup panko style breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large baby zucchini, seeded and cut into sticks about 3/4″ thick

Preheat the oven to 425.

Toss the zucchini sticks with the egg white then toss with breadcrumbs, cheese and pepper. Spread onto a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn each of the fries over then bake for another 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Serving Size: Makes 4 servings

Nutritional Information: Calories 46.1, Total Fat 2.1g, Cholesterol 4.9mg, Sodium 138.9mg, Total Carbs 2.8g, Dietary Fiber 0.2g, Protein 4.1g