Rush, rush, rush. So many dollars to spend on holiday festivities; so little time or money left over to put a square meal on the table.
These are the times to count on economy suppers. For example, you can buy big turkey drumsticks for a pittance, as little as 39-69 cents a pound. Turkey thighs cost a little more.Either drumsticks or thighs can simmer on their own all day in a slow cooker (crock pot) and be ready for a decent dinner the minute you step in the door. They're quite tasty along with instant side dishes of stuffing and frozen peas.
Or braise the turkey parts in a covered skillet for about 90 minutes at the end of the day, while you prop up your feet and rest before eating. Brown them, if you like, then add a little liquid, clap on a lid and be patient.
Meatloaf is always a good and an easy, money-saving meal. This loaf is a bit festive and very low in fat; it combines raw ground turkey and a tasty chopped spinach and Swiss cheese filling.
Cornbread is another cheapie that most families love; turn it into a main dish by spooning a Tex-Mex ground beef filling between split layers, Cornbread is suddenly fun and fancy as "shortcake."
Spinach-stuffed Turkey Meatloaf
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
1 cup coarsely chopped mushrooms
11/4cup chopped onion
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound raw ground turkey
3/4 cup uncooked oats
1/2 cup skim milk
1 egg white, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper Yield: 6 servings, 170 calories each
Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 35 minutes
Heat oven to 375. Cook spinach, mushrooms and onion 5 minutes over low heat. Remove and stir in 1/4 cup Swiss cheese and the Parmesan. In a separate bowl, combine ground turkey with oats, milk, egg white, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Spoon 2/3 of meat mixture lengthwise down center of 11- by 7-inch glass baking dish. Make a deep indentation down center of meat; fill with spinach mixture. Top with remaining turkey to encase the filling. Bake 30 to 35 minutes at 375 degrees. Sprinkle with remaining Swiss cheese; let stand 5 minutes before slicing. (Recipe from Quaker Oats Co.)
1 recipe favorite cornbread (8-inch square pan)
1 pound ground beef or raw turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (11/4-ounce) envelope taco seasoning mix
1 medium tomato, seeded, chopped
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup "lite" sour cream
1/4 cup sliced green onions
Shredded sharp Cheddar cheese Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 1 hour
Bake your favorite recipe cornbread in a hot oven, or use a mix. Meanwhile, brown ground meat in skillet, adding onion; drain well when all pink color is gone from meat. Stir in tomato sauce and taco seasoning mix; cook 5 minutes. Stir in chopped tomato and olives.
To serve, cut cornbread into 4 squares. Split each square in half horizontally. Spoon meat mixture over bottom half, letting a lot spill over. Top with remaining corn bread squares. Combine sour cream, green onions and a little extra chopped tomato, if you like. Spoon onto each shortcake to garnish. Sprinkle with shredded Cheddar.
(Recipe adapted from White Lily flour-milling company)