Poultry

Pesto and Provolone Turkey Meatloaf

Pesto and Provolone Turkey Meatloaf  |  Lemon & Mocha

Sometimes I have brainstorming sessions where I’ll think about meals I would want to eat, without putting much thought into how to go about the actual recipe. Or sometimes an idea for a dish just pops into my head and I’ll write it down and hope I know later what the heck I was even thinking about. I have little notes with food ideas in my phone, scattered on post-its and in random notebooks. One note that I wrote (who knows when) said, “provolone and pesto turkey meatloaf.” I would see it every now and then and think, “that sounds so good!” and then move on with whatever I was doing.

Pesto and Provolone Turkey Meatloaf  |  Lemon & Mocha

When I was looking through my Lemon & Mocha calendar trying to think of more dinner dishes I figured it was time to tackle my pesto and provolone meatloaf idea. I’m so glad I did because this turkey meatloaf is incredible! Forget whatever notions you have about ground turkey being dry or flavorless. This meatloaf is tender, moist and packed with creamy pesto and pockets of oozing cheese. Oh, and it’s decently healthy, which is always a fun bonus!

Pesto and Provolone Turkey Meatloaf  |  Lemon & Mocha

I took tips from two of my favorite ground turkey recipes: my Turkey Veggie Mushroom Burgers and my Baked Turkey Pesto Meatballs. We’re taking a cue from the burgers and swapping out the usual breadcrumbs for a healthy whole grain. Using quinoa as one of the binders is a healthy alternative that also helps the meatloaf be really moist.

Pesto and Provolone Turkey Meatloaf  |  Lemon & Mocha

As for the tip from the meatballs, we’re going right ahead and adding a whole bunch of pesto to the meatloaf mixture. Whether you use homemade or store-bought pesto, it’s hard to beat that fresh, garlicky flavor. Adding some to the ground turkey ensures flavor in every bite as well as helping to create a tender meatloaf.

Pesto and Provolone Turkey Meatloaf  |  Lemon & Mocha

But we can’t forget about the provolone part! I bought a block of provolone, cut some of it into chunks and worked those right into the meatloaf. While it was cooking I could see the little pockets of provolone oozing out and it smelled ridiculously good in our kitchen. I already know this recipe is going to get a lot of use with our family! I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did!

Pesto and Provolone Turkey Meatloaf  |  Lemon & Mocha

Pesto and Provolone Turkey Meatloaf
 
Yield: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground turkey, 90% lean
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup pesto
  • ½ cup chopped provolone cheese
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil and set aside
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Be sure not to over-mix. Freeform the meatloaf onto the baking sheet. I usually make mine 4-5 inches wide and about 3-4 inches tall.
  3. Bake for 1 hour or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Let rest a couple minutes before taking the internal temperature. If desired, top with additional pesto and some shredded provolone during the last few minutes of baking time. Once the meatloaf is done, let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

 

Asian Chicken Meatball Lettuce Wraps

Asian Chicken Meatball Lettuce Wraps  |  Lemon & Mocha

I love a good lettuce wrap, especially when it has fresh and tangy flavors like these Asian Chicken Meatball Lettuce Wraps. Today I’m sharing another healthy dinner recipe with you all, this time from my favorite little cookbook, the Cook This, Not That! cookbook. This is one that I’ve made sporadically over the years ever since buying that cookbook and every time I make it we talk about how we should have it more often.

Asian Chicken Meatball Lettuce Wraps  |  Lemon & Mocha

The chicken meatballs only have six ingredients, but they are packed with flavor. You can grill them on a grill or grill pan for a nice char. I’ve also baked them successfully. Just like with any good lettuce wrap or taco the key to keep you diving back in for more is a layering of flavors. In addition to the grilled chicken meatballs these wraps are also stuffed with a simple pickled cucumber salad and a delicious ginger scallion sauce. I cannot say enough good things about this sauce! I want to drizzle it over all my protein and rice dishes forever.

Asian Chicken Meatball Lettuce Wraps  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you don’t feel like fussing with the lettuce wraps you could always just serve this as a plated meal over the brown rice, but the lettuce does add some welcome freshness to the dish. Sometimes I have trouble finding ground chicken in the store so I’ve also made this dish with ground pork, which goes incredibly well with the pickled and ginger flavors. I hope you all enjoy this one!

Asian Chicken Meatball Lettuce Wraps  |  Lemon & Mocha

Asian Chicken Meatball Lettuce Wraps
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
for the pickled cucumber salad
  • ½ large English cucumber, sliced into thin rounds
  • ⅓ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1½ teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes, optional
for the ginger scallion sauce
  • 6-8 scallions, bottoms removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
for the lettuce wraps
  • 1 pound ground chicken or pork
  • ½ red onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (if you don’t like spicy food remove all seeds and pith)
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Boston lettuce leaves, for serving
  • Steamed brown rice, for serving
Directions
for the pickled cucumber salad
  1. Combine the cucumber, onion, sesame oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and red pepper flakes (if using) in a mixing bowl. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving. Or make ahead as it will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
for the ginger scallion sauce
  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the scallions, ginger, soy sauce, oil and vinegar. Letting the sauce sit in the fridge for 30 minutes before eating will deepen the flavor.
for the lettuce wraps
  1. Preheat a lightly oiled grill pan or grill over medium-high heat. If using a grill you might want to skewer the meatballs to make them easier to turn and cook.
  2. Combine the ground chicken, onion, garlic, ginger, jalapeño, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl until just combined. Be sure not to over-mix. Divide into 12 evenly sized meatballs. Grill for 4-5 minutes per side until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Remove from the heat and use the lettuce to make wraps stuffed with the rice, grilled meatballs, pickled cucumber salad and ginger scallion sauce.

Recipe from Cook This, Not That!.
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Freezer Burritos: Chicken Verde, Mushroom, Kale and Brown Rice Burritos

Freezer Burritos: Chicken Verde, Mushroom, Kale and Brown Rice Burritos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Sometimes you need a quick meal you can grab straight from the freezer and heat up. So today I’m going to walk you through my favorite new freezer meal: freezer burritos. The recipe today is for these Chicken Verde, Mushroom, Kale and Brown Rice Burritos, which are packed with flavor and plenty of good-for-you foods.

Freezer Burritos: Chicken Verde, Mushroom, Kale and Brown Rice Burritos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Not feeling that combination? That’s okay because we’re going to talk about all different tips you can use to make your own personal favorite freezer burritos. You can certainly buy freezer burritos from the store, but they’re typically loaded with sodium, might not have the exact ingredients you prefer and aren’t exactly cost effective.

Freezer Burritos: Chicken Verde, Mushroom, Kale and Brown Rice Burritos  |  Lemon & Mocha

When I decided to try making my own I was skeptical that the version out of the freezer would taste just as good – and that the texture would be just as good – as a freshly made burrito. Much to my delight I discovered with a few simple tricks these homemade freezer burritos would become a mind-blowing game changer! How so? Because you can pop one out of the freezer, microwave it for three minutes and have a fresh, delicious and healthy (depending on what you put in them!) meal any day of the week. If you want to go one extra step further you can even sear it in a skillet for one to two minutes per side after microwaving to add that extra crispy factor. So let’s get into it.

Freezer Burritos: Chicken Verde, Mushroom, Kale and Brown Rice Burritos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Keep Moisture Out of Your Burritos

The key to having a freezer burrito taste like you got it fresh from your neighborhood Mexican joint and not be a soggy mess is to keep away the wet ingredients.

  • You can still have salsa. This doesn’t mean no salsa. Just toss your protein or other ingredients in the salsa before adding to your burrito so that they are coated, but not dripping. This way you get the flavor the salsa provides without the moisture.
  • Drain well. If you’re using beans make sure they are well drained before adding to the burritos.
  • Sauté those veggies. Sautéing the vegetables before adding them to the burritos is a great way to add flavor while also reducing the moisture. Sautéing vegetables like mushrooms, peppers, onions and greens helps get the excess moisture out of them.
  • Room temperature everything. Make sure all your ingredients are room temperature before starting to assemble the burritos. Warm fillings lead to steamy insides, which cause future soggy burritos. This also goes for your tortillas since cold tortillas are stiff and tend to break. You’ll want to use fresh (aka not the ones that have been sitting in your fridge for weeks) room temperature tortillas.
  • Be smart about your fillings. If it doesn’t belong in the microwave then it doesn’t belong in your burrito. That shredded lettuce and sour cream? Back away from your burritos and put it back in the fridge.

Freezer Burritos: Chicken Verde, Mushroom, Kale and Brown Rice Burritos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Wrap the Burritos Well

This goes for making the actual burrito and for wrapping the finished burrito for freezer storage.

  • Wrap a tight burrito. There are plenty of Youtube videos out there that show you how to properly wrap a burrito. I’m not that much of a perfectionist though; I layer my ingredients in a long line towards the bottom of the tortilla closest to me, tuck in the short sides and then wrap as tightly as I can from the bottom. Having all your ingredients tightly nestled in there will help keep moisture out while they’re in the freezer.
  • Prep for the freezer. There’s a few different ways you can go about this, but I prefer to tightly wrap each burrito in plastic wrap or aluminum foil then place all the wrapped burritos in a gallon storage bag, labeling the burrito type on the outside of the bag. This provides double protection and also allows you to easily remove just one burrito at a time.

In a couple weeks I’ll be sharing another favorite of ours: Slow Cooker Pork and Roasted Sweet Potato Freezer Burritos. I’ll also use that post as a follow-up to this one and list out plenty of protein, grain and filling ideas so you can mix and match your own freezer burritos. What do you load into your ideal burrito?

Freezer Burritos: Chicken Verde, Mushroom, Kale and Brown Rice Burritos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Freezer Burritos: Chicken Verde, Mushroom, Kale and Brown Rice Burritos
 
Yield: 6 burritos
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces kale, thick stems removed
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1½ cups shredded cooked chicken
  • ⅓ cup salsa verde
  • 6 10-inch flour tortillas, room temperature
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice, cooled
  • ⅓ cup shredded mozzarella or colby jack cheese, optional
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan or lidded sauté pan. Add the kale, season with the garlic powder, salt and pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add ¼ cup water, cover the pan and cook for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely or put in the fridge to use later.
  2. While the kale is cooking, sauté the mushrooms. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and sauté for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely or put in the fridge to use later.
  3. When you’re ready to make the burritos, combine the shredded chicken with the salsa verde. Make sure all your ingredients are room temperature or cold. Place the first tortilla on a plate. Add some brown rice in a lengthwise strip towards the bottom of the tortilla closest to you. Top with some salsa verde chicken. Top with some kale, mushrooms and cheese, if using. Fold in each side then take the bottom of the tortilla closest to you and tightly roll it up and over the filling. Continue to roll up the burrito, tightly, tucking in the sides additionally as needed. Wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Set aside and repeat for the remaining tortillas and fillings. Place all the rolled burritos in a labeled gallon freezer bag and place in the freezer.
  4. To heat: Remove the burrito from the freezer. Remove and discard the plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place the burrito on a microwave safe plate and microwave at 70% power for 3 minutes. Sear the burrito in a sauté pan lightly sprayed with cooking spray over medium-high heat for 1 minute on each side, until lightly browned. If you don’t want to sear your burrito, microwave for a total of 5 minutes instead of 3.

 
Salsa Verde
 
Yield: About 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1-2 jalapeños, see note
  • ⅓ cup roughly chopped white onion
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves (can include top parts of stems)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Directions
  1. Add the tomatillos, garlic and jalapeño to a medium saucepan and then cover with water. Bring to a boil then reduce to low and simmer covered for 10 minutes. The tomatillos should become pale green and should be soft, but not falling apart.
  2. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tomatillos, garlic and jalapeño to a high-speed blender or food processor. Add the onion, cilantro and salt then puree until smooth.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the salsa and cook until thickened slightly, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve warm or refrigerate for later and serve cold or at room temperature.
Notes
If you don’t want your salsa spicy only use 1 jalapeño and remove all the seeds and pith before putting in the blender. If you like it spicy try 1 jalapeño with the seeds and pith and if you want it even more spicy you could add a second jalapeño.

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m so glad I experimented with another recipe from my Pati’s Mexican Table cookbook. This Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde dish was so crave-worthy and will certainly be a new regular at our house. I’ve been thoroughly impressed by every recipe I’ve made from this book and I’m excited to keep cooking more and more recipes from it. Do you have a cookbook at home that just nails it every time for you?

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

I did make a few changes to the original recipe by including spinach, since I love to sneak in green veggies whenever I can, and by adding some shredded colby jack cheese.

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

Normally when I think of enchiladas I picture a saucy, gooey dish loaded with melted cheese. Not that there’s anything wrong with that once in a while, but for a typical dinner I’m not looking to eat something quite so rich. There’s something about these Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde that is lighter and more refined, while still having all the qualities of a comfort food dish you just want to dive into.

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

The key is that the tortillas get fully submerged into the warm Salsa Verde before being stuffed with the chicken and spinach mixture so that when you roll them up you know every bite will have the flavor of the Salsa Verde. This helps give the enchiladas that fork-tenderness so that there isn’t a single dry bite to be had.

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

I added that layer of melted colby jack cheese on top because even if I didn’t want the enchiladas weighed down by cheese I still wanted a hint of gooeyness. The mildness of that cheese also pairs really well with the saltiness from the crumbly cotija cheese that gets sprinkled on top after the enchiladas come out of the oven. These Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde are homey enough to be comforting in the cold of winter, while being light enough to eat with a nice glass of white wine in the summer so I’m looking forward to enjoying this dish all year long!

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde
 
Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 batches salsa verde, about 4 cups
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 3 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • 1½ cups shredded colby jack cheese, divided
  • Sour cream, for topping
  • Crumbled cotija cheese, for topping
  • Chopped white onion, for topping
  • Chopped cilantro, for topping
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Heat the salsa in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat; once warm reduce to the lowest setting to keep warm until ready to use.
  3. Lightly toast the tortillas. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add a tortilla. Heat the tortillas, one at a time, for 30 seconds per side in the skillet. Remove with tongs to a plate when done toasting both sides of the tortilla and just stack them on top of each other on the plate until you’re done toasting all the tortillas.
  4. Remove the salsa from the heat. Use tongs to dip a tortilla into the salsa so it’s completely coated then place on a plate. Add a handful of spinach leaves, 2-3 tablespoons of shredded chicken and 1 tablespoon of colby jack cheese. Tightly roll the tortilla up (no need to tuck in the sides) then place seam side down in a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish. Repeat for the remaining tortillas until they’re all tucked into the baking dish. Top the enchiladas with the remaining salsa then sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of shredded colby jack.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and bake for 5 more minutes, or until the cheese on top is melted. Take the enchiladas out of the oven and top with a drizzle of sour cream, the crumbled cotija cheese, chopped white onion and cilantro before serving.

 
Salsa Verde
 
Yield: About 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1-2 jalapeños, see note
  • ⅓ cup roughly chopped white onion
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves (can include top parts of stems)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Directions
  1. Add the tomatillos, garlic and jalapeño to a medium saucepan and then cover with water. Bring to a boil then reduce to low and simmer covered for 10 minutes. The tomatillos should become pale green and should be soft, but not falling apart.
  2. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tomatillos, garlic and jalapeño to a high-speed blender or food processor. Add the onion, cilantro and salt then puree until smooth.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the salsa and cook until thickened slightly, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve warm or refrigerate for later and serve cold or at room temperature.
Notes
If you don’t want your salsa spicy only use 1 jalapeño and remove all the seeds and pith before putting in the blender. If you like it spicy try 1 jalapeño with the seeds and pith and if you want it even more spicy you could add a second jalapeño.

Recipe slightly adapted from Pati’s Mexican Table.
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Grilled Chicken with Apple and Mango Chutney

Grilled Chicken with Apple and Mango Chutney  |  Lemon & Mocha

We’re continuing our apple week here on Lemon & Mocha! Fall and apple picking go hand in hand and there’s so many sweet and savory dishes you can make with apples. Today we’re going down the savory route with a healthy dinner dish.

Grilled Chicken with Apple and Mango Chutney  |  Lemon & Mocha

This Grilled Chicken with Apple and Mango Chutney is definitely a bit out of the box for me. It uses a spice, garam masala, I had previously never used, which is a spice commonly used in Indian cooking. It’s a warm spice blend that can incorporate different spices depending on the region or brand and it was the perfect ingredient to liven up this grilled chicken dish.

Grilled Chicken with Apple and Mango Chutney  |  Lemon & Mocha

The chicken is marinated in Greek yogurt, which I love for grilled chicken since it helps the meat stay juicy and flavorful. The apple and mango chutney has both complementary flavors and textures going for it with the tartness and crispness of the apples and the sweetness and softness of the ripe mango.

Grilled Chicken with Apple and Mango Chutney  |  Lemon & Mocha

Why it’s a chutney and not a salsa, I really have no clue, but whatever it’s called it complements the yogurt marinated grilled chicken perfectly.

Grilled Chicken with Apple and Mango Chutney  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt and I both really enjoyed this dish (more chicken – sorry Matt!), but I don’t think it will bump ahead of the Sesame Pecan Chicken Strips or the Chicken Cordon Bleu anytime soon. Mostly because the flavor profile is just so far out of our normal realm of eating. But if you like Indian flavors or are looking for a different way to spice up your chicken dinner then definitely make this healthy recipe!

Grilled Chicken with Apple and Mango Chutney  |  Lemon & Mocha

Grilled Chicken with Apple and Mango Chutney
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
for the chicken
  • 1 cup plain non-fat or low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 2-ounce boneless skinless chicken cutlets (about ¼-inch thick)
for the chutney
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeds and pith removed, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 apple, such as Gala, cut into ⅓-inch dice (about 1¼ cups)
  • 1 small mango, peeled and cut into 1-3-inch dice (about 1 cup)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • Cooking spray
Directions
for the chicken
  1. In a shallow plastic storage container or baking dish, whisk together the yogurt, apple juice concentrate, apple cider vinegar, garam masala, salt and pepper. Add the chicken cutlets then toss to coat. Cover and return to the fridge to let marinate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.
  2. Preheat a grill or place a grill pan over medium-high heat. If using a grill, use a paper towel to lightly coat the grill grates with vegetable oil before turning on. If using a grill pan, lightly spray with cooking spray before turning on the stove. Place the chicken cutlets on the grill and grill until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and let rest before serving with the chutney over top.
for the chutney
  1. Combine the apple cider vinegar, apricot preserves, jalapeño, Dijon, hot sauce, salt, pepper, cloves and ginger in a medium bowl until combined. Toss in the apple, mango and chopped mint. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving or cover and return to the fridge for up to 2 days.

Recipe from Giada’s Feel Good Food.
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!