Category: dinner

Turkey Root Vegetable Pot Pie

Hello again, Juggling in Heels readers! I’m so happy to be back to share some serious thoughts about a very important topic, something that is probably on all of our minds as we approach my very favorite holiday…

L.E.F.T.O.V.E.R.S!

Leftovers are the reason we all buy turkeys that are WAY over the “1-pound-per-person” recommendation.

If I followed that recommendation for our holiday gathering (allowing just a ½ pound for each little mouth under 5 years old), we’d be enjoying a 7 ½ pound turkey on Thanksgiving Day.

Umm…NO. Not happening here.

I honestly don’t think I’ve ever bought anything less than an 18-20 pounder…for reasons like this Turkey Root Vegetable Pot Pie.

This pot pie is a spin off of Mama’s Pot Pie, my very first post on Sweet Peas and ABCs, and my daughter’s favorite meal. This one, though, uses those delicious turkey LEFTOVERS and is more seasonally appropriate with all those colorful root veggies. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onion, celery, green beans… that’s straight-up autumn on a platter.

Turkey Root Vegetable Pot Pie

Side note: Never tried parsnip? It looks like a cream-colored carrot and tastes sweet and nutty. They actually get sweeter after frost turns the starches to sugar, so they’re wonderful in winter too. And the carrots? Try purple or yellow ones to add a pop of color!

Turkey Root Vegetable Pot Pie

I think I may even enjoy leftovers more than Thanksgiving dinner itself. Something about cooking all day… even though I LOVE it, I don’t really feel like eating it when we sit down for our holiday meal. But I adore a turkey/stuffing/cranberry sauce sandwich later that evening. And the next day? This. Pot. Pie.

Turkey Root Vegetable Pot Pie

No need to step foot in another grocery store, after all the time spent shopping and cooking for Thanksgiving. Here’s the breakdown on the LEFTOVERS you’ll be able to use up for this pot pie:

  • Turkey
  • Poultry seasoning, parsley and thyme
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Red or white potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Celery and onion
  • Green Beans
  • Chicken or turkey stock
  • Pie dough

Set aside a handful of each ingredient as you’re prepping your holiday meal and this next-day pot pie is nearly done.

Turkey Root Vegetable Pot Pie

After a long day of holiday shopping, wouldn’t this be nice to come home to?

Bring on the LEFTOVERS!

Little Hands Can…

  • Wash and scrub the root vegetables
  • Toss the vegetables with oil and spread them on a baking sheet
  • Shred the turkey with forks or clean hands
  • Pick herbs, wash them and pull the leaves off
  • Roll out pie dough and use cookie cutters to make fun shapes

Prepping potatoes

scrubbing-potatoes

 

Turkey Root Vegetable Pot Pie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 small red or white potatoes
  • 2 carrots (we like to use purple or yellow carrots for a different color)
  • 2 parsnips
  • 1 cup frozen green beans, cut into small 1 inch pieces
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion (1 small onion)
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery (3 large stalks)
  • 1 cup chicken broth or stock (or turkey stock if you have it)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked cubed or shredded turkey
  • 1 sheet pie dough (homemade or store bought)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash and scrub the root vegetables (sweet potato, potatoes, carrots and parsnips) with a potato scrubber. Peel and chop the vegetables into small 1/2 inch cubes.
  3. Place the chopped root vegetables and green beans on a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the vegetables are tender. Use a paring knife to pierce the vegetables to check that they are soft. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside to cool slightly while you make the sauce.
  4. In a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook the onion and celery until soft, but not brown. Stir frequently, about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small pot, heat the milk and chicken broth together on low heat. You just want to warm them through. (You could also warm them in a glass measuring cup in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes).
  6. When the onion/celery mixture is soft, add the flour to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Slowly whisk in the warm broth/milk mixture and cook until thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
  8. Add the parsley, thyme, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper and whisk to combine.
  9. Toss the cooked, cooled vegetables and turkey in the sauce.
  10. Pour the filling into a greased 9×12 inch baking dish.
  11. On a cutting board or counter top, roll out your pie dough to about 1/4 inch in thickness, using a sprinkle of flour as needed to prevent sticking. Invite your child to cut out fun shapes using cookie cutters. Lay the dough shapes on top of the filling, overlapping them to completely cover the top.
  12. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  13. Let the pot pie cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Notes
You could substitute chicken if you don’t have turkey.

 

On the Side

Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips are all root vegetables. But what exactly are roots? What do they do? What do they look like? Why are they important? We’re exploring some of these questions by growing our own potato plants!

Growing Potato Plants

Roots, by definition, are the part of a plant that attaches to the ground, bringing water and nourishment to the rest of the plant. They are the lifeline of the plant, taking air, water and nutrients from the soil so the plant can grow. Roots also help anchor the plant in the soil, which is important during heavy rain or wind.

Using a potato or sweet potato from your recipe, you can explore how roots grow using just water and sunlight. Make your potato grow into a potato plant…which can then grow more potatoes!

You’ll need:

  • toothpicks
  • a potato or sweet potato
  • a large glass (preferably clear, so you can see the roots growing)
  • water

Insert four toothpicks into your potato, pushing them about ¼ to ½ inch into the potato. Space your toothpicks around the middle of the potato, as if you were positioning them at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock. Assist your child if needed. The toothpicks will rest on top of the glass and allow your potato to be suspended in the water so roots can grow.

Growing Potato Plants

Fill your glass about 2/3 of the way up with water. Place your potato into the glass and rest the toothpicks on top. The potato should be suspended in the water and should not touch the bottom of the glass. Place your glass with the potato near a sunny window. Change the water every few days so the potatoes aren’t sitting in cloudy water.

Growing Potato Plants

Within a week or so, you should start to see roots growing. We are currently 8 days into our potato plant experiment and are starting to see very small white roots growing out of both our potato and sweet potato. Within 2-3 weeks, stems and leaves should sprout up from the top. After a month or so, you can plant the potato in a small pot with soil and let it continue to grow.

In the spring, we hope to plant our potato plants in our backyard garden…and then, harvest our own potatoes. Maybe we can use those potatoes for next year’s pot pie!

Happy Thanksgiving!

~Sally

Side note: With Mama’s Pot Pie, we learned about “Eating a Rainbow” and made colorful rainbow drawings to document which colors we were eating. Don’t forget to add the vegetables from this recipe to your rainbow!

For more delicious recipes and learning activities to try with your kids in the kitchen, check out Sweet Peas and ABCs.

You can also find me on:

Blue Apron 1

You may have noticed that I have been a completely slacker when it comes to recipe posts lately.  I absolutely have.  It doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking though!  I swear, I really have.

I have just let someone else handle the hard part.

The truth is, I was stuck in a rut.  I was beginning to make the same things over and over again and when I went looking for recipes, nothing seemed to click.  The poor family was having the same things week after week.

I had heard about Blue Apron but didn’t know much about it but I loved the idea of having recipes and ingredients delivered to me so that I did not have to think about it.  We needed a change up and this seemed like the perfect solution.

Blue Apron 2

After completing the quick survey, we received our first delivery of two meals the following week.  This was exactly what I need for so many reasons.

First and foremost, it is brainless cooking.  Everything is measured out for you so it is simply, toss in and continue.  Second, the recipe cards are beyond step by step, making ensure that you cannot ruin your dish.  There is no way.  Third, the service is introducing the family to new flavors and recipes that I would never have tried on my own.  It is easy cooking but with flavors and details that feel as if you really spent a lot of time planning the meal out.

This has been the perfect balance of still making tried and true recipes but also introducing new meals to the home.  Some of my favorites have been:
Shrimp and Pineapple Soft Tacos
Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables (pictured here)
Salmon Burgers (probably my favorite so far)
Chicken and Drop Biscuit Casserole (a family favorite)
Star Anise and Soy Glazed Cod

Blue Apron 3

I love it so much that you must try so I am giving away FIVE (5) meals to FIVE (5) lucky readers.  All you need to do is either “follow” @jugglinginheels on Instagram or “like” Juggling in Heels on Facebook (or both for additional entries).  It is that easy.  The giveaway ends May 19th at 11:59pm so make sure you enter right away!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Unfortunately, this giveaway is for US Residents Only.

Soup 1

Tuesday morning I woke up to a thick layer of fog that seemed to overtake the entire area.  It had no plans on leaving and left the entire day to feel cool, dark and like an actual Winter.  I sort of loved it.  It is days that these that I turn towards blanket sweaters, jeans, tea and soups.  Anything that is going to feel warm and comfortable.

I need to plan a menu for a small group of women I am hosting today and while going through recipes yesterday to figure out what I was going to make, I couldn’t help but be directed to soup after soup after soup.  The weather was calling me to embrace a little comfort food.  I have heard from a number of people that this recipe for Roasted Tomato Basil Soup was beyond so I decided to give it a try.  It took some time but the end result was worth it.  I made it Tuesday afternoon and of course taste tested with a number of pieces of bread (who wants to serve anything that is not perfect right???).  Perfect.  It was easy to then place in the refrigerator and all I will need to do is simply warm and serve today.  With an evening of homework and practices, along with a busy morning, it is dishes like this that make entertaining entirely too easy.

Soup 2

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When are days start to turn gloomy and it actually begins to feel like Fall around here, there are three things that I instantly turn to; cozy clothes, fireplaces and chili.  There is nothing better than a dreary day dressed in sweats and sweaters, curled up on the couch with the fireplace on and chili in a bowl watching a good movie.  It all provides the comforting feeling that at that moment, there is no place to go, no need to stress, nothing to do, but hang out with the family.  This is my favorite part of the Fall and the holidays.

Chili has always topped the list as my favorite comfort food.  It is pure comfort in a bowl and I love that there are a thousand ways to make it.  I see no reason why I shouldn’t try them all either.  I am rarely disappointed and usually walk away with another recipe to add to the recipe book.  A few weeks ago, it was actually a cool day in Orange County (shocking, I know) and our favorite SF Giants were playing in the final game of the World Series so making chili only made sense.  I thought it would be fun to try a new recipe so I did what I normally do and began scouring the internet for something that sounded good.  I came across this Chili recipe by Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere and between the recipe looking delicious and the fact that it used turkey instead of beef, I figured I would try it out.

Once again I came across a fantastic recipe for chili that I now have in the books.  It also made for the best leftovers, which is one of the best parts of making chili…food for days.

What is your favorite comfort food?  Is there anything that you continue to make, time and time again, with different recipes and yet it always provides the same warmth and cozy feeling?  I would love to hear!

 

 

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Three Days.

Three more days until the fundraiser that I have been working on since February.

As with last year, it has been an awesome experience thanks to the support of an amazing team who constantly made work feel like playing.  I love event planning and though last year was my first fundraiser ever (and I was a deer in headlights), this year was more relaxing thanks to knowing what I needed to do.

That being said, the final week of planning lends itself to absolute craziness.  Every day is non-stop, finalizing details, confirming seating arrangements, gift wrapping, confirming vendors, and on and on….  A week like this make me crave two things at dinner time…

Comfort food and wine.

Comfort food because I tend to eat a lot less when I am busy and by dinner I am starving and wine because, well, it is wine.

Sunday night we decided to kick off the week of busy with this Shrimp and Grits recipe.

Cheddar cheese, bacon, fried shrimp.

It was a dream.

Served with a good glass of Pinot Noir and I was ready to start the week…and the crazy.

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This recipe all started with Facebook.  My friend had reached out asking if anyone knew how to search the new Pinterest.  She was looking for a specific recipe and with all the recipes she had pinned, it was a daunting task trying to search through all of her pins.  This led to a discussion of others asking what she was looking for.  Once she found it she posted the link to this Mediterranean Baked Chicken.  Now, I have been lazy with dinner lately.  Due to crazy evening schedules, I have fallen back on what I know and what is easy, avoiding anything new.  I was tired of it and this recipe was introduced to me at the perfect time.  It seemed easy enough and also healthy enough after a long weekend away of over-indulging.

It was more delicious than I was expecting.  Even my Middle Man, who doesn’t eat ANYTHING, said that this was his new favorite chicken.  That may have been because I selected to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts, giving the dish a bit more flavor.  Whatever the reason, I will take it!

It was nice to introduce some new flavors in our dinner menu and it is definitely something I will make again.  My photos are not as good as I would like but the sun was starting to set and I was determined to share this with you so hopefully you get the jist of how backed with yumminess it was.

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Thank you K for sharing this recipe with me!

If you missed it yesterday, I was over on Mommy Chic sharing some of my favorite Fall trends, parenthood and juggling it all.  Visit the post by clicking here!

Happy Weekend.

Kale 1

This past weekend was one of those weekends when the food was just too good.  And I love food.  We ate at one of my favorite burger restaurants on Friday, had fresh bagels for breakfast Saturday, the hubby made homemade seafood risotto Saturday night and we topped it off with a Baptism celebration filled with my favorite Mexican food.  And let’s not forget all the wine involved in this.  From start to finish I had a wonderful time indulging all weekend long.  And then Monday came along.

With out fail, my body always tells me when enough is enough.  And by Monday, it had had enough.  All I wanted to eat all day long were plates and plates of vegetables and fruit.  It is funny how your body works like that, isn’t it?  Telling you exactly what you need?  I did a good job of getting back on track with breakfast and lunch and wanted to keep it going for dinner.  I made this Kale Salad but substituted the Marcona Almonds for slivered almonds (our store was out and I was not about to going running around town!).  I also added rotisserie chicken to make it more of a meal and provide additional protein.  It was SO easy to make, the dressing was delish and it was just what my body needed to feel like we had cleansed a bit with some good clean eating.  I will admit that I did follow it up with a small piece of brownie.  Sorry, I may generally be a healthy eater but there is no way I am passing up a brownie.  That would just be silly.

Kale 2 Kale 3

 

 

Chicken 1

One of the biggest challenges when the kids return to school is the preparation of dinner.  The evenings that were previously at home, relaxing after a day at the beach are gone.  The transition is quick and suddenly you are running from school pick up to practices and homework, all the while trying to get dinner ready early enough for everyone to go to bed on time.  I would say the most chaotic time of day when school is in session is from 5pm to 7pm, which is right when dinner needs to be made.  Because of this, I am always on the look out for extremely easy recipes that are going to add some nutrition to the end of our day without taking hours to prep and cook.  While trying to find something new, I came across this Lemon Chicken Breast recipe.  The ingredient list is extremely short (and all the items I already had…BONUS!) and it took only a few minutes to prep before getting them into the oven.  The 40 minute bake time was just what I needed to get the two youngest bathed and in their pajamas.  As soon dinner was done the Hubby and Oldest arrived home from practice and we were all ready to eat.  I count this as success.  I wish all evenings went this well…

Chicken 2

In some fun shopping news, one of my favorite boutique owners, Stephani of Xpecting Boutique is launching “Unxpecting”, non-maternity clothes for the busy mom.  Her store has been the go-to boutique in Orange County for years for all expecting moms.  She is now broadening her merchandise to include all of those who are no longer expecting but want pieces that fit their style but are also comfortable and practical.  And what better way to launch this than with a little party in the shop!  Here are all the details and I suggest stopping in if you can!

Xpecting

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Since being a little girl, I have always been a pasta lover.  I do not care how carb-free our world becomes, I will never give up a good pasta.  It is one of my favorite foods and I have passed this love on to my Oldest, who would eat noodles every single night if possible.  What makes pasta so good is that there are a million combinations when it come to the type of noodles and the type of sauce you use.  The possibilities are endless!  There are few meals better than a bowl of fresh pasta served with a homemade sauce and accompanied by a good glass of wine.

I am always on the look out for a new pasta dish that incorporates flavors that I haven’t used and fits the season.  With how hot it has been, a heavy sauce just doesn’t make sense.  I also tend to look for a sauce that can be whipped up rather quickly.  Sure there are days that I will make a sauce that takes hours upon hours to create, but with only a few summer days left, we don’t want to be cooped up inside cooking.  I came across this Pasta Puttanesca and the first thing that caught my attention was the small list of ingredients.  Ten to be exact.  With most being spices or things you would have in your pantry, I only had to pick up three more items to make this recipe.  Easy.  The other perk I noticed was the 10-15 minute cook time.  And there you go.  A delicious looking pasta that didn’t seem to take much time.  I was ready to try.

I may have found a new summer favorite in this one.  The sauce had incredible flavor but was really light, making it easy to eat on a warm evening.  It was refreshing and easy to serve.  It only took 20 minutes to do everything from start to finish, making dinner time a breeze.  This will definitely be in my back pocket as we begin school and my need for quick and easy recipes increases.

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Watermelon 6

Every time I return from vacation I feel as if I need a major detox.  I indulge every bit of the way and take no concern to how good our bad my food is for me.  Enjoying the food in the city you are visiting is part of the experience!  But I will admit that towards the end, it gets to feel like a bit too much indulgence.  I also tend to come home sick of eating out.  As much as I love the big meals and the constant glass of wine, there comes a point when I am done.  I am ready for healthy,  home cooked meals, lemon water and feeling a bit lighter.  I become energized to get back in the kitchen and try some new recipes that are going to get us back on track.

I was perusing the internet for some light salads to go with out first dinner home and this Watermelon-Cucumber Salad instantly caught my eye.  Watermelon and cucumbers are instant refreshers and it sounded like the perfect way to get some fruit and vegetables back into the diet without it being too heavy.  Plus, I love goat cheese.  The entire salad took only minutes to put together and was exactly what I was hoping it would be; light and refreshing, just like a summer salad should be.

I will admit that I forgot to pick up the mint at the store and there was no way I was going back out so I am sure that would have made the salad even better, not that I seemed to miss it this time around.  I also left out the red onion because the hubby REALLY doesn’t like red onions.  Again, it was still amazing!  I will definitely be making this salad as long as our warm weather continues.

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