1 Skinny Roll-Up, cut in half to better show you the stuffing.(But you may prefer to eat it without cutting it in half, as it is less messy)
(Becky, the Mama) You know those times when you want “just a little somethin’-somethin’’” to tide you over to until the next meal, or give your foggy brain an energy boost? Something good for you, tasty, without lots of calories or carbs? But you want more than a few carrot or celery sticks. Or maybe you want a light lunch in a hurry, but you aren’t crazy about the idea of sandwiches or wraps with all that bread?
Here’s my favorite pick-me-up-in-a-hurry snack and it is less than 100 calories per Skinny Roll Up. No carbs. No gluten (as long as the meat and cheese you use is gluten free.) Plus there are a thousand variations to this basic “recipe”: you can choose whatever thinly sliced sandwich meat you like (or substitute a vegan version), then chose a small bit of cheese (your choice, or leave it out), whatever veggies you have on hand (cooked or raw or a combination), and any sauce that floats your Roll Up Boat from honey mustard (as I used here), to a little dollop of Ranch Dressing with Buffalo Sauce, to Teriyaki Sauce with Sriracha, to Bar-b-que sauce… and on and on. They are surprisingly filling, two of them with a piece of fruit works as a great light lunch, and the calories are such that you can enjoy another snack or small dessert with a cup of tea or coffee at mid-day and not break your calorie bank.
When your kids claim they are famished and dinner is till an hour away, you can teach your kids how to build-their-own Roll Ups, letting their imagination lead the way. Just one Roll Up will tide them over until dinner, but won’t spoil their appetite. You can also wrap their favorite “roll-ups” in Saran Wrap, leave off the sauce, and send them a little “dipping sauce” in a small container for some variety in their lunch box. (You may want to use 2 slices of deli meat for these so they are easier for the kids to handle. A half slice of American cheese also helps it “stick” and stay together better.)
Vegetarian or Vegans can substitute ToFurky Roasted Deli Slices, which have excellent taster reviews. Or skip the meat layer, use a large soft piece of lettuce instead, and spread the lettuce with humus or refried beans for the protein.
I used thin deli Honey Ham, a slice of Romaine, a slice of Roasted Red Pepper, some white cheddar cheese strips, sweet pickles and honey mustard. Yummmm….
Skinny Deli Veggie Roll Ups
Thin Sliced Deli Meat (Your choice, I used Honey Ham. Vegans can use ToFurky Deli Slices)
1 t. or more of your favorite sauce or dressing (I used Honey Mustard)
1/2 to 1 oz. of cheese, sliced or cut in small strips (1/2 slice of American Cheese, or 2 or 3 small thin strips of any hard cheese)
Small pieces l of lettuce
Pickles, Roasted Peppers (Anything pickled you like that adds a “bite” — pepperocinis, sliced olives or jalapenos are yummy too. I used midget sweet pickles)
1 or 2 T. Veggies, cooked or raw (thinly sliced carrots, cucumber, celery, tomato, avocado, raw pepper sticks, sliced green onions, mashed beans, humus or leftover cooked veggies of any kind)
Lay a thin slice of deli meat on a plate (you can double this if you want more protein and sturdiness). Stack lettuce, cheese, pickles and veggies down the middle of the deli slice. Squeeze your favorite dressing over this. Roll up like a burrito and enjoy. If making a bunch of them to serve later or to pack in a lunch, you may want to secure them with a toothpick. (Also if they are to be served later or eaten for lunch, you may prefer to leave off the dressing and keep it separate to use as a dipping sauce.)
One Skinny Roll Up, Cut in 1/2 on Diagonal (to show inside stuffing)
In early November, Greg and I arrived in sunny Southern California for a week of much longed-for and needed vacation. I took no time in shimmying into my bathing suit (and immediately donning a cover-up), loading my tote bag with “beach reads” and a pair of sunglasses. I snapped a picture of the glistening pool, palm trees, blue sky and mountains in the distance, then posted it to Facebook extolling the joys of time away! Savored every moment of sunshine that first day of vacation, went back to the condo enjoyed a relaxing evening and fell asleep.
The next morning I woke to find that my skin was hot, my body aching, my throat swollen, my head felt about twice its normal size, and my ears seemed stuffed with cotton. Greg too had caught the bug, but he had taken the flu shot earlier in the month, so his misery was limited in time and scope. I did not get the shot, so my misery knew no bounds. There was no doubt about it: I had the flu. I don’t really remember much about the next next six days of “vacation” as I spent most of it sleeping or on drugs.
When I am sick, Greg does a fine job caring for me, truly he does. That entire week he was the one who braved getting out and going to the store, ferrying in rations of cold medicine, cough drops and canned chicken soup. But the truth is, I wish I could have a Well Me to take care of the Sick Me, because the Well Me makes a killer homemade chicken soup.
This one uses one of my favorite Trader Joe’s products: Lemon Pepper Pappardelle Pasta. The lemon flavor is not overly strong and the texture of these noodles is perfect for chicken soup: firm but tender –a near-perfect pasta product!
The great thing about this homemade soup is that it only takes 30 minutes to make but tastes like you’ve toiled in the kitchen all day. The special noodles take it to a “gourmet” level that you would be proud to serve to guests.
I believe this easy chicken soup will become your go-to recipe to serve on a chilly day, make for a sick family member or cheer up a friend with the flu. (You might also consider tucking in a copy of We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook for your friend. Nothing cures what ails you like homemade soup and laughter.) It is also easy to “veganize” this dish, and I’ll list alternative ingredients in the recipe below.
Fast & Easy Lemon-Pepper Pappardelle Chicken Soup
2 T. olive oil (or oil and butter combo)
2 T. flour
4 cups of chicken or veggie broth
½ c. water
½ c. milk or almond milk
3 cloves garlic, grated or pressed
4 oz. Lemon Pepper Pappardelle Noodles, broken into 1 – 2 inch pieces (Trader Joe’s brand recommended/ 4 ozs is about ½ a package. Unflavored Pappardelle or other wide noodle will also work if you prefer or cannot find pappardelle pasta at your grocery store.)
4 carrots, peeled and diced (the smaller the dice or slice, the faster they’ll cook)
3 large mushrooms, diced
2 cups of cooked chicken, pulled from a deli roasted chicken (I like to keep some of the pieces fairly large, some small. )
*VEGANS can substitute a can of big butter beans or your favorite vegan chicken substitute for the meat. But add toward the end of cooking.
½ c. frozen corn
½ c. frozen peas
½ to 1 t. salt (you’ll have to taste test because some broths and chickens are saltier than others)
½ to 1 t. pepper (according to your taste)
½ to 1 t. your favorite dried herbs ( I use a little Italian seasoning, a little basil)
Dash hot sauce to taste (like Tabasco)
In a big soup pot, heat the oil or oil/butter combination until it begins to bubble. Add flour and whisk this roux until smooth and bubbly. Very slowly, and while still whisking with one hand, add one cup of the chicken broth, stirring until smooth. Add the rest of the broth, the water, the milk and garlic, then continue to stir and let it come to a boil.
Add the broken pappardelle noodles and carrots and mushrooms. Simmer this until the veggies and noodles are almost tender. Add chicken, corn, peas, seasonings and dash of hot sauce. Continue to simmer until noodles and veggies are tender (but not mushy) and heated through. Adjust seasonings to taste.
We usually serve steaming bowls of this hearty soup with hot buttered cornbread and fresh apple slices.
“Come, let’s be a comfortable couple and take care of each other! How glad we shall be, that we have somebody we are fond of always, to talk to and sit with.” Charles Dickens
My husband Greg and I love our little pleasurable routines. It really doesn’t take much to make us happy. We don’t need high adventure, fast cars, tall mountains, or Broadway plays. We get a kick out of watching Jay Leno’s “headlines” segment on Monday nights and reruns of “30 Rock”. We can’t wait to snuggle up on Sundays to watch Downton Abbey when it reappears on PBS this winter. He often watches sports, while I contentedly piddle on Facebook from a comfy loveseat nearby.
We enjoy quiet road trips with Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra playing in the background more than attending rousing stage concerts. Greg stands and greets me with a kiss every morning as I stumble into the kitchen; me waking up to my first cup of coffee two hours after he’s greeted the morning. We watch Brian Williams tell the news every evening (in his friendly voice, even the worst disasters sound less terrible). Then I serve our suppers, all prettily plated, as we eat in living room, our feet up, hearts at ease. We usually clean up the unbelievably messy kitchen, afterwards, together.
During the summer we meet outside on the porch swing for Happy Hour and conversation at 5:00 p.m. We go to bed, each reading our e-books, a glass of ice water on my bedside table. I slather on Lemon Cream Lotion and Greg always says I smell like lemon pie before he kisses me goodnight, wishing me sweet dreams. Then he hands me the treasures that have somehow gathered on our bed during the day: hair clips, reading glasses, books, jewelry, pens and notebooks, stray socks, apple cores — clearing room for us to ease under the quilt and fall asleep.
We’re mostly One-Note Nellys without much need for variety or grand adventures. We find, in the comfort of each other’s company, all the thrill we generally need. A free evening with nothing planned is typically our idea of perfection.
Our date night’s are inevitably to our favorite Asian restaurant, John Holly’s, followed by a movie. At John Holly’s I always order the same thing: Moo-Shu Veggies. I pile them up on thin rice pancakes with a drizzle of thick salty-sweet Hoison Sauce and dash of sriracha, then rolled the delicious stuff up like a burrito.
This quick and savory-sweet recipe for Moo-Shu uses thin uncooked flour tortillas (easier to find than rice pancakes) and has become one of my favorite veggie based cook-at-home meals now. Greg likes it with chicken but you can substitute edamame, tofu or scrambled egg (or combo thereof) to avoid meat and make this easily vegetarian or vegan.
Easy Moo Shu Veggie or Chicken Wraps
1 16 ounce package of pre-shredded Asian or colorful Cole Slaw mix
1 cup fresh snow peas, chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 cup fresh chopped mushrooms, any kind
1 cup chopped or shredded cooked chicken (or sub 1/2 cup diced tofu, edamame or raw egg, whisked)
1 large clove garlic
1 T. olive oil
1 T. sesame oil
3 T. soy sauce
1 T. maple syrup, honey, molasses or brown sugar
salt & pepper to taste
4- 5 uncooked Tortillas (or the thinnest pre-cooked tortillas you can find)
½ cup Hoison Sauce (in Asian sections)
¼ cup hot chili sauce or sriracha (optional, if you like heat)
1/2 cup cashew pieces or sliced almonds
In a large skillet or walk, heat oils and 1 minced fresh garlic clove. Toss in slaw, chopped snow peas and mushrooms. Add chicken and/or tofu/egg. Cook until tender-crisp. Add soy and your choice of sweetener. Heat through. Add salt or pepper if needed to season.
Lightly cook/brown the tortillas on a flat skillet. Put about ½ cup of the hot veggie mix down the middle of each tortilla. Sprinkle with 2 T. sliced almonds or cashew pieces. Drizzle on Hoison and dot with a little hot chili sauce or shriracha if you enjoy some heat with your Asian food.
Roll up like a burrito and slice on the diagonal, in half to serve.
Variations: Use any veggies you like: peppers, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, celery, some fresh grated ginger – use your taste and imagination. Try using leftover beef, pork or shrimp instead. Experiment with different nuts or sesame seeds, sliced green onions, crispy Chinese noodles or fried won ton strips, perhaps a squeeze of fresh lime.
A family story pops up almost every Thanksgiving. Decades ago, my adorable cousin Kenny, about age five, tiny and wearing enormous glasses took a bite of the day’s celebrated roast bird, smiled, and then with a slow southern munchkin voice, asked my mom, “What kind of chicken is this Aunt (pronounced “Ain’t”) Ruthie? Tur-key?”
I must confess, I’m not a big fan of turkey (even cousin Kenny’s “chicken kind of turkey”) — as it too often tends toward dry and flavorless. I’ve found three exceptions, however. One is a recipe for marinated grilled turkey tenderloin. Moist, delicious, a family favorite. Another is a savory-sweet recipe for Asian turkey meatballs. Finally there is this creation for savory turkey burgers loaded with flavor and topped with a sweet and spicy quick mango red pepper chutney. It’s beautiful on a serving plate, plus budget and waistline friendly dish. Yummy paired with a side of jasmine rice and my simple sesame avocado cucumber salad. For vegans or vegetarians, trying grilling Field Roast Apple Sage Sausages, and then simmer them in the sauce a few minutes before serving.
Savory Turkey Burgers with Quick Mango Red Pepper Chutney
Makes 6 to 8 patties depending on size you prefer
1 lb ground turkey (you can also use ground beef if you prefer)
1 lb sweet Italian turkey sausage, out of casing and crumbled
2 t. seasoned salt or grill seasoning
1/3 c. soft bread crumbs
½ cup chicken or veggie broth
1 /4 c. brown sugar
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/3 c. red wine or balsamic vinegar
Pinch salt and pepper
1 fresh mango diced (Or 3/4 c. fresh pineapple, chopped, is also delicious if you prefer)
1 roasted red pepper, diced
2 green onions, chopped
Mix the ingredients for turkey burgers together and form into patties, any size you like. Grill or sauté with a little olive oil until brown and caramelized on the outside, cooked through on the inside. (You can cover the pan once the burgers are brown on the outside and let simmer a bit more if they need to cook through more on the inside.) Remove from pan to a plate, cover with foil to keep warm and let juices redistribute. To the same skillet, add veggie broth, brown sugar, mustard and vinegar to skillet. Turn heat on high to bring to boil and then back heat down to a simmer, until sauce begins to get thicken.. Add mango, red pepper and onions, pinch salt and pepper continue to cook until the chutney is hot again. Serve a spoonful of warm sauce over turkey patties.
Vegan or Vegetarian Alternative: Use Field Roast Apple Sage Sausages, split down the middle length-wise. Brown in a little olive oil, then continue recipe above.
This Grilled Turkey Loin Recipe is our MOST popular recipe on this site! Thanks so much for making it so! Be sure to also check out a new and awesome recipe for juicy, marinated grilled Pineapple Teriyaki flank steak. Also melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
“What is Sue making for dinner?” I asked Greg on the way to our friend’s home for a patio supper.
“I think she said turkey tenderloins,” Greg answered.
I must admit, though I knew our friend Sue to be a fabulous cook, I prepared myself for the dry, tasteless poultry that turkey breast has always been in my previous experience. (Obviously, I’ve not yet perfected the art of a moist Thanksgiving bird yet!)
So when Sue and her husband Jason served us a beautiful piece of grilled, moist turkey tenderloin, loaded with flavor, I was in awe. Then I asked for seconds. And then I woke up thinking about it the next day – the sign of truly memorable meal.
“Okay, Sue, how did you turn turkey breast into meat butter?”
She sent me a recipe for a marinade with lots of ingredients, but all of them were in my pantry. The tenderloins are best if you can marinate them for a few hours or overnight. Sue recommends using a digital meat thermometer to eliminate guesswork and avoid overcooking.
Turkey tenderloins typically come two to a package and are a little smaller than pork loins. In fact, they look a lot like chicken breasts, if the hen was named Dolly Parton. Two other benefits: this turkey is moist as can be, but has very little fat and is a great low-cal source of high quality protein. In addition, it is very affordable and the leftovers make fabulous sandwiches. (Try turkey, whipped cream cheese, green onions and cranberry sauce sandwiches!)
Don’t be too daunted by the list of ingredients: use what you have on hand and just substitute something similar if you are missing an ingredient or two. I have made a couple of tweaks to Sue’s recipe, and you can feel free to do the same and make it your own. Marinades are awfully forgiving. As long as you have something salty (salt, soy) something a little sweet (teriyaki, sweet chili sauce, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup), something garlicky (fresh or powdered) and acidic (wine, vinegar, citrus juice) in the mix, it is probably going to be yummy!
Most of us are ready to get our health and our waistlines back in shape after the holidays, and this is a great recipe (under 170 calories in 3 oz serving) to put in your New Year file! I served these tenderloins pictured using the second grilling method in the recipe below. I roasted chunks of zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms and garlic with a little olive oil, salt, and balsamic vinegar for a side dish. Lip-smacking good meal!
Grilled Turkey Tenderloins
2 turkey breast tenderloins
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1 t. hot sauce such as Tabasco
1 T. maple syrup
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 T. Worchestershire sauce
1 tablespoon spicy brown or Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup wine, beer or cola
Grill or Steak Seasoning (enough to sprinkle both sides of tenderloins)
Sprinkle all sides of turkey will steak or grill seasoning (or salt and pepper.) In a 2-cup measuring cup or bowl with pourable “spout” – whisk all the ingredients for marinade. Pour 2/3 cup into a Ziplock bag; add turkey. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight, turning at least once more during that time. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade.
When ready to cook, discard marinade that is in the bag with the tenderloins, then proceed to cook using one of the following methods.
Outdoor Grill: Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil or a heat resistant basting brush and lightly coat the grill rack. Grill, covered, over medium heat for about 7-9 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 170°, basting frequently with reserved marinade.
Alternative Indoor Method: Use a nonstick or iron skillet grill pan that has been generously coated with olive oil and grill tenderloins on both sides until dark golden brown grill marks appear. Put in a preheated 350 degree oven and cook about 10 more minutes or until internal temp reaches 170 degrees.
Remove from oven or grill and immediately cover with foil to let juices redistribute before slicing. Heat reserved marinade to boiling in a small sauce pan and drizzle over the tenderloins.