I quite regularly pick up a few packets of precooked meat when doing the weekly food shop as they are ideal for sandwiches, mixed with salads or served with jacket potatoes. I'd never really thought about using them as the protein in our family dinners however, but I was challenged to do so by Bernard Matthews in their Around The World in Five Days challenge so I thought I'd give it a go!
The idea was to serve a different themed meal each evening for 5 consecutive days using different types of turkey pieces (you can try using your leftover turkey at Christmas too if you wanted). The recipes and food was provided, along with some props, and we actually discovered just how versatile the turkey is, with one meal in particular making its way onto our meal planner quite frequently since.
BBQ Turkey Fajitas
I've always felt that cooking with the kids is a great way to encourage them to try new things while learning about where food comes from, so constructing their own meals is a close second. They had lots of fun picking their tortilla filling (like salad, cheese and salsa) and they didn't notice that the usual chicken had been replaced at all as it looked exactly the same.
Using the BBQ flavoured turkey instead of our usual breasts made the meal even quicker to prepare - it's ideal for time saving and dinners in a hurry. The maracas were great fun to play with too and they helped to make it a musical Mexican experience.
Cajun Crumb Turkey, Mac n Cheese
This was a firm favourite. Macaroni cheese is really popular with us all but with the added Cajun flavouring along with the breadcrumb topping it tasted delicious and provided extra texture. Everyone had second helpings and it has been made several times since too. Again, nobody noticed the fact that turkey had been used - they assumed it was chicken.
The American bunting allowed us to decorate the dining area and we had a New York cheesecake for dessert to continue with the theme.
Sweet and Sour Turkey
We don't often have Chinese cuisine so this made a nice change for us all. Nobody noticed the turkey chunks being used and as it's all precooked I could concentrate on developing the sweet and sour sauce a lot easier. The fact we had chopsticks to eat it with was rather exciting too and not something I've done in years. Teamed with noodles it was lovely.
Turkey Tikka Masala
I love currys and all of the little side dishes that go with them. I regularly make them in the slow cooker and this recipe was ideal for us all - it was aromatic and delicious without too much heat.
We were provided with naans and poppadums and the silver plates and bowls made presentation a lot prettier. The Mini Mes enjoyed serving themselves and again enjoyed the taste of the turkey without realising that's what they were eating.
Turkey and Bacon Lasagne
Although the meal suggestions and recipes were provided for the first four days of the week I selected this recipe myself. Its a meal we sometimes make using chicken pieces so it was interesting to see if the turkey substitute was spotted when everything else was the same as usual. The children knew there was something different but they couldn't pin point it down to the meat used. There were also clear plates from everyone so it was definitely a hit!
The turkey is more lean and a lot cheaper than meats I currently use so combined with it also tasting great I would certainly use it again. The fact that some of the turkey packs available are flavoured already really helps to intensify the meal flavours too.
What turkey based recipes do you cook?
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