Thursday, May 22, 2014

Turkey with Rice and Garbanzos

I have fond memories of a wonderful dish that featured chicken pieces cooked in a savory mixture of rice and garbanzo beans. It was probably bound with mushroom soup, but I've healthied up my memorable mixture to make this new dish. It still has the same taste notes, so it brings back those fond memories ... in a healthier version.


1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup brown rice
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. tumeric
1 cup low sodium chicken stock

1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup sliced celery
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper


Heat 1 tsp. of the olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the rice, onion, cumin, cayenne, and turmeric and stir to combine. Add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until done, about 25 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.

Fix the turkey mixture while the rice cooks. Heat the other teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the turkey, onion, garlic, and celery. Cook until the turkey loses it's pink color and begins to brown. Add the garbanzo beans, and cook just another minute until the beans are hot. Remove from the heat.

Combine the cooked rice with the turkey mixture. Stir in the basil and parsley. Taste, then add salt and pepper if needed. Serve with a salad and a vegetable.

Serves 4

Stealthy Cooking Tip: When you remember meals from the past, think about the healthy parts of that meal when you work to recreate them. This meal originally featured a large skin on chicken, with white rice, garbanzo beans and mushroom soup, to serve 4. I chose to use a quarter of the amount of chicken, using lean ground turkey, though 1/2 pound skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces would be equally good. Not using the skin in the cooking process decreases the amount of fats. I switched the white rice for brown rice, which has more fiber and nutrients. Then, I cooked the rice separately from the turkey, using chicken stock to punch up the flavor. I added onion, garlic, and celery not only to increase the vegetables, but also to add savory notes that previously came from the salty soup mixture. Finally, I kept the amount of garbanzo beans the same, though I advocate draining and rinsing canned beans to reduce sodium. These are the types of substitutions that can easily be made in memorable dishes ... keeping the memories alive, while keeping the food healthy.

No comments: