What could be more savory than our warm turkey eggplant casserole on a wintry evening? This family pleaser is only 7 points per serving. Abigail Parsons, of Bewelle, Illinois says:” I make a double portion every Sunday, and freeze servings for meals during the week.”
Ingredients: (makes eight ¾ cup servings)
1 16-oz can of diced tomatoes
½ onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
¾ cup bread crumbs
1 tsp basil
1 cup grated lo-fat mozzarella
¾ cup bread crumbs
1 medium sized eggplant
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 cup mushrooms
1 Sauté the crushed garlic and diced onions in a heavy skillet (in 2 TBSP of olive oil). Be sure to use a low heat and coax rather than bully the onions to turn translucent. That is the secret of using onions to flavor rather than dominate a dish.
2 While the onions are slowly cooking, go ahead and dice eggplant, peppers, and mushrooms. Cut in small pieces or they will not soften enough so you will taste that acidy pepper taste and have trouble digesting the skins and you will have to use some of your husband’s Prilosec after dinner though you’re supposed to take it before you eat but you never know whether a dish is going to cause indigestion or not, depending.
3 Add the ground turkey (I forgot it in the list of ingredients but so what? I can’t do everything around here. I do enough as it is. Anybody should guess from the title you need turkey anyway. I’m so sick of people asking me to think for them.)
4 Add basil, canned tomatoes, diced vegetables, bread crumbs and simmer, stirring often. Be careful not to spill any pieces over the edge of the skillet. For this recipe I use a large sized cast iron frying pan but who knows what size peppers they grow in Illinois, b/c they’re getting larger every year, probably genetically altered. Like every fucking other thing in the store and we wonder why so many people get cancer.
5 If the ingredients are too dry, add a little chicken broth. Whoever recommended that amount of bread crumbs I don’t know if they were kidding. The vegg are going to get onto the stove top, spilling over top of the skillet. If you have just cleaned the mouse turds off the stove top, make sure that you are the one cleaning the kitchen after dinner b/c if your husband does it he will not see the bitty pieces and you’re going to have little black droppings in the morning for sure and that’s a nasty sight, esp when a stove is white like ours.
6 Put aluminum foil over the whole thing and place in center of oven, bake for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees. I forgot to write down 350 too but anybody who cooks knows this is standard temperature for a casserole. Abigail Parsons would know, Abigail and her neat preplanning and portions, one of those kinds of people who’s organized every minute thing in her life. Sounds like she’s a career person. If it’s so hard to cook at night after being on her feet all day, why the heck doesn’t her husband pitch and do it once in a while? Too busy vegging out in front of the TV while Abigail heats up one of her frozen casseroles. Or maybe she’s all alone, and lonely, watching the news, eating her casserole portion on a little TV tray. Both scenarios pathetic.
7 After allotted cooking time, take the foil off the pan, and sprinkle the mozzarella over top of the casserole. Dump on the whole package, who cares about points, if it doesn’t get thick and stringy, it’s just not good. Put the skillet back in the oven and bake another fifteen minutes. If the timer on the oven cannot be heard in the den above the sound of the TV, use the clock timer with the broken face from when you dropped it two Christmases ago, you can carry it into the den. It is good and loud. Forget saving the foil to use again, unless you want to spend the time scraping off veggie matter so as not to tear the foil, a task requiring a lot of concentration and patience. And who can recycle everything anyway. The kids used disposable Pampers back in the 70s. I’m already going to consumer hell, and I know it.
8 Once the melted cheese is browned, remove casserole from oven. Let cool for five or ten minutes before eating.
Serve with crispy buttery garlic bread. Try to make this dish last for more than one meal, but nobody’s perfect. Depending on how cold it is outside or how many days you have been snow bound, this dish is greatly accented by a dessert of hot apple pie with vanilla ice cream, covered with a touch of chocolate sauce and a handful of peanuts.
Note: Don’t forget to turn off the oven. Who can afford to waste Propane?
(copyright Cathy Larson Sky 2/24/2015)