‘Eating Clean on the Cheap’ – Roasted Turkey and Green Bean Casserole

Knowing that this week’s dinnertime would be heavily interrupted by Nutcracker rehearsals, I purchased a  12 lb turkey at Publix two weeks ago when they were on sale. My plan was to roast it on Monday, and use it in various ways to feed my family as the girls and I had to eat at 4:00 several nights this week. The turkey was transformed into turkey and cheese skewers for the kids, turkey salad for the adults, a Mediterranean wrap for Scott, and a southwest turkey salad last night.

The main thing I do when I roast a whole turkey or chicken, is to brine it to keep it moist as it bakes. I use a cooler (that I use exclusively for brining), fill it with ice water, fresh herbs, lemon juice, and salt. I then place the bird in and make sure the water covers it. Let it stay in the cooler for several hours. If you want some different ways to brine meat, take a look at Food Network’s brining recipes for a variety of infused flavors. Pull it out of the brine, pat dry, and place handfuls of fresh herbs, garlic, salt, pepper, and Earth Balance butter spread under the skin of the breasts. I then squeezed additional lemon juice on the bird and stuffed it with the lemon. I baked the turkey at 350 for about 15 minutes per pound and then let it stand for 20-30 minutes before carving.

Turkey is not on sale as of right now at Publix, but their whole chickens are. And, if your family eats as much as my family, roasting two chickens at once is a great time saver! Place one or two birds in the brine and get the same delicious results.

Of course, a traditional side dish with turkey is green bean casserole. I took the liberty of changing it up a bit. There is something unappetizing to me about opening a can of cream of mushroom soup and plopping that jelly-like blob  into a bowl. So here is my “cleaned” up version:

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Green Bean Casserole

*On sale this week at Publix

1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half*

1 large onion, 2/3 of it thinly sliced, 1/3 diced*

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup plainGreek yogurt* (on sale as of Saturday)

2 Tablespoons low-fat milk

8 oz mushrooms, chopped*

2 teaspoons soy sauce

½ cup whole wheat panko brad crumbs

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, diced onion, and garlic. Cook about 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan. Add another tablespoon of oil and reduce heat to medium low and caramelize onions- about 30 minutes. Remove from heat when finished and set aside.

In a glass or ceramic bowl, place green beans and about 1 inch water. Cover with a microwave-safe cover and cook about 2-3 minutes (depending on how well done you like your beans). Drain.

Mix yogurt, milk, soy sauce, mushroom mixture, and salt and pepper. Add green beans and stir to coat. Pour into an oil-sprayed casserole dish. Top with panko bread crumbs and lightly spray with oil to insure browning. Bake 15 minutes or until heated through and panko bread crumbs browned. Remove from oven and top with caramelized onions. Sprinkle with a dash of salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

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