Saturday, August 22, 2015

Carolines's Quinoa Turkey Peppers

This dish was named to honor First Lady Caroline Harrison, the wife of our 23rd president. While it is doubtful she would have ever

 overseen the cooking of anything with quinoa (KEEN-wah), it is a 

fitting and proper way of honoring a true political pioneer who

 has gone relatively unnoticed today. Please be sure to read our 

little write up about her.

This healthy take on an old classic gives a citrusy touch to 

enhance the use of turkey instead of making it try to taste like 


1 cup of un-cooked quinoa (rinsed well)
2½ cups chicken broth divided
2 cups orange juice
1 medium red onion
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 sprig rosemary
2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 lb lean ground turkey
½ cup celery (diced)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
4 Green peppers (large, washed)
¼ cup 2% fat Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded


Note the sauce and the quinoa (KEEN-wah) can be cooked the 

night before to ease the amount of time and effort to fix this meal.

Start with the orange-onion sauce.

Put orange juice in a sauce pan with sprig of rosemary over low 

heat to simmer for 8 minutes, Not a boil, just sleight bubbles.

Add 1 cup of quinoa into 2 cups of chicken stock in another 

saucepan, and bring to a boil. (reserve the last ½ cup of broth) 

Cover the pan and lower the heat to simmer. It takes about 20 

minutes to cook until tender.

While that comes to a boil: cut up the red onion, mince the 2 cloves garlic, and chop the celery. 

(seal up the garlic and celery until ready to brown the ground turkey)

Scoop out all the rosemary from the juice; add the cut up onion and vinegar.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced and thickened,  

30 to 40 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and salt to taste and cook 

mixture over low heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved.

At this point you might want to give it a few quick blasts in a food 

processor. This will help thicken it up and make for a better sauce. 

Set aside!

This delicious sauce will keep for about a week in the refrigerator 

and can be used on many things!

While you are waiting for things to cook, lets talk!

Quinoa (KEEN-wah – you will use it more often if you can pronounce it right) is often considered to be a whole grain but it is actually a seed.
It provides 9 essential amino acids. Quinoa is gluten-free and cholesterol-free. This is good stuff to eat and to cook with. You can flavor it like you would rice. In fact it cooks just great in a rice cooker and is free from any health scare that the internet comes up with about eating too much rice.
Unless the box you buy says this has been rinsed: remember it must be washed in a strainer before cooking because it is covered with a layer of saponin. This natural coating has a slightly bitter flavor. When you rinse quinoa, it looks a bit frothy in the water.
You can choose to replace the quinoa by some brown rice but it is no anywhere near as healthy for you.

Day of dinner:

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees, spray a 9 x 14 baking dish.

While that warms: heat water to par-boil the peppers. Cut the green peppers down the center lengthwise, and remove the seeds and 

white flesh and stem.

You can chop the celery now if you haven't done that the night 


When water boils, drop in the pepper halves for 3 minutes and 

remove. Let drain on paper towels.

Heat 2 tbs oil in the skillet over medium high heat. Break apart the 

turkey and stir as you brown the meat like you would hamburger 

(about 7 minutes) Of course it will not get as brown as beef. Add 

the minced garlic and celery. Cook for another 2 minutes.

Place pepper halves in a baking dish, lined up like little boats.

Heat up the sauce.

In a large bowl spoon in the cooked quinoa. 

 Mix the turkey – celery mixture and mix into the quinoa. 

Now pour in the sauce and combine.

Spoon this mixture into each pepper half.

Carefully pour ½ cup chicken broth on the bottom of the pan. 

Cover tight with aluminum foil and bake at 350F for 35-40 


Uncover and spoon just a bit of cheese on each then return to oven for an additional 10 minutes.

Now enjoy this fine old classic with a healthy twist that celebrates the leaner choices.

For our music:

So happy to be serving my Master Indy


To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

Please buy slave's cookbook:

The Little Black Book of Indiscreet Recipes by Dan White via @amazon

It's time we learned about Caroline Harrison, the wife of our 23rd President, Benjamin Harrison. This dish was named in her honor.

As the First Lady in 1889, Caroline decided she could accomplish many things and set about creating the activist role we have come to expect today.

Caroline was the first to manage her own project and even held a press briefing. She lobbied Congress to completely remodel and expand the White House. (they gave her money to clean the house). In her diary, Caroline noted that rats had infested the residence: "The rats have nearly taken the building so it has become necessary to get a man with ferrets.”

Caroline rescued many pieces of White House china and inventoried the collection. A special display of the newly organized china was made and later expanded by Jacqueline Kennedy.

She served as the chairman of the Washington Committee of the Women's Fund for Johns Hopkins Medical School. She noted in her diary: “The Johns Hopkins people are willing to admit ladies to the Medical School, if they get.. $150,000.00 from the ladies interested”

In 1890, the newly formed National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) asked her to become their first President General. Caroline gave the first speech ever by a sitting First Lady at this occasion.

First Lady Caroline Harrison appeared at the closing session of the National Council of Women's triennial meeting in Washington.

Being this political was unheard of at the time for the wife of a President. Yet she accomplished this in less than three years. It took tuberculosis to stop her. The First Lady passed away in the White House in October of 1892. A true political pioneer who deserves to be remembered in her own right.

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