Too Tired to Cook Dinner? Make a Ground Turkey and Orzo Skillet Meal
This is one of those meals that takes little effort and tastes great. The skillet meal also is quick, cheap, and doesn't call for weird ingredients. I make the ground turkey and orzo meal periodically when I'm tired, don't want to cook, and do want to eat. For me, the skillet meal is about as easy as getting take out (no getting in the car, no hassle with on-line menus, no waiting for the take out), plus it's far less expensive and better nutritionally. The leftovers come in handy for lunches, too. Low fat ground turkey provides the protein for the skillet meal, and an onion and herbs provide lots of flavor. I use frozen spinach in the dish, but fresh is great, too, if you have it. Feta cheese provides creaminess as well as a sharp, salty bite to the mild dish. I usually serve the skillet meal with a salad and whatever leftover vegetable I have on hand, meaning I can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less. Enjoy!
Ground Turkey and Orzo Skillet Meal -- Serves 4+
2-3 teaspoons of canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
16 ounces of lean ground turkey (93 percent)
1/2 teaspoon of salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon of pepper, or to taste
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
1/2 - 1 teaspoon of garlic powder (depending on how much you like garlic)
2 1/2 cups of hot water
1 cup of uncooked orzo pasta or similar small pasta (I sometimes--as in the picture--use whole wheat orzo)
2 teaspoons of reduced sodium chicken "Better Than Bullion"
10-ounce package of frozen spinach
1/3 - 1/2 cup of feta cheese crumbles (depending on how much you like feta), plus extra feta for the top, if you'd like
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and saute it for about five minutes or until it begins to soften. Crumble in the ground turkey and saute it with the onion, sprinkling on the salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, and garlic powder. Cook the turkey/onion/herbs for about eight minutes or until the turkey is mostly done. Add the hot water to the skillet and stir in the "Better Than Bullion." When the mixture in the skillet comes back to a boil, stir in the orzo, reduce the heat to medium, and partially cover the skillet. Let the mixture cook, stirring it periodically, for about 10 minutes or until the orzo is mostly cooked and has absorbed much of the water/broth in the pan (there still should be some--about a cup--of liquid in the pan). Stir in the frozen spinach until it thaws, is heated through, and is incorporated with the rest of the ingredients in the pan. Turn off the heat and stir in the feta cheese until it's incorporated and the mixture becomes creamy. Taste the dish and add more salt and pepper if you'd like (I don't, because the feta adds enough salt for me). If you'd like, scatter a little extra feta cheese on top of the mixture just before serving it.