Everyday Meals: Macaroni Gratin with Turkey, Peas and Portobello Mushrooms

Sometimes there is just not enough time in the day for elaborate cooking. Between work, school activities and keeping the house in order, you just want to make something simple to make and simple to clean up. I have been swamped – seems like every day there is something going on at school, and with work keeping me on my toes along with dozens of cupcakes, cookies and halloween treats I promised friends and neighbors for halloween week, by the time dinnertime rolls around, I feel like I need a nap. So I try to keep it simple these days, and save the intense cooking for the weekends.

This is an easy one-dish meal. When it is just not that kind of day to be whipping up complex main dishes with various sides, this is a great way to do it in one go. You quickly brown the turkey and the vegetables, then combine it all in a baking dish and into the oven – it cooks up beautifully into a gorgeous aromatic blend of flavors and textures.

Using kamut pasta is a great way to get more protein into the meal, but you can also use whole wheat pasta or regular semolina pasta. Onions and peas both contain DHA Omega 3 fatty acids, as well as an abundance of other vitamins and minerals, and the flaxseeds and wheat germ in the bread crumbs add the extra DHA Omega 3.

Happy eating, weekday style.

Macaroni Gratin with Turkey, Peas and Portobello Mushrooms

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

4 turkey breasts

4 cups cooked kamut or whole wheat macaroni

1 teaspoon canola oil

1/2 cup peeled pearl onions

1/2 cup cleaned and cut portobello mushrooms

1/2 cup sweet peas

1 cup milk

1/2 cup cream

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup graded parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon wheat germ

1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds

1.Preheat the oven to 380 degrees. In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, wheat germ and flaxseeds and set aside.

2. In a pan, heat the oil, then add the turkey. Cook on one side until golden, about 5-7 minutes, and then turn it over to the other side and cook for another 4 minutes, sprinkling salt on the cooked side. Take out of the pan and cut into small bite-sized chunks.

3. In the same pan, add the onions, peas and mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes, adding a bit of salt.

4. In a baking dish, add the pasta, then the milk and cream and toss until well coated. Salt and pepper, then add the turkey, onions, peas and mushrooms. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture and bake for 20-30 minutes.Serve immediately.

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