One of the most versatile meats around has to be ground turkey. The mild flesh picks up whatever seasonings or sauces you care to throw its way. It is perfect for chilies or stir-fries, spaghetti sauces or the following burritos.
These burritos can be varied according to the items you may have on hand. Mushrooms would be a good addition, for example, as would cooked corn.
Although the burritos are almost a meal in a wrapper, you may want to add a sliced tomato salad or sauteed zucchini to the menu. For dessert, crumbled oatmeal cookies make an easy parfait, layered with coffee or vanilla ice cream.
Turkey burritos with avocado and cilantro
Sliced tomato salad
Oatmeal cookie parfaits
Dry riesling or beer for adults, low-fat milk or water for kids
* Consider browning a larger part of meat than called for to have leftovers on hand for a quick chili or soup the next day.
* Use lean ground turkey for a lower fat content.
* Tortillas have more flavor when toasted over a gas flame, but for quicker heating, wrap a stack in a clean kitchen towel and microwave on high about 15 seconds.
Carol Mighton Haddix is food editor of the Chicago Tribune, a Tribune Publishing newspaper.
Turkey Burritos With Avocado and Cilantro
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish or hot Hungarian paprika (see note)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 / 4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
12 small corn or flour tortillas, heated
1 avocado, peeled, diced
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, optional
salsa, lime wedges, optional
Heat olive oil in large, heavy skillet. Add red pepper and onion; cook 3 minutes until softened. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Add paprika and cumin, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add turkey; cook, stirring to break up into small pieces, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro.
Heat the tortillas wrapped in a clean kitchen towel in the microwave.
Spoon turkey filling on each warm tortilla; top with avocado and cheese. Roll up. Serve with salsa and lime wedges for squeezing, if you like.
Note: Look for Spanish and Hungarian paprikas in specialty food stores or spice shops. Regular paprika can be used, but will lack the punch. Chili powder also can be a substitute.
Nutritional information per serving: 355 calories; 45 percent calories from fat; 18 grams fat; 3.4 grams saturated fat; 55 milligrams cholesterol; 535 milligrams sodium; 31 grams carbohydrate; 19 grams protein; 5 grams fiber