Ground Turkey Series (Part 1)

I’m excited about a series covering two important things: cooking five pounds of meat at a time to make cooking future meals easier; substituting ground beef with ground turkey. I like the fact that 99% fat-free ground turkey has less calories, fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol than ground beef.

You may think that your family would not consider eating ground turkey, instead of ground beef, but I encourage you to give it a try without telling them that you substituted beef with turkey.

I cook five pounds of meat with two onions at a time. It works beautifully in the Instant Pot (instructions below). After cooking five pounds of meat, I proceed with cooking the current evening meal for the day. Then I divide it into four servings. I put it in individual zipper bags and freeze it for a later time. At the end of the day, it is so convenient to pull the pre-cooked meat out of the freezer and proceed with cooking supper. This saves me so much time and effort!

If y’all have checked out my website or Facebook page (Dinner in a Jar: Instant Pot Dinner Kits and Recipes) you know how much I love and adore my local canning factory. I realize that most people don’t have time to can and don’t have access to a canning factory. It saddens me that they are becoming somewhat obsolete.

In this photo, we canned two large turkeys.

The first step was to steam the meat until it’s cooked then it is pressure canned for preservation. 

Precooking your turkey and freezing it yields the same end result—meat that is already cooked. This makes cooking the evening meal easier and faster.

Even though I try to use ground turkey as much as possible, there are still occasions when I cook lean ground beef. You can cook and freeze ground turkey with onions in the same manner (directions below). 

Instructions for cooking five pounds of ground beef and two onions in Instant Pot.

1. Place wire rack that came with Instant Pot in the bottom.
2. Add one cup of water.
3. Break up meat into smaller pieces and place meat on wire rack.
4. Chop two large onions and put on top of meat.
5. Set release valve in the “sealing” position. High Pressure for 25 minutes. Then natural release.


6. Before removing from the Instant Pot, use a meat thermometer and make sure the internal temperature is 160 ºF (according to USDA).
7. After removing meat and onions, pour off water and fat.
8. Put meat in large bowl and chop into smaller pieces with a slotted type spatula or heavy duty spoon.

To cook and freeze ground turkey with onions in the same manner, set release valve in the “sealing” position. High Pressure for 35 minutes. Then natural release. Before removing from the Instant Pot, use a meat thermometer and make sure the internal temperature is 165 ºF (according to USDA).

The next two posts will include Instant Pot recipes using ground turkey. So purchase your ground turkey and onions, cook it in the Instant Pot, freeze it in zipper bags (one pound per bag) and get ready!

Happy New Year!

From our neck of the woods to your home. Be sure to turn on speakers when you watch video. Yes, this song was really playing on the radio when I recorded this video! Photos taken near us at historic Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Momma Mia’s Lentil Vegetable Soup Mix

“Dinner in a Jar” makes an awesome gift! Whether you want to make it for someone who has a limited amount of time to spend in the kitchen, create a dinner kit for older kids or someone who does not enjoy cooking—they are sure to appreciate it.

This recipe includes:

  • Shopping List and Recipe for “Dinner in a Jar” Gift Giver.
  • Shopping List and Recipe for “Dinner in a Jar” Gift Recipient.

Shopping List for “Dinner in a Jar” Gift Giver:

1 cup brown lentils

1/3 cup dried vegetables (or all natural soup greens)

Zipper sandwich bag

Italian seasoning

Oregano

Basil

Ground cumin

Ground turmeric

Garlic salt

Pepper

Dry minced garlic

Chicken bouillon granules

*Shelled hemp seeds

*Chia seeds

*Nutritional yeast seasoning

Ingredients for Jar:

Put 1 cup brown lentils in bottom of regular mouth pint jar.

Add 1/3 cup dried vegetables (or all natural soup greens) to jar.

Spice Packet:

Do not put these in jar (yet). In a zipper sandwich bag, mix the following ingredients well:

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons dry minced garlic

2 tablespoons of chicken bouillon granules

*1 teaspoon hemp seeds

*1 teaspoon chia seeds

*1 teaspoon nutritional yeast

Seal zipper (remove excess air) and put spice packet in top of jar. Screw on lid.

Print the following and give to recipient of “Dinner in a Jar”.

Shopping List for “Dinner in a Jar” Gift Recipient:

1 small to medium onion

1 cup carrots (pre-grated in the bag)

Baby spinach – 5 ounce package (recipe uses 3 cups)

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon

1 – 14.5 ounce cans stewed tomatoes

1 – 10 ounce can Rotel® original diced tomatoes & green chilies (your choice: mild, original, or hot)

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

Remove spice packet from jar and set aside.

 

Add to Instant Pot:

1 small to medium onion, chopped

1 cups carrots (pre-grated in the bag)

Pour dried vegetables and lentils into strainer and rinse. Then add dried vegetables and lentils into Instant Pot. Add spice packet, 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 4 cups water. Mix well.

Add 3 cups baby spinach and stir again.

Set release valve in the “sealing” position. High Pressure for 14 minutes. Quick release.

After pressure has gone down, open lid and add:

1 – 14.5 ounce cans stewed tomatoes

1 – 10 ounce can Rotel® original diced tomatoes & green chilies, undrained (your choice: mild, original, or hot)

Mix well. Saute for a few minutes until soup is hot.

Yields approximately 6 1/2 cups of Lentil Vegetable Soup.

*Shelled hemp seeds are rich in healthy fats and essential fatty acids. They are also a great protein source and contain high amounts of vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc.

*Chia seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants, and they provide fiber, iron, and calcium. Omega-3 fatty acids help raise HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol that protects against heart attack and stroke.

*Nutritional yeast seasoning is a source of complete protein and vitamins, in particular B-complex vitamins. It contains folates, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, selenium and zinc, making it a great superfood.

Enjoy!

Dinner in a Jar: Momma Mia’s Favorite Lentil Vegetable Soup Mix ©Camelia Elliott (all rights reserved)

You May Ask, “Why?”

You may ask, “Why do you add shelled hemp seeds, chia seeds, and nutritional yeast seasoning to most of your recipes?”
Shelled hemp seeds are rich in healthy fats and essential fatty acids. They are also a great protein source and contain high amounts of vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc.
Chia seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants, and they provide fiber, iron, and calcium. Omega-3 fatty acids help raise HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol that protects against heart attack and stroke.
Nutritional yeast seasoning is a source of complete protein and vitamins, in particular B-complex vitamins. It contains folates, thiamine, riboflavin, selenium and zinc, making it a great superfood.

History of “Dinner in a Jar” The Perfect Gift

Welcome to “Dinner in a Jar” the perfect gift! Our mission is to set busy individuals up for success to cook quick and easy, homemade meals in the instant pot using my “Dinner in a Jar” recipes, cooked with an emphasis on whole food.Who needs “Dinner in a Jar”? Anyone who wants to:

  • Eat out less
  • Eat at home more often
  • Eat more wholesome foods
  • Eat less processed foods

Think of “Dinner in a Jar” as a kit. Most of the ingredients and spices are already in the jar, simplifying the dreaded question we face at the end of the day, “What’s for dinner?” and making it easier than ever to eat healthy meals at home.

I am excited to provide scrumptious recipes, easy “dinner in a jar” meals, unique and delicious items for your pantry. Look for these categories on our blog and while shopping on our website:
  • Free Recipes

Free Recipes that are quick and easy to prepare with an emphasis on whole foods.

  • Buy a “Dinner in a Jar” Recipe and Grocery List

Includes: Shopping List and Recipe for Dinner in a Jar “Gift Giver”; Shopping List and Recipe for Dinner in a Jar “Gift Recipient”.

  • Buy a Specialty “Dinner in a Jar” (recipe not for sale)

The Perfect Gift. This specialty “Dinner in a Jar” is our top of the line meals. Recipe and Grocery List not for sale individually.

Our History:

When we purchased our 50+-year-old historic home, it needed some love, attention, and TLC. The kitchen was the worst, therefore we gutted it and started the long journey of refurbishing it. I did not have a range to cook on for five months and I quickly became “the instant pot queen”. I ordered my pot out of necessity and cooked with my beloved new miracle, small appliance every night.
During the Christmas of 2017, I thought long and hard about a unique, useful, loving, and perfect gift for my girls. They are so busy and the dreaded question, “what’s for dinner?” always lingers at the end of the day.  My daughter gets home from work after dark, builds a fire in the wood burning-stove and walks the dogs before hubby gets home. After all of that, cooking is hard. My daughter-in-law has two little ones all day long. All moms with young children are exhausted at the end of the day.
What could be more perfect than pouring “dinner in a jar” into the instant pot, adding a few ingredients, and pressing a button at the end of a long, hard day?
I went through my recipes and converted the instructions to be used in their instant pots. “Dinner in a jar” could also be used for crockpot cooking.
It was a little overwhelming in the beginning when I was making out my grocery list. When I started putting ingredients in jars, it was fun layering food in the jars. I think they are beautiful!
I knew my girls were going to love dinner in a jar!
I am a mason jar fanatic! Why is “Dinner in a Jar” such an amazing concept? Why do I love to can my own food and use mason jars to store dry all of the dry food in my pantry? To avoid BPA lining in tin cans and all of the adverse effects it has. We can about 400+ jars of food per year.
When I posted photos of my girl’s “Dinner in a Jar” gifts, there were a lot of similar comments, such as:
“Can you adopt me????”
“OMG….adopt me, please!”
“I wish you were my Mom!”
“Will you adopt me???”
“Can you adopt me please!!!!!!!!!!”
“I want to be your daughter lol. Great idea!!!!”
“Please adopt me.”
These comments brought back a sweet memory. When my twin nieces were toddlers, they could not pronounce my name, so they called me “Momma Mia”. When you see my nickname in some of my recipe titles, you will know why 🙂

Got Left Over Turkey? Delicious and Easy Recipe

Got left over turkey? Here is my delicious and easy recipe. It is one of my favorites. It is just as good using chicken.

Momma Mia’s Instant Pot Turkey Tortilla Soup

1 medium size onion, chopped
3 cups precooked turkey or 6 precooked chicken breasts, cut up
1 – 4.5 oz. can diced green chilies
1 – 10 oz. can Rotel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies (your choice of mild, original, or hot)
2 – 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 cans hominy, drained
5 cups chicken broth
1 – 10.5 oz. can tomato soup
1 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoons chilli powder
2 cloves garlic, minced

Set Instant Pot on Saute and cooked chopped onion with spices (last five ingredients listed on recipe) until done.

Drain hominy and add to instant pot.

Pour in all other ingredients and cook on Saute until hot. It is that easy! Enjoy.

Momma Mia’s Instant Pot Turkey Tortilla Soup Recipe ©Camelia Elliott (all rights reserved)