A Turkey and Carrot Surprise
I cooked something epic.
I must have unknowingly encountered a Burning Bush in my sleep and was then given this recipe on imaginary stone tablets, or an angel must have dropped it in my mind while I was daydreaming on the subway. However I received it, this uncommon and uncharacteristic mesh of ingredients turned out beautifully!
And it began with a dream about carrots.
For some reason, I began to have this intense hankering for carrots, which lasted for a few days. While I could have easily purchased a bag of baby carrots from my local grocery and nibbled to my heart’s content, I felt that carrots alone just wouldn’t do.
I began to get a taste for a good carrot salad, and often remembered having grated carrots with raisins as a child. I brought the salad idea up a notch by incorporating meat, which led to thoughts of making a single, warm meal instead of just a side dish.
Feeling restless on a rainy day, I decided to embark on another experiment. I went to the grocery store and bought the following ingredients:
- Ground Turkey
- Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- Brown Rice
At home I already had one onion, curry powder, lemon pepper seasoning and brown sugar, and decided to bring them into the mix.
An interesting combination, huh?
I began by cooking my brown rice (3 parts water/ 1 part rice). I didn’t add any salt or other seasoning to the rice (much to the surprise of my friend/roommate Delwin).
Next, I cut up a few mushrooms and about a quarter of an onion.
Setting those aside and leaving the rice to cook, I prepared my ground turkey. I must admit that I am afraid to cook with meat and rarely do so at home (cleaning out guts freak me out, and the thought of under-cooked meat scares me). Nevertheless, when I do get an urge for meat, I usually fix ground turkey, as it cooks very quickly and requires no preparation other than heating a pan. Just before the turkey meat was done, I added a large heap of raisins, plus generous sprinklings of cinnamon and curry powder, with a dash of brown sugar.
The scent of this mixture was immediate and glorious.
Next, I decided to quickly sautee the mushrooms and onions in olive oil and with a bit of lemon pepper seasoning. I adore cooked mushrooms, and could eat them with any meal!
With everything nearly done, all that was left was to grate the carrots. This surprisingly takes a bit of arm work!
Now it was time to bake! I added each ingredient by layer:
rice at the bottom, then meat, then mushroom and onion, then carrots. The mozzarella cheese was the final “icing” on the cake!
I baked it in an oiled pan for about 20 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees. The apartment was so rich with the scent of cinnamon and curry. It was great!
When the time was up, I let it cool down for a few minutes and then excitedly grabbed a bowl to chow down!
The various textures and tastes made this a very exciting dish! I especially loved the mixture of cinnamon in the ground turkey, and of course the raisins and carrots. Next time, though, I need to figure out a way to make the rice less dry. Perhaps I’ll add a bit of olive oil, or mix a few of the spices in it. Or could I just try using less rice.
The total cooking time was about 45 minutes to an hour, and it was totally worth it!
Do you have any suggestions on ways to improve this dish, or have decided to give it a try? I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment :)