Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Creamy taco mac

I'll be the first to tell you that this is not a fancy dish...tastes a lot like hamburger helper.  This means it would be great for kids (Justin and Curt liked it, haha) and is easy to throw together....but it's made with ground turkey so its better for you than hamburger helper would be!

I got this off of a blog that a friend sent to me called Babies and Broccoli (http://www.babiesandbroccoli.blogspot.com/), she's got some great recipes on there and I've used quite a few of them. 

1 lb ground turkey
8 oz dry pasta (I just used elbow macaroni since I had it in the cupboard)
1 small onion
1 clove garlic minced (I used 2)
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes (I used Rotel with diced chiles in it)
package of taco seasoning
1/2 an 8 oz container of cream cheese (I used fat free)
1/2 cup sour cream (I used fat free)
shredded cheddar cheese (optional, I used a little bit of 2% mexican cheese)
salt and pepper to taste

Here's a little lesson on ground turkey that I had to learn.  The normal ground turkey is not much better for you than hamburger is, especially if you get the lean hamburger.  It's more expensive so there's really no reason to splurge for it.  You have to be sure that you are getting white meat ground turkey, so its 98% fat free and a lot lower in calorie.  The problem with this is it's very expensive, I've paid between $3.50 and $5 per pound before.  I still really like to eat pasta with lower calorie count so I go with the turkey most of the time...but that choice is up to you. 

Sooooo, here we go.  Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Cook the pasta according to the package instructions and drain, reserving a 1/2 cup of the pasta water for later.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the ground turkey over medium-high heat.  A few minutes before the turkey is cooked through, add the chopped onion to the skillet.  Once it's all cooked, add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  You shouldnt have to drain turkey if you're using white meat, there usually isn't any grease to drain.  Mix in the diced tomatoes and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. 

Stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream, and reserved water.  Continue stirring until the cheeses are melted and blended.  Season with salt and pepper, and top with cheese if desired.

I would probably add a jalapeno next time to spice it up a little more but crushed red peppers worked well for that too. This is a very simple weekday recipe...

Someone on my facebook asked for nutrition information and although none was provided, here are my estimations: ‎30 cals for cream cheese, 25 for sour cream, 211 for ground turkey, 160 for pasta, 20 for taco seasoning, 15 for tomatoes=461 calories and I always round up.  That is under 500 calories per serving when splitting this into 4 servings (which is plenty). 

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