21 March 2013

It's the third Thursday of the month and that means it's time for another great Improv Challenge. The premise of the Improv Challenge is easy: each month there are two assigned ingredients.  The participants must make a recipe using both ingredients and blog about it.  

This month's assigned ingredients were peas and carrots.  Peas and carrots, huh?  Not overly exciting ingredients, but ones I use very regularly, several times a week.  I didn't spend much time trying to be innovative and do something super creative with peas and carrots.  I'm sure somebody will do dessert, but this month I decided to go with something more standard.  I've had this recipe in my food photo file for several months, but hadn't gotten around to posting it yet.  Peas and carrots aren't exactly the main ingredients here, but they play an important role, so I thought it would be good for this challenge.  It's a slight adaptation of one I saw at Simply Recipes.

Curried Ground Turkey with Vegetables

3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb. ground turkey 
½ large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated
1” fresh ginger, grated
¾  cup water
1 tbsp curry powder or garam masala
1 lb.  potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
1½ cups matchstick carrots, cooked (3-4 mins in microcooker)
1 cup frozen peas
1 tsp salt
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Rice or flatbread (optional)

Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Sauté onion until it begins to soften.  Add the ground turkey, breaking it up with a spoon, and cook until it browns.  Add the garlic and ginger; mix well and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.  Mix in the curry powder or garam masala, water, and potatoes. Stir to combine and cover. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

When the potatoes are tender, add the carrots and peas. Mix well and cover the pot. Cook 2-3 minutes. Add salt, if needed, to taste.

Right before you serve, mix in the chopped cilantro. Serve alone or with flatbread or white rice.

Makes 4 servings.

I love this recipe for a couple of reasons.  First, I love how it uses ground turkey.  Ground turkey is widely available, healthier than ground beef, and affordable.  I usually end up with a couple of pounds in my freezer, but can't think what to do with them.  Using ground turkey makes this recipe super easy.  Second, I love how you can change up the spices if you want to get a different flavor profile.  The original recipe called for either garam masala, curry powder, or your favorite Indian spices.  I used 1 tbsp sweet curry powder, mixed with 1/4 tsp hot curry powder.  The ratio may sound off, but the hot is really hot!  It doesn't take much.  I want to try this with garam masala next time.  I also like how you can easily change the veggies to suit your tastes too.  I want to try it with sweet potatoes sometime.

Most of all, I love how easy it is to make this delicious one-pot recipe.  I love one-pot recipes!  They make busy weeknights so much easier. And frozen peas and matchstick carrots are a cook's best friend on those nights.

This dish was a big hit with my family.  My husband and both girls loved it.

So the next time you pick up some ground turkey but aren't sure what to make with it, try this recipe out.

Check out the collection below to see all the other great peas and carrots recipes and come back next month to see what I make with eggs and bacon. What a yummy assignment!

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  1. Lesa, this looks sooooooooo tasty. It's been a long time since I've used curry powder--I can see that I need to try it out again!

  2. Thank you. Lesa for the tips about curry. Great suggestion about matchstick carrots in the slow cooker, too...BTW I'm sure you see this comment all the time..but, Your daughters are darling!

  3. I wish I liked curry, because these look really good!

  4. Thank you, Kim! And actually I cook my carrots in a microcooker (it's a Pampered Chef thingy). That was mostly in there for my own use (to remind myself how long to cook them), but I forgot to remove it. I just steam them in the microwave for a few minutes.

  5. Like I mentioned above, you can use garam masala or any other Indian spices you like.

  6. This is the kind of dinner my family would enjoy: Exotic, but not too exotic.

  7. Mmm... I love curry and this one looks great! The peas and carrots add a wonderful pop of colour.

  8. We would love this dish...well in fact I make something very similar, a curried turkey shepherds pie. Peas and carrots aren't the most interesting but this dish wouldn't be the same without them.

  9. What a wonderful curry! So pretty, too!

  10. Love the mix of curry, carrots, and peas- such a great combo. This looks easy and delicious!