Split Pea Soup with Smoked Turkey Thighs

Split Pea Soup - Comfort Food at its Best!


2 C (1 lb.) Split Peas

10 C Water

½ C Celery, chopped

½ C Carrots, chopped

2 C Onions, chopped

2 Bay leaves

3 Garlic cloves, minced

2 t Ground cumin

½ t Dried thyme

2 T Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids or low sodium soy sauce

½ t Salt

2 Smoked turkey thighs



  1. Put everything in a crock pot and cook on high for 6-8 hours.




  1. You can also cook on high for 3-4 hours the night before, put in the fridge before you go to bed, and finish cooking the next day.  Taking into account that the soup will be cold, cook on high for 6 more hours.
  2. Once soup is done, remove the smoked turkey thighs discarding the bones and skin.  Shred the meat and return to the soup.
  3. Serve with a dense whole grain bread (optional but delicious), and see how many recipes you can think of that taste this good and are this fast!

Split Pea Soup with Smoked Turkey Thighs

9-22-11 Dinner Blog

Split Pea Soup - a very satisfying meal!

Last night’s story actually started Wednesday night.  To get a jump on Thursday’s dinner and knowing the flavor would be better if the soup had time to marinate, I gathered all the ingredients and within 10 minutes everything was in the slow cooker.

Split peas, carrot, onion, celery,smoked turkey thighs, and seasonings cook slowly to make this savory soup

I purchased pre-chopped vegetables to save time, so it was a matter of dumping the veggies, dropping in 2 smoked turkey thighs,  and measuring out the water and seasonings.  Super easy! Then I turned the crock pot on high for 4 hours.   Before I went to bed, I put the crock pot in the refrigerator over night.  The soup was not ready, but at least the flavors had begun to cook, and, around noon I took the soup out of the refrigerator and turned it on high for 6 more hours.  If you are going to be gone all day, you could probably finish cooking the soup on low for about 10 hours…

While I usually only shop once during the week, I did not want to get fresh bread on Sunday to use on Thursday.  So yesterday afternoon, I went to the local bread shop and purchased whole wheat sourdough bread – I had them slice it to save time.  It was a quick trip in and out, I didn’t buy anything else!!!

By 4 p.m., the house smelled amazing!  Due to sports, our family dinner was scheduled for 7 p.m.  To make sure we sat down right at 7, I pulled the smoked turkey thighs out of the soup at about 6:15, discarded the skin and bones, shredded the meat and returned the meat to the soup.  This took about 10 minutes – the meat just fell off the bones.

Once we were ready to sit down, I portioned the soup and stacked 5 pieces of bread on a plate (we had a guest for dinner).

Split Pea Soup ready for the table!

The Verdict
Two thumbs up all around!  A 10 from my son, a 9.5 from our guest, who is my brother and would never miss a chance to diss me, a 9 from my husband, and a 9 from my toughest critic, my daughter.  Wow!!!  It was quite satisfying.  The adults had an additional small portion, but the kids were quite satisfied with one bowl.

Split Pea Soup - a very satisfying meal!

You learn something new every day.  You can teach an old dog new tricks…  Yes, I am talking about myself…  I made some changes to this recipe, out of necessity, that really enhanced the flavor. I used to use ham hocks, but the store was out.  I explained to the butcher what I was making and he suggested smoked turkey thighs – said I wouldn’t tell the difference and I might even like it better.  A bit salesy?! He was right!  I love using the smoked turkey thighs and will try them in place of ham hocks in all future recipes that call for ham hocks.  Nothing against ham hocks except that they are bit more fatty.

The one thing about smoked turkey thighs is that they use salt in the process.  As a result, I used very little additional salt in the recipe.  No one asked to add salt. The flavor was just right!

I owe you the recipe for this.  It is too good to pass on!  Stay tuned…

Asian Lettuce Wraps, Tomato-Avocado Salsa, Fresh Fruit


Dinner Blog Dinner Prep

It’s a good night when things go as planned.  It’s a great night when someone says they want to drive your leg of the carpool!  Bonus!!!

I found tonight’s recipe on allrecipes.com.  It sounded easy, delicious, and fast.  Right up my alley.  The recipe estimated 20 minutes of prep time and 15 minutes of cook time, which was about how long it took me.  I entered the kitchen at 6:10 and began by cooking the ground beef.  I should have washed the Bibb lettuce first and let it dry, but I was too excited to start the meal to think in the right order…

Once the beef was done, I put it on the side and cooked the onion, adding the hoisin sauce, soy sauce (I used the Bragg’s Liquid Aminos), garlic and rice wine vinegar when the onion was tender. Then I added the beef back to the onion mixture with sliced water chestnuts and chopped green onions.

Mixing the ground turkey, onions, and asian seasonings

I laid out the plates adding pineapple, a sliced peach and the last of the strawberries.  And while the menu shows green beans for tonight, we had them the last two nights, so I made a tomato – avocado “salsa” mixture.  It was a nice change from a side salad since we were already using lettuce for our wraps.

At 6:25 I had to run and pick up my son’s carpool and at 6:45 when I was back home again, I washed the lettuce (should have done earlier so it would dry), and patted it dry.  I warmed up the ground turkey mixture and spooned a bit on each lettuce leaf. I thought we would probably eat more than one wrap, but I wanted to make sure everyone liked them before I loaded them up on their plate.  We sat down to eat at 7:05.

Asian Lettuce Wraps with Tomato-Avocado Salsa, pineapple, strawberries and peaches

Two Thumbs Up!

Everyone liked dinner and I even got points for creativity (using lettuce instead of a tortilla)!  We used the sweet chili sauce (you may still have extra from a couple of weeks ago) and that added another level of flavor.  My son and husband really enjoyed the wraps, had seconds, and gave the dinner a 9 and 9+ respectively.  This is a huge win as my son is not a huge turkey eater… My daughter was a little less enthusiastic, had a small second wrap, and gave the meal a 7, although I am not sure why and I am not sure she knows exactly why…


Ingredients for Asian Lettuce Wraps:

12-16 Boston Bibb or butter lettuce leaves

1.75 lbs. ground turkey

1 T cooking oil

1 large onion

chopped 3 cloves fresh garlic

minced 1T plus a little bit

soy sauce (or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos)

1/3 Hoisin sauce 1 T plus a little bit,

1T rice wine vinegar

Asian chile pepper sauce or sweet chili sauce

1 8 oz can water chestnuts, sliced or finely chopped

¼ C chopped green onions

2 t Asian dark sesame oil

  1. Rinse lettuce leaves and set aside to dry
  2. Brown the ground turkey.  Remove from pan
  3. In same pan, sautee onion.
  4. Add garlic, soy sauce (Bragg’s), hoisin sauce, vinegar, and chili pepper sauce (or sweet chili sauce) to the onions and stir.
  5. Stir in water chestnuts, green onions, sesame oil, and cooked ground turkey
  6. Lay out plates and add fruit and one or two lettuce leaves
  7. Dice a tomato and avocado and mix them together with a touch of salt.  (for those kids who have strong preferences, add avocado, tomato or both separately on the plate (see the four settings: the adults got the mixture, and one had no tomatoes and one had avocado and tomato separate on the plate…)
  8. Make sure turkey mixture is still warm.  Spoon the mixture into center of leaves, making sure not to put too much in as it will be difficult to wrap.
  9. Serve!
  10. Show the kids how to “wrap” the lettuce like a tortilla – see how many points you get for creativity!

Turkey Burgers, Fresh Green Beans, and Mango

9-13-11 Dinner Blog

It was all about getting the job done yesterday evening.  We had “Back to School” information meetings at our son’s new school, which began at 5 and ended at 8:30, so, having to get out the door at 4:45, with dinner ready, I was already an underdog…

At 4:15 I made the burgers.  Adding 1 ½ T of Braggs Amino Acids and 1 ½ T Worcestershire sauce, I mixed up 1.75 lbs of ground turkey and made 7 turkey burgers.  I bought dark ground turkey meat thinking it would be a bit moister.  As I mixed in the flavorings, the meat felt wet and almost ‘sticky’. Kind of like dough that needs more flour.  I was tempted to put in some oatmeal or bread crumbs but resisted and left them as they were.  At 4:30 they were on the grill (medium heat) – by 4:40 they were off the grill and I was out the door.

I had instructed our baby sitter to cut a mango and prepare the fresh green beans, (with olive oil spray and salt), to accompany the hamburger on the plate.  I considered having her take pictures of their plate but thought it might be too much pressure…J

At 8:45 when my husband and I returned – ravenous – we warmed up the turkey burgers and bread in the toaster oven.  I also cut a mango and prepared a few green beans for the two of us.  I really needed comfort food at this point, and against my usual protocol, I spread a bit of Earth Balance (a plant based vegetable shortening – a “healthy margarine”) on the bun… Are you sensing a bit of justification?! J

The Verdict

YUMMY!!!  It was a great late night dinner and if I do say so myself, those were my best turkey burgers yet!  I have experimented over the years, searching for the best tasting turkey burger recipe, usually finding them dry and tasteless.  I think the combination of using dark turkey meat, Worcestershire sauce and the Bragg’s Liquid Aminos All Purpose Seasoning gave the burgers a more meaty flavor.  The burgers were moist, not dry.  I am soooo glad I didn’t add any oatmeal or breadcrumbs!   …And yes, that small victory does bring a smile to my face!!!


For 2 Adults and 2 Kids

1.75 lbs. Ground Turkey

1 3/4 T Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

1 3/4 T Worcestershire Sauce

Small Roll for Burgers (optional)

Large Handful of Fresh Green Beans

1 Mango cut up and divided across 4 plates

1.  Mix ground turkey, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl.

2.  Divide the burgers into 7 equally-sized balls and form 1/4 lb. patties about 1/2 ” thick. The burgers will feel moist and a bit sticky – like dough that needs more flour.  Resist the temptatin to add anything like oats or bread crumbs to the mixture…

3. Preheat grill on high

4. Put the burgers on and turn the heat down to medium

6. Rinse the green beans, cut off the stems, and spray a bit of olive oil (or canola oil), salt (light salt) the beans, and portion them on the plates.

7. Flip the burgers. (about 4-5 minutes)

8. Portion the mango across the plates.

9. Pull burgers off  (about 3 more minutes).

10.  Serve and see if that isn’t one of the best turkey burgers you’ve had!




Sept 12-15 Menu and Master Shopping List

Sept 12-15 Menu and Master Shopping List

Recognizing that every day this week is going to be very busy, Tuesday and Thursday are going to be particularly crazy right around dinner time.  So while I like to alternate the entrees, (chicken Mon/Wed and something else Tues/Thurs), I am going to break with tradition and order the meals to fit the schedule.

When you adopt one of my menus for the week, compare it to your calendar and change the order accordingly. You also may realize that, in order to prepare healthy meals and not have to pull a box of frozen food from the freezer or order take out, you may have to shop and do some pre prep on Sunday.  That is what I am planning to do this week.


Monday: Southwest Chicken with tomato-avocado-black bean salsa, and fruit

Tuesday:  Turkey Burgers, green beans, fruit, and side salad

Wednesday: Asian Lettuce Wraps with Ground Turkey, green beans, and fruit

Thursday:  Chicken Chili Bake, side salad, and fruit

Shopping List:

Please check this list against your pantry, particularly the dry goods.  There are several items on the list that you might already have, and if you’re like me, you don’t want to buy more than you need, especially if you already have the ingredients in your pantry!


3.5 lbs Boneless skinless chicken breast

3 lbs Ground turkey


1 Bunch cilantro

2 Onions

Boston Bibb lettuce

Extra greens for salad

2 Cloves Garlic

3 Tomatoes

1 Bunch green onions, chopped

2 Avocados

1 1/2 lbs Green beans (2 dinners and snack)

1 Red bell pepper

1/2 lb Snow peas


2 Limes for 1/4 c of lime juice for cilantro chicken – or purchase a bottle

Fruit for breakfast, lunch, and dinner:



1 QT Strawberries

3 Mangos

1 Pint figs (Just because I love them)

(Still have oranges from last week)


Cheddar cheese or sheep’s / goat’s milk equivalent

Plain Yogurt or Goat milk yogurt if you don’t do dairy or you can use sour cream)


Tex Mex veggie combo ( I you don’t want the corn, use 1 can black beans and either fresh or frozen bell peppers

Dry Goods

Black beans


1 T + 1/4 cup Olive oil (or canola oil)

Olive or canola spray

1 T Soy sauce

1/4 C Hoisin sauce

1 T Rice wine vinegar

Asian chili pepper sauce (or sweet chili sauce)

1 8 oz can Water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped

2 t Asian (dark) sesame oil

1 T Ground cumin

Salt and pepper

1/4 Worcestershire sauce

Bragg’s liquid amino acids all-purpose seasoning spray (optional)



Small Hamburger buns (can also use for sandwich bread to avoid getting too much bread…)