When I set out to create a recipe for The Perfect Pantry, I often begin by jotting down ingredients and the quantities of each that I think will bring the dish to life. As I cook, I adjust and fine-tune. When the recipe works, you see it here. When it doesn't, I go back to the drawing board and start again. In the first notes about this salsa verde turkey, I was certain I'd add a can of chopped green chiles. Fortunately -- and here is the important lesson -- I tasted the salsa first. I used a jar of Trader Joe's Hatch Valley Salsa, a hot-hot-hot green chile salsa, and it was plenty hot enough for me. In the recipe, I caution you to taste your green salsa, as there are so many varieties of store-bought salsa that will be great in this recipe. Use a mild tomatillo salsa, or an incendiary one; it doesn't matter, as long as it's green, and you like the taste.
Salsa verde turkey and brown rice bowl with avocado and cheese
From the pantry, you'll need: ground turkey, tomatillo or green chile salsa, canned green chile peppers, ground cumin, brown rice, shredded cheese.
Serves 4; can be doubled.
2 tsp olive oil
1-1/3 lb ground turkey (I use 93% fat-free)
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp cumin
12 oz green chile or tomatillo salsa
4-oz can choppped green chiles, optional (taste your salsa to see if you need extra heat before adding chile peppers)
1 cup chicken stock (low-sodium storebought or homemade)
2 tsp minced cilantro
Pinch of fresh black pepper
2 tsp finely minced red bell pepper, optional
1 Tbsp cornstarch + 3 Tbsp water
4 cups cooked brown rice
1 avocado, diced
1 cup shredded pepper jack or Monterey Jack cheese
In a large, deep-sided, nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the turkey, and brown lightly, 3-4 minutes (break up clumps with a spatula). Toss in the onion and garlic, and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Stir in the cumin.
Pour the salsa into the pan, and stir to combine. If your salsa is mild and you'd like more heat, add some or all of the can of chopped green chiles.
Add the chicken stock, cilantro and black pepper. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes, until the liquid in the pan is reduced by half. Stir in the (optional) red bell pepper.
With the liquid at a simmer, pour in the cornstarch solution, and stir gently while the sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat.
Portion the cooked rice into 4 bowls. Top each with a serving of the turkey sauce. Garnish with chopped avocado and shredded cheese, and serve each bowl with a wedge of lime.
More rice bowls for healthy meals:
Mexican adobo chicken rice bowl, from The Perfect Pantry
Coconut peanut rice bowl with turkey, broccoli and mushrooms, from The Perfect Pantry
Slow cooker chicken and pinto bean burrito bowl, from The Perfect Pantry
Shichimi mushroom rice bowl, from 101 Cookbooks
Healthy rice bowl with kale, red pepper, and an egg, from A Couple Cooks
Pan-seared cumin lime barramundi rice bowl, from Cafe Johnsonia
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