Warmth in Jerusalem

One might think that being in Jerusalem would feel warmer than much of the rest of the world right now…especially other places I might be living:


Not the case. I think it’s a combination of Jerusalem stone buildings and no insulation, but I honestly think it’s colder in my Jerusalem apartment these days than it ever was in my Minneapolis apartment…yes, even when it was -30º. I am just thankful my apartment has some form of heating – no matter how inadequate – instead of just space heaters like many people use.

In other news, a little Jerusalem humor to brighten up the cold day:


But, if misdirected text messages aren’t enough to warm you up, check out the joyous gathering that was my Thanksgiving last week.

Thanksgiving in Jerusalem, you say? Well, in a country of immigrants, there are a lot of uprooted Americans, and Thanksgiving makes itself known. Many of the grocery stores (especially those in anglo parts of the city) have pumpkin and cranberry sauce appear on shelves in mid-November. The week of Thanksgiving itself, stores get in turkeys – but do your shopping early or you might have to fight someone for the bird you want!

My Thanksgiving day started with a siyum (closing) in my Chumash (five books of Moses, ie, the Torah) class. We have a siyum every time we finish a parasha (weekly Torah portion). Last week, we finished Parashat Noach – the story of Noah and the ark and the flood…maybe you’ve heard of it? 🙂 Since the timing coincided with Thanksgiving, we decided to have the best of both worlds and make it a ‘Noah on the Mayflower’ party:


For the big festive meal, I joined together with about 30 others and enjoyed probably my most extravagant Thanksgiving meal to date. I guess if 30 people contribute to a meal, things get reallllll fancy. The table was dressed to impress and there were so many dishes we had to cycle the food through since it couldn’t all fit:

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The hosts cooked a whole turkey…if you dare, locate the neck in the remains below:


And, in closing, PIES!


I also brought the applesauce brownies mentioned in this post as my contribution to the meal.

Ground Turkey Thai Curry

This weekend, I enjoyed a lovely girls night with a couple friends. We decided to make a variation of this recipe and ended up with a delicious thai curry of our own. We adjusted the ingredients and measurements and used turkey instead of beef. Here’s the breakdown (full recipe below):

Saute one red onion in a skillet until it starts to brown:


While the onion cooks, chop 3 cloves garlic, 1 inch ginger, and two heads of broccoli:


Once the onion browns, add the garlic, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon each of turmeric and cumin, and 1 lb ground turkey:

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Cook until the turkey starts to brown and then add 1 tablespoon red curry paste, broccoli, thai basil, and one 15oz can of tomato sauce:


Stir and cook down for about 10-15 minutes until the broccoli is soft:

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Squeeze in the juice of a half lime and serve with the grain of your choice (we used whole wheat cous cous).

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Ground Turkey Thai Curry
serves 4

- 1 red onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch ginger, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon red curry paste
- 2 heads broccoli, chopped
- 1 bunch thai basil, chopped
- 1, 15oz can tomato sauce
- lime juice, fresh

- Saute the red onion in a tablespoon of olive oil until it begins to
- Add garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, and turkey.
- Cook until the meat starts to brown, and then add the curry paste,
broccoli, thai basil, and tomato sauce.
- Stir and cook for 10-15 more minutes until the broccoli cooks down
and becomes soft.
- Squeeze juice from a half lime over the dish and serve with grain
of choice.

Teriyaki Turkey Burgers

I have a bottle of teriyaki sauce in my fridge leftover from when I made Asian Turkey Meatloaf several weeks ago. I’ve been wanting to make something else with the stuff in an attempt to use a little more of the bottle, and I thought teriyaki burgers could be a good solution. Plus, I could also use the leftover roasted garlic from the Roasted Tomato Coconut Soup! *full recipe below
First, chop one small onion:
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Combine the onion with 1.25 lbs lean ground turkey and one egg:
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Add 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce and 1/4 cup of whole wheat breadcrumbs:
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Add in the roasted garlic – I used a lot:
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The flavor of roasted garlic is much milder than raw, so you should use it in much larger quantities to get the flavor. Mix everything together:
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Divide into 6 patties on a baking sheet:
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Bake at 375° for 15 minutes on one side…
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…and then the other:
Serve with potatoes and cheesy cabbage bake:
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- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1.25 lbs ground lean turkey
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons garlic
- 2 tablespoons roasted garlic (this is an approximation of what I used)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until sauce is distributed.
Divide into 6 patties on a baking sheet and bake at 375° for 30 minutes, flipping after 15 minutes.

Turkey Spinach Meatballs and Broccoli

Now that restaurant week is over, it’s time to get back in the kitchen! A few weeks ago I found a recipe for spinach and turkey meatballs on Fast Paleo (a paleo recipe-sharing site) that caught my eye, so I decided to make that. I had originally planned to serve it with spaghetti squash, but I forgot to buy some at the store, so I improvised and decided to pair it with broccoli and toast.

For the meatballs, I combined 1.25 lbs of ground turkey (Jennie-O extra lean) with one egg, a heaping teaspoon of garlic powder, a few shakes of garlic salt, and a generous 1/2 teaspoon of cumin.

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I added one cup (plus a little) of chopped spinach:

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Mix it all together:

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And form into balls on a baking tray:

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The mixture held together well enough to shape, but it wasn’t too moldable (I think there may have been a little too much spinach). I cooked for 23 minutes at 350°.

Meanwhile, I prepped some broccoli. Tina at Carrots N Cake has raved many times about a roasted broccoli recipe. I decided to finally try it for myself. The prep was pretty easy. Just chop up your broccoli:

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Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and a couple tablespoons of sugar (I really did more like 1.5 tablespoons of sugar):

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Broil on high for 8 minutes:

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Although any broccoli is good broccoli to me, I definitely don’t think I did this recipe quite right. First of all, I think I was using a larger quantity of broccoli than in the original recipe, so I may have needed a little more oil/sugar. Additionally, the broiling time wasn’t sufficient for my oven, and I think I should have left the broccoli in there to cook a little longer. Oh well! I don’t know if I will try this recipe again anyway though – something about adding sugar to my veggies feels like sacrilege.

Here’s the final product – plus a few mini portabellos on top…

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…and some wheat toast with hummus:

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Restaurant week was fun, but it’s nice to back in my own kitchen.

Asian Turkey Meatloaf

A couple weeks ago I saw a recipe for Asian style meatloaf on Meals and Miles. I was particularly intrigued since the recipe included apricot preserves, and I happened to have a jar I was trying to finish off in my fridge. The recipe was pretty simple, and I made it to go along with my sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts for the week.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup oats, 2 tbsp. apricot preserves, 1 tbsp. teriyaki sauce, 2 tbsp. soy sauce, chopped parsley (I used whole package in the picture), 1 lb. ground turkey, one egg

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Combine everything in a bowl:

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Throw in a few shakes of ground red pepper. Mix well and form into a loaf on a baking tray. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes.

Serve with roasted sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts:


I really liked the flavor of this meatloaf. It wasn’t too heavy, and the slight Asian flavoring made it unique. The parsley added a little color and lightened up the meatiness of it a little bit. I would highly recommend the recipe!

Turkey Tacos

As promised, here is the turkey tacos recipe to accompany yesterday’s black bean salad. This recipe is fast, simple, and delicious. In fact, I can’t think of any reason why you shouldn’t make it. Unless you’re a vegetarian…but then you could make it with soy crumbles. So, yep, absolutely no reason why everyone shouldn’t make it. (full recipe below)

All you need are these ingredients:


Plus ground turkey. Raw meat, as it turns out, is not photogenic.

Cook ground turkey with taco seasoning and 1/4 cup water in a skillet at medium-high heat:


Chop tomatoes and add to the turkey once the meat has browned:

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Chop cilantro and add to skillet:

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Serve in tacos and enjoy!

Turkey Tacos
Serves 4
- 1.25 lbs extra lean ground turkey
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 taco seasoning packet
- 3 small tomatoes
- 1/4 cup cilantro
Cook turkey, water, and seasoning in a skillet over medium-high heat 
until meat has browned.
Add chopped tomatoes and chopped cilantro.
Mix and cook until vegetables are warmed through and the meat is 
no longer pink.

Meal example:


Last nights dinner was turkey tacos plus black bean salad, 1/2 avocado, and a few scoops salsa.