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Saturday, 26 July 2014

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Spice up some minced turkey

WE ARE big fans of turkey mince.

Generally we substitute it where we would normally use minced beef (in lasagne, meatballs, chilli and suchlike).

We like the flavour but it is also lower in fat, thereby working that little bit towards eating a healthier diet.

This week we bring you our lettuce cups with spiced turkey. Serves four.

A splash of olive oil

500g turkey mince (or you could use beef, pork or chicken mince instead)

Salt and pepper

½ head fennel, diced

2 medium onions, diced

Fresh garlic, crushed (use as much as you like, we use around four cloves)

2 tblsp soy sauce

2 tblsp sweet chilli sauce (or if you want to tone down the spice a bit use honey instead)

2-4 fresh red chillies, sliced

1 bunch spring onions, sliced

A few sprigs (about 10g) fresh coriander, chopped

A few sprigs (about 10g) fresh basil, chopped

A few sprigs (about 10g) fresh mint, chopped

4 little gem lettuces, leaves separated

Yoghurt topper, combine together:

250g Greek yoghurt (you can use fat free if preferred)

½ cucumber, finely diced

A little fresh mint (approx 10 leaves), chopped

Use a good non-stick frying pan. This will mean that you do not have to load it with too much olive oil.

Heat the pan on the stove; add a little oil and sauté the fennel, onions and garlic until soft.

Remove the onion mix from the pan.

Use the same pan to fry the turkey mince. We do not fully break up the turkey mince so that it retains a chunkier texture. Almost as if there are some small turkey meatballs in the mix as well as individual strands of mince. If you are using a good non-stick pan then you should not have to add any more oil. Cook the mince over a medium high heat until it is golden brown. Season as it is cooking.

Once you are sure it is cooked through, but not overdone as it can turn dry, the rest of the method is fabulously easy.

Just add the soy and sweet chilli. Stir well to coat everything. Add the spring onion and as much fresh chilli as you dare. Stir again. Throw in all the fresh herbs. Toss over and you are ready to serve.

Place the individual little gem leaves on a platter. Serve alongside your turkey and a bowl of the yoghurt topper.

Put a leaf onto your serving plate, top with the spiced turkey and then a dollop of the yoghurt. If you have made your turkey very spicy then the cooling action of the yoghurt will be a welcome addition upon eating.

We usually serve this with another couple of salads and add these to the lettuce cups with the aforementioned toppings. It makes things a little more interesting still, but it is not necessary if you are pushed for time.

Ideas are coleslaw (made with mayo or, as we do, hummous), avocado, red onion and tomato or herby cous cous.

Another tip: If you think this is too summery or unsubstantial for you then substitute the lettuce cups for tortilla wraps.

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