weeknight dinners

weeknight dinners have become more difficult lately. i used to lay out lavish spreads complete with slowly simmered meats and precisely diced vegetables. however, spending two hours to make fresh pasta and sauce on a wednesday is a thing of the past. my primary requirements for dinner these days is that the entire meal takes 30 minutes or less to prepare and that it contain a high proportion of vegetables to lean protein. that last requirement is optional though, if i’m being perfectly honest.

last night i was able to come up with something simple, quick, and fresh. it was inspired by a dish from donna hay’s the instant cook (highly recommended), but i’ve changed it enough that i’m willing to share the recipe with all of you.

“thai” lime and herb turkey with rice noodles*

thai lime and herb turkey


  • 2T neutral oil (i used canola)
  • 1# ground turkey
  • 1T grated fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 green chili (or red, whatever you can find), seeded and sliced
  • 1T sugar
  • 1T fish sauce
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • large handful of chopped cilantro
  • large handful of chopped basil
  • 5 scallions, sliced
  • rice/mung bean noodles


prepare rice/mung bean noodles per package instructions.

heat the oil in a large pan over medium high heat. add the ginger and stir until fragrant. add the turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, then add the garlic and the chilies (you don’t want the garlic to burn). continue stirring until there is no pink left in the meat. sprinkle the sugar over the meat and then add the fish sauce and lime juice. stir to combine and slightly increase the heat to thicken the “sauce” (there won’t be a sauce with this…it will just be enough to coat the meat). turn off the heat and toss in the herbs and scallions, stir to combine. serve over rice/mung bean noodles.


if you don’t feel that herbs and scallions count as vegetables (and shame on you if you don’t) then you could steam some bok choy or asparagus and serve that on the side. incidentally, this dish is gluten free and dairy free for all of my food allergen friends out there. i do think it’s kid-friendly, but that depends on how adventurous your kid is. also, you may want to cut down on the chilies if serving to children (unless they’ve been bad). just a suggestion.

(*let’s be honest, i’m not thai and i have no idea if this tastes authentically thai…but that’s what is seems like to me. don’t hate.)


2 responses

  1. This looks delicious, so I decided to modify the recipe for what I had available at the time:

    2T neutral oil (olive…is that neutral?)
    1# ground turkey
    1T sugar
    1 package noodle

    1. Cook everything.
    2. Throw in bowl.
    3. Eat.


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