Since it's getting toward the end of January, we're probably over our post-holiday 'I'm sick of turkey' phase. It's time then, to crank it up again with this terrific protein source. Plus a brightly colored veggie, a leafy green, and a winter fruit. Then we'll go lift the house with one hand or something.
- 2-4 boneless turkey tenderloins or breast or thighs (whatever's on sale at the co-op)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, white or yellow for preference
- 1 1/4 cups diced butternut squash (about 1/2-inch dice to be exacting)
- 5 figs, chopped, or 1 1/2 cups chopped pears of any kind
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed with the flat of a large knife
- 1 cup spinach (organic, unless you want to waste time rinsing and drying your spinach)
- 3 sage leaves, chopped
- 1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
- cooking twine or dental floss (my aim is never to send you running to the store for obscure ingredients or tools so dig in the bathroom drawer for some floss and don't worry about it)
- Butter or grapeseed or coconut oil
1. Prepare for battle and cube your squash. This is less of an ordeal if you have decent sharp knives but if not, don't worry you can still do this. Just stretch first. For a nifty tutorial on how to take a very solid gourd and make it something edible, look here
2. Boil or steam the squash until it's al dente
3. Heat a large skillet or frying pan over medium and add olive oil and garlic. Add onions and sauté for two minutes, or until golden.
4. Add butternut squash and figs/pears, spinach, salt, sage, and pepper and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Scoop deliciousness into a dish to stop it actively cooking. Somewhere along the way here the squash may become a bit mashed. That is totes ok.
5. Preheat oven to 375
6. Slice pockets laterally into the tenderloin, breast, or thigh, being careful not to cut all the way through
7. Scoop about 3/4 cup of your flavorful squash/fig/spinach mixture into each pocket. Tie near both ends and in the middle with twine or floss (if you have enough, tie the tenderloin off at additional spots, 5-6 is ideal
8. Melt butter, grapeseed, or coconut oil in your skillet or frying pan and lightly sear the tenderloins on each side (or just lightly brown them if you're like us and shy away from overcooking or even fully cooking meat)
9. If you're searing/browning in an ovenproof skillet, cover it with foil, pop it directly into the oven and cook for 30 minutes. If not, transfer the tenderloins to a baking dish, cover with foil, and cook for 35 minutes.
Serves 2-4. These tenderloins are a meal in themselves but feel free to get creative and serve them over wild rice or alongside greens or even some beets if you have the energy to whip those up.