Thursday, July 30, 2015

Too Hot!

This was one of those miserable day when the feels like temperature is much hotter than the actual temp.  It was only in the mid 90's today, but the humidity made the air feel kind of like going into a steam bath with no exit.   Since it was nice and toasty, I surely did not want to compound the issue by using the oven and only wanted minimal use of the stovetop.

I looked through the fridge to see what was about to ruin produce was available without going to the store and dinner kind of planned itself.  I had 2 partially used boxes of pasta, a cup(ish) of cooked green beans, 1/2 clamshell of cherry tomatoes, 1 red onion, 1/2 jar of roasted red peppers, 1/2 cucumber, about a tablespoon of pine nuts and 3 individual mozzarella sticks.  Woo hoo! I love using things that would become compost tomorrow!

Minimal Cooking Pasta Salad

1 1/2 cup pasta (any shape you have) cooked, drained and cooled
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup leftover cooked drained green beans
1 small red onion, minced
2 halves jarred roasted pepper (or 1 med fresh roasted pepper) cut in slices
1/2 cucumber peeled and cut in half moon slices
3 mozzarella sticks (string cheese type sticks) cut into "pennies"
1 tablespoon pine nuts (optional but they add a lot of flavor and light crunch)

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Cavender's Greek Seasoning
1/2 cup olive oil (regular or e.v.)

Put the cooled pasta in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients in no particular order.  Pour the dressing over the salad* (This makes a lot of dressing and we used a little under half of it.  I saved the rest and will use it to marinate chicken to grill this weekend) and toss gently.  Serve on a breakfast plate and enjoy.

I thought about taking a picture of this but my phone was out of all charge and I was too hungry to wait so I ate it before shooting.  Sorry, but honestly it just looked like a chunky pasta salad.  The real flavor difference was the Cavander's and the pine nuts.  It was so good and such a nice cool, relatively light meal that was perfect for a hot summer night. The only change I will make is to pinch off a few basil leaves, chop them finely and sprinkle them over the top.  I guess it just felt too hot to even think of going outside to pick them.  Oh well, there is always next time.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Great Butterscotch Caper

Son3 is our last college kid and this summer is the summer of the apartment.  We had to lease it for the full year, so he is staying in the city and living in it while working there.  It is kind of a win/win situation for all of us.  He was here for  a little under a month, so we got to see him and enjoy him a little, and he got to leave before he became terribly irritated with us, and we were only mildly irritated with him.

While he was here he planned to hone his cooking skills a little, or at least learn enough to add some more possibilities to his culinary resume.  As life would have it, he spent the majority of his time at home visiting with my dad during his last days, participating in the funeral, and helping my mother in the days that followed. We did not have a lot of time to stop and catch our breath, much less cook, so I told him I would begin a series of youtube videos teaching him how to make some of his favorite dishes and learn a few more skills in the process.

My days have been consumed by helping Mom through the various processes one has to complete following the death of a spouse. (Thankfully her generation is probably the last one to have such clearly defined male/female responsibility lines.  We are having to teach her everything about finances, and are failing as teachers because she still has no clue about anything...but I digress)

Long story short, Son3 has been back in New York a month and I have posted exactly nothing.  Since I have a few moments today, I thought this would be a good time to start experimenting with recipes following his criteria: tasty and cheap!  We have been doing phone time price comparisons of basic groceries, and I found he really does need to stick to the most basic ingredients to make his $150 monthly grocery money last.  Add to that his extremely small kitchen and storage (or lack of storage) and it gets a lot more interesting.

I found a couple of recipes for inexpensive chocolate and butterscotch pudding mixes, which would add something tasty and filling to a very basic meal. It is a pretty good start to learn some basic techniques and it would also be a decent place for me to get my feet wet with youtube, since pudding is simple and not something I would screw up too badly.

Cook and Serve Butterscotch Pudding Mix

1 3/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup instant non-fat dry milk
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix everything together with a wire whisk and store in a covered container. (A clean and dried peanut butter jar works great and is great for a college budget)

To make 2 servings: (original instructions)
1/4 cup mix
1 cup milk (I used 2 percent)
1 tablespoon butter

In a small pan over a medium heat, mix the pudding mix and the milk.  Blend well and add the butter.  Continue stirring until the mixture boils, turn the heat down and continue cooking at a gentle boil for about 1 minute. Pour into 2 serving bowls and let cool.  Eat and enjoy?

Very critical review:
I have now made 2 recipes of the mix using both light brown and dark brown sugar.  I thought the
light brown sugar did not add enough brown sugar flavor and the pudding itself was light beige and just not attractive at all, so save yourself the trouble and bother and go ahead and use the dark brown sugar.  We aren't even going to mention the light brown sugar version again.

                                                             Brown Sugar Version 1

Version 1: I made this according to the recipe directions. I tasted the first version when it was slightly warmer than room temperature. It was butterscotch flavored, but not intensely butterscotch.  It also had a strange texture.  It was not chalky, but had none of the creaminess found in a regular pudding recipe. When it was completely cool the texture changed into something quite unpleasant and I am not exactly sure how to describe it. I know it did not technically squeak in my mouth, but it felt like it should. There was something about it that was completely off-putting.  Bear in mind I am an extremely tactile eater and feel supersedes taste almost all the time.
                                                         Brown Sugar Version 2

Version 2: Used 1/4 cup of the mix, 1 cup of milk, upped it to 2 tablespoons butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. 1 teaspoon molasses and 1/2 egg.  I mixed the egg and milk, added the butter, vanilla and the molasses. 1 egg was beaten in a small bowl and 1/2 (eyeballed) of it was poured into a larger heat proof bowl and set aside.  I cooked the mixture on the stovetop until it just started to boil.  Then I very slowly poured about 1/3 of it into the egg, while whisking the egg mixture at the same time.  When the pudding and the egg were thoroughly combined, I poured it back into the remaining pudding mix and cooked it for about 1 minute over a lowered medium heat, then poured it into 2 serving dishes. The molasses gave it a richer color, but changed the flavor. Instead of butterscotch it now tasted like table syrup flavored pudding but the consistency was more like traditional pudding.   When it was completely cool I tried it again. It was a much smoother pudding than it was lukewarm and I liked the way it felt in my mouth, but the molasses flavor was intensified.  If you love molasses this might be the one for you.

                                                             Brown Sugar Version 3

Version 3: Used the same 1/4 cup of the mix and 1 cup of milk, but this time I melted the butter  and added it to the milk, then combined it with the pudding mix.  Once I had everything combined and smooth, I turned on the heat and cooked it until it formed bubbles around the edges. I sat it off the heat for about 45 seconds and then very slowly added about 1/3 of it to the beaten half egg whisking constantly.  When it was all combined I slowly added it back to the pan with the remaining pudding, before adding the vanilla and whisking continuously again.  When it came to a slow boil again, I cooked it while whisking for another minute.  Pour into 2 serving bowls.  My first sample of this pudding was when it was lukewarm.  The color of the pudding was a little lighter but the mouthfeel of this was much like version 2 and the taste was much better.  It tasted more like a true butterscotch.  It was even tastier when it had cooled and the consistency felt like true pudding.  This one is by far my favorite.

Now I think I am ready to begin the youtube adventure with Son3. He likes to cook and should be able to add to his skill set pretty quickly, plus I can show him how to make all his favorites. Technology is so cool! I'm not quite sure why I resist it so much, or, is it the old dog new trick thing?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cukes n' Juice

It has been so outrageously hot lately and I am doing whatever I can to keep relatively cool, and at the same time trying to keep the power bills from raging out of control while maintaining a relatively comfortable temperature.  I try to keep from turning on either the stove or oven during the day, and have managed fairly well so far, but yesterday at lunch time I was not in the mood for a salad or sandwich. I love soup anytime of the year, and because it is so hot I thought a chilled soup would fit the bill nicely.  At first I was going to whip up some gazpacho but then remembered I had no tomatoes or garlic, but I did have a couple of really nice cucumbers so a little rethinking was needed. A quick Google search, an inventory of what was on hand, a few adjustments, and lunch was ready to eat. And yes, I know this recipe will sound weird, but I have never let fear of oddness stop me before, so why start now?

                                                       Cold Cucumber Soup for One

1 whole medium cucumber, peeled and cut in chunks
1 c. cold chicken broth (Or 1/2 c. water, 1 envelope instant chicken bouillon and ice to equal 1 c*.)
1/4 c. Greek yogurt (had none but substituted 2 heaping T. thick kefir)
2 T. sour cream (mine was fat free)
1/8 teasp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 T.minced dill
7 mint leaves, minced

In a blender or food processor blend the cuke, chicken broth, yogurt, and sour cream until it is the consistency you want.  I opted for slightly textured rather than smooth, but I am a tactile eater and like bits and pieces. (Truthfully, a smoother soup would have been prettier, but I was going to eat it not look at it.  If it is just for me I will keep it chunky, but I think if I ever serve this to guests I will go with the smoother soup. ) Add the garlic powder and whirl a couple of seconds to blend well. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.  Stir in the herbs to mix well then pour into a bowl and enjoy.  If you are like me and prefer a little heat with your food add a little siracha before you eat it.  I had this with a couple of crackers for the perfect no cook summer lunch. Why have I never done this before?

*If you are using bouillon zap 1/2 cup water in the microwave, stir in 1 envelope of instant bouillon.  Add several ice cubes and let them melt until you have 1 cup of chilled liquid.  Discard  any ice remaining before adding it to the blender or you will have a very watered down version of the soup.

A little summer music because I find myself singing this song on hot summer days.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Chicken Something or Another

Last evening at about 5 I realized I had not given dinner a thought, as in I actually thought it was about 2 in the afternoon and still had plenty of time before the meal. We have been eating seriously late and I truly intended for us to eat nice and early, (for us at least) by 7.

Most of you are probably a little different than I am, but I was raised in a house where we did not eat before dark. It was never an issue in the winter because dark came early, but in the summer months we were THAT family who sat down to eat at 9. TheHub's family, on the other hand, were clock eaters and ate every night between 5:30 and 6. Bless his heart, we compromised and he eats my way unless we go out to eat, and then he gets to call the time.

So, after thinking about it for a while (until about 6:30, but I was reading and didn't want to stop) I realized I had 4 bone-in chicken breasts in the fridge.  I have been grilling nearly everything we eat lately but I don't care to grill breasts unless they are boneless. They don't cook quickly enough to be done well in the 6 minutes boneless breasts take. I surely was not going to turn on the oven, so I was limited to something on the stove top.  Game on! A quick survey of veggies on hand, a little bit of peeling and chopping and I was ready to toss everything in the pot. The result was a cross between a goulash and a stew, except for the fact that I left the breast intact rather than cutting it into bits.

                                            Stovetop Chicken Something or Another

       (Sorry for the quality of the pic.  I plate my food and snap a quick phone shot right before I eat)

4 chicken breasts, skin removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1 clove garlic minced
2 medium yellow onions, sliced
1 large pepper, sliced
4 carrots, peeled and cut into thick coins
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 Rotel can full of water
2 chicken bouillon cubes or envelopes
1 tablespoon fajita seasoning
1 tablespoon paprika (I used 1/2 Hungarian paprika and 1/2 regular paprika
1 teaspoon coriander, wrapped and tied in a square of cheesecloth
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot saute' the chicken breast over medium heat, in the olive oil until it is light brown.  Turn the chicken over and let the other side cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the shallots, garlic and onions and let them wilt. Toss in the other vegetables including the tomatoes add the water chicken bouillon. Add the spices, turn the heat to medium high, cover the pan and let cook until the chicken is tender (about 40 minutes).  Check a couple of times while cooking to make sure there is enough liquid, adding additional water if needed.

I had a phone call right when it finished cooking summoning me to Mom's "for a minute". The heat was turned off and I just left it covered on the stove, and this is why I love enamel covered cast iron. I had to run fix Mom's  Ipad (nothing was wrong with it, she just didn't know how to get to the email app) and see at what all she had done during the day. I actually think she starts getting lonely in the evening and needs to see a friendly face more than she needs help, but it is OK.  I only live about 5 minutes by car from her. So 10 minutes total drive time and about 45 minutes there meant once again we were going to eat right at dark.  Oh well, at least I am consistent.

I decided to serve it in large shallow bowls. I put the chicken breast on one side of the bowl and used a slotted spoon to remove the veggies and placed them beside the chicken.  I put a few pickled okra on top of each mound of vegetables and called it good enough.

Then we ate this incredibly moist and tender chicken.  The seasonings had permeated the chicken and each bite was filled with a very bright spice flavor.  The vegetables were very tasty, but I wish I had thrown in some yellow squash and zucchini the last 10 minutes of cooking time.  It would have added some nice bulk and additional vegetable matter.  I will do it next time for sure, and there will be a next time before too long.

There was about a cup and a half of broth left in the pan which I strained and am saving for a light soup for lunch one day this week.  You know, that nothing wasted thing!

If you want to try something different give this a whirl.  It's tasty, easy and holds well in case you have to go be a familiar face to a lonely friend or parent. Peace!

p.s.  I fell short on my swimming goal this week.  I aimed for 50 laps, but only did 46.  This week I am lowering my goal to 40 because we have a weekend wedding out of town and I will not be here at all Saturday and only bits of Friday and Sunday.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Food Thief

I am not even going to begin to let anyone think I actually made these, all I did was stick them in the oven and bake 'em, but I guess I should back up a little and tell you how I came upon this deliciousness.

Son2 worked a music festival this weekend doing catering. This was one of those 2 day events with 3 stages and a pretty decent lineup for a smaller inaugural festival.  Even with a small festival they had 33 different bands, which means bands, crews, support staff for the bands, tour managers, festival organizers and so forth which translates to meals for about 250 people each day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

If this could be like a banquet catering would be a snap.  You could have a choice of 3 entrees with all the same sides and a small dessert, but that is just now how it works with music catering.  You always have the normal eaters, who will eat anything in front of them as long as it is tasty, but then you have to add in all the other diets: lacto-ovo vegetarians/vegans/gluten frees/no sugars/organics/lactose intolerants/rawists and any other food allergy.  It is definitely not a one size fits all  type of catering. You wind up  preparing meals that will compliment as many of the diets as possible as a part of the general menu, but you always have to have special meals ready. After a few shows under your belt you learn that you always need a few extra "special" meals than you original count indicated.

When the festival was over and clean up was done, they found they had a few uncooked vegan entrees.  Son3 wrapped them in foil and brought them home instead of tossing them in the garbage can.  Woo-hoo, supper tonight was halfway done.  When I unwrapped them I found 3 stuffed bell peppers. Since I already had some ground beef in the fridge I made a pan cooked patty with steamed onions over the top. (I guess we could have just eaten the peppers as an entree, but then I would have had to make a salad which would mean running to the store for tomatoes.)

It is still too hot to bake anything so I put 3 stuffed peppers in a pyrex pie pan, added about 1/2 inch of water to the bottom of the pan and zapped them in 3 minute intervals until they were done. I think I zapped them about 4 times before the peppers cooked through, but were not wilted and mushy. After I put them on my plate I started eating them and doing dinner forensics.
I am not going to give you amounts, but rather tell you how they were made, so this is another how-to rather than a recipe.

White cooked rice was mixed with chopped yellow squash, chopped onion, minced garlic, chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper.  It was then stuffed into de-seeded bell peppers, then topped with about a tablespoon of tomato paste. It was very tasty, but with just a little bit of love it would have been fantastic.  A chopped fresh parsley and some basil or dill (not both because they are just not friendly herbs) mixed into the rice and tomato paste would have made it truly delicious. Mushrooms would have been a nice addition to the rice which I would also cook in a vegetable stock if I wanted to keep it vegan, or chicken stock if I wanted to make it more delicious.  Either way it was very tasty and something I will do with the few modifications mentioned.

Hats off to the organizers, who managed to draw a crowd of about 15 thousand  the first day of the festivities.  The second day saw a larger audience to see/hear bands on a 103 heat index day.  Those fans are much more dedicated than I am.  I've been there and done that, and now I prefer to hear live music at smaller weather controlled (ac/ or heat) venues. Could I actually have grown that old?

 For your listening pleasure, St. Paul and the Broken Bones

Thursday, July 16, 2015

There's Nothing Like Corn

Because there is nothing more delicious than fresh sweet corn, and because I found some organic ears (Non-GMO) I decided to try my hand at the corn side dish served in a local restaurant. There is a smallish place in town called Cantina with some of most delicious corn I have ever tasted.  I am not a huge corn fan.  I like it fine, but it is not something I crave or have to have (excluding cornmeal for corn bread and an occasional bowl of grits). Nonetheless, every time I go there during the summer I get the corn as a side dish, and if I hear of anyone going there I tell them to also be sure and get the corn. I am sure this is a totally bastardized version, but I was home, I had corn, and by crackie, I was going to try to duplicate it as closely as I could.

You may wonder how I am reconciling this with a paleo lifestyle and that is pretty easy to answer. I'm not.  As long as I stay on something I am fine, but as soon as I get off it takes me a while to recommit fully. Right now I am in the "OK I just won't eat anything with sugar, and I will limit grains to occasionally and have a bit of dairy." I hope next week I will be back to a completely paleo eating plan (but then comes the out of town wedding of my nephew!?!)

So this is what we had tonight as my farewell to corn for the season (or at least until the family reunion in late August)

                                                        Similar to Cantina's Corn

4 ears freshly boiled sweet corn
1/4 teaspoon fajita seasoning (this recipe is the one I make, but I omit the cornstarch)
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
freshly cracked black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream (I am a peasant and used sour cream)
1 lime

Boil the ears of corn until done and let them sit in water until they are cool enough to handle, but not cold.  Remove and using a sharp knife remove the kernels of corn from the cob run the blade of the knife over the cob to release any corn bits still in it.  When all the corn has been removed put the kernals into a medium sized bowl.  Stir in the spices and blend well.   Spoon an equal amount onto 4 plates, with 1/4 of a lime resting on the side of said plates.  Let each person squirt as much or little lime juice as they wish on the corn.  Meanwhile, pass the creme fraiche or sour cream so each person can dollop about 2 teaspoons of cream on theirs.  Then dig in and enjoy a little deliciousness and a taste of summer.  I served this with a garden salad topped with spiced ground beef and salsa.  We all liked it quite well and I was asked to have it again soon.  We will see.  I am not sure I want to make it if I can't eat it.

Anyway, if you are tired of regular corn on the cob or creamed corn, give this a try. You might like it, or you might be like me and love it!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Cooler Than Cooking

 I have been reading so many blogs where people post their goals.  It holds them accountable to someone other than themselves, so I thought I would start doing the same. I am a procrastinator by nature, so it will probably be good for me to have someone other than myself know about my plans.

I decided I wanted to swim  a minimum of 50 laps this week.  I've done the math and 5 laps in our pool is almost a 50 meter pool length, so each lap for me is a multiple of 5.  Now all I have to do is keep count and divide by 5. This is going to feel more like a word problem than exercise.  Oh my, what do I do if I am swimming and Johnny comes by with 4 apples and Sue comes by with 2?

As an aside, if you leave your goggles on a hanger on the porch all year, the band will crumble when you put it around your head. So much for the 1,000 year degradable argument!

 Swimming blindly,

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Cauliflower Steaks?

The grocery store closest to my house had cauliflower on sale this week, so I bought several of them.  When I am eating paleo I use a lot of them and thought this would be a great time to stock up, since I intended to begin a strict paleo diet every single morning this week.  It seems life ice cream got in the way of my plans, so now I have a lot of cauliflower to eat or process.  Tonight seemed like a great time to begin, but TheHub had already said he wanted to grill something.  Lightbulb moment, aided by a Google search and we settled on cauliflower steaks. (Plus grilled chicken). I found it on about 10 different blogs and all had exactly the same instructions, there are just too many to link to here.

                                                              Cauliflower Steaks

(Yes, I know I should have posted a picture of the whole slab, but I don't do photo shoots.  I just fix my plate, grab the phone to take a quick picture, then eat while everything is hot.)

Wash and drain the whole head of cauliflower, being sure to keep the green leaves intact. Set the whole cauliflower on the cutting board and make vertical slices about 3/4 inch thick from the top to the bottom and through the stem. (You will wind up with about 2 large pieces that have the stem attached. I used a small paring knife to remove most of the leaves but the stem is delicate so don't got crazy with the barbering. The rest of the head tends to crumble into florets so I saved them for another use.  I put them on a plate and zapped them in the microwave for about 2 minutes, just to start the cooking process. Next I oiled both sides of the cauliflower "slab"  with olive oil and seasoned the top side well with steak seasoning. I use Angelo's seasoning which I buy yearly at a restaurant in Panama City Beach, Florida.  If you are not going to be in NW Florida anytime soon you can order here, or use whatever steak seasoning you love.  Heat the grill to a medium heat and carefully put the cauliflower on the grill using your biggest metal spatula.  Cook for 4 minutes then flip it carefully to the other side.  You might want to add additional seasoning but I did not, mainly because I don't like much salt and the steak blend is salted.  Grill another 4 minutes and remove to a plate.  Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon finely grated pepper jack cheese then dig in.*  Since I had already thawed the chicken I had to cook it so TheHub and I split one slice between the two of us.  If I were using it as the entree I would have served 1 whole piece per person.  (If you are going to serve more than 2 people you will need additional heads of cauliflower, but you will have a boat load of bits and pieces leftover.)

This was surprisingly delicious.  I do admit I love cauliflower, but this had the lovely grilled veggie effect and the additional steak seasoning so it tasted much richer than I expected.  I can see doing this
weekly for the remainder of the summer for a light evening meal.  A side salad, bread (for non-paleos) and a little fresh fruit would make a lovely complete meal.

Confession: as it turns out I am not having a little fresh fruit with mine, since I noticed some seriously soft cherries in the fridge yesterday and I saw this at Cindi's blog yesterday.  Notice in the opening paragraph I mentioned something about ice cream being my nemesis right now, well I prefer to think of it as a message from a higher power since this was sent my way the exact day I had cooked a few cherries to prevent them from ruining. I love it when the universe speaks, don't you? (Thank you, Cindi!)

If you are looking for something to grill and want something new, low fat, and delicious this just might be for you. Be like Mikey and try it. You might like it!

* I put the cheese on the cauliflower but scraped mine off.  I thought it tasted better without it, but that is just my opinion. TheHub loved the cheese on his.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Gathering the Fragments 4th Leftovers

*** Full disclosure: I wrote this Monday but forgot to hit publish. Oops!

For part of our July 4th/freezer clearing meal, I defrosted a 20 pound turkey bought for 88 cents a pound around Thanksgiving.  Son2 volunteered to smoke it along with about 15 pounds of pork butt. I will post his method of smoking it (Best.Turkey.Ever) in another post when I feel like writing all the steps toward deliciousness but right now I am writing about tonight's turkey repeat performance.

Most of the leftover bird was packed in freezer bags in serving sizes large enough for one meal for 4. We rarely have 4 to eat here, but I will have lunches with whatever is leftover.  When I oven roast a turkey, after I have sliced the bird, I pick all the bits and pieces from the carcass and usually have about a cup+ of small bits and pieces of turkey along with the pan drippings for soup.  I did the same with the smoked turkey pieces, but it only took me one time before to boil a smoked turkey carcass for soup to learn it does NOT make a tasty broth for a soup base.  This time I simply put the scrappy bits and juices that dripped from the bird while carving into a container and stuck them in the fridge waiting for inspiration or desperation to strike.

Tonight brought a desperate attempt to create something for dinner that required only the paltry ingredients I had on hand. (turkey, 4 carrots, 2 small onions, 3 ribs of celery, 1 can of green beans, about 1 1/2 cup dried pasta)

                                                        One Pan Turkey Meal

                               She wasn't much to look at, but my, she was a tasty dish

1 cup bits and pieces of turkey picked from the turkey carcass plus any pan drippings or juices
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 small onions, coarsely chopped
3 ribs of celery in thick slices
1 can of undrained green beans
1 1/2 cup pasta (I used ditalini because I had some in the pantry, but anything will do)
2 cups water (add additional as needed to cook the pasta, but only as much as can be absorbed by the
                    finished pasta.  I had to add a few tablespoons more )
3 ounces cream cheese (an afterthought that really worked)

Put the carrots, onions, celery and green beans plus can liquid in a large sauce pan and cook until the onions start to wilt.  Add the turkey and water bring to a boil and add the pasta.  Cover with a lid until the pasta is al dente. (Add more water if needed.)  At this point I tasted it and thought it was a little flat. I had no cream or sour cream but remembered I had a block of cream cheese in the fridge, so that became my cream element. Stir in the cream cheese, let it melt and blend it well then serve in individual bowls.  Add a grind of fresh black pepper and a sprinkle of fresh chives or parsley.  I think some fresh parmesan cheese would have been a good topper also but I didn't think of it until after we had eaten.  I served it with some delicious sliced produce stand tomatoes and called it a meal.  Truly nothing else was needed.

This was a really good way to use those little odd shaped bit and pieces. We ate as much as we wanted and still have another meal of leftover leftovers. We all thought it was surprisingly good, simple and cheap.  I will file this away to use whenever I have that cup or so of odd little turkey pieces.

Try it, you might like it, but it makes a lot, so be prepared to eat leftover leftovers too!