Yeah, fine, we'll admit the fact that I slept...ahem...a lot this weekend. We'll also recognize that I ate very healthfully - all the major food groups in all the right proportions (maybe except the 2 pounds of pasta that Maggiano's put in front of me...but who can help that?), and clocked in a fair amount of physical activity and friend time.
But let's also acknowledge that my husband and I spent Friday evening visiting friends (hi guys!) and their not-quite-two-year-old son, and I realized that toddlers possess an energy level akin to a highly-caffeinated Michael Phelps. He's cute, funny, repeats whatever you tell him, adores all things Elmo, and inhales pizza like a champ, but I tell ya, the little guy wore me out and he's not even my kid! This level of exhaustion does not bode well for my motherly future. I can, however, teach you how to be 80 years old if you want.
And this got me seriously thinking about how Moms and Dads do it all. I mean, all I wanted today was to not have to wake up early, not have to go to work, not have to work out, not have to cook dinner, not have to fold the loads of laundry I avoided all weekend, and basically not have to deal with anyone or anything all day long mainly because it's Monday and on Monday I'm not in the mood for life. And I'm only one person to take care of! Is that real talk or what? Was that also not the longest sentence ever?
That stinking laundry is just gonna get wrinkly in the dryer if I don't take action tonight, I know it. And I can't change the fact that my husband expects me to bring home a paycheck. But I can do something to ease the dinner situation for myself and for those chasing around little boss men. In fact, I had dinner in the bag the second I plugged in my slow-cooker this morning. Boom.
I, for one, do not like the slow-cooker all that much. Something to do with feeling not-so-jazzy about leaving an oven full of food cooking on my countertop all day while I'm out of the house. But once in awhile I get over this paranoia and whip up a quick and satisfying meal while I'm at work, and I'm always glad I did!
This recipe for crock-pot turkey strognanoff is a wink at traditional, slow-cooked beef stroganoff that you serve over egg noodles. I lightened it up a bit by using lean turkey tenderloins, and I substituted green bell pepper over the mushrooms for crunch and because I hate mushrooms with every fiber of my being. Serve over whole-wheat egg noodles and you've got yourself a meal you most likely won't remember even starting!
Perfect for busy Mondays and even busier Elmo-lovers. Enjoy!
Slow-Cooked Turkey Stroganoff
Yields 3-4 servings
1 lb turkey tenderloin, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 c onion, chopped
2 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbs dijon mustard
1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c flour
1 c fat-free, low-sodium chicken or beef broth
1 8-oz container low-fat sour cream
1/2 lb hot cooked whole wheat egg noodles
Place the turkey and the next 6 ingredients (through garlic) into your slow-cooker, and stir well.
Place flour into a small bowl and gradually add your broth, stirring with a whisk until completely blended.
Add the broth mixture to your slow-cooker and stir well.
Cover with the lid, and cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce to the low setting, and cook an additional 6-7 hours. Don't remove the lid!
Turn off the slow-cooker and remove the lid. Let the stroganoff stand for 10 minutes, and then stir in the sour cream. Serve over the hot egg noodles, and top with fresh parsley.