Jan 21

2012

Sierra’s Turkey Salad

Let’s take a minute to talk about real life.

Some days, there is time to make fresh pasta. Fancy desserts. Elaborate multi-course meals.

Most days though, it’s all I can do to get out the door in the morning toting a breakfast and lunch, and on show days, dinner, so that I can avoid the oh-so-tempting bounties of college food available at work. Especially in January, when fresh food is somewhat difficult to come by and most of my cravings are for something warm and filling.

But I’ve found an answer. An answer to the winter blues, the I-don’t-feel-like-cooking doldrums, and the whoa-we-have-so-much-leftover-turkey-from-the-holidays reality in my freezer.

Sierra’s turkey salad.

I know I’m probably way late catching this train. I’ve never really been a fan of chicken salads and won’t come within ten feet of tuna salads, so I suppose I thought turkey salad would be equally unpleasant. I. Was. Wrong.

Accompanied by fresh apples, dried cranberries and golden raisins, and some roughly chopped pecans, this may now be my new favorite way to eat turkey. It comes together quickly, tastes amazing, and is filling in even small quantities.

And you can mix it up, too. I think Sierra used almonds in hers. I tried my first batch with chopped celery, but raw celery is quite hated for someone else in this apartment, so I’ll leave it out from now on. You could probably also spice it up with some cayenne if you favor a zingy salad. Your food, your call.

And look how pretty! This is how turkey salad looks when it gets dressed up to go to a party. Complete with paparazzi, apparently.

Luckily for me, it looks pretty good in work clothes, too!

I’m always on the hunt for seasonal but delicious recipes to make during the winter. This year, I’m looking to you for ideas! As incentive, I’m sending half a dozen Hot Chocolate Sticks to one random person who contributes an idea to my winter recipe catalog. You get sticks, I get recipes, it’s a great deal.

How to Enter to Win Hot Chocolate Sticks CLOSED

1. Leave a comment on this post describing one of your favorite winter recipes.
OR
2. Like 30 Pounds of Apples on Facebook (early adopters, you’ll have to leave a comment to throw your hat in the game!)

Enter by Sunday night at 11:59pm… winner will be announced Monday (someone’s case of the Mondays fly right out the door.)

Good luck!

Sierra’s Turkey Salad
Adapted from Sierra. And Captain Obvious.

Makes 4-5 cups

2 c cooked turkey, torn or cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 medium apple, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
1/3 c dried cranberries
1/3 c golden raisins
1/3 c chopped pecans
1/2 c scant mayonnaise
1/2 tsp cumin

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. Adjust seasoning as desired. Serve with wheat crackers or bread. Take it to work for lunch and everyone else will be jealous. 

8 Comments

  1. Abbe says:

    Cold weather makes me want something that sticks to my insides. One of my favorites is mushroom risotto. The process itself will keep you warm as you stand by the stove for an hour and the results will coat your belly in oozy goodness.

  2. Kassi says:

    The month of January has always made me want baked potato soup. It was my favorite meal growing up and there were many years that I would request it for my birthday dinner. Now that I am all grown up I typically make it a few times a year. Mostly to fulfill my potato soup craving but also to remind me of my childhood where my brother and I would fight over the last bowl (now Mark and I fight over the leftovers for lunch the next day). It takes a little bit of prep due to having to bake the potatoes and about a half hour to put together but the end result is well worth it.

  3. Sarah says:

    Hmm… For winter favorite I would have to go with homemade chili. When I was little we would go out to a cabin each winter near home and spend the whole weekend out hiking in the snow. One of the best parts was we would always make a big pot of chili to warm up when we got back. My mom’s recipe is one of the nice thick ones that becomes richer the longer it cooks and just enough chili power for a good kick. Yum!

  4. Shannon says:

    If you have already been lucky enough to receive a hot chocolate stick are you still eligible? Recently my favorite winter food is chicken noodle soup with lots of veggies. I know your feelings on the chilcken in chicken noodle soup, but the beauty of making it yourself is you get to control the quality of the meat that goes in.

  5. Sierra says:

    I’m so glad you thanked Capt. Obvious on this too, because I am pretty sure I cannot take credit for all of Turkey Salad. But the funny thing is, when I made this for you over the holiday, I’m sure I heard you kind of “eh, meh, ick” the idea of turkey salad, but I made it anyway! I don’t know if that makes me a bully or a genius, but there you have it.

    Turkey salad is an amazing “user of weird ingredients,” got a mango, or avocado that’s about to be not good? Go for it. Want to try to use up those last two baby carrots? Chop them very small and see what happens. I would imagine most dried fruits and nuts would be great, as long as they’re not dripping in sugar. Another twist that’s great on lettuce leaves: adding curry powder and pepper (to taste), it gets better as it sits, so by lunchtime it’s amazing.

  6. Ellen M. says:

    One of my favorite wintery meals to make is called “Cowboy Spaghetti” (I think it’s a Rachael Ray recipe). It’s a quick-to-make meaty spaghetti sauce that has extra goodies in it like bacon and Worcestershire sauce. We serve it over spaghetti with shredded cheddar on top, kind of like 3-way Cincinnati chili.
    Ate a recipe like your turkey salad growing up – we called it turkey Waldorf, and it contained chopped turkey, celery, apples and walnuts, with a mayo and sour cream dressing. Great in pita pockets!

  7. Natalie says:

    My absolute favorite recipe is actually a drink! And it’s super easy to do, I feel guilty accepting complements for it at parties. It’s a simple Spiced Apple Cider. You take a bottle of organic apple juice (or cider) and add a few packets of Martinelli’s Apple Cider tea bags. Put them all in a sauce pan over medium heat and let it stew! Put a ladle nearby and people can help themselves. Of course you can add a few cinnamon sticks for flavor and decoration. The reason I like this so much is that it’s simple and a great base to build up from!

  8. Sara says:

    I was never a fan of chicken or turkey salad, either, until I tried this recipe: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/apricot-nut-turkey-salad-sandwiches-10000000222159/ and it made me a convert. I suggest giving it a try. And, now because of my recent conversion, I can’t wait to Sierra’s/your recipe.

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