1/4 c. dried/dehydrated zucchini slices (or fresh)
1 organic carrot, grated
red wine, to taste
1 can 15 oz. organic tomato sauce
2 T. apple cider/red wine vinegar
~1/4 c. pure water (optional, it thins the "tomato-ey" taste a bit)
Crushed Red Pepper
Sea salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil
fresh basil leaves, chopped
In a food processor, mince the garlic and basil together. If you like a little heat, add a seeded red chili or a jalapeño. Roughly chop the onions and green pepper and set them aside. Open all the cans and drain the mushrooms (or use fresh mushrooms). I used the Saladmaster to finely grate the carrot and set it aside for later.
In a large frying pan or electric skillet, add the coconut oil or other safe sautéing oil and turn the skillet to medium heat to melt the coconut oil. As a rule while cooking at higher temperatures, do NOT cook in olive oil or some other highly monounsaturated fatty oil . The heat (and light) destroys the more delicate mono and polyunsaturated fatty acid bonds, thus making the oil rancid and toxic. Even if you do not use hydrogentaed (trans-fat) oils, please be aware that you can create trans fats by cooking at high heat with unsaturated oils . I know that olive oil is the canonical oil for cooking, but this is largely due to detailed biochemical and nutritional ignorance on the part of the cooking industry. These chefs are just that - artists of food, not experts on the chemistry behind food molecular interactions, generally speaking. In light of this, please do not see what I have suggested as revolutionary or offensive. Rather, it is simply a statement of fact backed up with well-documented scientific studies . You can also reference Udo's nutritional bible, Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill , for more biochemical details on this subject. Please also recall that organic virgin coconut oil is not a bad saturated fat. In fact, coconut oil is an antibacterial, antimicrobial, and metabolism and immune booster which helps you lose weight! If you are interested, I have addressed coconut oil many times in the past. If you already use it, then I guess I'm preaching to the choir :) More info on the different types of oils and their uses can be found at An Insider's Guide to Natural Medicine.
Once it is melted, saute the ground turkey with the extra virgin olive oil, onions, garlic, and herbs. I cooked the turkey on medium heat (~4 on my stove, or about 250-275 degrees in an electric skillet) for about 5-7 minutes (until the meat was ~ half done). As the meat slowly cooks, add more spices as necessary to adjust to taste. You may want to add a little more extra virgin olive oil, though I did not here.
Add the zucchini, tomatoes (with juice), wine, vinegar, and carrot to the pan and mix well. Cover and cook on low heat for another 5 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink. Remember that grass fed meat cooks quickly, so always err on the side of less done. In the last few minutes, I add the green pepper so that it isn't mushy and still retains much of its vitamins.
Serve hot with a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper and sea salt. I served this with gluten free brown rice spaghetti (and/or shirataki noodles) and sauteed mustard greens.
FYI: World's Healthiest Foods on cooking with extra virgin olive oil:
Extra virgin olive oil is our oil of choice at the World's Healthiest Foods, and it deserves special mention in this discussion of high heat. Information of olive oil smoke point - associated with the level of high heat it can withstand - is very confusing, and not at all consistent. Manufacturers of extra virgin olive oil - the most nutrient-rich type of olive oil from the very first pressing - list their smoke points as low as 200 degrees and as high as 406 degrees! In general, we believe that the lower limit of this range, somewhere between 200-250 degrees, is the most likely upper limit for safe heating of extra virgin olive oil without excessive damage to the oil. Inclusion of extra virgin olive oil in products baked in the oven at 350 degrees would therefore be worth avoiding, as would stir-frying in olive oil on the stove-top. Inclusion of the fresh oil directly on salads, or as a late-addition to some soups or sauces would prevent this high-heat exposure.