Hoisin Pork Buns with Peanuts and Chinese Broccoli via plated.com

I’ve always heard about pork buns, but never had the opportunity to either make them or eat them. Thanks to plated.com, I had the opportunity to do both. One of my favorite parts of the dish was the quick-pickled red onion. I may be doing that again for another dish. Very yummy!

Although this was a great dinner, this was definitely enough for more than two people. The pork buns were VERY filling; think this would be better as an appetizer for about four people. We enjoyed this one quite a bit.

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Ingredients:
  • 1 red onion
  • 8 ounces Chinese broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts
  • 10 ounces boneless pork chops
  • 10 steamed buns
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 packets raw sugar (such as sugar in the raw)
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • kosher salt black pepper to taste
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Peel onion, halve, and thinly slice. Rinse Chinese broccoli and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Roughly chop peanuts. Pat pork dry with paper towel. Divide buns evenly between 2 pieces of foil and loosely wrap to create 2 pouches.

In a medium bowl, whisk together rice wine vinegar, sugar, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Add onion, toss to coat, and set aside to pickle until ready to use.

Heat ½ tablespoon canola oil in a medium pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add Chinese broccoli and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Sauté, flipping occasionally, until bright green and tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Place pouches with buns in oven to warm for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and Shaoxing rice wine in a medium bowl.

Season pork all over with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and pepper. Wipe pan from Chinese broccoli clean and add ½ tablespoon canola oil over mediumhigh heat. When oil is shimmering, add pork. Sear until browned on outside, about 2 minutes per side. Pour over sauce. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer until reduced by ½, 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan. Set aside to rest for about 5 minutes, then cut into ¼-inch slices. Toss with any remaining sauce in pan.

Drain onion, discarding pickling liquid. Fill warmed buns with sliced pork. Garnish with as much pickled onion as desired and peanuts. Serve with heaps of Chinese broccoli alongside and enjoy.

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Peel onion, halve, and thinly slice
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Rinse Chinese Broccoli and chop crosswise into 1″ pieces
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Roughly chop peanuts (I make this job easy by using my Pampered Chef Food Chopper!)
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In a medium bowl, whisk together rice wine vinegar, sugar, and 1/4 tsp kosher salt
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Add to onion; toss to coat; let sit until ready to use
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Heat 1/2 tablespoon canola oil over medium heat; when oil is shimmering, add Chinese Broccoli and 1/2 tsp kosher salt; saute until bright green and tender (about 3 minutes)
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Whisk together hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and Shaoxing rice wine in a medium bowl; place pouches with buns in oven to warm through (about 10 minutes)
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Season pork, add 1/2 tablespoon canola oil to pan from Chinese broccoli, sear pork until browned on outside (about 2 minutes per side)
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Pour sauce over, reduce heat to medium, simmer until reduced by 1/2 (about 1-2 minutes); cut into 1/4″ slices; toss with remaining sauce in pan.

 

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Plate pork buns; garnish with peanuts and pickled onions; serve with Chinese Broccoli. Enjoy!

Sicilian Calamari with Israeli Couscous, Tomatoes & Currants via plated.com

We have been HUGE fans of the plated.com meal delivery service. I like the changes that the company put into place. Easier site to navigate and the billing process is much nicer! We decided to try out another few boxes. This was the first of the meals from this week’s box. I LOVED this dish–the brininess of the caper berries worked well with the currants and the pine nuts. The sauce had a puttanesca-like quality to it that I loved. The calamari in this dish was cooked quickly and made for a TENDER protein. Hope you enjoy this one as much as we did.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 scallions
  • 8 caperberries
  • 12 ounces calamari
  • ⅔ cup Israeli couscous
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons currants
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt & black pepper, to taste
Instructions:

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Mince garlic. Rinse scallions, trim and discard roots, and thinly slice. Pick and discard stems of caper berries

Rinse calamari, pat dry with paper towel, and cut tubes crosswise into ½-inch slices.  Add couscous and a generous pinch salt to pot of boiling water and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

While couscous cooks, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add pine nuts, currants, as much crushed red pepper as desired, and garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and juices, white wine, and caper berries. Simmer until reduced by ⅓, about 5 minutes.

Add couscous to pan with tomatoes over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until warmed through, about 1 minute.

Season calamari all over with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper. Add to pan with tomatoes over medium-high heat and simmer, stirring, until opaque, 2-3 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Taste and add salt and black pepper as needed.

Serve calamari and couscous in a shallow bowl. Garnish with scallions. Buon appetito!

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Ingredients
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Thinly slice scallions
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Mince garlic

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Pull stems off of caper berries
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Calamari!
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Bring water to a boil, salt water, and add couscous
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Cut calamari crosswise into 1/2 inch slices
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What the calamari looks like after being cut

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Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat; add crushed red pepper, currants, pine nuts and garlic. Cook until fragrant; about 1 minute

 

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Tomatoes and wine…
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Add undrained diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, wine and caper berries. Simer until reduced by 1/3; about 5 minutes
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Add couscous to pan and warm through, about 1 minute
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Add calamari to pan and cook till opaque, about 2-3 minutes
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Serve in a shallow bowl and garnish with scallions. Enjoy!

Chicken Parmigiana over Whole Grain Spaghetti featuring Nello’s Southern-Crafted Premium Marinara Sauce

So, Stephen and I recently celebrated 18 years of marriage. Life got in the way, so we never really had a chance to go out and celebrate. I decided to make him a delicious Italian dinner on Sunday night. This was the meal I decided upon. Love a good simple chicken parm. As I always do, I got inspiration from a number of recipes I used over the years. I think I nailed it with this version. As one of Nello’s ‪#‎mombassadors‬, I always try to showcase his delicious sauces with the perfect recipe(s). This one definitely didn’t disappoint. Mangia!
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Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs chicken breast cutlets
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan/romano cheese
  • 1 lb fresh mozzarella (I like Bel Gioso since they have one already sliced and portioned!)
  • 1 (25 oz) jar Nello’s Southern-Crafted Premium Marinara Sauce (or any brand you love!)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse-grind garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (13.25 oz) box whole grain spaghetti (we use Barilla, but feel free to substitute your favorite brand or cut of string pasta)
  • Olive oil to saute chicken
Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

3. Heat pasta sauce in a medium saucepan until warmed through. Toss 1 cup sauce with pasta;set aside and keep warm.

4. While sauce warms, combine flour, garlic powder, and kosher salt in a shallow bowl. Dredge both sides of each cutlet lightly in flour mixture ensuring that they are lightly coated. Turn cutlets over. Shake off any excess flour. Place egg in a shallow dish. Combine panko and grated parmesan/romano in another shallow dish. Dip cutlets in egg; dredge in panko mixture.

5. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan. When oil is shimmering, add chicken to pan. Cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned and done. Place chicken on a baking sheet; top evenly with sliced fresh mozzarella. Bake at 375 degrees until cheese is melted (about 5-7 minutes).

6. Arrange about 1/2 cup pasta mixture on each plate; top each with 1 cutlet and about 1/3-1/2 cup sauce. Sprinkle with torn basil, if desired.

Ingredients (not pictured: eggs, flour, salt & pepper)
Ingredients (not pictured: eggs, flour, salt & pepper)
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Cook pasta according to package directions; toss with 1 cup of sauce; set aside and keep warm
In a shallow dish, whisk together flour, garlic powder and salt; in another shallow bowl, place lightly beaten eggs; in a third shallow bowl, whisk together panko and grated cheese
In a shallow dish, whisk together flour, garlic powder and salt; in another shallow bowl, place lightly beaten eggs; in a third shallow bowl, whisk together panko and grated cheese
Dredge each cutlet in flour mixture
Dredge each cutlet in flour mixture
Dip each cutlet in egg
Dip each cutlet in egg
Dredge each cutlet in panko/grated cheese mixture
Dredge each cutlet in panko/grated cheese mixture
Set aside and refrigerate if preparing later on; I use disposable pans and wax paper to separate the cutlets
Set aside and refrigerate if preparing later on; I use disposable pans and wax paper to separate the cutlets
Cutlets; ready for their close-up! I layered these into an 8x8 disposable pan; makes cleanup a breeze!
Cutlets; ready for their close-up! I layered these into an 8×8 disposable pan; makes cleanup a breeze!
Saute cutlets in olive oil for about 4-ish minutes a side until done
Saute cutlets in olive oil for about 4-ish minutes a side until done
When done on one side, flip and cook for 4-ish minutes on the other side. Don't these look DELICIOUS?!
When done on one side, flip and cook for 4-ish minutes on the other side. Don’t these look DELICIOUS?!
Top each cutlet with sliced fresh mozzarella and bake at 375 until cheese is melted; about 5-7 minutes
Top each cutlet with sliced fresh mozzarella and bake at 375 until cheese is melted; about 5-7 minutes
Plate about 1/2 cup pasta, top with cutlet and ladle about 1/3-1/2 cup sauce over the top; serve with a nice crusty garlic bread. Enjoy!
Plate about 1/2 cup pasta, top with cutlet and ladle about 1/3-1/2 cup sauce over the top; serve with a nice crusty garlic bread. Enjoy!

Apple Cider Pork Burgers with Warm Apple & Brussels Sprout Salad via plated.com

This was dinner number two from the latest plated box that I (inadvertently) ordered. I have never been disappointed with any of the meals that we received from this company. I love the simplicity and flavors of this recipe. I know I’ve said this before, but I love the way that plated combines ingredients. I am pleasantly surprised each time I dive into a box and find that they combine regular ingredients into a flavor profile that I hadn’t thought of before. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 10 ounces ground pork
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ cup apple cider, divided
  • 2 slices Cheddar cheese
  • 1½ cups shredded Brussels sprouts
  • 2 hamburger buns

Instructions:
1. Peel onion, halve, then thinly slice. Rinse apple, halve, then thinly slice, discarding core. Pat pork dry with paper towel.

2. In a medium bowl, combine spices, 1 tablespoon apple cider, pork, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and black pepper. Using your hands, mix well. Divide mixture evenly and form into 2 patties, about 1-inch thick. Using your thumb, create a shallow dimple in center of each.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add burgers and sear until browned on bottom, 6-7 minutes. Flip, cover pan, and sear until cooked through, 4-5 minutes. Uncover, add Cheddar to burgers, and cover again. Cook until cheese is melted and burger is cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Remove from pan and set aside, covering loosely with foil to keep warm.

4. Wipe pan from burgers clean and add 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts and apple and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Add remaining apple cider and cook until reduced by ½, about 1 minute more. Taste and add salt and black pepper as needed. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.

5. Wipe pan from apple clean. Halve buns and add cut-side down over medium heat. Toast until light golden, about 2 minutes.

6. Top buns with burgers and a generous spoonful of sautéed apple and Brussels sprouts. Enjoy with remainder alongside.

Beef Noodle Bowls with Kale & Mushrooms via plated.com

Okay…so I meant to cancel my subscription after the last box, but I totally forgot about it until the charge came across our bank statement. The good thing is that the three meals in this box look wonderful, and this one was the first that we did. Delicious. I am totally making this one again. Soon. I loved the stir-fry sauce in this one–it packed just enough of a flavor punch without burning out your taste buds. I also liked the ease of preparation. Like all of the other plated recipes we tried there are usually no more than six steps to get your meal prepped and onto your table. Please enjoy!

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INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ inch ginger
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms
  • 4 scallions
  • 6 ounces dinosaur kale
  • 10 ounces ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
  • 8 ounces long life noodles
INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Mince garlic. Trim and discard skin of ginger and mince. Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel and thinly slice caps, discarding stems. Rinse scallions, trim and discard roots, then thinly slice. Rinse kale and tear leaves into bite-size pieces, discarding stems. Pat beef dry with paper towel.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Meanwhile, combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and as much of the Sriracha as desired in a small bowl to make stir-fry sauce.

3. Add mushrooms, scallions, and kale to pan with aromatics and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes. Transfer vegetables to a plate.

4. Wipe pan from vegetables clean and add remaining sesame oil over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add beef and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and cook, breaking up with the back of a spoon, until meat loses its color, 3-5 minutes. Stir in stir-fry sauce and cook until bubbling and beef is fully coated, about 1 minute more. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

5. While beef browns, add long life noodles and a generous pinch salt to pot of boiling water and cook until al dente, 2-3 minutes, then drain and rinse under cold water for 30 seconds to stop cooking. Transfer to pan with beef, along with remaining soy sauce, and stir to combine.

6. Add sautéed vegetables and beef to pan with noodles over medium heat and cook, stirring, until all ingredients are warmed through, about 1 minute. Enjoy your long life noodles for good luck.

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So good…there were no leftovers!

Acini di Pepi with American Cheese & Nello’s Biodynamic Marinara Sauce

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Whenever I need good old-fashioned comfort food, for some reason I always turn to a nice pastina variation. My mom would always make pastina for the kiddos when they were in need of comfort. I think that’s where I got my inspiration for my version of this dish. My mom’s was simple–just some butter and maybe a little milk. I like mine with a bit of melty cheese and a nice tomato sauce. I wanted to give this one a try with Nello’s and you know what? It didn’t disappoint! Was delicious!

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Ingredients:
  • 1 cup pastina pasta (could be stars or acini di pepi or any other grain-sized pasta)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or 1 (14 1/2 oz) can with water making up the rest of the 2 cups needed)
  • 2 ounces Velveeta or American cheese, cubed
  • 1 (15 ounce) jar Nello’s Biodynamic Marinara Sauce (or any variety YOU enjoy)
  • Kosher salt
Instructions:
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine pasta, broth, and a nice pinch of Kosher salt
  2. Over medium-high heat, stir often. Pasta will cook similar to that of a risotto. The goal here is to allow the pasta to absorb the cooking liquid. It will thicken like a cereal.
  3. Dice Velveeta into 1/2 inch dice; put aside about 2/3 cup of Nello’s sauce for the pastina
  4. When pasta has absorbed the liquid (after about 15 minutes), add the sauce to the pot and stir to combine
  5. Add the diced cheese to the pot and stir until melted through and well-incorporateder
  6. Serve in a shallow bowl (as you would a risotto) and enjoy with some crusty bread.
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Ingredients – pasta, american cheese, chicken broth and (wait for it….) Nello’s Biodynamic Marinara
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Cube cheese
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Combine pasta and broth in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat; stirring often.
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Pasta will thicken as it cooks and absorbs cooking liquid
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Plan on using just a little under a cup of sauce; adjust sauce to your taste preference
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When pasta has absorbed the liquid (after about 15 minutes), add the sauce to the pot and stir to combine.
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Now for the good stuff…in goes the cheese!
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Stir until cheese melts through and is well incorporated into pasta
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Mangia!

Turkey Parmigiana Meatloaf featuring Nello’s Southern-Crafted Premium Marinara Sauce

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So for the last 6 months or so, I have had the honor of being a Mombassador for Nello’s sauce. I have been creating and adapting recipes to showcase this beautiful sauce in different ways.  Currently, Nello has four different varieties: Biodynamic Marinara, a Southern-Crafted Premium Marinara Sauce, an Arrabbiata (Spicy Hot Pepper) and a Piedmont Pomodoro (featuring fresh lavender). It’s hard to pick a favorite, so I dont🙂

Without further ado, I present to you a different take on Chicken Parmigiana. This is a Turkey Parmigiana Meatloaf.  This particular recipe had been floating around the internet for a little while and it intrigued me.  As per usual, I decided to take a different approach. Ground chicken is a softer meat and I think that the ground turkey held up well here. I also decided to showcase Nello’s Southern-Crafted Premium Marinara sauce for the topping on the meatloaf. This recipe was a HUGE hit with the entire family and there were NO leftovers. Simply delicious. As an aside, I think that the mixture would make great sliders as well.

Ingredients:
  • 1 (19 1/4 ounce) package lean ground turkey (93/7)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Nello’s Southern-Crafted Premium Marinara Sauce (or any brand YOU love!)
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl combine the ground turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic, and parmesan cheese. Mix the mixture with your hands. Spray loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place mixture into prepared loaf pan and form into a loaf shape. Top the meatloaf with the Nello’s sauce.
3. Bake for about 50 minutes or until turkey is cooked (a meat thermometer should read 160 degrees). When done remove from oven and add the mozzarella cheese on top. Return the meatloaf to the oven until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and let the meatloaf rest for about 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
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Ingredients (minus the Italian seasoning–mistake on my part!)
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Combine turkey, beaten egg, bread crumbs, garlic, parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning
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Mix with your hands until well-combined
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Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and form mixture into a loaf
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1/2 cup Nello’s is the topper!
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Top mixture with sauce
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Bake at 350 degrees until turkey is done (about 50 minutes; internal temperature should read 160 degrees)
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Enjoy!