Here at the homestead, turkey tenderloin is one of our favorite dinners. We usually have it at least once every two to three weeks. It’s not terribly expensive, the meat is always tender and juicy, it goes a long way, and everyone enjoys it (that means that there are usually no leftovers). But as so often happens here, our gang eventually gets bored with the same old recipe. So I decided to surprise them with a new turkey dish: Turkey Tenderloin stuffed with Russian Red Kale and Goat Cheese.
Our Russian Red kale has been growing like crazy in our vegetable garden. It seems the weather has been perfect for kale (I’m hoping it lasts as the weather has been erratic here in the North East). Now that we have so much kale, I’m constantly on a mission to find new ways to serve it. I recently came across several recipes for stuffed turkey tenderloin with spinach and goat cheese. Why not substitute the spinach for kale? It sounded like the perfect combination.
The blend of nutritious kale, creamy goat cheese and turkey went so well together that every bite became a delightful experience. This elegant dish turned out to be a real family pleaser. Everyone said the turkey was absolutely delicious, and I loved how easy it was to prepare.
Our family is also a cheese loving family. We have been trying to follow many of the principles of a paleo diet, but haven’t yet been able to give up cheese. Thankfully, on a primal diet cheese is ok. For the distinction, you can see here. We have started preparing more paleo friendly recipes, not because some ancient people ate that way, but because we believe it is a more healthy way to eat. John and I try not to eat too much cheese (sometimes that’s really hard) because of the high carb content. When we do eat it though, we usually eat a fairly well aged gruyere, parmesan, or a goat cheese. Aged cheeses are supposed to have a lower lactose content than lesser aged varieties.
Since everyone in my family enjoys cheese and because goat cheese is so tasty, I knew everyone would like it in the tenderloin. Goat cheese has a subtle tart taste with a creamy texture. Because goat’s milk is closer in comparison to human milk than that of a cow, some people with low tolerance to cow’s milk can tolerate goat’s milk. Read more about goat cheese here.
The cheese I used is a Chèvre from the Vermont Creamery. This is an absolutely wonderful cheese. They proudly state that their goats’ milk comes from high quality, sustainable, and environmentally sound farms. If you have any goat cheese left over after making this recipe, I highly recommend crumbling it in your green salad. It’ll really turn it in to something special.
OK, on to today’s recipe!
Cut each tenderloin (we like Plainville Farms humanely raised turkey) lengthwise like a butterfly, not all the way through. Then tear the leaves off the stems of the kale and chop it up. Fold your chopped kale into a bowl of the creamy goat cheese and sprinkle with black pepper. Divide the mixture in half, spoon into each tenderloin, and tie with butcher’s string. Finally, place the tenderloins in a baking dish.
Now you will prepare the marinade. Combine oil, paprika, and salt in a small bowl and brush evenly over the tenderloins. Cover and refrigerate for about four hours, locking in the juices and tenderizing the turkey.
When you are ready to cook, preheat your oven to 375℉. Roast for 30 – 40 minutes. Then let the turkey rest for 10 minutes. Slice each tenderloin crosswise, revealing the luscious cheese oozing out from inside.
Drizzle with au jus drippings. If you don’t have enough drippings, you can whisk 3/4 of a cup of chicken stock into the drippings, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes. Au jus enhances the flavor of the turkey.
I served this meal tonight with roasted baby carrots that I picked up from my local farm. I tossed the carrots with olive oil, sliced garlic cloves, rosemary, salt and pepper. They were incredibly tasty and the perfect compliment to this dish.
You don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to enjoy a delicious turkey dinner. Turkey tenderloin stuffed with fresh kale and goat cheese is an impressive main dish for your next dinner party or special Sunday dinner.
- 2 turkey tenderloins (about 1½ pounds)
- 6 ounces goat cheese
- 4 cups kale, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Rinse turkey tenderloins and pat dry. Cut each tenderloin lengthwise, but not all the way through. Combine kale, cheese, and black pepper in a bowl. Divide mixture in half and spoon into each tenderloin and tie with butcher’s string. Place in a baking dish.
- Combine oil, paprika, salt in a small bowl and brush evenly over tenderloins. Cover and refrigerate for about 4 hours to marinate.
- When you are ready to cook, preheat oven to 375℉. Roast for 30 - 40 minutes. Let the turkey rest for 10 minutes. Then slice each tenderloin crosswise.
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