Saturday, March 28, 2015

pork and rice meatball soup

I say Hall of Fame, my husband said almost Hall of Fame.  It's so good all four kids ate it and enjoyed it (okay, two only ate the meatballs but that's okay with me- I ate the other stuff out of their bowls when they were done!).  Make it- you'll be glad you did.

pork and rice meatball soup (Real Simple Magazine, January 2015)
1/2 cup cooked white rice (I used brown jasmine rice)
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 scallions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
kosher salt and black pepper
1 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken broth
1 bunch spinach, about 4 cups
fresh cilantro, grated Cheddar and sour cream for serving

Combine the rice, eggs, oregano, a third each of the scallions and garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of the cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a bowl.  Add the pork and gently mix with your hands until just combined.  Form the mixture into meatballs (I formed about 24).  Broil on the prepared baking sheet, until cooked through.  Recipe called for 8-10 minutes but to get them nice and brown on top I cooked mine much longer.
Heat broiler.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the remaining scallions, garlic, and cumin and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the scallions are tender, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to thicken, 4 to 6 minutes.
Add the broth and bring to a boil.  Stir in the spinach and meatballs.
Serve topped with the cilantro, Cheddar, and a dollop of sour cream.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

store bought favorite: creamy garlic butter chicken

Note to self:  Another big hit with all my kids!  I just learned a great lesson- sometimes it's good to visit a different grocery store than you usually frequent because sometimes you'll find a treasure you never knew existed.  That's how I feel about this dish.  It's so easy and it's soooo good!  You put your chicken and vegetables in a 9x13, pour the sauce over the top and bake.  My kids were eating more carrots and potatoes than I've ever seen them eat.  It was a proud dinnertime.

store bought favorite: creamy garlic butter chicken (Campbell's OVEN Sauces)
You'll need 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, 2 cups potatoes, cut into 1" pieces and a pound of veggies.  The picture on the front of the pouch shows green beans but I used crinkle cut carrots and they were very delicious.  You bake at 400 degrees for an hour.  Serve with a loaf of French bread. 

6 servings in a pouch- 7 grams fat, 5 grams carbs, 1 gram sugar, 1 gram protein

Another note to self:  It would be a good idea to put a few of these pouches in the pantry for when a quick meal is needed to take to somebody.  A "one disposable pan" meal!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

turkey meatballs with light tomato sauce

Note to self:  All four children ate their dinner tonight. :)  These meatballs are moist and delicious.  I rarely cook with ground turkey because I don't think the leftovers are as desirable as other meats but the photo I saw of this meal made me salivate so I decided to give it a go.  This meal is super simple and delicious.  Tomorrow is the true test.

turkey meatballs with light tomato sauce (Inspired Taste)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste (I accidentally forgot this ingredient but didn't miss it)
1 large basil sprig plus tablespoons torn basil leaves

turkey meatballs
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 teaspoons chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground turkey (I used Foster Farms)

In a large skillet, heat olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes.  Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and basil.  Let heat until it it is starts to bubble.
While the pasta sauce heats to a bubble, combine the bread crumbs, milk, egg, cheese, parsley, oregano and salt. Combine well.  Add the ground turkey and gently combine.  For this recipe you'll gently form each meatball one at a time and drop it into the "barely bubbling" pasta sauce.  Don't stir the meatballs until they have been cooked through because they are very fragile.   Serve over your favorite pasta.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

delicious grocery list

My husband just texted me a grocery list.  It's quite unusual because it lacks "deoderant" or "shaving cream".  Actually, those are usually the only things on his list.  This list is DELICIOUS!  Take a look:

flank steak
thick bacon
andouille sausage
whole long carrots
fresh spinach
romano cheese
sweet basil
butcher string

Maybe I will have a delicious meal to report of.  I sure hope so.
If you don't hear from me sooner, Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 6, 2015

quick and easy chicken noodle soup

This soup was a continuation of my friends' kindness yesterday.  When my friend Julie brought my little boy home from playing at their house all day she brought dinner- homemade chicken noodle soup, soft sourdough bread and salad.  I always say I don't need anything and I'm fine because I can usually deal with whatever comes but it was so nice and touching.  I felt loved and that feels good!  I wouldn't have made dinner and as it turns out my kids wanted dinner- go figure.  This soup tasted SOOOOO good.  I really like the seasonings and was drawn to the big chunks of carrots- I love cooked carrots.  There really is something to soup when you're not feeling well.  I have the best friends ever.

quick and easy chicken noodle soup (Julie found this recipe at
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped onioin
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can vegetable broth
1/2 pound cooked chicken breast, chopped
1 1/2 cups egg noodles
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter.  Cook onion and celery in butter until just tender, 5 minutes.  Pour in chicken and vegetable broths and stir in chicken, noodles, carrots, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes before serving.

store bought favorite: hearty beef stew

This is day #5 of being sick.  I NEVER get sick; this is crazy and boring and if I watch one more Netflix movie I think my brain will surely turn to mush (I am now addicted to the series The Paradise).  Yesterday I think I experienced the worst of it but the BEST thing was my friend Mandy delivered a few goodies on my doorstep- a big container of this hearty beef stew, some peppermint herbal tea and the prettiest white cup.  I looked at that soup like I had never seen food before and ate it the same way- it tasted divine!  It was just what I needed because I was at the point where nothing sounded good.  How she knew what I needed I will never know.

store bought favorite:  hearty beef stew from Market of Choice
Just do yourself a favor and get yourself some, especially if you haven't been feeling well.  You'll feel better!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

chicken potato crustless "pie"

My second oldest is getting spacers today to make room for braces.  I remember well- spacers are more painful than braces!  Hence the need for comfort food (and some Advil!) tonight.  I made this a couple weeks ago and everyone enjoyed it, even my youngest two who seem to be becoming more and more picky which by the way is not becoming more and more tolerated at the dinner table.  This recipe is simple and pretty fool-proof. 

chicken potato crustless "pie" (pass the peas, please)
3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I put my frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot on high at 10am and shredded them at 1:30pm)
1 (10.5 ounce) can Campbell's Healthy Request Cream of Chicken condensed soup
1 (4.7 ounce) packet Betty Crocker Sour Cream & Chives instant mashed potatoes, follow directions on the packet (or make your own from scratch)
about a cup of frozen peas & carrots, thawed
about 1/2 cup of frozen green beans, thawed
poultry seasoning and Pappy's garlic seasoning
about a cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Spray the pan/dish you want to use for your pie with nonstick cooking spray.  In a large bowl, combine the chicken, soup and vegetables.  Add a few shakes of poultry seasoning and some Pappy's.  If you don't have Pappy's you can use some salt, pepper and garlic powder.  If you need to add a little milk you can add a little bit to moisten.  I saw that we had some alfredo sauce left over in the fridge so I used about 1/4 cup of that.  The last time I made this I used 1/4 cup of nonfat sour cream.  Pour into the dish you selected for your pie.  Top with the mashed potatoes and sprinkle with cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees until it is heated through and the cheese is bubbly.