Monday, May 2, 2016

Avocado Cilantro Meatballs

I'm not sure if I ever told you about my love of meatballs. My grandma's were the best-the gold standard-which sadly I've never been able to duplicate. Pretty much the only thing I missed while being a vegetarian was meatballs. (I'm sorry, there are no good vegetarian versions-I think I've tried them all.)

I love to make buffalo meatballs for parties as I told you when I shared my Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf recipe.  This weekend my friend was coming up the lake for some girl time. I've made avocado spaghetti with zucchini noodles for her once & knew I wanted to make it again. It's a light & healthy dinner that's delicious. I'll share that recipe the next time I make it. Which will be soon, so check back. Last time I made grilled chicken breast with it & while we could have had that again, I just bought some ground turkey at Costco this week & knew I needed to make meatballs!

These are made the same way I make the Buffalo meatballs. I use a yogurt based dressing along with an egg & either panko or some other binder-like oatmeal or bread ground in the VitaMix. 

1 pound ground turkey or chicken
1/2 C Avocado Cilantro dressing-I use Bolthouse Farms
1 large egg
1/3 C panko or breadcrumbs
chopped cilantro-about a handful
1 C chicken broth

**As with all of my recipes, feel free to change the quantities to suit your taste & texture needs for these**

I mix quickly & gently with a fork then roll into balls. I sear them in hot oil because I like to have a crisp to them. The searing doesn't take too long & I like to finish them by steaming. I remove them from the pan & add the chicken broth (or you can use water) to the hot pan, quickly add in the meatballs & cover to capture the steam. The I reduce the heat & let them simmer for about 10 minutes-it just depends on how big your meatballs are, but you don't want to overcook them.

We ate these later all by themselves as a snack. They are definately delicious & are great for dinner & parties alike!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf

For parties I like to make buffalo chicken meatballs with blue cheese & ranch to dip. Everyone loves them & they always go quickly. I must say, my meatballs are more like triangles-the chicken is sometimes hard to work with & I don't want to toughen it by overworking it. So to make my life easier & to pass it off as dinner-the buffalo chicken meatloaf was born. Even the kids love this-they don't know its pretty healthy & I don't tell them! I saw a Food Network host making this the other day & I want to say, I think mine is healthier & that's why I love it so much!

Sorry-this is the only picture I got before they ate it all!

Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf
2 lbs. organic ground chicken breast
¼ cup Frank's Original Red Hot Sauce 
¼ cup Bolthouse Farms Yogurt Blue Cheese dressing  
2 large Eggs  
½ cup Old Fashioned oats-ground in the VitaMix 
Mix all ingredients together well. Put into a loaf pan, cover with foil, bake at 350. Uncover halfway through & brush with more hot sauce if desired. (I was trying to keep it low cal & low fat, but brushing this with hot sauce mixed with melted butter will definitely make this more amazing!) Bake 30 more minutes. 
Serving Size: 8 pieces from a loaf pan

Nutritional Info
·         Servings Per Recipe: 8
·         Amount Per Serving
·         Calories: 187.2
·         Total Fat: 4.9 g
·         Cholesterol: 119.8 mg
·         Sodium: 397.8 mg
·         Total Carbs: 7.4 g
·         Dietary Fiber: 1.0 g
·         Protein: 28.7 g

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Tortilla Soup in the blender

While we haven't officially started the vegan challenge, I have been trying to make better choices with my eating. I haven't been shopping or made up a meal plan yet, so I used what I had already in the house for tonight's dinner.

If you have a VitaMix or BlendTec, this really couldn't be easier. You can also do this in a pot & use an immersion blender, or dice everything, don't blend at all & have a chunky soup.  It's very versatile.

I used the VitaMix Tortilla Soup recipe on their site as a guide. 

If you have the VitaMix, it will heat it up in the blender. I added mine to a pan on the stove to make it a little warmer.  You can also omit the tortilla chips blended in to make it healthier, I like the flavor & body they give it. I also top mine with them when I eat it-I like the crunch.  Their recipe has other veggies in it which I would add if I had them on hand. I would think you can add pretty much anything as long as it doesn't have a strong flavor. 

(makes about 10 cups)
Add all ingredients to the blender & blend for 6-7 minutes on high. Stir in beans & corn after blending. Enjoy! 

And in case you're interested (I know I am), here are the nutrition stats:

 Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe: 10
Serving Size: 1 serving 1 Cup Per Serving
  • Calories112.4
  • Total Fat1.9 g
  • Saturated Fat0.3 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat0.3 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat0.9 g
  • Cholesterol0.0 mg
  • Sodium679.2 mg
  • Potassium374.1 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate22.4 g
  • Dietary Fiber4.1 g
  • Sugars3.6 g
  • Protein4.5 g
  • Vitamin A21.4 %
  • Vitamin B-120.0 %
  • Vitamin B-65.3 %
  • Vitamin C17.6 %
  • Vitamin D0.0 %
  • Vitamin E1.2 %
  • Calcium5.1 %
  • Copper2.5 %
  • Folate3.9 %
  • Iron10.8 %
  • Magnesium4.5 %
  • Manganese5.1 %
  • Niacin4.1 %
  • Pantothenic Acid2.0 %
  • Phosphorus4.3 %
  • Riboflavin3.2 %
  • Selenium0.9 %
  • Thiamin3.5 %
  • Zinc2.2 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Vegan Challenge 2016

There is just not enough time in the day! I can't seem to get back here very often at all & its a shame. I refer back for recipes all the time & I've made some things I really wish I would have written down. But anyway, here's what's going on lately.

D is a vegetarian now. I'm glad I did it for those three years so I am able to help him out & cook some good food for him. Brian & I have gained some weight-him especially. We've fallen into some very bad habits & are looking to change things up. I do hate that its at the beginning of the year-so cliche. But that's how its ending up to be timing wise. The holidays are over & now we can focus on us. I feel very fat & bloated. And out of shape. And old. And tired.

So Brian suggested we do vegan for a bit. I had done it for a month a few years back & I remember it was pretty difficult if you wanted to eat outside of your home. I'm hoping its a little easier now. So for 2 weeks in January, we're gonna eat vegan. Me, Brian, D & BabyGirl. Although I anticipate she'll fall off the wagon at the first chicken nugget day at school. I'm very ready for this. So I hope to post often about our progress.  Maybe even before & after pics. Which is horrifying, but might help. So check back to see our progress if you like!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

3 day weekend!

We love a 3 day weekend around here-who doesn't! At the lake, there's a park party that the kids love. Its potluck style so there's always tons of delicious food. This year, I'm making an orzo salad with grilled shrimp-I think its gonna be a big hit! I haven't made it yet, so its only an idea in my head-I'll post the recipe when its made. For now, I've picked a few of my favorite summer dishes to share with you for your holiday cookout.

My recent favorite-Whipped Corn Dip. This is a great complement to any grilled meats & veggies. Or serve as an appetizer with veggies or cracker to dip.

Would it be a cookout without salsa? I'm not so sure. My Black Bean & Corn Salsa features sweet corn, which is the freshest at this time of year, making your salsa amazing.  

Since we are big corn lovers, I have no shortage of recipes for you: Corn SaladCorn Zucchini SauteEnd of Summer Orzo Salad and Tomato Corn Salad.

Have a pot luck this weekend? Always a hit, my Caprese Pasta Salad or Cilantro Slaw are great contributions to any party.

And lastly, potato salad is a staple at any cookout. My favorites are my Dilled Potato Salad-a lightened up take on a classic & a twist on that is my Mustard Dill Potato Salad.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Impromptu Cookout

Can you even believe its August already?! We've done very little summer fun things it seems and its almost over. Sunday was the first pool day this year. Lounging poolside with a food magazine makes me want to cook! In Food & Wine magazine I found a delicious sounding recipe for Whipped Corn Dip & knew I had to try it ASAP. I always have frozen organic sweet corn in the freezer, so I just picked up some ricotta, I had everything else & I was ready. Of course you know I didn't follow the recipe-I just don't have it in me.

In the pan:
Oil, some butter & 1/2 med. chopped onion. Saute for about 5 minutes, add in corn & SHS. Saute for about 10 minutes. Add to a food processor & pulse. Add in about 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese & turn speed to ON. While running stream in some lemon juice. Be sure to taste for additional ricotta or salt. Run till smooth. 
That's it. Its simple & amazing. This picture cannot possibly convey how delicious it is! 
I would serve this with pita chips, veggie, or just along side a protein. We had grilled salmon & it was delicious. It also keeps well. I stuffed zucchini with it the next night topped with grated romano cheese-possibly more amazing.  

D & I made a large batch of red quinoa to have for the week as well. I added onions, green pepper, corn, cilantro, SHS, lime juice & EVOO. Another simple side dish

Deconstructed chicken shish kabobs. We bought these premade at the deli at the grocery store. 

There's a huge seafood sale going on right now at my grocery store. These are called grilling shrimp-they are butterflied, then frozen. They are delicious simply grilled & served with melted butter with garlic & lemon juice.

 We also grilled salmon and of course, Brian had to have meat & potatoes.

To wrap up the evening, we watched a little Criminal Minds outside in the dark. Creepy!