Friday, February 25, 2011

Chicken Parm Meatball Subs

I have never used (or ate) ground chicken - till I met this recipe. Wow - I was surprised at how good these turned out. Take the beef out of the meatballs and these chicken meatballs are a lot healthier. Probably could have tossed the sub roll for an even healthier option - but where is the fun in that? 

1 1/2 lbs ground chicken (ground turkey for those scared of the ground chicken)
1 tablespoon grill seasoning
1 large egg
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
Handful of chopped parsley leaves
Extra virgin Olive Oil (3 Tablespoons for the sauce and extra for the meatballs)
2 cloves garlic; cracked from skin and split
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and Pepper
8-10 fresh basil leaves; torn or shredded
4 crusty sub rolls (or whole wheat)
1 1/2 cups reduced fat, shredded provolone

Preheat oven to 425.

Place chicken in a bowl and season with grill seasoning. Add egg, half of the grated Parm, bread crumbs, parsley and a good drizzle of the olive oil. Mix the meat and form 12 large meatballs.
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and place meatballs on sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden and firm. Switch the broiler on after the meatballs have come out.

While the meatballs bake, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes and then remove the cloves. Add the crushed red pepper flakes and the tomatoes. Slowly stir in the chicken stock. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in the basil at the very end. Add the cooked meatballs to the sauce and turn heat to low.

Cut the sub rolls and hollow out a little bread from each half to make room for the meatballs. Toast the rolls quickly under the broiler just for a light toast. Fill the rolls with meatballs, sauce and top with shredded provolone and remaining Parmesan. Put under the broiler just until the cheese melts. Make sure you don't burn your rolls!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Unstuffed Peppers

I found a version of this recipe in the Everyday Magazine. It was listed as a 5 ingredient recipe with wild- long grain rice, sausage, red onion, green peppers and mushrooms. While it sounded good, I changed mine up and think mine is better. :) Feel free to change this one up yourself - I have already been thinking of new ideas (ground turkey, ground beef, Ro*tel, etc.) This was a quick and satisfying dinner. Loved it!

1 lb Italian sausage links (casings removed)
2 green peppers; chopped
1 white onion; chopped
1 garlic clove; minced
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups brown rice (with 1 3/4 cup water) - Make according to package directions
Salt & pepper
Olive oil

In a large skillet, add a dash of olive oil and heat over medium-high. Add ground sausage and break up with a wooden spoon until broke up and cooked through.
Drain the sausage and set aside.
In the same pan, add another turn of olive oil and heat over medium-high. Add peppers, onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until softened. Add tomatoes and return sausage to the pan. Lower heat to medium stir for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the rice.
Transfer the cooked rice to the skillet and mix through.

We topped ours off with a little Parmesan cheese.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Thinner Mexican Dinner

My sweet husband lost a bet we made during the Superbowl. As my reward, he cooked me anything I wanted. My choice, The Abs Diet Book's take on Taco Salad. I love anything Mexican and have been wanting to try this one for awhile. We loved this recipe! So good and very easy (maybe I should have made him work harder?) I think he needs to be in the kitchen more often!

For the meat: 
1 lb lean ground beef (90% lean or higher)
2 cloves garlic; minced
1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans; drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/3 cup water

For the dressing: 
4 medium tomatoes; diced
2 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the salad: 
2 romaine lettuce hearts; chopped
1/2 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
2 ounces baked corn tortilla chips; crushed

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the beef and cook, breaking up the meat until no longer pink. Add the garlic and beans, cook for 2 minutes more. Add the chili powder, cayenne and water and stir until well combined and some of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly.

Mix the dressing ingredients in a bowl.

Divide the lettuce among bowls, top with beef mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Spoon the dressing over the salad and top with crushed chips.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Crock Pot Minestrone

Soup and sandwich night is always better with homemade soup. The crock pot makes this recipe easy. 
Another recipe from the ABS book. Love that book!

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 - 32 ounce container of low sodium chicken broth
1 can cannellini beans; rinsed and drained
1 can red kidney bean; rinsed and drained
2 cans (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
5 large carrots; thinly sliced
1 cup diced celery
2 cloves garlic; chopped
1 large onion; diced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 package whole wheat pasta
1 package (10 ounces) frozen spinach; thawed and squeezed dry

Dump all ingredients, except the pasta and spinach, into a large slow cooker. Stir to mix. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Add the pasta and the spinach to the cooker and stir. Turn up to high and cook for 10 minutes.

I topped with some Romano-Parmesan cheese.

For our sandwiches, I made "grown up" grilled cheese.

Fresh Mozzarella; sliced 
Vine ripe tomatoes; sliced
Sprinkle of oregano
Bread of your choice - would have used wheat, but wanted to use up some of our bakery bread
Olive oil

Warm pan over medium high heat. Lightly drizzle olive oil in the pan. Once warmed, add sandwiches. Top bread with another light drizzle of olive oil. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side; or until grilled to your liking.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Vegetable Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze

To quote Will Ferrell from The Wedding Crashers "Hey MA, the meatloaf! We want it now!"
My awesome Brother, Steven, gave me this recipe from Bobby Flay. This was awesome! It came out so tender and the balsamic glaze is amazing. LOVED it! 

Picture from Food Network

My picture

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small zucchini; diced
1 red bell pepper; diced
1 yellow bell pepper; diced
1 white onion; diced
5 cloves garlic; smashed to a paste with coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large egg; lightly beaten
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (90 percent lean)
1 cup panko (coarse Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the zucchini, bell peppers, onions, garlic paste and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are almost soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Whisk the egg and fresh herbs in a large bowl. Add the turkey, panko, grated cheese, 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and the cooled vegetables; mix until just combined.

Gently press the mixture into a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes in a small bowl; brush the mixture over the entire loaf. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
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