Two fun facts about me: 1) I love stuffed peppers. They’re very underrated. You can put things you’d normally eat alone into a stuffed pepper and it’s a whole new meal! With an added veggie! 2) I LOVE HOLIDAYS. Like any holiday. Halloween…Memorial Day…Valentine’s…ST. PATRICK’S DAY! All week I’ve been planning “green meals”, which inspired these delicious, GREEN PESTO PEPPERS.
Full Disclosure – I tried making a “skinny shepherd’s pie!” and it…didn’t exactly turn out. Not to mention shepherd’s pie is not a pretty dish to photograph.
I am a MASSIVE Green Bay Packer fan. Like beyond a fan. A part “owner”, seeing as the Packers are the only NFL team that are publicly owned. Football season has turned into quite the tradition in our family – we manage up to 5 fantasy football teams, I cheer for Michigan on Saturdays and Green Bay on Sundays, I spend the week discussing lineups with my dad, and I plan football watching menus all season long! A huge staple on any game day buffet table is a good, tasty, tons-o-toppings chili.
Normally, I’d wait to spread the joy until next season. BUT, seeing as we just got a snowstorm last night, it seems mighty appropriate! What do they say about March? In like a lion and out like a lamb? Yeah. That’s definitely happening.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme is my ultimate weakness. Whether going through the drive-thru at 2AM with our Uber driver (he always gets free tacos) or stopping by when you just can’t cook that night – it’s the ultimate go-to fast food! And sewwwww not good for you.
Recently, the best thing I’ve discovered is that I can make these at home and they’re 10x better and 10x healthier and 10x more customizable. AND they’re not that hard! Once you buy the ingredients, you’ll have them stored for last-minute usage and those weeknights where you need to find the closest bottle of Cabernet and some melty cheese A*S*A*P* are SAVED.
Speaking of Cabernet and melty cheese….SCANDAL COMES BACK NEXT WEEK! And the Superbowl is on Sunday!! Two “holidays” in one week! EEK! And V-Day is next Sunday!! So exciting. I’ll be posting my Superbowl app that has edamame and dates and olives and…ugh. Just wait, it’s gonna be completely amazing.
Delicious nutritious soup – a remake of an old classic!
I’ve had this a draft of this recipe written since September – but for various reasons I haven’t posted it yet. The only pictures I had were in a purple bowl and I’ve decided purple is an unappetizing color. I thought people would find the egg + soup combination strange. Using the college, orange-wrapped noodles seemed like cheating. But, *ALAS*! I have found just the tweak this recipe needed!
I finally bought a spiralizer and have completely fell in love. I started with the classic spiralized veggie – ZUCCHINI! The “zoodles” ended up great – they didn’t get mushy in the soup and added a *crunch* component to the soothing broth that turned out really well. I couldn’t be happier! And now I can’t stop spiralizing. I couldn’t fall asleep last night because I was trying to come up with something to spiralize for breakfast — Update: I still haven’t thought of anything.
Delicious Chicken Tikka Masala – waiting for you in your slow cooker!
Hi All! Happy New Year! I know it’s been a while since I posted – finals and the holidays got the best of me. But I had an amazing time back in Minnesota. We attended 2 Christmas parties, watched copious amounts of football, went to a fantastic sparkling wine and appetizer cooking class, attended mass on Christmas Day and headed straight up to Lutsen, MN where we got to enjoy the slopes and a quaint little cabin, 20 feet from Lake Superior.
I got to come back for NYE and celebrate with Dan and his family with a bomb diggity meal of mussels in spicy thai curry sauce, homemade caesar salads (I’ll share the recipe soon!), pasta carbonara and crab legs. And a (couple) bottles of champagne. It was amazing. But, with all the imbibing and fantastic food I’ve had lately, it’s time for the “new year, new me!” cliche.
Thanksgiving is over and the winter holidays are in full swing! As we all know so well, with the holidays come cookies, cakes, and Christmassy cocktails. In between the dinner parties and bring-your-own-wine get togethers, it’s important to try and stay on track with eating healthy, nutritious food. Otherwise, things can go haywire – fast!
One of my go-to magazines for day to day cooking is Cooking Light. They have a TON of easy recipes for weeknights, sweet treats, and even comfort food like macaroni and cheese in every issue. In fact, I actually subscribed to it and get so excited when it comes in the mail – total old school style. In their November issue, they had this delicious, easy chicken noodle soup and I had to try it.
Given that it’s Halloweek, I am going to tell you a horror story about these delicious meatballs. Like any horror movie, there are several plot twists when you *think* something terrifying is about to happen, but it’s just the cat, or a gust of wind. This story is no different – I dodged quite a few disasters before the TRUE horror hit my kitchen!
Potential Scary Moment #1: When I decided to try and copy Dan’s mom’s meatballs. They’re awesome and cannot be beat. But I think these turned out well! They’re definitely not “made-by-mom” quality, but they’re great for a first attempt.
Potential Scary Moment #2: I wanted to try roasting spaghetti squash for the first time. This is scary for two reasons – I knew Dan wouldn’t eat it because it’s a weird vegetable, and I had no idea what I was doing. But after a quick Google search, I found a fool-proof method for great spaghetti squash every time! And I was impressed with how it soaked up the flavors in the sauce so easily.
Real, True, I-Can’t-Believe-This-Happened Scary Moment: I was beaming with pride after successfully making meatballs and a new, delicious vegetable. I had tripled the recipe to have leftovers for days to come! I woke up the next morning, ready to pack up some lunches, and…*duh duh duuuuhhhhh* I LEFT THE FOOD OUT ALL NIGHT. RUINED!!! I was incredibly upset. And in a bad mood for about 23 minutes. I think a tear rolled down my cheek as I threw my beautiful-gone-bad meatballs down the garbage disposal.
Mix, Mix, Mix It Up!
The good news, after this scary-spooky-horror-story, is that I can’t WAIT to make these again. They’re AWESOME. And relatively easy to make in a big batch so you can throw some in the freezer or have leftovers for a few days. They’re extremely versatile. I added them to spaghetti squash – which is a great healthy alternative to pasta. But they’d be just as good in a meatball sub with some mozzarella, mixed with veggies, or plain as a protein-filled snack!
Waiting to be browned!
I came across this simple meatball recipe at a wine tasting party thrown by my friend, Karen. She took us on a culinary, wine-filled tour of the Iberian Peninsula and paired these delicious “albondigas” with a Rioja wine (featured in Wine and Popcorn pairings earlier this year!). They were so simple, with a basic red sauce, but every bite was better than the last. Then, after trying Dan’s mom’s meatballs recently, I knew I had to try and make some of my own. So I fused her recipe with the Spanish albondigas and added some lean ground turkey for a health kick!
Meatballs simmering in red sauce.
I urge you to make these ASAP – but maybe after Halloweek so you don’t experience a horror story of your own!
Good luck! And remember to follow @anappleadayonline on Instagram!
Roasted Spaghetti Squash and "Albondigas" - Meatballs in Garlic Tomato Sauce
Author: Madeleine Oliver
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 6 servings
Great beginner meatball recipe - few ingredients and even fewer steps! These can be added to the roasted spaghetti squash, a pasta of your choosing, or thrown into a meatball sub. Throw your spaghetti squash into the oven first, then mix up your meatballs and sauce so everything finishes at the same time!
For the spaghetti squash:
1 whole spaghetti squash, cut lengthwise
Water (enough to fill pan up ½ inch)
For the sauce:
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp. olive oil
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, low sodium
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1.5 tsp. dried oregano
1.5 tsp. dried basil
For the albondigas:
1½ pound lean ground turkey
1 pound ground beef (I used 80/20 ratio)
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
⅔ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
2 tbsp. olive oil
For the spaghetti squash:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise.
Using a baking dish (a lasagna dish works perfectly), place squash cut side down into the dish.
Fill dish with ½ inch of water. Cover with aluminum foil
Cook for 45 minutes. Remove squash and flip over (cut side up). Be careful when removing foil - steam is hot!
Cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until squash is very tender.
Allow to slightly cool. Remove seeds using a spoon. Then, using a fork, shred the remainder of the squash into "spaghetti-like" strands.
For the sauce:
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add 1 tsp. olive oil.
Saute garlic until fragrant - about 4 minutes.
Add whole tomatoes and tomato sauce. Gradually break up large pieces using a spoon.
Add pepper, salt, oregano, and basil.
Turn heat to low and allow sauce to simmer and thicken while you prepare the albondigas.
For the albondigas:
Add ground turkey, ground beef, green pepper, onion, nutmeg, parsley, and bread crumbs to a large mixing bowl. Combine using a large spoon or your hands. (It's much easier with your hands!)
Form meatballs using a spoon. Each meatball should use up about 2 tbsp of the mixture. I ended up with about 35 in total.
Heat large saute pan over medium high heat. Add 2 tbsp. olive oil (you may need additional oil with several batches).
In batches of 12 meatballs, brown on all sides. Turn using tongs to brown evenly. This should take about 5 minutes per batch.
Add meatballs to tomato sauce.
Cover, with heat on low, and allow to simmer for 25 minutes.
To complete the recipe:
Combine spaghetti squash and albondigas - with plenty of sauce - on your plate. Top with additional parmesan cheese or fresh parsley.
This was the method I used for cooking the spaghetti squash if you need clarification. Thanks Emeril! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/herbed-spaghetti-squash-recipe.html
Serving size: 1 cup squash and 6 meatballs Calories: 525 Fat: 28 g Saturated fat: 10 g Unsaturated fat: 5 g Carbohydrates: 31 g Sugar: 10 g Sodium: 577 mg Fiber: 6 g Protein: 36 g Cholesterol: 120 mg
My mom taught me quite a few things in the kitchen. One of those things is homemade garlic bread, and I am forever grateful. Buying a French baguette at the grocery store is a decision I don’t take lightly – I know it’ll be followed by over-garlicked, buttery, amazing bread. And I need the perfect meal to enjoy it with. And to use leftovers to make homemade croutons – another one of my mother’s culinary gifts.
I have found that meal. Healthified chicken parmesan with zoodles! A great dose of vegetables, protein, and some cheesy goodness. Best part? No boiling noodles, a quick *zesty* red sauce, and easy chicken finished in the oven. Perfect to melt your cheese and brown your garlic bread under the broiler. And go back for a second slice of this delicious bread! No pasta = extra bread 😉
The goodness that is easy, 3-ingredient shredded chicken.
MONDAYZZZ. Ugh. I shouldn’t even be complaining. It’s Fall break, which means no class for 2 days. It was sunny and 65 degrees out today. Football Today had a new podcast out and they continued to rave about the Packers. I made my childhood favorite meal (Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole) on a whim today. And it was just as good as I remembered.
But, today was one of those days I needed a Diet Coke at 5PM and I don’t even drink pop unless it has Jack Daniel’s in it. I didn’t even wear mascara today. *Gasp*. Before I was writing this, I was reading a book about patient case files and realizing how much I have to study before medicine starts back up again next summer. My biggest accomplishment was tying my tennis shoes today.
And for days like today? And I know everyone has them. CROCKPOT. Buy one. Use it. I’ll make it easy for you: CROCK POT. Even better? Throw 3 ingredients in there and you’ve got a delicioso meal that will last you FOREVER. Okay, like 3 meals, but that’s pretty good.
Soup season! *GROUP CHEER* Since tacos are one of my main food groups, it only makes sense to put all the taco toppings into SOUP and call it a day. I’ve made three Mexican dishes this week and I ain’t even mad about it. Maybe I’ll mix in some breakfast burritos and I can have Mexican food for every single meal of the week. Maybe I’ll open up a Mexican restaurant out of my apartment.