Turkey Feta Meatballs

Before going away for more than a day or so, there is always the challenge to clean out the refrigerator.  Mister and I are going down to South Carolina to visit his parents [snowbirds, not permanent residents] and to celebrate his upcoming birthday – which means its time to clear out the remnants of meals past and planned.

For dinner last night I googled a few ingredients from the fridge to see what I could muster and turkey meatballs came up and sounded like a nice change of pace. I didn’t have any spinach on hand, and wasn’t about to add anything to the stockpile, so I made up my own recipe.

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • half cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • two whole eggs
  • zest of one whole lemon
  • juice of half lemon
  • about 1/2 to 1 cup of feta cheese crumbles
  • Penzy’s Greek seasoning

Mix. Ball. Bake on a foil lined tray sprayed with non -stick cooking spray.

008.JPG

While these were baking at about 400 degrees for 20 ish minutes – I put together some pasta salad.  Leftover pasta, cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, diced pepper, the other half of that lemon juiced, balsamic vinegar dressing that was nearly empty, the rest of the feta cheese.

018.JPGAnd dinner was served in about 30 minutes. I’m even having the leftovers for lunch today, so we’re doing pretty good on the fridge situation.

I’ll be honesty – I’m pretty hooked on these meatballs. Like I might’ve eaten a handful more before packing them up. Will definitely be making these for lunches in the future, since it was super easy and I feel like a pretty healthy options [maybe minus the feta and add some spinach].

 

Advertisements

10 Minute Meal for Two

While getting the ingredients for Valentine’s Day dinner extravaganza at The Fresh Market, I happened to see a pre-packaged meal kit in the produce section that piqued my curiosity enough for me to give it a try.

The meal kit was in a clear, plastic container and contained all the ingredients for a dinner for 2, to be cooked in 10 minutes, and cost $16.  At 6:30pm on Tuesday, they had two options available:

Shrimp Scampi with Squash Blend & Wild Rice Pilaf or Moroccan Harissa chicken with Squash Blend and Cilantro Lime Rice. Looking online , they have a few more options but all include a protein, vegetable, and starch.  In comparison to the Meal Kits that PeaPod offers, they’re based more on whole foods versus canned/packaged ingredients, and this one was certainly more affordable than most FreshDirect options.

The directions are printed right on the label for the kit, and were pretty straightforward. My only real gripe at the start was that the ingredients weren’t labeled. This might sound strange, but there’s an oil packet, two seasoning packets, and a sauce packets. Since the oil had been refrigerated, it solidified a bit – and I had to spend a few minutes just double checking the whole recipe with all the packets to make sure I knew what happened when.

Other than that, the whole recipe did really come together in 10 minutes, with one pan and the microwave.

I was nervous about the scampi sauce, since it was really sort of gloppy looking. But it was incredibly light, lemony, and not heavy at all.  Mister even thought that the summer squash in the bowl might’ve been lemon wedges by accident because it was such a fresh lemon flavor [in comparison to that slightly cleaning product-esque lemon flavoring found in a lot of pre packaged products].

012.JPG

As I was plating it up, I got curious about the nutrition information.

Please note that the nutrition facts say 4.5 servings per container, when on the front of the packaging it very clearly says serves 2. What is the point in this??

I did some math [you’re welcome], and 260 calories x 4.5 servings = 1,170 calories in the entire kit. Divide that by 2 and you get 585 calories per serving. Factoring in that I left most of the extra sauce in the pan, I’m sure our actual calories were just slightly lower. Not bad, so why play around with the serving size information on the back?

Weirdness aside, it was a great meal that did cook in 10 minutes. Thumbs up Fresh Market.

Soul Food

I’ve posted, more than once, about cooking being a comforting experience.  I like taking the time to focus on choosing ingredients, figuring out what I’m doing, chopping, dicing, stirring, watching.  Its 10, 20, 45 minutes to focus on something outside of your own head.  Sure there is laundry to be done, of course there is probably a bill that needs to be paid, or a schedule to stress over; but for those previous minutes just focus on the one recipe at hand.

Thankfully, yesterday I had the time to tackle two recipes.  I went my usual route of Google-ing various ingredients or themes that sounded good, found a few recipes and then never looked back at them.  I don’t measure, I don’t second guess; this makes it nearly impossible when people ask me for recipes, I apologize in advance.

Beef and Butternut Squash Chili

Beef & Butternut

Beef & Butternut

I diced up about half of that onion, and sauteed that and garlic in some coconut oil. I’m making a serious effort to cut down on anything refined, artificial, processed etc. Whole foods, clean, primal, paleo; whatever you want to call it, I feel better about my body when I know exactly whats going into it about 80% of the time.
This is why I went with the organic, pasture finished beef that seemed like the best choice on the shelf. The beef was added to the pot once the onions were just softened a bit.
Browned the beef, then added diced butternut squash, canned tomatoes, carrots, and a splash of chicken broth.

Beef & Butternut

Beef & Butternut

Again, I tried to choose the better options from the shelf.
Mixed everything in the pot with some chili powder, cumin, pepper, and garlic powder. Covered it with a lid and let it simmer while I started on my second recipe.

Lemon Ginger Chicken Soup

Lemon Ginger Chicken Soup

Lemon Ginger Chicken Soup

I wanted a lot of flavor, but a relatively simple soup. So I diced/minced/sliced a bunch of shallot, onion, garlic, and ginger to be sauteed in coconut oil. Once they were fragrant, I added thinly sliced zuchinni and a bag of matchstick sliced carrots (these are my favorite shortcut of all time). I let those soften just a tiny bit, before adding chicken broth.

Lemon Ginger Chicken Soup

Lemon Ginger Chicken Soup

I know I can make chicken broth on my own that would be less processed/healthier/better etc. etc. but those words are subjective and I’m not living in my own kitchen so time and space are more valuable commodities right now.

While the soup was simmering, I shredded a rotisserie chicken (“all natural”, purchased cold) into the pot.

Lemon Ginger Chicken Soup

Lemon Ginger Chicken Soup

Added a dash of Five Spice, some Braggs Liquid Aminos, and the juice of two lemons. Then simmer, simmer, simmer, simmer.

IMG_7501[1]

These two pots yielded a lot of food. Some will be taken straight to the office, some eaten for dinners, and maybe some frozen if necessary. But I got to focus on just cooking, just stirring, just chopping for about an hour, which will result in quick meals throughout the week. Win-Win.

IMG_7502[1]

Snowday Snacks

Lounging inside on a Snow day it’s easy to over indulge. Couch, big breakfast, snacks.

Or, you could shovel, have a light breakfast followed by yoga and savor the simplicity of time.

IMG_6572

Hard boiled egg whites, a spoonful of cream cheese, smoked salmon, cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper all mixed up.

IMG_6579

Some aged cheddar and and a crunchy, sweet Apple.

IMG_6577

Lots and lots of lemon water to combat the sluggish dehydration of winter.