Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sun-Dried Tomato Meatballs with Yumyum Marinara Sauce

I found these recipes on various blogs, and put them together to create this amazingly flavorful dish.  I love ground poulty (you may sense a theme, here), so I've been whipping up meatballs and meatloaves like it's my job. I guess it is my job, now that I think about it. Anyway, I put together the sauce, first, and it seemed watery beyond words. I almost dumped it out and tried another version of marinara, but I'm so glad I stuck with this one. It was so delicious. Lots of herbal flavor, and actually, it thickened really nicely, as it simmered. I dumped the meatballs in the sauce, about 45 minutes to a hour, before serving. Oh man... it was good. Really good. Both recipes are easy, but of course, if you want to make the sauce, you have to be home for a while. I ate this over steamed broccoli (I know, you're shocked), and the kids and Kevin ate it over pasta. I was shocked that my lil' wee ones like this, because the basil was strong, but apparently, they are starting to come around, to eating food that actually tastes good. Anyway, I thought we'd have leftovers galore, but we ended up with only a small container, with a few meatballs inside. I give it 4 bowls... Maybe 5. No, 4. I think the only thing this is missing is... well... sugar. Sigh. I will make it again. That's fo' sho'.

Yumyum Marinara (adapted from


  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 5 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 28oz fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 6oz tomato paste
  • 7 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon honey (prob adds nothing - I'll skip it next time)
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


In a large pot over medium heat, add olive oil and sauté onion, shallot and garlic until the onion becomes transparent.

Next, add crushed tomatoes, water, tomato paste, seasonings, wine and honey.
Let it simmer for 2-4 hours, adding salt and peppers after the first hour.

Sun-Dried Tomato Meatballs (adapted from The Preppy Paleo)
1 lb. ground chicken breast
2 tbs. fresh chopped basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
3 minced garlic cloves
1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil (I spoon-drained these, because I wanted more tomatoes, and less oil)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Roll into 1 inch balls. If cooking on stove top, heat 1 tbs. olive oil in a large skillet. Brown meatballs on all sides and then add to pot of sauce or cook completely in the skillet. If you add them to the pot of marinara, let them simmer for another 45 minutes (or so).

Eat. Them. All.


I love anything with sun-dried tomatoes. I mean, seriously. Anything.



Sunday, February 3, 2013

Meaty Minestrone Soup

So, I was out with the kids yesterday, and we ended up lunching at Whole Foods. The produce there is simply irresistible. I ended up buying a zucchini, a cauliflower, a bell pepper, celery, carrots, and a couple of giant cans of fire roasted crushed tomatoes. I had soup on the brain. I found a recipe for a Paleo Minestrone Soup, and I adapted it to my family's (okay, MY) liking. Just as an FYI - I would never normally add ground meat to a soup, so this was a huge departure from my normal...

Okay, so before I do anything else, I need to say that I am NOT on any type of Paleo lifestyle/meal plan. However, I did recently have a baby, and I'm exploring ways to increase my milk supply, and eat in a healthier way, to improve my physical and mental energy and health. Once upon a time, I read that crazy book: "Eat for your Type" (or whatever it's called). It told me that my blood type should eat more meat. I totally discounted this, as total hooey. I was a vegetarian for many years, and I enjoy carbs and beans, more than the average bear. That being said, I have a huge energy increase, when I eat more meat. I am learning to accept this, and in addition, to accept the fact that eating beans and carbs all day, is not what is best for my satisfaction levels. I am constantly hungry, when I eat a vegetarian diet. I am learning... and learning... and learning.
Okay, so here's a recipe for minestrone soup, that was so delicious, I could have inhaled it through a straw. I will mourn its loss, when we finish it. I was secretly bummed that Kevin liked it, because it means less for me. Have I mentioned that I adore vegetables? I mean, for real. I heart them a whole lot.

Meaty Minestrone Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: A Lot (or just me, for many days in a row)

  • 1 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, medium dice
  • 6 Small Stalks Celery 
  • 1/2 a head of chopped cauliflower
  • 4 Large Carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 Medium Zucchini, medium dice
  • 1.5 lbs turkey breast
  • 1.5 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoons Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, finely minced ( used jars, out of total laziness)
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 (28-oz) can of fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 8 Cups Chicken Broth
  • frozen or fresh spinach (I didn't use, but will try next time)
  • frozen or fresh string beans (again, didn't use, but want to put in here, for next time)
  1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot (I used a 7.5 Qt Dutch Oven) over medium heat
  2. Add veggies (minus zucchini) and saute until translucent and vegetables start to soften (about 10 minutes)
  3. Add zucchini and saute for 3-5 more minutes and then push veggies to one side of your pot
  4. Turn heat up to medium high and ground beef in and proceed to crumble and brown
  5. As turkey begins to brown, stir in with all the vegetables
  6. Add salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and minced garlic and saute for 2 minutes
  7. Stir in tomato paste and let it melt into other ingredients
  8. Add crushed toms and broth and bring to a boil
  9. Once boiling, lower heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered (or longer, if you feel like it)
  10. Add any frozen veggies you want to add, and simmer for 10 minutes, covered
  11. Serve and Enjoy!
This is a giant pot of comforting, spicy, tomatoey deliciousness. I can't find my "bowl" symbols, but I would call this a 4.5 bowler. I would give it a 5, but it's such a simple recipe, it almost feels like a 5 would be a bit over the top. Know what I mean. Anyway... Make this. It's a winner, and the pot will probably last for a week of lunches. I. Can't. Wait.

Paleo Minestrone 2, can I get the kids to eat this many veggies in one bowl? (I stole this image from Pinterest, so imagine it without the pretty purple cabbage) I had to steal it, because my phone photos were fuzzy, at best. Meh.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Okay, so I'm on a tomato soup kick, and I am slightly obsessed with the boxed Organic Creamy Tomato Soup, from Whole Foods. I eat it for lunch, kind of... well... like, almost daily. So, I decided I wanted to make my own. I have procrastinated long enough, and finally gathered up all the ingredients, so I could whip up a batch of this Creamy Tomato Basil Soup, from Cooking Light. First of all, it's an easy recipe. Canned tomatoes, basil, onions and garlic. If you have an immersion blender, this is so perfect. I kept mine slightly chunky, and I wish I'd smoothed it out a bit, but still, it was delicious.

Overall, I think this is a 4 bowler. No one else in my family would try it, because they won't eat cheese, but it was definitely a keeper. I am going to whip up another batch in the next few days.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup (Adapted from Cooking Light)


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion(or 1 medium onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained (I used fire roasted with chili peppers)
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups 1% low-fat milk (I used skim and it was great)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


 Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook for 1 minute. Add basil and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Stir in cheese until melted. Place mixture in blender, and blend until smooth. Return to pan; stir in milk, salt, and pepper. Return to medium-high; cook 2 minutes.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Vegan Hoppin' John

I made this dish, from Eating Well Magazine, a couple of years ago, but felt it was worth a remake, for New Year's Day. We ended up going out on NYD, so we had it on January 2nd. Go figure. I
Give it 4 bowls, because it was quite delicious, yet it lacked originality, in that it was quite similar to many of the dishes I make. Nevertheless, it was an excellent venture back Into the kitchen, after a month of not cooking, after having a baby. Here's to more fun times in the kitch!

Barley Hoppin' John
Adapted from Eating Well
4 servings, 1 1/2 cups each | Active Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14-ounce can vegetable broth(use 2 cans if using regular pearl barley)
  • 1 cup quick-cooking barley (I used regular, and added cooking time)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas, rinsed


  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and celery. Cook until the vegetables soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add broth, barley, thyme, lemon juice, crushed red pepper and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the barley is done, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in black-eyed peas. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve hot.


Per serving : 320 Calories; 5 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 3 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 58 g Carbohydrates; 12 g Protein; 11 g Fiber; 677 mg Sodium; 529 mg Potassium
3 Carbohydrate Serving