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.