Confession: I’m not a traditional beef meatballs with marinara sauce kind of gal. I seriously dislike the dish. It doesn’t even look appealing most of the time and the meatballs tend to be dry as a cardboard. I guess a lot of it has a lot to do with what I ate as a child. My mom never made spaghetti and meatballs. I am not a big fan of the marinara sauce dishes. I don’t even like spaghetti. What I do like is creamy sauces especially homemade ones.
Meatballs in creamy mushroom sauce are a whole different game. I used ground turkey seasoned with garlic, fresh herbs, Panko soaked in a little milk and some good old fashioned salt and pepper. I seared the meatballs first to seal the flavor and the juices and then simmered them in a mushroom gravy. The meatballs came out moist, tender and seriously delicious. It was a HUGE hit with the entire family. Briana licked her plate clean and Kurt asked for the leftovers for lunch.
But no cream of mushroom soup is allowed here. Yuck, that stuff is not even real food. Anything that has modified anything or MSG in the ingredients is off limits. And don’t even get me started on the flavor. Nasty.
Turkey tends to stick to your hands a lot more than regular beef. Don’t stress about making your meatballs perfectly round and don’t overdo on the Panko.
- 1 lb ground turkey
- ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup pecorino romano cheese, grated
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tsp salt, plus more
- ½ tsp black pepper, plus more
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms
- ½ leek, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ⅔ cup fat free half & half
- 1 lb pasta, such as macaroni or rotini
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- In a small bowl combine Panko and milk. Let sit for a few minutes until the milk absorbs.
- Add ground turkey meat, egg, pecorino romano cheese, parsley, 1 tsp salt & ½ tsp pepper. Mix well.
- Preheat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet. Form meat balls and cook until golden on both sides, about 3 minutes each. Turkey meat tends to be sticky, don't worry about meatballs being perfectly round.
- Set the meatballs aside.
- In a large skillet saute mushrooms and leeks in another 1 tbsp of olive oil. Season with some salt and pepper. Stir in flour and cook another 2 minutes.
- Add chicken stock, bring to a simmer and add meatballs.
- Simmer the meatballs for 15 minutes. Check for salt and add half and half.
- Stir the meatballs and pasta together.
- Serve sprinkled with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese.
This might be the simplest chicken fingers recipe you’ll find.
I am having writer’s block.
It took me five minutes just to come up with that sentence. I kept searching for an idea I thought might come crawling out from deep within. All I came up with was nothing. Many nights I lay in bed for hours tortured by my own creativity and yet when the times comes I draw a blank. Go figure. Wow, I actually wrote an entire paragraph about nothing.
Well since I am so uncreative today and did not photograph my very boring eats for our What I Ate Wednesday fun I might as well share a recipe. But if you’re curious what other bloggers are eating head on over to Peas & Crayons for a weekly party of food sharing.
Happy Birthday to my love, my best friend and the best daddy I know – my husband Kurt. Briana and I love you!
- 3 chicken breasts, cut into 3 strips each
- ½ cup Panko
- ¼ cup low fat Vegenaise (or mayo)
- salt to taste
- ¼ tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Season the chicken strips with salt.
- In a small bowl combine Panko, paprika and parmesan cheese.
- In another small bowl stir vegenaise.
- Dip each strip in vegenaise to coat slightly, then roll on the breadcrumb mixture until well coated.
- Arrange on a baking sheet. Repeat with the rest.
- Bake for about 20 minutes until the chicken is golden and cooked through inside.
“Self-education is the only possible education; the rest is mere veneer laid on the surface of a child’s nature.” ~ Charlotte Mason
I’ve been doing lots of soul searching lately. As good as I have it I feel there is always room to grow, improve and become a better person. I don’t have everything figured out. I make mistakes. I make up my mind and then change it. I have strong feelings and opinions. At times, I feel like a little lamb afraid to express myself. I am human and life is all about learning. That’s the beauty of being alive.
I started reading a book called “The Power of Positive Thinking” after a few rough days of dealing with negative encounters. No matter how strong of a person you are it is draining when negativity surrounds you and demands your attention. I’m not a confrontational person, but my beliefs are strong and I won’t do things that are wrong because it’s simply inconvenient for someone else to do them the right way. So in my latest self-education phase I want to learn how to turn the negative away and not allow it to control my day. I don’t want other people’s garbage on my garbage truck.
Now let’s talk about food.
I made you a very delicious chicken salad sandwich with peas and grapes. If you have never tried grapes in the chicken salad YOU MUST drop whatever you are doing and go try it. Yes, I mean now. Go!
I first got hooked on grapes in the chicken salad sandwich at Panera and have never turned back. This is a perfect recipe for leftover chicken and it comes together in 10 minutes. You can’t beat that. Guess what I’m having for lunch?
- ½ cup leftover chicken, diced (I used leftovers of rotisserie chicken breast)
- ¼ cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 celery, diced
- 8 seedless green grapes, sliced in half
- 1 tbsp reduced fat Vegenaise (or mayo)
- 1 tbsp good quality ranch dressing
- bunch of watercress lettuce
- Mix ranch and Vegenaise together in a bowl.
- Add diced chicken, peas and celery. Stir gently to combine.
- Add grapes and some watercress, gently fold the mixture.
- Serve over a piece of toast with additional watercress.
This is my family’s absolute new favorite dish. I love making it because it’s insanely easy and quick to prepare. What’s not to love about chicken, rice and beans all cooked in one pot. It’s a marriage made in food heaven. I must start by first thanking a fantastic blogger who introduced me to this recipe, Natalie at Tastes Lovely. I adapted this fabulous dish from her and have been making it weekly ever since. I even made this for our Super Bowl party and it was a huge hit.
It’s been snowing all day, schools are closed and I had to take a day off from work. In between the list of house chores and loads of laundry I got to do something I rarely have a chance to do, I watched cooking shows all day long. I couldn’t help but think of how I would love to have a cooking show of my own. Can you imagine doing what you love all day long? Hmmm.. I wonder what I would create as my first dish. I think it would have to be this skillet. Yeah, it’s that good.
The beauty of it is that you most probably already have all the ingredients right in your pantry and freezer. It’s fabulous with hot sauce like Cholula. In this house of hot sauce junkies, hot sauce goes faster than milk.
I leave you with these two questions:
What’s your dream job?
Do you like hot sauce? If so, what’s your favorite?
- 6 drumsticks or 5 boneless thighs
- 2 cups Jasmine rice
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 15 oz can small red beans
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ⅓ cup frozen green peas
- 1 packet Goya Sazon con azafran (with saffron)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and paprika to taste
- Heat olive oil in a oven safe heavy pot.
- Season chicken with salt and paprika. Cook about 5 min on each side, until crispy and nicely browned. Don't worry if the chicken is not fully cooked through, it will finish cooking in the oven.
- Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Now add onion and garlic to the pot. Saute about 4 minutes and stir in rice, chicken stock, beans, peas and the packet of Goya. Stir to combine.
- Gently nestle the chicken on top of the rice mixture.
- Bake at 450 degrees until all the liquid is adsorbed and the rice is cooked, about 20-25 minutes.
Sometimes it’s great to let the slow cooker do all the work and that’s exactly how this dish came to be. Over the last week Briana has been very sick. In an effort to help her fight the sickness I made the ultimate get better dish, Chicken Noodle Soup.
Chicken soup is not only good for the soul, my grandma swears that it helps beat a cold as well. Who am I to argue with the woman. Since I was sick as well and had little desire to spend hours in the kitchen cooking the soup from scratch I turned to a reliable kitchen helper, my slow cooker.
Making chicken noodle soup in a slow cooker is a breeze. I might never make it the traditional way again. The trick is to add noodles in the last 30 minutes of cooking. I hope you make it. I know you will love it.
Have a beautiful weekend.
- 4 chicken breasts or boneless thighs
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 small carrots, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary
- 2 chicken bouillons
- ¼ cup white wine
- 5 cups water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup noodles
- Set your slow cooker for 5 hours on high.
- Add onion, carrots, celery and herbs to the slow cooker.
- Lay chicken on top.
- Add bouillon, white wine and water. Cook on high for 4½ hours.
- Add noodles and cook another ½ hour.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.