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Monday

Turkey Meatball Hoagie

In the past I don't know how many months, I have been cooking more and more with ground turkey. It's such a great alternative to hamburger and I've actually grown quite fond of it.

My husband was not as eagerly on board in the very beginning, but after severe threatening, I mean, tasting several meals I made him eat, well lets just say he actually likes it, a lot.


Here's how I made them.


Mix meatball ingredients and form into balls the size of golf balls, then place on a greased pan. Personally I always use greased tinfoil because I love the easy clean-up.



Bake for 8 minutes then turn and bake another 8 minutes. At this point, it's not so important that they be cooked through because we're going to finish them off in the tomato sauce. I just like to get a good brown on a couple sides. While the meatballs bake start the sauce.


Saute onion, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes in olive oil.


Add crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning and thyme.


Add meatballs and cover with tomato sauce. Cook covered with the lid vented until meatballs are cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.


At this point the sauce will have thickened nicely. Serve on toasted hoagies. Most times I like mine with just a shaving of fresh Parmesan, but my son loves cheese melted off in the broiler.




Turkey Meatball Hoagie

1.2 lb ground turkey, 80/20
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
2 tbsp Worchestershire
1/3 cup Parmesan, grated
2 lg garlic cloves, grated
2/3 cup dry Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dry minced onion
1/8-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Heat oven to 400* 

Beat the egg in a large bowl. Add rest of ingredients except turkey. Mix well. Crumble turkey into bowl and use a fork to blend just until mixed. Don't over mix.

Form into golf ball size meatballs and place on a greased foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes, turn and cook for 6-8 minutes more. While meatballs cook prepare sauce.

TOMATO SAUCE

1/2 onion, diced small
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tbsp olive oil
32oz can of crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp thyme

Saute onion and garlic in hot oil. Add all ingredients and simmer.

Place meatballs and any juice into tomato sauce covering meatballs with sauce. Simmer covered with lid vented 10-15 minutes or until meatballs are fully cooked and sauce is thickened.


Serve meatballs on a toasted hoagie, 3 meatballs per sandwich. Top with additional grated Parmesan if desired.

Wednesday

Stuffed Peppers



My hubby (Gary) and I loved the way these turned out. They are so good!! I'm still trying to stick to my liver cleanse, believe it or not, and doing pretty ok. Not perfect but better than nothing. Anyway, this is a recipe I came up with to fit it with the guidelines of the cleanse. The only thing in them that I'm not suppose to have is the cheese but, you know, it wasn't that much so I figured it didn't count, or maybe I just didn't care. Who knows, either way these turned out Delicious.


So let's make em!



Brown off your turkey in some olive oil. Just before it's all the way done add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning and salt/pepper and cook till the onions start getting soft.



Add the mushrooms and cook till they start releasing their liquid. 
Once that happens they will automatically start deglazing the pan.


Spoon out 1/2 of 1 of the cans of tomatoes, a little juice is ok too, and the rest of the ingredients. The rest of the tomatoes are going to be added later. While this is all heating through stir up your bread crumb topping.


Cut your peppers in half length wise and clean them out. I left the stem on because I thought it looked fancy but, either way. Fill them with the meat mixture and then spoon all the remaining tomatoes around the bottom. When I put them in the oven I started thinking I should have added some spices or something to the canned tomatoes, but as it turns out, I wouldn't change a thing. Cooking them like that just intensified their flavor and the juices from the peppers mingled all together with the tomato juices and, well, simple yumminess happened.



Top the peppers with your prepared bread crumbs.



Cover and cook them in a preheated 375* oven for 30 minutes, uncover and cook 10 minutes more.

Serve them with the tomato sauce spooned over the top.

DELICIOUS!!




STUFFED PEPPERS

3 large red or green peppers
1 lb ground turkey
2 tsp olive oil
1 med. onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp Italian Seasoning
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
2 cans petite diced tomatoes, separated
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 cup frozen corn
1 cup brown rice, cooked
¼ cup parmigiano regianno cheese, grated
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Bread Crumb Topping:

1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
2 tbsp parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and Pepper, to taste
2-3 tsp olive oil

Directions:
Heat oven to 375*

Brown turkey in olive oil. Just before it’s completely done add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Continue cooking 4-5 minutes more.

Add mushrooms and cook until they start to soften and release their juices, then spoon out 1/2 of one can of petite diced tomatoes, it’s ok if some of the juice comes along. Add remaining ingredients, saving the other 1 1/2 cans of tomatoes, and heat through.

To prepare crumb mixture simply stir all ingredients together.

Cut the peppers length wise and clean out seeds and membranes. Fill with the meat mixture and top with the bread crumbs; place in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Spoon the rest of the 1 1/2 cans of tomatoes around the peppers; cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

To serve, spoon the tomato sauce from the bottom of the pan over the peppers.


I love that you stopped by and appreciate all comments.

Saturday

Oatmeal Cookies





OATMEAL COOKIES

1 ¾ cups brown sugar
1 egg
2 egg whites
¼ c. vegetable oil
1 ½ c. rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup wheat germ
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
¼ c. raisins
¼ c. walnuts
Zest of 1 orange

Whisk sugar and eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in oil; stir in oats, flour, wheat germ, soda and salt. Add raisins, walnuts and zest. Drop large spoonfuls onto lined baking sheets and gently flatten; bake at 350*, 12-15 minutes. I cooked them for 10-11 in my oven.

Satisfying Meatless Spaghetti Sauce

After reading a book called “The Liver Cleanse Diet, Love Your Liver and Live Longer” by Dr. Sandra Cabot, I have decided to go on a 8 week liver cleanse with my husband, whom I recruited, hehe.

I think this book should be considered a must read for everyone. It’s full of useful information. I think there are a lot of us that don’t realize the importance of the liver and exactly all it does in the body. Did you know it’s the largest organ and performs over 500 jobs?

The reason I’m sharing this is because I am hopefully going to be sharing some delicious recipes that are beneficial and fit right in with the guidelines of the cleanse. The gist of it is to eat LOTS of whole food - fresh vegetables and fruits, beans, nuts and fresh squeezed juices. No dairy (ice cream, cheeses, milk, etc.), butter or margarine, red meat, or sugar (she does use a little brown sugar in some of her recipes and even raw sugar but your suppose to use mostly just honey or stevia). You are allowed chicken, eggs, seafood, pasta, potatoes and bread (whole wheat, rye and sourdough plus extra virgin olive oil and other cold-pressed oils. I am going to try to at least stay in the guidelines but well, you know. Either way it's going to be good for me.  

While I won’t be sharing every meal with you I am going to post the healthy low fat recipes that I think would be enjoyed by most people anytime, cleanse or not.



The first is a simple recipe for meatless spaghetti sauce. It was so easy and flavorful. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of you have made something similar before, but here it is anyway. Oh, and the pictures are lacking because, well, I didn't take them. I will be better in the future, hopefully.


In a large skillet saute 1 onion and 4 chopped garlic cloves in about 2-3 tsp of olive oil until the onion starts to soften.

Add button mushrooms, quartered (as many as you want, I love mushrooms), 1 yellow squash, chopped, 2 large carrots, grated, pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste, basil and italian seasoning. Continue sauteing until mushrooms start to render there juices and turn color.

 Add about 1/2 cup of red wine of your choice and simmer for 3-4 minutes.


Add 1/2 cup chicken stock and 1 large can crushed tomatoes.  Cover and simmer 20-30 minutes.


Serve over whole wheat noodles.

I served this with a side salad full of lots of fresh vegetables, dressed with homemade Avocado Dressing, which turned out really good. I'll be posting that recipe asap.

Sunday

Split Pea Soup

I love winter. It's probably my favorite season. 

I love everything about it. 

The holidays, the weather, and the food. 

Comfort food is a good thing! 


And speaking of  good things....I made the most delicious split pea soup the other day. Maybe 
it was just the fact that I haven't eaten it for a long time, but it seemed better than usual.

Fast and easy too.

SPLIT PEA SOUP

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion
2 carrots, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 ham hocks
1 lb of split peas, rinsed
6 1/2 cups chicken broth, plus more if needed
Salt
Pepper

Heat a large pot over medium heat.

Add olive oil, onion, garlic, carrots, bay leaves and some red pepper flakes; saute until slightly softened.

Add ham hocks, making sure they touch the bottom of pot and brown on both sides a few minutes.

Add 1 bag of split peas, and 6 1/2 cups of chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until peas start to break down and are tender, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Add more broth or water if it gets to thick.

Remove hocks and cut off any desired meat and add back to soup.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with croutons.