Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Turkey and Arugula Meatballs

I really do enjoy a plate of spaghetti, but to tell you the truth, I had never made meatballs before this. I admit I was a little scared, but I did a little research before hand to calm my nerves. And then I decided to invite Tim’s parents over for dinner. Yikes! 

I’m just really glad that everyone liked it. The meatballs were just like most meatballs, except they were made of turkey (read: healthier), had a secret surprise in the middle (read: cheese!) and had some chopped arugula added in (read: pepperier, which isn’t a word, I know, but who cares?). Add in some jarred pasta sauce, some whole wheat spaghetti, and you have a healthy, delicious meal that is fancy enough for company, but simple enough for everyday. 

Sad part was that I didn’t take a picture before we ate them all. I still have a few meatballs in the freezer, so someday I will take them out and take a picture, or maybe I’ll just make some more. For now, I’m gonna borrow a picture. Yum!

Warning: this makes a lot of meatballs! Be prepared to invite lots of hungry people over, or freeze some for an easy weeknight meal. 

Click here

Turkey and Arugula Meatballs
Serves 4 (with extra for another meal)

1 lb. ground turkey
½ yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp chopped basil
1 tbsp chopped parsley
½ c. chopped arugula
2 eggs
¾ c. heavy cream
1 c. breadcrumbs
Mozzarella, cut into ½ in. dice
salt and pepper
flour, for dusting
olive oil
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
1 lb. whole wheat spaghetti

1. Mix together in a large bowl with your hands turkey, onion, garlic, basil, parsley and arugula until just blended. Squish in the eggs and heavy cream, and then add breadcrumbs, salt and pepper until mixture holds together in a ball.
2. Using an ice cream scoop (or just eyeballing it), form turkey mixture into 1” diameter balls. Wet your hands if the mixture sticks to you too much. Squish the ball into a patty, put a piece of cheese in the middle, then close to form a ball again. Put meatball on baking sheet. When the mixture is all in ball form, dust a little flour over the top of each and roll around until a thin coating is on all sides of each meatball.
3. To brown meatballs, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large sauté pan over med-high heat. Brown meat balls in batches (don’t worry if they squish into patties, it happens). Remove from pan to a plate. If you are making this ahead of time, feel free to cover and refrigerate until ready to be used.
4. When ready to finish the dish, empty the jar of marinara sauce into a large sauté pan. Add in half of the meatballs and heat over medium until sauce is bubbling. Reduce to low and simmer for 6-8 minutes, or until done. You will have to sacrifice one meatball to see if they are done, but it’s well worth it.
5. While the sauce is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions. Place pasta on a large platter with the sauce and meatballs on top, family style. Serve with a fresh green salad and some garlic bread.


Also, this will be my last post for arugula. Next month: Apricots! 


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Friday, June 17, 2011

Monthly Ingredient Spotlight: Arugula, Prosciutto and Date Salad

Hi everyone! Sorry I have been gone for so long. I haven't been cooking much lately since I've been super busy. I'm finally getting to unpacking my stuff after being in my new place for nearly a month so hopefully I will start cooking more. I have been taking pictures of the food I have made so I'll be posting those over the next few days.

The second monthly ingredient spotlight is a salad of my own creation. I was a little hesitant at first about this salad, but I think it turned out really tasty. I'm definitely a fan of sweet and salty and crunchy all mixed together and that is very prominent in this dish. A bed of arugula is topped with slices of salty prosciutto, sweet chopped dates, and crunchy pecans, all drizzled with a blue cheese vinaigrette. The flavors all meld together wonderfully. This salad would be a perfect, easy weeknight meal or a great side salad to grilled chicken.

Arugula, Prosciutto and Date Salad
Serves 4

1 bunch arugula
4 oz. proscuitto, torn into small strips
1/2 c. dates, chopped
1/2 c. pecans, chopped
Blue cheese vinaigrette (I really like Litehouse's version)

Lay arugula on a platter or divide onto 4 plates. Top with prosciutto and sprinkle dates and pecans over the top. Drizzle blue cheese vinaigrette over the top. 



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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chicken Tostadas with Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Today has been kind of a funky day (not that you know what that means) and I’m not really feeling like writing a whole long description. I still wanted to post this recipe just because it was so tasty and I haven’t posted in a while. You should try it tonight for dinner!

Chicken Tostadas with Black Bean and Corn Salsa
Adapted from Zesty by Michele Cranston

Serves 4

Olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 orange bell, finely diced
1 c. fresh corn (or frozen, thawed)
1 c. cooked black beans
2 tbsp chopped chives
1 tbsp agave nectar
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
Crispy tostada shells
Shredded lettuce, sour cream and any other desired toppings

1. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic, cumin and bell pepper and heat until cumin is fragrant. Add in corn and black beans. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chives and agave. Let cool in a bowl until ready to eat.
2. Cut each chicken breast into 3 pieces, then pound with a mallet to ½ in. thick. Season each piece with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tbsp more oil and cook chicken until lightly browned on each side and cooked all the way through. Remove to a plate and let sit for 5 minutes. Shred chicken with two forks into bite-sized pieces.
3. To assemble, place tostada shell on a plate. Top with chicken, then salsa, then any of the desired toppings.



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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza

Welcome to the first monthly ingredient spotlight ! This month’s ingredient is arugula. Spicy, peppery arugula. 

Story time!

When I was in college, there wasa pizza place not too far from campus that I would frequent. Their pizzas were so good. The crust was nice and crispy, the cheese nice and, well, cheesy. Tim’s favorite pizza was the arugula and prosciutto. First, they would bake a regular cheese pizza with a four cheese blend. After baking, they would brush a garlic-herb olive oil over the crust, lay a few slices of prosciutto on top of the cheese, pile a small mound of arugula in the center and finish it off with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese. It was truly heaven in a slice.

Unfortunately, both locations that were anywhere near us closed down. I have been craving this pizza for months, so I decided I should try and make it. I think it turned out really well, but according to Tim, it wasn’t as good as Fondi’s. Close enough, I say.

This recipe is a great way to use up leftover arugula or prosciutto since it doesn’t use a whole lot of either. Put down that phone and try this pizza tonight!

Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza

1 large pizza crust or 1 lb. pizza dough stretched to 12”
olive oil
1 c. marinara sauce
1 ball mozzarella, sliced
Grated parmesan, optional
4 thin slices prosciutto, torn into strips
1 c. arugula
balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 450 F. If using pizza dough, sprinkle some cornmeal on a baking sheet. Lay stretched out pizza dough on the cornmeal and press it in. Lightly dust off excess. Brush crust or dough with olive oil.
2. Spread marinara sauce on the crust and lay the slices of mozzarella on top. Sprinkle with grated parmesan or other cheeses, if desired.
3. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is a golden brown. Lay the prosciutto strips on top of the pizza. Put the arugula in a bunch in the center of the pizza and drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the entire pizza. 



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Thursday, June 2, 2011

New: Monthly Ingredient Spotlight

Survey time!

1. Have you ever gone to a farmers market and seen the most beautiful bunch of  ______ (fill in blank with your favorite fruit or vegetable), but you don’t know what in the world to do with it once you get home? 
2. Have you ever tried a new recipe, but afterwards ended up with a lot extra of one ingredient? 
3. Have you ever gone to the grocery store without a list, staring endlessly into space, trying to figure out what to make for dinner?

Well, all of that happens to me a lot. Most of the time, I end up:

1. Passing up a chance at some great produce.
2. Throwing the extras away, or
3. Takeout!

I am absolutely not satisfied with any of my answers. So from now on, during the weekends, I am going to try out new recipes based on one ingredient, which will change every month. Like in June, I will be starting out with arugula. When you buy a bunch of arugula, they usually come in a big box or bag and I always have a ton leftover. I will post one recipe a week that uses arugula, but for the rest of the week, I’ll post what I made for dinner each day.

Hope you come back to check what I have up my sleeves! (or rather, in my kitchen…)

Have a great day!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Life Gets in the Way

Don’t you just hate it when you get too busy to cook every night? I sure do. Then again, I love that I am always on the go and always super busy, even if it means eating out almost every single night. Things are so hectic for me right now that I haven’t had more than an hour in the past few days to just sit on the couch and catch up with my blog and everything else. It sure didn’t help that I had a cat that wouldn’t leave me alone. I swear he is more like a dog than a cat. 

I’m just writing here to say that I’m not completely gone, but I’m just gone for a little while. I had a post that I was going to, well, post about something I want to start, but it will have to wait a few days. 

Please be patient with me. I promise I will be back!



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