Meatball Mania

25 01 2012

Healthy Meatballs – I saw them making this recipe on CityLine Tv this morning.  I like to try to make something different for dinner.  I like the idea of combining lean ground beef and turkey.  You still have the meaty flavor but it’s healthier – using the turkey as well.

Recipe adapted from: My Mom’s Mini Meatloaf circa 1960 out of ” Healthy Starts Here ”

This recipe is versatile. Make it as is, or divide the mixture in half and create Mexican-style or Italian-style meatballs! Pack in a thermos for hot meatballs or in a cooler bag for chilled ones.

1 ½ cups (375 mL) soft bread crumbs made with 100% whole grain whole-wheat bread (approx 1 ½ – 2 slices)
2 large shallots, peeled and chopped in half
6 cloves garlic, peeled, whole
½ tsp (2 mL) dried sage leaves
½ tsp (2 mL) paprika
¼ tsp (1 mL) cracked black pepper
½ cup (125 mL) ketchup, organic if possible
One 5.5 fl oz (156 mL) can tomato paste
1 lb (500 g) extra lean ground beef
1 lb (500 g) extra lean ground turkey (some packages of ground turkey come in 450 g – it’s okay to use this one!)

Mexican Meatballs (to make half of the meat Mexican-style – if you want to make the entire recipe Mexican-style, double the spices)
To ½ meat recipe add: ½ tsp (2 mL) each of ground cumin, coriander, and oregano

Italian Meatballs: (to make half of the meat Italian-style – if you want to make the entire recipe Italian-style, double the spices)
To ½ meat recipe add: 1 tbsp (15 mL) Italian seasonings

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease two 24-mini-muffin tins with canola oil spray or oil. Set aside.
2. Break the bread up into chunks and place in a food processor or blender. Pulse until you have soft bread crumbs. Add shallots and garlic and pulse until minced.
3. Add paprika, sage, pepper, ketchup, and tomato paste, pulse until well mixed.
4. In a large bowl mix together ground beef and turkey with the bread crumb/spice mixture and stir all of this together really well using a large spoon or your hands. (Just another great reason to wash your hands before and after any cooking.)
5. Either make into meatballs as is, or divide mixture in half.
6. To make the Mexican Meatballs add the spices (see above), mix well, and then scoop meatballs into prepared pan. Makes 20-22.
7. To make the Italian Meatballs add spice (see above), mix well, and then scoop meatballs into prepared pan. Makes 20-22.
8. Place both pans in oven and cook for 40-50 minutes or until cooked through. (Health Canada advises to cook until a meat thermometer reads 160°F (71°C) at the centre each mini meatball.)
9. Remove from oven and let set for 10 minutes. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze in threes.

One serving = 3 meatballs.
One serving contains: 260 Calories, 9.6 g Total Fat, 3.3 g Sat Fat, 0.2 g Trans Fat, 165 mg Sodium, 13.3 g Carbs, 2 g Fiber, 5.2 g Sugar, 19 g Protein

Today is about a week until we are into February.   I think I will be glad to turn the calendar over.  We need some more sunshine!!

Have you checked out “Julie’s Cooking” – my website lately?  I’m located at http://www.jacksjule.com   I’ve made a few changes – I have added Amazon.ca for my Canadian friends and family.  Even if you are on most of the shopping pages – there is a spot at the top where you can select which country you are in.  We want you to be able to shop very easily.  If you haven’t “liked” me on “Julie’s Cooking” on Facebook please head over now.   I really appreciate all the support I can get.  Feel free to leave me a comment.  I really appreciate your input.  Have a good night or day  – depending on what part of the world you are in.

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Julie’s Banana Bread

9 01 2012

Mash 2 bananas (ripe) with milk with a potato masher. Leave aside.  Blend, margarine, sugar and eggs together with beaters or  a blender.  Beat till well blended.   Add the mashed banana to the margarine mixture and do not mix.   Add the following:

Fold this mixture in gently and add the chocolate chips and stir in.  Do not overmix.

Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.  Let sit in pan for 10 minutes and loosen sides with knife.  Have a piece while it’s warm. I would recommend next time making two!!  They freeze really well!  MMMMMmmmm!   Let me know what you think when you try it, ok?  Also please leave comments on my blogs – I would really appreciate your input and if you think there are any ideas you might like me to blog about.

I received a coupon on Facebook from Cadbury for any choice of 100 gram chocolate bar and tried the Toffee Milk Chocolate.  I really like it.  The little ground up bits of toffee blend well with the creamy consistency of the milk chocolate.  I have to say I really enjoyed reviewing this product.  At 230 calories for 9 squares I think I would just have 3 squares for about 75 calories as a little afternoon pick-me-up snack.  We keep hearing how a small amount of chocolate has good benefits for us.  I was thinking that next time I make my banana loaf I could cut up about 1/2 of this delicious bar and fold it in at the end instead of the chocolate chips.  Course I will have to buy a new one because this one will be long gone!!





Love Squid – Makes me miss Portugal!

22 11 2011


Marinated Grilled Squid with Sambal Vinaigrette
by Chef Rob Feenie

20 tubes squid, cleaned and rinsed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 lemon, segments only
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped thyme and parsley
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp cracked black pepper
2 to 3 tbsp Sambal Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Frisée to garnish

Cut a few slashes in the squid with the tip of a sharp knife. Combine olive oil, garlic, lemon segments and juice, fresh herbs, salt and pepper in a bowl. Pour over squid and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat grill to high heat. Cook the squid 20 to 30 seconds on each side. Place squid in the middle of a bowl or plate. Top with frisée and drizzle with vinaigrette. Serves 4.

Sambal Vinaigrette
1 tbsp sambal (chili relish)
¼ tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp rice vinegar
¼ cup olive oil

In a small bowl whisk together sambal, garlic, lemon juice and rice vinegar. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes about ⅔ cup.

We do miss Lulas in Portugal.  You can have them in a salad, room temperature, barbequed or sauteed in a frying pan.  They are good for an appetizer or you can eat them as an entree.  In Canada we fry them up with batter and call them calamari and it is a popular starter on menus.  After having Lulas naturally I don’t care much for calamari as much.  In our local Greek restaurant we asked for squid and it was done nicely -very natural but not everyone in Canada is used to that.  I , on the other hand and of course my Portuguese husband was mpressed!

If you want to go to Portugal for a vacation we would be happy to let you know of some of my husband’s recommends.  I have been twice now and am looking forward to our next trip.  Scenery, food, wine, beaches – you can’t miss!  If you have family there too – you are lucky!





One good turn……

1 11 2011

Friday last week I checked my email first thing in the morning and found that a Mr. Mikes restaurant had written me asking for my full name and instructing me to pick up my free football tickets to the Vancouver BC Lions game vs. Edmonton.  I had entered a contest a couple of days prior but hadn’t won just by a bit and expressed how I would keep trying.  Turned out that the fellow who did win had asked Mr. Mikes to give the tickets to me instead as he had felt bad that I didn’t win.  Wow!!!  I wrote back to him that he had made my day and Mr. Mikes too and was kind of elated to have such nice news so early in the day.

I was in my parking lot and I heard a man shouting “Can you help me ?”  from his pickup truck.  He is a disabled man that I have seen in our building who owns a townhouse as well and was inside the back of his truck laying on his back.  He said he needed a hand to get sitting up.  So I helped him up but he was also concerned that he could just slide off the tailgate too so with his instruction I was able to assist him to sit comfortably and safely.  Next he said he would like me to get him into the driver’s seat of the vehicle.  Yikes!!!  Anyhow with his coaching I walked close to him as he held me and the side of the truck and he was very unsteady (I think all the while I had my breath held -scared that he might fall) . But as I already had luck on my side we slowly made it and he dropped into his driver’s seat and we said our “goodbyes”.  I felt very good that I had been able to be there “at the right time” to help him.

Then next on my agenda was to pick up my Mom and get her back to her doctor’s appointment.  I was a bit late by now but had allowed a few extra minutes.  Got about 10 minutes into the drive and then there was a detour!!!  Drove around the Thrifty’s store parking lot two times trying to convince myself that there would be some secret entrance to get me back on the road I needed going up Mariner Road and not down.  I think the flag girl must have wondered what on earth I was doing.  So…………back the way I came and the longer way around to Mom’s with a quick stop roadside to make a cell call to let her know I’d be late.  No answer at her place.  That’s ok – I’d left my message.

By the time I got to Mom’s I was only 5 minutes late and I hurried down to her room and it turned out her hair dresser had been 1/2 hour late getting there too so Mom thought she would be late for me.  It all worked out and we made it to the foot doctor too with 5 minutes to spare.  Funny (or is it) how we stress ourselves out!!  So I am giving my banana bread recipe to you – this was my Mom’s recipe and has become a dessert that those who know me often share with me.  Have a cup of coffee with it and enjoy!!

JULIE’S BANANA BREAD

  • 1/3 cup margarine or butter (or applesauce)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten with a fork
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Mash 2 bananas (ripe) with milk with a potato masher. Leave aside.  Blend, margarine, sugar and eggs together with beaters or  a blender.  Beat till well blended.   Add the mashed banana to the margarine mixture and do not mix.   Add the following:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder

Fold this mixture in gently and add the chocolate chips and stir in.  Do not overmix.

Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.  Let sit in pan for 10 minutes and loosen sides with knife.  Have a piece while it’s warm.  MMMMMmmmm!   Let me know what you think when you try it, ok?  Also please leave comments on my blogs – I would really appreciate your input and if you think there are any ideas you might like me to blog about.





Rachael Ray Show – Food – French Onion Dip Burgers

21 10 2011

Rachael Ray Show – Food – French Onion Dip Burgers.

OMG!!!!  Rachael Ray apparently has a BOM (Burger of the Month) and this month is her French Onion Dip Burgers.  Click on the Link above that will bring you to the video of her making these mouthwatering burgers!!!!!





Turkey dinner or Ham?

12 10 2011

On big holidays like Easter or Thanksgiving or Christmas we almost always cook a turkey (about 12 – 15 lbs) or a ham.  We won a turkey after shopping for a turkey – sounds strange.  Here goes – yes we had shopped for our turkey and had it in the trunk of our car and decided to go to the local Legion for a quick beer.  They have a meat draw on weekends and so we paid $2.00 for 3 tickets for a chance to win a choice of meats but on this day it was all turkeys.  On the last draw my numbers came up and I won a big bird!!!  So now we had two frozen turkeys!!  We cooked one on that holiday and now we still have another to use fairly soon.  I have read that turkey can be kept frozen for well over a year and that the flavor just becomes less flavorful the longer it is frozen.

Ham is a lot less work but if I had to choose I would still prefer a turkey.  This week was Thanksgiving here and we had a turkey in the oven and decided to slip up to the Legion to try the meat draw again with our company.  We were only gone about 40 minutes so there was no need for the fire department.  (just kidding)  Anyways our family both won meat in the draw – one package of 2 slabs of ribs and the other was a nice ham roast (bone in).  They gave us half of the ham which we cooked last night – so delicious!!!!  Another nice memory and maybe a new tradition for us – going to the Legion on the holiday weekend.





Crock Pot Chili

4 10 2011

It is the time of year when the patio chairs kind of get folded up and placed against the wall.  We push our “hardy hibiscus plant” closer to the house to protect against the wind and rain and even some snow which sometimes happens in the fall and winter season here in Vancouver.   Some people call this the Lower Rainland for the very fact that we get much more rain than a lot of other provinces.  We are very green here most of the year.  We also are lucky enough to have a beautiful display of colored leaves on the trees as we get into October and November.  I took a picture of the leaves outside our house – which as you can see have become vibrant red.Anyway I would like to share with you my Crock Pot Chili recipe with a few alterations.  I do make this many times in the year – my husband always refers to it as winter food but we like it any time of year.

JULIE’S CROCK POT CHILI

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce or tomato soup
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. In a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a slow cooker. Add the next nine ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4 hours. Garnish individual servings with cheese if desired.  I also like to add chorizo sausage to give it a good flavour.  You can cook it with the ground beef a bit first.  Also I add a bit of pirri pirri or hot sauce to taste.    When you serve you can add a generous spoon of sour cream after the cheddar cheese.  (not necessary though).  ENJOY!!!!    We usually serve this over white rice or you could just have it on it’s own accompanied by a nice glass of red wine.  Cheers!!!