Tag Archives: comfort food

Spaghetti and (Healthier) Meatballs

 Spaghetti and Meatballs

Who doesn’t love spaghetti and meatballs? It’s delicious, kid-friendly and it’s the ultimate comfort food. It’s definitely a favourite at our house. The recipe I usually make is one that I got from my mom, who got it from her friend, who got it from her grandmother many, many, many years ago. It’s one of the best spaghetti and meatball dishes I’ve ever had, so I’ve never really played around with the recipe. Why mess with a great thing, right? Last week, however, I felt like playing around with it just a little. I wanted to see if I could make a healthier, yet equally delicious meatball to throw in the sauce. Usually I use a combination of ground pork and ground beef, but to lighten it up, I chose to use ground turkey. I also added some chopped spinach to sneak some extra veggies into the kids. The experiment was a success. The kids ate the meatballs, spinach and all, and my husband actually said he preferred this verion to the original. So here it is, my updated, slightly healthier version of spaghetti and meatballs. I hope you’ll enjoy it, too!

Meatballs:

1 Lbs ground turkey

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 Cup grated parmesan cheese

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Cup fresh spinach, finely chopped

1/4 Cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley

1/4 Cup bread crumbs

salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients. Mix well and form into 1″ meatballs. Set aside.

Sauce:

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 lbs Italian sausage

1 Cup onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 Cup red wine

2 tbsp brown sugar

28 oz crushed tomatoes

1 tsp oregano

1 tbsp basil

3 bay leaves

2 tbsp fresh italian flat leaf parsley

salt and pepper to taste

1 box of your favourite spaghetti

Cut the Italian sausage into 1″ pieces. Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the sausage, onions and garlic and saute until the sausage is browned. Add the red wine. Then stir in the brown sugar, tomatoes, oregano, basil and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer. Add the meatballs to the sauce and continue simmering over low heat for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through.

Prepare spaghetti according to the package. Serve the meatballs and sauce over the spaghetti and top with fresh parsley. Serves 6.

 

 

 

 

 

Jambalaya

Jambalaya

I’ve been promising my husband for months now that I’m going to make Jambalaya. With his birthday (and Mardi Gras) last week, it was finally time to make good on that promise. I’ve only tried to make jambalaya once before, years ago. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t my favourite, which is probably why I’ve been hesitant to make it again. It just seemed like a lot of work and a lot of expense (there’s a lot of meat in this dish) for something I wasn’t crazy about. This time I did my research and am proud to say I will definitely be making jambalaya again. Meaty, spicy, savoury and comforting, jambalaya has a lot going on. It’s entirely worth the effort and expense. Continue reading

Seafood Chowder

Seafood Chowder

Seafood Chowder

 

Lately, the weather here on the west coast has been nothing short of spectacular. So nice, in fact, that my azalea bush has started blooming in my front yard. We’ve been extremely spoiled weather wise, especially given that the rest of the country has been blanketed with freezing temperatures and snow. All the nice weather has got me dreaming of summer. When I think of summertime food, I immediately begin to think of all the things I want to Continue reading

Valentine’s Day dinner

Valentine's Day dinner

Mushroom thyme risotto with pan roasted chicken and port and fig reduction

 

Valentine’s day is just a couple of days away now and I’m working on my menu for the evening.  My husband and I don’t usually go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day. Instead, we’ll go out for dinner on a different night and then spend Valentine’s at home making a special dinner. Date night dinners at our house often include risotto. It’s my ultimate favourite dish. It’s creamy, delicious, comforting and it can be made several different ways. For Valentine’s Day this year I’m making a mushroom thyme risotto and pan roasted chicken with a port and fig reduction. This is a recipe I tried out a few weeks ago. I enjoyed it so much that I’ve decided that I need to make it again. It takes a bit of time, about an hour and a half from start to finish, but it’s entirely worth it. Continue reading

Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry

 Chickpea Cauliflower Curry

Happy Meatless Monday!

We try to eat a vegetarian dinner at our house at least twice a week, although not usually on Monday. Most of the time I’m not organized enough for that. Typically our Meatless Monday happens on Tuesday after I’ve planned the meals for the week and been to the grocery store.  There’s no denying that adding a vegetarian meal into our dinner rotation is better for our health. It’s also better for the planet. And with less meat on the menu, the grocery bill tends to be a bit lower, too.

I think it’s important to continually expose kids to a wide variety of foods, vegetarian or otherwise. A great way to do that is to try making dishes from another country or culture. My son has always been very interested in learning about other countries, so for us it becomes a great conversation topic at the dinner table, as well. One of the recipes I make fairly often is this Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry. It’s loaded with healthful ingredients and is the perfect dish to warm you up on a cold winter night. I love the spice from the madras curry and the punch of flavour from the tomatoes, lime and cilantro. Madras curry  is what I typically have on hand. It’s a fairly spicy curry hailing from the south of India. If you prefer things a bit milder you can certainly use a milder curry or whichever curry powder you’re comfortable with.

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp ginger, grated or minced

2 Tbsp madras curry

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

2 tsp coriander

1 Cup vegetable broth

398 mL (14oz) Chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 head Cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces

2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces

796 mL (28oz) can of whole tomatoes

1 lime, juice only (about 2 tbsp)

1/2 Cup cilantro

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and saute for about 2 minutes until the onions are starting to sweat. Stir in the curry, turmeric, coriander and cumin. Cook for about 1 minute until it starts to become really fragrant. Stir in the broth and then add the cauliflower, potatoes and tomatoes. Simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the potatoes and cauliflower are just tender. Add the chickpeas and continue simmering for about 15 minutes longer. To finish, stir in the lime juice and cilantro right before serving. Serve over rice or with naan bread.

 

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