This quote can sum up my day “One should not watch the food network if one is not prepared to spend the day in the kitchen!”
Lately I haven’t been a regular food network watcher mostly because I’ve been busy, and also because sometimes it gives me the urge to make not-so-healthy food. I especially try to avoid the channel when I’m hungry (for obvious reasons). But on Friday I got home from class, and Giada at Home was on — Giada is my favorite food network host. She had me salivating with a Meatball stew, among other sinful delights. Although the desserts looked great, I decided to keep it clean with the stew.
I didn’t have time to cook on Saturday, although I was dreaming about this stew all day. Today, however, was the perfect opportunity to make it — I had a free day and my hubby had a friend over that could enjoy it, too. In my opinion, cooking and baking is the best way to spend a Sunday, and its even better when you can share the results!
The stew was an extremely easy one-pot recipe, and it turned out even more delicious that it looked on TV. The true test of a dish is 1) Did we eat it all & will I make it again?, and 2) Do I actually make it again & eat all of the leftovers. This dish passed round one, and I suspect it will pass round two as well! Below is the recipe with my minor tweaks to Giada’s version.
Hearty, Healthy Meatball Stew
Ingredients for Meatballs
- 1 slice of Dave’s Killer Bread
- 8 oz lean ground beef
- 8 oz Jenny-O Sweet Italian Turkey
- 1 egg
- 1 tbs chopped parsley
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tbs whole-wheat flour
- 4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 lb white mushrooms, quartered
- One russet potato, sliced into “disks”
- 4 oz green beans, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
- 15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (depending on your affinity for spicy food)
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Instructions (Quoted from The Food Network)
“For the meatballs: Place the bread and 3 tablespoons water into a medium bowl. Mash to a paste with a spatula. Add the beef, sausage, egg, parsley, salt and pepper. Blend the mixture thoroughly with your hands or a flexible spatula. Form the mixture into 10 to 16 meatballs. Arrange the meatballs on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet until ready to use.
For the hearty meatball stew: Sprinkle the meatballs with the flour and turn to coat with any flour still on the foil. Heat a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Drop the meatballs into the skillet, spaced apart. Cook until the bottoms are set and brown, about 2 minutes. Using a flexible thin spatula, turn each meatball onto an uncooked side and cook until the bottoms are set and brown, about 2 minutes longer. Turn and cook a third side, until set and brown, about another 2 minutes, so the meatballs are browned and set all over. Transfer the meatballs to a large plate.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Cook until soft, 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and the remaining salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, beans, tomatoes, red pepper flakes and broth. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan and cook until the potatoes are tender and the meatballs are cooked through, about 20 minutes.”
- Russet potatoes (microwave for 4 minutes in advance)
- Sweet potatoes (microwave for 4 minutes in advance)
- Green beans
- Yellow zucchini (I’m not sure what it’s actually called)
- Brussel sprouts
- Topped with feta, parmesan, and olive oil (the more cheese you add, the better it tastes, but also the higher in fat it is… Oh decisions!)
Because I couldn’t find oat flour (to make my trusty protein brownies and protein cinnamon bread) at the two stores I went to this weekend, I decided to try a new pumpkin protein muffin recipe that I found on Pinterest. I followed the recipe exactly from here (except I mixed walnuts throughout, and sprinkled white chocolate chips on top). They were delish! I’m looking forward to having them for breakfast this week! 🙂 I love that because they’re made with pumpkin puree, they are actually lower in carbs and higher in fiber than other muffins I’ve made in the past. I think these muffins have definitely earned a spot on my baking rotation! But all the white chocolate chips that I ate while decorating were certainly not low-cal… oops 🙂
Before I started my culinary adventure this morning, my hubby joined me for a fun 4 mile run in the sun. It was a nice change-up to run with a buddy, and he kept it fun by cracking me up with jokes and silly made-up songs the entire time. Just another one of the reasons why I love him 🙂
After I finished baking this evening I hit the gym for an enjoyable 30 minutes on the elliptical. After the elliptical, I met up with my cousin and my friend for about an hour of leg weights. Maybe I shouldn’t have terrorized them with the 3-lunge variation routine that I do… they might not want to workout with me again, and it was fun having workout buddies. If you’re brave, you can find a breakdown of the lunge routine here. My legs are already a little sore for the killer leg workouts I did today, but its a satisfying kind of sore!
I’ve been re-reading Tosca Reno’s Eat-Clean Diet Workout, which has been re-engergizing my weight-training spirit. I also really enjoyed doing cardio today — I think the 10 hours of sleep I got last night also played a role in my high motivation and energy levels today! Another contributing factor could be that I got a new pair of headphones today — no more listening to one crackly earbud while on the elliptical! 🙂
Overall it was a really wonderful weekend! Now I’m going to go finish it off right by cuddling up with my hubby for part of a movie before bed! This reminds me of a quote I saw on Pinterest: “Being married is like having a sleep-over with your best friend every night.” So true! 🙂