Tagged: tomatoes

Real Food Recipe Roundup #3 – Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs with Baked Spaghetti Squash

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya!!

Lolz.

I know it’s not St. Patty’s yet – but I figured it’s close enough that I could greet you all like an enthusiastic leprechaun without too much judgement.

Anywho – I’m going to keep this short and sweet today because I’ve got not one but TWO recipes (ya know…that are particularly delicious when served together) and they’re kind of lengthy. I made these for the fam last weekend and everyone loveeeeedddddd it!!! Even the men were happy with the spaghetti squash, which really made me happy!!

If you’ve got a real food recipe that you’d like to share, don’t forget to grab a badge and link up at the bottom of the post!!!

Twenty-Something & Starving

<a href=”http://twentysomethingandstarving.com” target=”_self”><img src=”http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h130/Jennifer_Yoder/46133fa4-d3da-44aa-bd3a-92bd35349c37_zps9dc148ce.jpg” alt=”Twenty-Something & Starving” width=”250″ height=”150″ /></a>


 

 

 

Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs with Baked Spaghetti Squash

For the Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs (makes about 30 meatballs)

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
    (or about 1.5 lbs lean ground chicken)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto + More to taste
    (you can make your own or use store bought! I use Wegmans brand when I’m in a pinch. It’s delicious AND check out the ingredients)
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • 1 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 lb of part skim mozzarella cheese, cut into little cubes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add the bell pepper, garlic, and basil to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it forms a paste. Add about half of the chicken breasts and pulse until ground. Remove the chicken mixture and place in a large bowl. Set aside. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Once all of the chicken is ground and in the bowl, add the pesto, Parmesan, panko, salt, pepper, and eggs. Mix well until thoroughly combined.

To prepare the meatballs, grab a small handful (about the size of a golf ball) of the chicken mixture and flatten it in the palm of your hand. Add a mozzeralla cube to the center and form the meatball around it, being careful not to expose the cheese.  Repeat until all of the meatballs are formed.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add meatballs to the pan (fill it up, but make sure they aren’t touching) and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side until brown. Remove meatballs from the skillet as they are done and place them on a large baking sheet, adding more meatballs to the skillet as you go, until all of the meatballs are brown.

Place the cookie sheet in your preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Remove, and brush the meatballs with some more prepared pesto. Return the pan to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes more or until the meatballs are cooked through to a safe 165 degrees.

Serve on top of Baked Spaghetti Squash!

For the Baked Spaghetti Squash

  • 2 spaghetti squash, roasted, cooled, and spaghettified
    (Yup, that’s the technical term. Directions for spaghettifying here!)
  • 1 can of no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced fine
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded part skim mozarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except mozzarella cheese.

Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray and add the spaghetti squash mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and brown and the squash is warm through.

Serve topped with Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs!

chicken pesto meatballs with baked spaghetti squash

WIAW #18 – Meatless Monday!!

Ello’ loves!! (Yup, when I typed that I said it out loud with a British accent. Don’t judge me.)

I ‘ope you’re all splendid t’day! (Still British. Only more like Hagrid this time.)

I’m just chugging along this week looking forward to the weekend!! Sometimes, I can’t decided whether it’s good to always look forward to the weekend … or if it’s bad to not try and enjoy the present moment. I do what I can to enjoy the 40 hours a week I spend at work…but ya know…I’d rather be doing yoga… or eating. 😀

Oh well! At least we all always have What I Ate Wednesday to get us over the hump, right?! RIGHT!! [Shout out to Miss Jen at Peas and Crayons! Word up, chikadeee!]

I thought about doing what I ate Sunday this week…and I even started taking pictures of all my food. Theeeeeen I forgot. Oopsies!! So, instead, today you shall be observing my Monday. More specifically, my MEATLESS Monday. I love that I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I go days without eating meat and I don’t even notice it until I gather all of the photographic evidence together. Heh. It’s certainly not a bad habbit, amiright?!

Mmkkay enough jibber jabber. On to the food!!

Breakfast: Behold my latest breakfast obsession!! It’s glorious, I tell you. I take two Wegmans brand organic blueberry waffles and toast em up. I smear a tablespoon of peanut butter onto waffle number one right out of the toaster so that it gets all melty when you spread it. Then, I smother it all with a cup of frozen berries that I microwave for 45 seconds to warm through and turn into a delicious berry sauce. I top it with waffle number two and devour. It’s perfect. I love everything about it. Except for when I finish it…because all I want to do is keep eating it!!

beautifulwaffleofdelicous

Snack: 1 oz of 2% pepperjack with 6 triscuits. It’s my go to morning snack lately.

cheeseandcrackersLunch: A huuuge delicious salad of spinach, cherry tomatoes, carrots, red onion, yellow bell pepper, avocado, and two sliced hard boiled eggs. I drizzled it with some balsamic vinegar and just a tiny bit of evoo. This is probably one of the simplest salads I make and every time I do I’m just like “BEST SALAD EVER WHY DON’T I MAKE THIS MORE.” Then I forget about it. Not this time, Jen. At least I hope!

saladBeverage: Johnny and I snagged some beverages on our lunch break on Monday. Sometimes we’ll just eat at our desks so we can get out of the office for an hour or so. I had one of the most bizarre hot chocolates of my life. I ordered a nonfat hot chocolate and the woman making it was like “would you like to try it with our sugar free syrup” and I was all “Yes, please.” Then I got it, and sipped it, and well…have you ever had like…a chocolate flavored hard candy? Where you’re like…this tastes kind of like chocolate…but it doesn’t really feel like I’m eating chocolate. Anyone? Bueller? Yeah – well that’s kind of what this tasted like. Definitely not something I would get again. But I enjoyed it while I had it. At least the foam on top was perrrfect!!

cocoaSnack: Gosh I’m dying for warm weather so I can eat cold snacks all the time!! I’m loving that it’s warm out now, but dreading that there is supposed to be snow again tonight. Come on, man! Sigh. Over the weekend, Johnny and I were discussing my recovery from baby this summer and I’ve officially decided that I’m really not worried about it. I always have a much easier time eating clean in the summer when I can grill everything and live off of fresh fruits and veggies and other delicious healthy things meant to be consumed cold! Liiiike icy cold greek yogurt mixed with a touch of peanut butter and honey to dip fresh, crisp apples in! (This apple – not the best. C’est la vie.)

applesandyogurtDinner: Melinda and I had a dinner date on Monday! We caught up on all of her weddding planning and all of my baby planning at Neato Burrito. It’s a Central PA Burrito place with a few locations. Personally – I like it waaaaaaaaaaay more than Chipotle. The hubby does not. Thus why I get it with Melinda. There loads of options for just about anyone. Melinda pretty much got a bowl of nachos with a little chicken and lots of veggies on top. I went with a burrito, which is rare for me, but I was in the mood for the wrap and not so much the rice. I had a jalapeno cheese wrap with their amazinggggg vegan Troegs three bean chili,  just the tinnnnnniest bit of brown rice (just so it didn’t get too soggy from the chili), a wee bit of cheese, cilantro pesto, smoked chipotle salsa, lettuce, tomato, onion, and guacamole. Oh yeah, and I had them throw in a handful of crushed tortilla chips!! That’s kind of their thing. And it’s brilliant. Man. Everything about this burrito was perfect. I pretty much housed the whole thing, minus the last little bit of tortilla at the bottom that gets all folded up and actually contains no filling at all. (The worst part of burritos!!)
burrito

Well, I certainly loved my veggies on Monday! I’ve actually been loving them all week, like a boss. Salads for lunch. Stir fry for dinner. Tonight I’m making some chipotle chicken sausage wraps with my southwest slaw salad.

Have you been loving your veggies this month?!

What’s your latest breakfast obsession??

Do you ever have meatless days without even realizing it??


 

What I Ate Wednesday #10

Hello, world!! A very happy Wednesday to you.

I’ve grown particularly fond of Wednesday’s lately, thanks (pretty much in ALL parts) to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting the wonderful linkup that is What I Ate Wednesday. I really do love sitting around Wednesday nights and going through as many other blogs as I can to check out what everyone else is munching. I think it’s silly and fun to see how we’re really all the same, you know. We all get stuck in ruts. We all have a few favorite things that we eat all the time (like my string cheese!). We all seek inspiration from others at times to shake up our food routines. And we all love to eat! Taking a peek into someone else’s life for a day can be kind of exciting, don’t you think?! Here are my Wednesday eats!!

Breakfast: I had a big bowl of Special K Chocolaty Delight with Red Berries with some 1% milk, a clementine, and some decaf Lady Grey tea. I actually keep cereals like this on hand for dessert most of the time! Late at night (ya know, 9 o’clock) and when I want something sweet I’d rather have a little 100 calorie bowl of cereal and low fat milk than cookies or candy, ya know what I mean?
specialk

Snack: I had a hard-boiled egg, followed shortly by a string cheese. 

hbegg stringcheeseLunch: Very soon after my snacks I felt suuuuuper hungry. Like…I had the hungry shakes. Does anyone else ever experience those?? I stood up and was like “Whoa, man, I need to eat something right now before I fall over.” Not qutie sure what the deal was with this today, as I felt like I had eaten enough up to that point in time. I decided not to mess around, though, and I got up and made my lunch right away. I had a Morning Star Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger on a whole wheat engish muffin with 1/4 of a perfectly ripe avocado, cilantro, and butter lettuce leaves! I had some baby carrots on the side, too. I usually bring along some cheese and salsa to go with my veggie burgers, too, but I forgot them today. Oh well, it was still delicious (and I made much less of a mess eating it!)!

veggieburger

Snack: I ate lunch at my desk today so Johnny and I had our full lunch hour to head over to the outlets on our break. We made a pitstop at Starbucks and I snagged a decaf-short-soy-latte with cinnamon dolce sprinkles on top!! It was perfect to sip while we walked around outside, as it’s a tad bit chilly out. I can’t complain too much, though, as 45 degrees is waaaaaaaaaaay better than 2 degrees! I also had a few dried apple slices when we got back to work. (Thanks again, Nicole!)

babylatte driedapples

PreGym Snack: Today I had a Carrot Cake Luna Bar. Chocolate Peppermint Stick is still my favorite of the Luna Bars (followed VERY closely by S’mores). I like the carrot cake one, but not as much as I hoped considering how much I adore carrot cake! What’s your favorite Luna Bar flavor??

lunabar

Dinner: Oh man. I loved dinner tonight. So quick and tasty, which in my opinion are two adjectives that should describe every dinner ever! NO RECIPE RECIPE: I grilled some chicken on the George Forman grill that I rubbed with some store bought pesto. When I pulled them off the grill I topped each with a slice of 2% milk provolone cheese. I sauteed some cherry tomatoes in garlic with a touch more pesto to top mine and had some green beans with garlic, lemon, and olive oil on the side. Absolutely perfect dinner!!

pesto chicken and green beansThat’s all she wrote, today!! Though, I won’t lie, I’m pretty sure imma snag a piece of toast with some pb&j on it and a glass of milk when I watch Top Chef later!! Perhaps I’ll update the post later with a photo. We’ll see! Anyone else out there a Top Chef fan?? I’m routing for Shirley this season…or for Louis to come back and win it all from last chance kitchen!! His smile …. he’s so adorable … and I’d eat the heck out of his food!!!

Until next time! Hopefully I’ll be posting a recipe later this weekend! And you’ll be getting a Baby Yoder update soon, too! Only TWO WEEKS until we know if it’s a boy or a girl!!!!

 

 


Three Bean Tamale Bake

Greetings, ya’ll! As promised, I have returned with a delightful new recipe to share with you.

Now, I mentioned in my post Monday that with this baby on board, I’ve started to be a bit less fond of chicken. It’s so weird!! I can still eat a little bit once in a while, but I’ve started seeking alternatives for my quick post-workout meals.

This particular recipe is one I’ve had in my arsenal for a while and just kind of forgot about. Do you have any recipes like that in your repertoire?  I used to make this all the time with ground turkey or shredded chicken, but I decided tonight that would make it meatless! If your husband is anything like mine…the idea of a meatless dinner (unless it’s Mac & Cheese) may not be his favorite thing. Lucky for me, top anything with Jiffy Corn Bread and he’ll manage through with a smile on his face.

Starring a hearty combination of black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans…all you really need to make this recipe is a can opener and a skillet! This recipe is fantastic for any mom-to-be who is experiencing any meat aversions or anyone looking for a meatless, high protein recipe! Future mommies should make it a point to try and incorporate beans and whole grains into their diet daily… your baby (and digestive system) will thank you later!

 Three Bean Tamale Bake

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can sweet corn
  • 1 can green chilies
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup prepared salsa verde
  • 1 tablespoon Chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 box prepared corn bread mix (like Jiffy or Bob’s Red Mill), prepared to box directions
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Optional Garnishes: avocado, lime, cilantro, scallions

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in an oven safe skillet. Add the onion, peppers, and tomatoes and sauté for 5 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add the remaining ingredients (except the cornbread) to the skillet and stir well until combined.

Pour prepared corn bread mix on top of the bean mixture. Top with cheese and place it in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Let sit 5 minutes before serving (You don’t realllllllllllly have to wait if you’re impatient like me… it just will stay a bit more together this way and you are less likely to burn your tongue!!)

Here it is fresh from the oven….gosh I can’t wait to have a camera again (instead of my camera phone!)

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Annnnd heeeeeeeeere it is all delicious and served up with some shredded cheese, fresh slices of avocado, scallions, cilantro, and a little squeeze of lime. It’s not the prettiest meal I’ve ever made, but boy is it delicious!

IMG_20131203_195013

Summertime and the Living’s *Insert Adjective*

Easy?

Meh. That’s too easy. Heh.

Hot?

No…that’s expected…

Rainy?

Well, yeah…but that’s not what I’m looking for…

Exciting!

What do you think? Exciting works for me. Yes.

SUPER EXCITING!!

Yes, yes, yes…I know it’s been MONTHS since I posted. *SHEESH* I’m done making excuses as to why exactly I come and go as I please.

But I will let you know what’s so gosh darn exciting….

Johnny and I FINALLY have our very own apartment! Me, Johnny and Q!! It’s magnificent. I have a little baby kitchen but it’s all mine and we have the awesomest couch on the planet! When we’re really all totally settled and such, I may post pictures. We’ll see how I’m feeling, hehe.

Anywho, what’s most important is that here I am, back online, and I come with tasty, tasty recipes. Grilled recipes, of course, because it is summertime and that’s how I roll. 🙂

A little while back, I prepared some delightful food for Johnny’s grandfather’s surprise 80th birthday party. These recipes have just sorta been chillin’ on my computer and it’s about darn time I share them with you. (I cooked for about 20 people, so I’ve scaled the recipe down to serve about 6 instead!)

Sausage & Peppers Burgers

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb hot italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1/2 lb sweet italian sausage, casing removed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 sandwich rolls
  • 6 slices provolone cheese
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 3 bell peppers (combine whichever colors you like)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

*Note: Peppers and Onions can easily be made the day before and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use*

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Also, prepare your grill!

Toss the peppers and onions in olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer on a large sheet pan. Place the sheet pan in the oven and let cook for about 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the beef, sausage and garlic in a large mixing bowl. (Sure you may want to use a spoon, but your hands really make the job MUCH easier.) Divide the mixture into 6 even patties.

Place burgers onto your hot grill and cook ALL THE WAY THROUGH. (No special orders here, because the patties contain sausage they need to be cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees.) About 8 minutes per side.

Top burgers with cooked peppers and onions and a slice of provolone cheese. Pop the lid on the grill until the cheese melts. Serve burgers with THIS salad recipe!!!

This is my version of panzanella, an Italian peasant recipe, traditionally made with day old bread soaked in some water to revitalize it, squeezed out, and then tossed with tomatoes and a lite dressing for flavor. I like to grill my bread, instead! It adds such a great crunch and smoky flavor to the salad, but you could easily just pop the bread in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes instead, if you prefer. Or heck, if you’re feeling traditional, use some old leftover bread.

Panzanella Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

  • 2 heaping cups of baby arugula
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 loaf crusty bread
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Slice the bread into a few manageable slices.

Mince 1 garlic clove and combine with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Brush the garlic oil onto the bread slices and grill until lightly charred on both sides.
When cool enough to handle, slice bread into cubes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, take 1 1/2 cups basil, vinegar, garlic and oil and pulse in a food processor until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in half of the parmesan cheese. Set aside.

In a large salad bowl, combine arugula, remaining basil leaves, tomatoes, onion and grilled bread. Toss with dressing just before serving, and enjoy with someone you love!

Here I am with my handsome brother, who I love dearly, enjoying some Sausage & Peppers Burgers and Panzanella! NOMS!!