Monday, September 16, 2013

Chicken parm meatballs

This is one of those recipes that for once I didn't have to change the main ingredient, see I stopped eating red meat oh about 3-4 years ago. I did it for health reasons and do feel much better but.... since I can't have a big ole juicy steak I try to replace meat with say chicken or turkey whenever I can to get my fix. Ya know,  turkey tacos, turkey lasagna, turkey meatloaf, turkey stuffed peppers, seeing a trend here. Me too!! I guess I tend to gravitate more towards turkey then chicken, not sure why really but it seems there are more recipes out there with turkey as a meat substitute then chicken. I must say
that over the past few weeks I have been using more ground chicken and darn it what have I been missing.

Until I came across this little gem of a recipe by Jenny Rosenstratch  from  Dinner a Love Story  over on Pinterest, yes my obsession with Pinterest has only increased.  This is a great blog by the way so go check her out! This is a great recipe when you are craving chicken parm with out all the fuss.. The dipping, the breading, the mess!! Oh my! None of that here with these yummy Chicken Parm Meatballs.  Or should we call them chicken balls, since really they are not meat.. Hmmmm I think we shall!! I am a huge fan of chicken parm, and it happens to be one of families favorites. Maybe it's the ooey gooey cheese or the sauce whatever it is I love it and this was a great substitute for it! I of course made some changes when do I not! I used gluten free breadcrumbs and NO fennel seed, just not a fan. I also think next time I will grate the onion and garlic, for textural reaaons. I felt that the onions were to big chopped in the balls. They were sooooo good and a definite keeper recipe!!

Chicken Parm Meatballs
Adapted from Dinner a Love Story 

Preheat oven to 400 

Items needed
Foil lined baking sheet 
Baking dish 

1 1/4 pounds ground chicken 
1/2 cup breadcrumbs **
2 tbs chopped onion**
1 tbs chopped parsley**
1/2 cup Pecorino or Parm, more for topping 
Salt  & pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fennel seeds* *
1 egg, whisked
Zest of half a lemon
3 tbs olive oil
1 14oz can pizza sauce, I used Targets new Simply Balanced Tomato Sauce 
About 4 oz fresh mozzerella, a dozen slices

Set oven rack to upper third partof oven 

In a large bowl using your hands ( ok a little messy) gently mix together the first 11 ingredients. Shape into lacrosse size balls.. (For those not in the know its between a golf and tennis ball, I had no clue lol) and place a few inches part on a foil lined baking sheet 

In a small bowl mix your tomato sauce and olive oil and brush on top of each meatball. Bake for 15 minutes. 

Remove meatballs from the oven and spoon some sauce over each meatball and cover each ball with mozzarella cheese. Broil another 3-5 minutes until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown a bit.

You can heat the remaining sauce and serve each ball with some sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

*** I will next time grate the onions and garlic
**** didn't have fresh parley so used dried
*** I used gluten free breadcrumbs 

Eat and enjoy! 

What's your favorite way to switch up a classic like meatballs?  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

CSA Living- Quick Pickled Cucumbers


We are loving the variety of the CSA, every week when we get the email letting us know what is in this weeks bounty I try to plan our meals. I love that it forces me to think about the weeks meals ahead of time. I also have to figure out how I'm going to use all the vegetables up before the next weeks share. Some weeks it's easy and some not to so much! When we were getting lots of lettuce I could bring a salad to work everyday.

 Well we have now moved on to Cucumbers! We have been on the receiving end of this bounty via the farm share and some awesome friends!! I love cucumbers, I love them with dip,I love them without dip, I love them with hummus, I love them in a salad,  I ok so I'm running out of loves.. So now what? 

What does one do with Cucumbers galore!!!! The thing with cucumbers is that as delicious as they are it's is not as easy as having a bunch of say zuchini.. You can throw zuchini into anything.. Cukes eh.. 

Cue Mom.. She's always good for giving me ideas/recipes to use up my leftovers whether it's last nights dinner or my overstock of veggies!! Mom is always saying how much she loves pickled cucumbers and guess what I have a bunch of... CUCUMBERS!!!! 

So here it goes... 

Quick Pickled Cucumbers and Red Onion 
Adapted from Martha Stewart

2 large Cucumbers- peeled and sliced thin I used a mandeline
1/2 Red onion- thinly sliced- I used a mandeline for these too 
1 tsp sugar 
1/4 c rice vinegar 
Coarse salt and pepper

Combine cucumbers, red onion, sugar and vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. I also added a little more sugar. Use your own taste to guide you. You could also add more vinegar if you like it a bit more tart. 

Eat and Enjoy!! 

What's your favorite way to use up your cucumber bounty? 


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