Cream of Broccoli Soup

This week I finished Day 80 of my 80 day functional strength training program.  Over the course of 80 days, I completed some pretty tough workouts.  As I went through the three phases, I could feel my strength improving.  One thing I did not do, was follow the nutritional component that came with the program.  Unfortunately, I found it complicated and totally unrealistic.  Seriously, if you make it too complicated, nobody will stick to it.  That’s one of the main reasons people grab fast food, to keep it simple.  While I lost 10 pounds during this 80 day program, I know I still need to work on my nutrition as I plan to start running soon.  I’m slated to begin my running training on May 2nd, but don’t intend to do so until I lose a few more pounds.  There is no way I am going to stress my hip again and suffer another fracture.

Enter the online nutrition class I signed up for.  As part of this program, I receive lessons each week to read and listen to with suggested changes I can try.  I’ve learned a lot about macronutrients and how my body responds to different types of foods.  This current cycle’s focus is on intuitive eating with mostly plant based meals.  I’ve reduced my intake of animal protein during this phase to no more than 1 serving a day.  I actually do think I have been sleeping slightly better and I seriously have no cravings for sweet or salty foods.  I honestly have not even been craving a glass of wine when I cook.

It hasn’t been easy making all these changes.  The first phase was easy as I was really just tracking and observing how I felt.  Week two of plant based eating was more challenging for me than week one.  It’s not that I’m missing any specific food, it’s that I’m missing the variety of cooking options.  Currently, I don’t have an arsenal of plant based recipes in my cooking toolkit.  In the past, I would have already been reaching for pasta dishes and calling them plant based, but I know better than that now.  I also am not a huge fan of beans other than lentils which limits my choices as well.

One way I made my life easier this week was by purchasing pre-chopped salad.  This is something I never do, but if has offered me the opportunity to try out many different vegetable based salads without investing in large amounts of vegetables.  Sometimes, when I purchase fresh vegetables for recipes, I end up wasting them.  Either I can’t keep up with weeknight cooking, or they go bad.  These pre-chopped, bagged salads allowed me to try out different mixtures of raw vegetables to see which ones I prefer.  Now, I’ll be able to purchase ingredients for future meals without waste.

Trader Joe’s has some really nice versions of bagged, complete salad kits.  I don’t use the dressing included, but everything else included is good to go into my salad.  I’ve truly enjoyed the broccoli and kale slaw and the cruciferous salad kits.  They are perfect stand alone meals, or on days I’m adding in animal proteins make great sides.  This week, I even ate them for breakfast along with my eggs.  I added roasted sweet potato, mini cucumbers  and pomegranate seeds. This is something I never would have considered eating for breakfast in the past and it truly was delicious.68676FF0-D266-429D-A286-E9CBFAB1352A.jpeg

Dinner has been a bit harder to come up with ideas for protein sources without some form of animal protein, so I’ve got some work to do.  I am not a fan of legumes, so I’ve been adding nuts.  Tonight’s salad had pistachios and I added some chia seeds.  I’m continuing to search for interesting plant recipes to make for dinner.  Two that I enjoyed this week were Black Bean Burgers and Cream of Broccoli Soup.  Both were super easy to make and ready within 30 minutes, including prep.  This made them a great choices for after work cooking.

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 1 small head broccoli, chopped, stems removed
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup bone broth
  • ⅓ cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil and toss in the onion and red pepper flakes. Sauté for 4 minutes, then add in the garlic for 1 minute.
  2. Add the broccoli and stir for 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk and broth and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the cashews and simmer for 5 minutes. Cashews will be nicely softened and make for a creamy soup once blended.
  4. Carefully pour into a large blender, or Vitamix. Add the spinach, nutritional yeast, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Be sure to hold the cover or it will explode when you turn it on.  Blend until smooth. (If you have immersion blender use that.)
  5. If you need a bit more protein, consider topping your soup with an additional tablespoon of nutritional yeast and a sprinkle of hemp seeds.608A3A92-CA94-4DE6-8BA4-7C743431494D

*This recipe was shared by Chalene Johnson, 131

This soup was so delicious and creamy.  The coconut milk added a boost of healthy fats and flavor.  I added red pepper flakes to give it a nice bit of heat as well.  I planned to sip this soup at work all week, but it was so good there was nothing leftover.  Next time I’ll have to make a larger pot!  It was a lovely shade of green, which my phone just doesn’t capture well.

What are your favorite plant based sites and recipes?  Please do share below as I am on the lookout for new ideas.

 

 

Revised Recipe – Sausage & Peppers

This week, I was reminded of just how fleeting life can be.  One decision can alter the course of another person’s life in the blink of an eye.  We never really know what’s ahead and we have no control over some of it.  What we do have control over is the way we respond to these tragic life experiences.   This weekend, I’ve said many prayers for a young boy and his family.  I hope that in time they come to find solace in knowing there are many people here to support them.

Thankfully, this weekend my brother came up from North Carolina so I got to spend time with my entire family.  My two brothers and I haven’t been together since November and it’s not often we are all in the same place at the same time.  The weather was amazing on Saturday and it really was just what I needed.  This coming weekend, my children will all be home for my birthday so I’m excited for that as well.  There’s nothing like time with family, including of course good food, to soothe the soul in trying times.

Last month, I signed up for and started taking an online nutrition course.  Those who have been reading my blog for the past two years know that I’ve been to quite a few nutritionists.  While I have learned something from each of them, often I found they were trying to sell me something.  I finally decided to take matters into my own hands and take some courses to become more self sufficient.  I don’t want to live on pills and powders, as I love food way too much.  I spent the first four weeks of the course, tracking my eating and taking notes on how my body responds to certain foods.  I used an online tracking app – Lose It – to identify trends in my eating.  Specifically, I was looking at my macronutrient balance.  This experience was eye opening for me and coupled with the content I was reading and viewing, I had a better understanding of some personal issues.

These next three weeks, I am cutting back on animal based proteins, including eggs and dairy.  This week, I will not eat more than 3 meals in which my protein source is animal based.  The goal is to spend some time on a plant based diet and see how my body responds.  This is just one cycle I will go through to track and observe, nothing permanent.  Yet, this work doesn’t excite me as much as the prior cycle as I often use eggs and chicken as my protein source.  In planning my menu for the week, I must admit I wasn’t too excited about my options.  I’ve got some work to do to ensure I get enough protein, but I feel like I have a plan.  I’ve recently discovered that I love cruciferous foods, especially as a base for my salads.  I discovered that I can also chop up many other vegetables to look like a slaw and they suddenly taste so much better.FA6FF1BB-45C2-4D77-A684-3B02D9058CC8.jpeg

Today, my last day in the current cycle, I reflected on how much I’ve changed my eating habits when watching my macronutrient balance.  I was shooting for 15% carbs, 15% protein and 70% healthy fats these past few weeks.  I have noticed a change in my energy levels, cravings and sleep.

For Sunday sauce, my husband brought home some beautiful red, yellow and orange peppers and some hot Italian turkey sausage.  This simple substitution of turkey sausage cuts back significantly on the fat content of this staple meal.  Let’s face it, sausage is not exactly in the healthy fat category.  Honestly, if I didn’t know it was turkey I likely wouldn’t have noticed.  It was delicious.  Since I’ve discovered how much I like salads that are chopped fine, I’ve not missed my pasta or rice.  This type of salad makes a wonderful base for sauces and protein options.  Today’s version consisted of chopped cabbage – red and green, kale, broccoli, jicama and carrots.  Today’s salad was packaged and purchased at the store, but I am confident I can recreate this quite easily going forward.

Turkey Sausage & Peppers

Recipe used is identical to the one I’ve shared before, except I substituted the pork sausage for hot Italian turkey sausage.  Here is the link to that recipe – Sausage & Peppers

If making this salad fresh you’d need to chop all vegetables finely like you would for coleslaw.  I didn’t use any dressing as I had sauce to top it with.  I think the self proclaimed vegetable hater may come over to the dark side after this three week nutritional cycle.  Let’s see how it goes, I’ll definitely keep you posted and share my updated recipes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pulled Jackfruit (tastes like pork) Sandwich

Alzheimer’s sucks!  Just throwing that out there.  I’m sure anyone else who has walked this walk, knows exactly what I mean.  Alzheimer’s = losing your loved one, but they are still here.  It’s looking into your mother’s eyes and knowing she has no idea who you are.  No recollection whatsoever.  Imagine a disease that could make a mother forget her own child, or husband.  I can think of nothing worse.  In honor of this struggle faced by so many, I’ve decided this year to do a fundraiser give back for my birthday to support Alzheimer’s research and care.  It is my hope that someday soon they find a cure before another daughter, son, husband, wife or friend has to watch as their loved one fades away.  Ronald Reagan had it right when it called it the long, painful goodbye.  Please consider donating to this cause, any amount you can by clicking the link below.

Alzheimer’s Fundraiser – Laura’s Birthday

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Wish she knew whose hand she holds

My why for this blog and healthy living has always been about preventing my children from living this nightmare we are living.  If changing my eating habits gives me a better shot at avoiding this disease, then I’m in.  I’ve been experimenting with food lately and keeping an open mind about trying new foods.  Anyone who knew me as a kid, or knows me now, knows I’m not the most open to eating vegetables or new foods.  I’m a comfort food girl all the way – meat and potatoes.  But, my mom and grandmother were too, so if I want a different outcome I’ll have to step outside my comfort zone.

Today, I experimented with a new fruit I’d never even heard of until a few months ago.  I sent a recipe to my vegetarian brother for his cooking pleasure.  I asked about the fruit, but could never find it near me.  This week I found it at a local Trader Joe’s and decided to give it a shot myself.  Jackfruit is said to have the consistency of meat and take on the flavor of whatever you cook it in.  I’d never heard of it but was certainly surprised by the texture of this fruit.  It definitely has the look and texture of meat and if I hadn’t cooked it myself I would not have known it was not pulled pork.   I served it to my husband and told him it was pulled pork and he loved it and had no idea.  Of course, the BBQ sauce is what it’s all about and I’m not going to say that’s entirely healthy, but I tried to buy a healthier version.  Next time I will definitely make it myself to cut down on sugar.

Pulled Jackfruit Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of young green jackfruit in water
  • 1 1/2 cups of BBQ sauce
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Saute onion in unsalted butter or olive oil for 4 minutes
  2. Remove Jackfruit from can, drain and rinse.  Pat dry.
  3. Place Jackfruit on cutting board and shred with two forks.
  4. Add to pan with onion and saute for 5 minutes.7AB8123E-724E-4D79-9B1D-D2BC9FE0687F.jpeg
  5. Add garlic and saute all 1 minute longer.
  6. Add 1 1/2 cups of BBQ sauce to pan and stir.
  7. Add salt & pepper to taste (I added no salt)
  8. Stir to combine and cover to simmer for 45 minutes289D1AB0-C820-4004-8F95-9463519A57C9.jpeg
  9. As it cooks continue to shred the Jackfruit as it softens.

I served mine with homemade coleslaw.  I plated it on one half an English Muffin, but you can go ahead and serve on whole wheat sandwich rolls. F6B5CF32-9DB0-4EF6-942A-3BFA2472FED5.jpeg Here’s the recipe for my coleslaw –

Recipe Swap – Creamy, Spicy Coleslaw

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Dang, that was so good!  I could probably eat another, but packed it up for lunch tomorrow.   If you try it, please let me know how you liked it.  Tangy, spicy, crunchy – can’t you just taste it.AF1E559F-31CC-415E-B0C1-6263A20D7CBE.jpeg

Thank you to all who have generously donated.  I greatly appreciate your generosity and support.

 

 

 

 

 

Prime Rib Roast

Yesterday we celebrated Easter and my husband’s 61st birthday.  It hardly seems possible that we’ve been together for 40 years!  Where exactly time goes I do not know.  My children all came home for the holiday and the weather was just perfect for some outside fun.

Easter has always been a big holiday in our family.  Usually it falls closer to my birthday in April, but this year it was my husband’s turn to get the holiday.  Bob requested that I make Prime Rib for his  birthday dinner.  I don’t often make this meal, but when I do I wonder why that is since it is so delicious.  When I was a young child, my mom dressed me in my Easter finest each year.  As you can see by my face in this photo, I was less than thrilled with these outfits.  My friend Lianne lived on the block and she looks equally as thrilled with the outfit as I was.  Her basket hat really tops off the look perfectly.

LauraLianneEaster
Laura & Lianne at Easter on 72nd Street

My mom tried to dress my daughter Cathy for Easter when she was young, but she was even less tolerant than I was about it.  That lasted a few years and then mom gave up.

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Cathy at Easter less than happy about outfit

Yesterday was such a beautiful and sunny day.  We were able to play a few games as the men watched the ballgames.  We got to enjoy the yard as it was warm and sunny, despite the talk of more snow heading our way in the coming days.  My beautiful daughter and daughter in law to be were both willing to play some Jenga with me.  I lost, of course, the first game but not the second.  Then we had our dinner and celebration.  A truly beautiful day.

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Cathy & Gracie (No Easter hats required)

The recipe I use comes from Ina Garten, my go to chef for many delicious meals.  I highly recommend you follow her directions exactly as the roast comes out perfectly every time.  I made a nice pan gravy to go with the roast and some mashed potatoes.  We have a small bit leftover for today’s meal and for my husband to pick on while I’m away.

Ina’s Prime Rib Roast

Ingredients:

  • One 3-rib standing rib roast (7 to 8 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Two hours before roasting, remove the meat from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. (Make sure your oven is clean!)
  3. Place the oven rack on the second lowest position.
  4. Place the roast in a pan large enough to hold it comfortably, bone-side down, and spread the top thickly with the salt and pepper.
  5. Roast the meat for 45 minutes.
  6. Without removing the meat from the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and roast for another 30 minutes.
  7. Increase the temperature to 450 degrees F and roast for another 15 to 30 minutes, until the internal temperature of the meat is 125 degrees F. (Be sure the thermometer is exactly in the center of the roast.)
  8. The total cooking time will be between 1 1/2 and 1 3/4 hours.

Forgive the bad picture, I eat the end only so it looks darker than usual.   I was too busy eating to get a better picture.  22D1208C-32C7-42A3-B237-BFB48AADA7B5.jpeg

Stuffed Roast Pork

We were out Saturday night for dinner with some friends.  We ended up going out to a German restaurant on Long Island and I ended up eating pork loin, which happened to be on the menu for Sunday dinner this week.  I prepared the loin to cook this morning, but decided to wrap and hold it in the refrigerator for Monday instead.  This meal is one generally reserved for holidays, but my husband has been asking me to make it since I didn’t make it on our last holiday.  He purchased the meat and brought it home, so how could I possibly say no.

My dinner friends have been friends since we were in kindergarten.  These are the best kind of friends to have, as you have so many shared memories.  We went all through schooling together K – 12, so there’s nothing we didn’t experience together growing up.  I’m thankful we have kept in touch through our adult years and truly enjoy the times we spend together.  I wish we lived closer to each other, but we still manage to see each other several times each year.  Each time we meet, there’s tons of laughter and reminiscing of days gone by.  Gail is the memory keeper who inevitably cleans a closet and finds a photograph, or note we wrote each other back in junior high school.  This was the 1970s version of a group text.  It’s so much fun to read something your younger self wrote.  Marianne was always the level headed one in the group, whose current self loves to call to question that label.  Barbara, who couldn’t make it this time, was and continues to be the wild child who keeps us laughing all night.  These ladies have shared much of my life journey and I’m thankful to have them still in my life.

 

Sunday morning we decided to hold off on our roast, but I still needed to prepare it for cooking.  I came across a cooking page – Cooking with the Kingfish – recently that showed an easier way to cut a roast for stuffing.  I decided to try that out with this roast and it worked out well, super easy.  I prepared my sausage stuffing, cut the roast, pounded, stuffed, rolled and tied it for roasting  It was then placed in a roasting pan and wrapped for overnight.  On Monday, my husband will place it in the oven while I am at work for roasting.

Sausage Stuffing 

Ingredients

  • Onion chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • Sausage meat (I used sweet removed from casing)
  • Rye bread (half loaf)
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Chop celery and onions small and saute in tablespoon of unsalted butter until soft (4 minutes)
  2. Add sausage meat and brown
  3. Add chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute201C0C63-77F3-4F6F-9438-08BFD13E7EC2
  4. In separate bowl place cubed bread
  5. Pour sausage and vegetable mixture over bread
  6. Add egg and spices77BE9931-9B1C-43F5-8283-6F5C3492B94C
  7. Add 1/4 cup of chicken stock
  8. Mix with hands until fully blended and set aside.110671EF-D293-4432-9CB2-1796FC68085D

Stuffed Roast Pork Loin

Ingredients:

  • 5 lb boneless pork loin
  • 1 onion chopped large
  • olive oil
  • 4 sweet potatoes chopped into large pieces (1 – 1/2 inches)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Pour cup of coffee because it’s far too early for wine and turn on Alexa for dancing in the kitchen.
  2. Rough chop onion and place in roasting pan
  3. Wash and pat dry roast and place on cutting board
  4. Slice gently with sharp knife the long way, almost in half but do NOT cut all the way through.
  5. Unfold the roast.
  6. Starting at center and moving toward outer edge slice in half without cutting all the way through and unfold
  7. Repeat this step on other half
  8. Place plastic wrap over roast and pound to even out24F53EB9-799A-477D-A46F-12D2FF793BF0
  9. Place stuffing on top of flattened roast and spread evenly07044235-8043-4E38-816D-DF4F3C2AC7F8
  10. Roll roast long way much like you would a jellyroll cake.
  11. Tie roast with roasting twine7D259DF6-07E8-41EC-A1A6-8986D68EACE7
  12. Rub pork with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with paprika.
  13. Stir together the flour, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the seasoned flour mixture evenly over the pork loin. (I didn’t put the flour on yet in the photo below. I’ll do that tomorrow, just prior to roasting.)
  14. Place on top of onion and sweet potato in roasting pan5063D2D3-BC4D-4556-AA74-0CAD47741C70
  15. Add 1 cup of chicken stock to bottom of pan
  16. Roast in oven at 450 degrees F for about 10 minutes.
  17. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F and continue to roast for 60 minutes
  18. Insert meat thermometer into pork – not stuffing – ready when 150 – 155 degrees F
  19. Let pork rest for 10 – 15 minutes.  Temperature should be 160 degrees F
  20. Slice with sharp knife and serve

In the past I just cut the roast almost in half and stuffed.  Rolling it made distribution of stuffing more even and presentation was much nicer. Delicious and enough for my dad and leftovers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken Schnitzel with Mushroom Gravy & Spaetzle

Yesterday, we went to Philadelphia to see our oldest son, Robert.  We hoped it would be a beautiful day so we could walk around the city, but the weather just did not cooperate.  It doesn’t really matter that much to us though, as we were happy to just be down there with him.  Our youngest niece Stephanie was looking at colleges, hard to imagine that she’s college bound, and one college was in Philadelphia.  We made arrangements to meet up with her family and share the beauty of this city with them. We had a lovely day at my son’s home and a delicious lunch.

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Robert’s street in Philadelphia

Stephanie is my youngest niece and the youngest grandchild in our family.   This week, she received an award from her high school – Heart of  a Champion – for her work in her high school marching band.  When she sent me a photograph of her award, I told her that receiving an award like that says a lot about her character.  There are so many people in this world who find it impossible to be kind to others.  In my opinion, being recognized for having a strong heart is worth more than anything else.  How we treat others says a lot about who we are and who we want to be. Obviously, my niece has received a good foundation from her parents and is ready to now leave the nest.   I look forward to hearing about her final college selection and we wish her well these next four years.  My three children will tell you going away to college was the best growth experience of their lives and one they treasured.

Stephanie
Stephanie 2005, youngest in the family

Today, I need to get myself ready to return to work following my mid-winter break.  I planned to work this week, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me.  I ended up being home all week and once that happens, I settle in to a nesting routine.  The weather wasn’t great so it was easy to just relax at home.  We had some delicious meals and binged on some great shows.  I read a few books and now that it’s over, it’s time to get back to my normal routine.  Cooking a few meals today to prepare for the week helped me get myself ready.

A few weeks back, when we had a snowstorm, I posted photographs of our storm meal – Chicken Schnitzel with Mushroom Gravy and Spaetzle.

I shared the recipe with those who asked and today decided it was time to make it again.  It’s super simple and delicious.  As it poured outside, I was happy to have all the necessary ingredients on hand. Cooking in pajamas is quite fun!

Chicken Schnitzel with Mushroom Gravy & Spaetzle
Mushroom Gravy
Ingredients:
  • Unsalted butter
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 oz. Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced (Can use white mushrooms too)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup of white wine
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Pour a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and turn on Alexa for dancing in the kitchen.02F8F623-B328-4DB5-A6D9-09A4B7885D0A
  2. Heat butter over medium-high heat in a medium skillet
  3. Saute onions for about 4 minutes
  4. Add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute.
  5. Add the mushrooms and saute for about 5 minutes.E87D5AD5-4B28-47E0-8E10-2D553BF75552
  6. Add the wine, stirring to deglaze the pot and combine with the flour
  7. Add the stock, and stir until it thickens.
  8. Bring to boil, then reduce heat
  9. Stir in the mustard and Worcestershire sauce.
  10. Season with salt and pepper.
  11. Cook for about 10 minutes on low heat, thickening if necessary.
  12.  Cover and set aside, keeping warm

SCHNITZEL Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 tsp hungarian sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of caraway seeds

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet
  2. Thin slice chicken if not already thin.  Place between two pieces of Saran wrap and pound the cutlet with your rolling pin.FF8D5637-9D8D-42E1-BA0E-944A34029579
  3. Place the flour in one bowl, eggs in another and panko in a third with paprika and caraway seeds.
  4. Place each cutlet in the flour, then dip into the egg, then dredge in the panko mix.6E806D4C-DE27-4C65-8955-1DDA6271B11D
  5. Fry each cutlet about 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
  6. Serve with gravy poured over top and spaetzle.

Spaetzle Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in bowl.  Mix together to form dough.
  • Place dough in spaetzle maker over pot of boiling waterC2CA7D5F-10BC-4F80-9580-4BBD0320C165
  • Cook until spaetzle rises to top (2 minutes)
  • Remove from water and serve immediately5473D0F3-1062-40F6-BFAB-82885A4E7577

This recipe made enough to serve 4 people.  I served it with spinach.  The food reheats beautifully for lunch and a quick dinner during the week.  If you try it, please let me know how you like it.

If you have a recipe you’d like to share, please send me a note below.  I’d love to hear the story of your family recipe and try it out.  We can feature your recipe on an upcoming blog, along with your story and memories.  We love trying out new recipes and hearing the stories attached.

 

 

Not My Mother’s Meatloaf

When I was a little girl nothing disgusted me more than meatloaf.   There was nothing about my mom’s meatloaf that appealed to me.   Seriously, who puts ketchup and raw onion in their ground beef?   I hated onions as a kid and putting ketchup on anything grossed me out – just ask my cousin how her dad tortured me with that one.  As meatloaf was a favorite of my father, it was in mom’s weekly rotation.   Gosh how I remember feigning sickness every time it came around on the menu.

When we were first married, my husband mentioned to me that he liked meatloaf.   I thought I had escaped this meal, but it was rearing it’s ugly head again.  I said I’d look around at some recipes and see what I could find.   I hoped he’d forget all about it, but he brought it up again a few weeks later.   I knew that I loved meatballs, so there had to be a way I could like meatloaf.  I vowed to have an open mind and give this meal another try.

We don’t eat meatloaf often around here, maybe once or twice a year.  After a lot experimenting I found a recipe we both can agree on.  Thankfully, it doesn’t require ketchup or raw onions, though that likely wouldn’t bother me as much anymore.   This recipe is very simple to make and we have had many different variations of it.   Depending on your tastes and side dishes you can change the filling to whatever you’d like.  Be creative and have fun with it.

My version of meatloaf is more or a stuffed meat log.   We’ve used chopped turkey or beef, but both prefer beef.   When we are in the mood for roasted potatoes, I fill the log with feta cheese and spinach.   When, like today we want a little sauce I fill the log with mozzarella cheese and spinach. Either way you make it, there’s likely not going to be much left.

This recipe as written was enough for two, with a care package for my dad.   Even though it’s not my mother’s meatloaf, dad still really enjoys it.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb grass fed ground beef
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup flavored bread crumbs
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 lb mozzarella cheese chopped
  • Fresh organic baby spinach

Directions

  1. Pour a glass of Malbec and turn on Alexa for dancing in the kitchen. 38B1C00C-2345-4189-9151-2AE4F8E082AE
  2. Mix ground beef, egg, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and crushed tomatoes in Kitchen Aid mixer with paddle attachment.
  3. Spread mixture onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  B82B5BD3-BF30-4D98-9274-6F4A5490E813
  4. Put layer of chopped mozzarella and baby spinach on top of beef, spreading evenly.  Leave about 1/2 in border clear.  85D6CDAF-953B-4CCF-8664-90E812C620D9
  5. Lifting parchment paper, begin rolling beef into a log. End with seam down.  E4F405A6-549F-4622-BD21-349725389C57
  6. Place on greased, lined baking sheet. Be sure the tray has a lip to prevent grease from dripping in oven.
  7. Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes, or until cooked through.
  8. Serve immediately with or without sauce.082BBFE8-6021-492E-803A-B79ACDF915F4

We ate ours tonight with homemade potato gnocchi and a touch of Sunday sauce. Delicious!

Recipe for homemade gnocchi can be found here – Pete’s Lemon Basil Chicken with Gnocchi

Recipe for Sunday sauce can be found here – Sunday Sauce

Let me know if you try any of these recipes.  If you have a favorite recipe you’d like to share, send me a note below.