Ingredients Archives: Parmesan cheese

Broccoli Chicken Meatballs

It’s a miracle, my two-year-old likes meatballs!

Every single time I take her to the doctor for a wellness visit I am drilled about her diet, and asked if she is getting enough meat. Admittedly, her consumption is spotty at best so I am thrilled that she’s taken a liking to a variety of healthy meatballs. I previously created a recipe for Kale Turkey Meatballs with her in mind and my latest rendition is for Broccoli Chicken Meatballs.

Broccoli Chicken Meatballs

As a vegetarian, I honestly don’t stress a lot about her meat intake, but I do want her to have a well balanced diet and if she choses to be a vegetarian later in life than by all means. This recipe in particular is very simple to make and was created for the toddler/family palate {a.k.a. not a tremendous amount of exotic flavors for my picky eater}. Also, I love when I can seamlessly combine veggies and protein – one less dish to clean!

Broccoli Chicken Meatballs – Ingredients List:

1 lb. ground chicken
1 egg
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese {I prefer Parmigiano-Reggiano}
1 cup shredded broccoli
pinch of salt & pepper
1-2 cups of tomato sauce {optional}

Broccoli Chicken Meatballs

When preparing the broccoli for this recipe, I first steamed it {1/4-1/2 head of broccoli} then let it dry, and finally shredded it in a blender {or food processor} in several batches. The goal of “blending” the broccoli is to break it down so it spreads evenly throughout the meatballs – the texture will be course, but no large chunks of broccoli should remain.

The complete cooking instructions and ingredients are listed below. I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as mine has!

Anna

 

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Crock Pot Vegetable Soup

It has been rainy, cold, and pretty miserable in New York City lately. The upside – perfect soup weather! I have been throwing together this simple Crock Pot Vegetable Soup recipe for the longest time, I think I could recreate it with my eyes closed. Until recently I made this soup exclusively on the stove top, but I couldn’t resist the set-it and forget-it ease the crock pot brings. When I start this recipe however, I do caramelize the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic on the stove first and then transfer it into a crock pot with the remainder of the ingredients – it’s hard to emulate the flavor and coloring a little browning can do. I cook this soup for three hours on low in my 4 quart crock-pot.

This recipe is simple, healthy, and great to serve to little ones – the mild flavors work well for beginners’ palates!

Simple Crockpot Vegetable Soup

Crock Pot Vegetable Soup – What You Need:

1 large carrot {peeled, chopped}
2 celery stalks {chopped}
1/2 white onion {chopped}
1 clove garlic {peeled, minced}
3 tbsp olive oil
2 {15 oz} cans of garbanzo and/or cannelloni beans
5 1/2 – 6 cups of low sodium vegetable broth
1 28oz can of fire roasted tomatoes {and the juices}
1 1/2 – 2 cups loosely packed kale {stems removed}
3 bay leaves {why bay leaves?}
salt/pepper to taste
1-2 cups whole wheat pasta or rice
1/4 cup parmesan cheese for garnish {optional}

{scroll down for full recipe instructions}

Simple Crockpot Vegetable Soup

In terms of seasoning, I salt, pepper, and taste along the way. When I caramelize the vegetables in the first stage with olive oil, I add in a few turns of salt and pepper. Next, I transfer those vegetables to the crock pot and add in the remainder of the ingredients, minus the pasta. I will add a little more salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil before I shut the lid, and then taste it half way through {1.5 hours} and either add more S/P or leave it be. While it might seem like there is a lot of flavor going on in the soup, the primary ingredients are pretty mild and flavorless {I’m lookin’ at you beans}. If you are truly setting-it and forgetting-it, you can always add additional seasoning at the end of the three hours.

As for the pasta, I normally cook it entirely separate from the soup and add it in when I’m serving. If you are planning to consume the entire soup at once, it would be fine to add the pasta towards the end of the cooking process. The issue comes into play if you are planning for left overs – the pasta will drink the broth while you’re sleeping. Scary, right? My mom shared this little trick with me and I totally didn’t believe her, but she was right.

The best part about this recipe – it’s totally customizable – you can add in your favorite vegetables, beans, and pasta. Lately I’ve been serving this soup with some delicious homemade honey wheat bread.

Enjoy!
Anna

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Kale Polenta Lasagna

I am SO excited to share this Kale Polenta Lasagna recipe. It has quickly become a household favorite, only my husband asks me to add more cheese. This recipe is ideal for busy weeknights when time and patience is limited. At times I will make the entire lasagna during my daughter’s nap and then throw it in the oven closer to dinnertime. Additionally, you can easily prepare the kale mixture the night before and store in the refrigerator until mealtime.

Kale Polenta Lasagna

As with most of my recipes, this one doesn’t contain a lot of fat, added salt, or heavy seasoning – my daughter does not yet appreciate the taste of pepper. When searching for ingredients, I generally follow the dirty dozen list for when to buy organic – this meal includes organic polenta, cherry tomatoes, tomato sauce, kale, and mozzarella cheese. The recipe is gluten-free {polenta is naturally gluten-free}and vegetarian, but you could easily brown up some ground turkey or dice up chicken sausage to add in some additional protein.

Kale Polenta Lasagna

The kale mixture includes 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 an onion chopped, 3 cups chopped kale, 1 cup diced/chopped tomatoes {I used cherry tomatoes}, and 1 clove of garlic.

Kale Polenta Lasagna

Line the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Slice the 18oz organic polenta roll into 16 even pieces, laying 8 down over the sauce. Cover the polenta slices with the kale mixture and top with half the mozzarella cheese.

Kale Polenta Lasagna

 

Kale Polenta Lasagna

Cover with the remaining 8 slices of polenta to create a “polenta sandwich” 🙂

Kale Polenta Lasagna

Top with remaining tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes uncovered.

Kale Polenta Lasagna

And, ta-da! Kale Polenta Lasagna, so delicious and easy!

Kale Polenta Lasagna

Creating one healthy meal at a time!

Anna

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Kale Turkey Meatball Recipe

In my house, I am the Queen of combining meals. For example, instead of making a side dish of kale with a turkey meatball, I would very much prefer to put the two together – less dishes! My desire to simplify life and spend less time in the kitchen led me to create the healthy and delicious Kale Turkey Meatball recipe below!

Kale Turkey Meatballs

Regular readers will know, I struggle at times to get my toddler to eat enough protein. Maybe it’s the consistency or the taste, but she’s not a big fan of most meats. However, she will occasionally eat a meatball slathered in tomato sauce with a side of whole wheat or protein plus pasta – yay! In the case of this recipe, if I could sneak some nutrient packed kale into the mix, all the better. This recipe is more family friendly than most meatball recipes, no heavy seasoning, salt or pepper.

Ingredients {20 small-medium sized meatballs}:

1 lb. lean ground turkey
1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
1 egg
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
half a shallot
1 tsp. olive oil
1 cup tightly packed kale {stems removed}
1/4 cup basil {approx. 5 leaves}
tomato sauce for lining the baking dish – approx. 1/2 cup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat the bottom of your baking dish with tomato sauce.

Mix 1 cup of tightly packed kale, 1/4 cup basil {approx. 5 leaves}, 1 tsp. olive oil, and half a shallot in a food processor. Add the kale mixture with the remaining ingredients to combine {except for the tomato sauce}.

Kale Turkey Meatballs

Time to get dirty – make sure you wash those hands afterwards 🙂

Kale Turkey Meatballs

Kale Turkey Meatballs

Pop these bad boys into a 350 degree oven covered with tin foil for 30-35 minutes. The meatballs will last for approximately 3 days in the refrigerator and 2-3 months in the freezer – enjoy!

Anna

 

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