Many, Many Meatballs

I’m off work today! I decided at about 10 am  yesterday that it would be great to have another four day week (I had last Friday off, too, for Remembrance Day). My job, although I love it, can be a bit stressful at times. Today I’ve already worked out, done some knitting, and did my meal planning, so I’m feeling good. And I’m about to share five recipes I’ve tested because I can’t narrow things down – they’re all worth sharing! It’s a very meatball-heavy post, by the way.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m a soup fiend. I LOVE soup. It’s the perfect lunch, in my opinion. All the components of a meal you could want, in one bowl. This week for lunch, I  took a risk on a soup that I thought might not turn out great. It just wasn’t as photogenic as some of the other recipes in Fast and Slow. But, it was vegetarian (which I like to make sometimes, to save money and for health reasons…mostly the money part) and made in the slow cooker, so I took a risk, and made Slow Cooker Vegetable Yellow Split Pea Soup. WOW, I am glad I did. It was perfect: perfect texture (smooth), perfect taste (lots of flavour, but nothing overwhelming)… just perfect. Although, in the cookbook, the peas aren’t supposed to turn to mush like mine did – they actually appear intact. Mine were totally dissolved into the soup, but I actually loved it. It was creamy without any cream. I can’t say enough about this one.

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Here we go with meatballs, round one: Zucchini “Meatballs” – something I wanted to try for a while, and I’m very glad I did. This recipe is also in Fast and Slow, and the only difference is the book uses 1/4 tsp salt rather than 1/2 tsp. I tried to pretend to my husband that they were real meatballs, but he saw me making them, so it didn’t work… I’d love to test them on someone and see if they can tell the difference. While I knew they weren’t meat, I LOVED them. They did need to cook a bit longer to stay together, but my oven always takes longer than most recipes suggest. This is a great way to help eliminate some meat from your diet! We had them over zucchini noodles (I buy a lot of zucchini) and with a little ricotta on the side.

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I saved the best Skinnytaste recipe as of late for last: a gigantic meatball (meatball round  two). Specifically, Giant Turkey Meatball Parmesan. She is so creative. As soon as I saw this one, I knew I had to make it – I was just so intrigued. It was absolutely amazing!! Better than I could have imagined. We had a house salad on the side from Fast and Slow, and it was the perfect Sunday dinner. The photo is pretty bad, the juice from the meat leaked all over, but I promise it tasted incredible.

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Now a little bit of Inspiralized! I love Ali from Inspiralized. I follow her on Snapchat and he is so upbeat and cheerful all the time, and very creative. I wish we could be friends in real life! But, I can do the next best thing: make all her recipes. Here are two standouts from the past couple weeks.

First, Thai Chicken Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles (yes, that is a third meatball style. I warned you!). Technically, the meatballs aren’t an Inspiralized creation. They’re from another blogger who runs Domesticate Me. She has released a book called the Dude Diet, which I am considering picking up. I haven’t looked into her blog very much yet, but I believe it has quite a few healthy recipes. I generally don’t make recipes unless they’re considered “healthy.” We go out for dinner on Friday nights (tonight!! woohoo!!) so I save my indulgence for when someone else is cooking. I’m actually on a bit of a fitness journey, but I will save that for another day. Anyway, the meatballs: they were fab. I love recipes that change up a classic – like this one, and the recipes above, where instead of regular old meatballs, certain elements are changed. I love making Asian-inspired recipes and this one did not disappoint. Something interesting about this recipe is that instead of using egg as a binder, chia seeds are used. They actually held together great and added a nice texture.

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Last, but absolutely not least: No-Lettuce Jicama Cobb Salad, from Inspiralize Everything. I love trying new ingredients, and jicama (pronounced HEE-ca-ma) was definitely new. I hadn’t even seen it in any stores in Kitchener, but I took a risk and added it to my meal planner. I had to go to three stores, but eventually found it at Farm Boy. Jicama is very mild-tasting, and a bit sweet. It tastes like it might be distantly related to an apple, but it’s a root vegetable so I don’t think it is. I loved it. I am definitely looking for more jicama recipes. Cobb salads are a favourite of mine, and mixing it up by trading the lettuce for jicama upped the flavour in this one. It was amazing. Like I said in my last post, I’m trying to make more salads for dinner, and this was a great dinner salad. Filling, but still light.I added extra egg (one egg per person, instead of half) but otherwise stuck to the recipe. Cobb salads are just so pretty, too. Like a rainbow on your plate.

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I’ve been knitting a lot lately, and will share a few projects soon. I also visited Romni Wools for the first time in Toronto, which I will share thoughts on too! (Spoiler alert: they are very good thoughts).

More Fast and Slow

It has been a few weeks since I posted, and I’ve done a lot of knitting and cooking. I’ll do a food post today, and share a bit of knitting later this week. I need to get into a better habit of posting! Here are a few more recipes I’ve tested out from Skinnytaste Fast and Slow. I have been making new recipes from it every week.

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Kale Caesar and Grilled Chicken Bowl – we had this for dinner last week, and it was both fast and so tasty! The Caesar dressing is homemade which really lightens it up while still tasting great. The only thing I wish I did different was I should have massaged the kale to soften it up a bit. I’m trying to have more salads for dinner, rather than just lunch. Salads are so fast and healthy, especially any of the Skinnytaste salads.

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Slow Cooker Korean-Style Beef Tacos – another winner, of course. I couldn’t find flank steak so I used a different cut (which I can’t remember now… sirloin tip maybe?) but it still was super tender and fell apart in the slow cooker. The cucumber and carrot slaw was a great addition as well. I think I mentioned this before but there is an entire taco chapter in Fast and Slow, and I’m going to try all of them!

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Roasted Red Pepper and Orzo Soup – this was one of the “fast” recipes. I doubled it and had it for lunch at work with a hard boiled egg on the side. I loved this one! It’s extremely flavourful and comes together so quickly. Orzo is a nice change from regular pasta and it doesn’t absorb all the liquid like some larger varieties do.

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Lastly, Slow Cooker Indian Chicken with Peas. I love Indian recipes, and this was excellent – lots of flavour but not too spicy. I had it over brown rice and it was a great combination. I have said it before, but I love my slow cookers. Kitchen gadgets are my weakness… I think what I need next is an Instant Pot – it’s a pressure cooker but also has a slow cooker function.

I’ll post some more recipes later this week, including some great ones from Inspiralized!