Spaghetti with Vegetarian “Meat” Balls

 

I  decided that we were eating at home today and spaghetti and meatballs would be on the menu. So I got the ground chicken which would be for my daughter and hubby however for me I was not sure, so I came up with the following. I seasoned the ground chicken overnight so it can be well seasoned. For the vegetarian version, prep work would be roasting the eggplant the night prior.

I do not use eggs instead I use a flax egg, this works perfectly all the time, and you get some benefits with no cholesterol. Don’t be intimidated you can replace it with a whole egg.  I will provide both recipes in this post so if you are like me and need to make both a regular and vegetarian version they are accessible right here 🙂

Vegan Balls

Ingredients

    • I  medium purple eggplant
    • 1 cup breadcrumbs
    • 2 Tbsp garlic salt
    • 2 Tbsp basil
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp oregano
    • 1/2 tsp parsley
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 cup parmesan or asiago grated cheese (optional)
    • 3 Tbsp flaxseed
    • 2 Tbsp oil (used to keep hands moist)
    • Oil (for frying)
    • 1 jar of Marinara sauce

Directions

      • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
      • Wash eggplant, towel pat, prick eggplant with a fork place on a small baking sheet and bake for 1 hour.
      • Remove from oven, let cool, cut the eggplant in half and use a spoon to remove the inside flesh.
      • Mash the eggplant in a bowl and discard the skin.
      • Combine all ingredients including the flaxseed in a bowl and mix and set aside for 5 minutes.

**The cheese gave it a nice taste, but if you are vegan go ahead and omit the cheese.

Meatballs

Ingredients

      • 1 pound ground chicken
      • 2 Tbsp parsley
      • 1/2 tsp black pepper
      • 3 Tbsp garlic salt
      • 1 tsp oregano
      • 1 tsp basil
      • 1 tsp onion powder
      • 3 Tbsp flaxseed

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix and set aside. This preparation I prefer to do the day before but it is fine to do it the day off as well.

Note: Ground beef or Turkey can be used in place of ground chicken.

Marinara Sauce

Directions

    • Open a jar of marinara sauce and add to a cast iron pot on low heat.
    • Add 1/2 cup water depending on how thick your sauce is.
    • Add fresh basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary thyme, and salt & pepper to taste. Cook for about 10-15 minutes. Of course, you can make a fresh sauce and works well also. But for something fast I use the jar but I work with it as if it is my own 😉

Combined directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pour 1 tsp of oil in your hands and press mixture together to form a bite-size ball. **The oil prevents your hands from being sticky
  3. Place oil in a medium frying pan and heat.
  4. Working in batches fry the “meat” balls until golden brown.
  5. Using a frying skimmer, flip and cook on both sides. The (vegan) brown quickly so pay attention.
  6. Place “meat” balls on a baking tray with a rack and bake for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  8. Alternatively, you can add your meatballs (without frying) directly to the marinara sauce and cook for 15-20 minutes on low heat. I suggest if you do choose this option, you bake them for at least 15 minutes just to get them a bit firm. But I am sure they will work well if you directly add them to the sauce.
  9. Time to serve, add your prepared pasta on a plate or bowl, top with your meatballs and followed with your marinara sauce and cheese if ou are adding. Enjoy…

Note: I use only organic ingredients when possible.

Blessings, Happy Cooking, and Good health!

Avocado Pistachio Salad

Sick of your regular salad….

Sometimes eating your regular romaine lettuce salad can become uninteresting overtime, it does not matter how many other items you add to it, they all taste the same. My summer salad is a great option, however, this one gives a different taste of a salad.  This salad is made with spinach.

Did you know that spinach is low in fat and even lower in cholesterol? Spinach is high in niacin and zinc, as well as protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese. In other words, spinach is loaded with good nutrients for your entire body. Organic or homegrown spinach is the best!

Ingredients

6 cups spinach

6 grape tomatoes cut in half

3 Tbsp pistachios

1/2  Hass avocado diced

1 tsp olive oil

1/2- 1tsp  tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Add your spinach to the plate topped with diced tomatoes and avocados. Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. To finish add your pistachios.

Viola your salad is served.  As an added protein you can include 1/2 cup of garbanzo beans. For non-vegans; vegetarians broiled salmon, and for meat eaters grilled chicken breast.

Enjoy xoxox

Summer Salad

 

Veggie Choices:

Salads are always a healthy option anytime of the day. So, you should try to incorporate it in your meals daily. Remember, the more colors you add to your vegetables the better the salad is.

By the way, this is my go-to salad very simple and quick to prepare. You can feel free to add some proteins such as beans or tofu, however, I am allergic to soy. On the other hand non-vegans/vegetarians, you can add meat or fish (chicken pieces, shrimp or even salmon.

Unfortunately, I did not put measurements because it depends on how much salad you would like to prepare.

Ingredients

Mixed greens

Romaine lettuce

Spinach

Avocado (I prefer Haas)

Sliced mini sweet peppers – red and yellow

Diced grape tomatoes

Grated carrots

Sliced cucumbers

 

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and add 1-2 Tbsp vinaigrette. Enjoy !!

 

Good Ole Chicken Soup

soup does the body good

Sick kind of day soup

I created this soup with little thought in mind. It was just getting rid of some leftover rotisserie chicken I bought the day before. I usually use raw chicken to make soups, but that day I figured this would work just as well and moreover, it will take half the time required.

This soup is not your typical Caribbean heavy broth soup that you will find, but this is more a lighter version. I have two versions of making this soup. One I must say is the fast way one requires some time. I do not eat this soup because I am a vegetarian but still prepares it for my family with love.

Hey, sissy Norma, you have been asking for this recipe so here goes! 😉

Ingredients

1 whole rotisserie chicken (cut into small pieces)

5 cups water or store-bought chicken broth

3 carrots peeled and diced

6 Yukon potatoes peeled and diced

1 cup elbow pasta (optional)

1 onion quartered  or onion and garlic powder (optional)

1 red bell pepper quartered (optional)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions – Option 1

Not the fastest option but certainly my favorite, I say this because nothing goes to waste from that whole chicken with this option.

  1. Boil 6 cups of water*
  2. Add the rotisserie chicken pieces (use the entire chicken ), quartered bell pepper and onion
  3. Bring to a medium boil; this should be about 20-30 minutes
  4. Once boiled, turn off the stove and let sit for another 25-30 minutes until it is cooled. You may do the above steps the day before to make things a bit easier
  5. After cool enough to touch, remove the pieces of onions and peppers (optional) and all the bones. Be careful!
  6.  Return to medium heat add diced carrots, potatoes, elbows pasta** (optional),  seasoning – salt and pepper (optional)
  7. When the carrots are soft, it is ready to serve.
  8. Enjoy!

*In this option, I prefer to use water because you are using the entire chicken which has the flavor you will need.

**The pasta can make your broth a bit thick so be mindful how much pasta you add, sometimes I even leave it out. More carbs which my family do not need 🙂

Cold day or just any kind of day soup

Directions – Option 2

This option is considered my easy option.

  1. Cut the rotisserie chicken* in pieces exclude all bones.
  2. Place 5 cups of water or store-bought chicken broth to boil, add  the rotisserie chicken pieces lower the heat, cover the pot and bring to a second boil for approximately 20-25 minutes
  3. Add your diced carrots followed by potatoes and let cook until almost soft
  4. Add more water or store-bought chicken broth if necessary
  5. Cook potatoes and carrots on a low heat
  6. Add onion powder, garlic powder, and salt if needed for flavor.
  7. Lastly add your elbow pasta** (optional, see note option 1)  and let simmer.

*You have some leftover white meat from the rotisserie chicken you bought so it would be easy to make this soup.  I recommend using chicken broth or stock here but certainly; water will work, you would need to add seasoning for taste.

Tomato Bok Choy Bisque

My beautiful daughter and I spent about 45 minutes of our Sunday morning picking veggies. Why would I pass a 5-gallon bucket of tomatoes, 4 eggplants, 5 red bell peppers and a huge watermelon for $14.00? In this case, I make all things tomatoes and here goes, first up tomato bok choy bisque.

        

Ingredients:

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil or  avocado oil

1 med white onion, chopped

4 large ripened tomatoes, chopped

3 cups bok choy*, chopped

1 large garlic clove, minced

2 large Yukon potato, peeled and quartered

10 fresh basil leaves chopped

1 tsp parsley

1/4  tsp Tumeric

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

  1. Heat a cast iron pot over high heat, add oil and wait until shimmers. Add the chopped onions, and cook. Stirring  with a wooden spoon, until onions are slightly browned about 8 minutes
  2. Stir in chopped tomatoes, garlic, parsley, turmeric, bok choy, basil, and cook for about 5 minutes more. Add the potato, slightly cover pot and allow it to simmer until the potato is soft.
  3. Carefully place the bisque in a blender and puree until smooth and creamy**.
  4. Return the bisque to the pot, season with salt and pepper.
  5. Enjoy!

*  I used the leaves only

** consistency is based on preference, I like mine creamy enough, however, there were still bits of potatoes.