Posts Tagged ‘healthy’


I know I already have a version of turkey meatballs with spinach, but I was looking for something a more savory, so found  a few more recipes, and settled on this one as a base, and then just kept adding onto it.  I know you’re not supposed to mess with a good thing, but dare I say it, but I think I made it even better.




  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs, soaked in a splash or two of milk
  • 10 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • Scant handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 7 lb of chopped pack frozen spinach, thawed.
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste

Add all the ingredients, stir, and then shape into small ice-cream scoop size balls. Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.



Jimmy and I had our inaugural holiday together: Thanksgiving. As a non-US native, I was a little hesitant about the Thanksgiving tradition. When I arrived in the US 16 years ago, I had never seen a full-grown turkey, and suddenly seeing what looked like an overgrown chicken on a table top was shocking, even a little vulgar. However, with it came everything that I could and liked to eat – a rarity for a then-picky eater like me: mashed potatoes, green beans, pecan pie and delicious, almost other-worldly stuffing.

Since then, Thanksgiving has become more to me than a dinner to which I look forward. It’s the cultural holiday all Americans share, the one day that families break bread and come together to be thankful. In a country where people have SO much, it has always felt right to have a holiday where you start the evening devoted to going around a table and saying that you’re grateful for what you have. Christmas has a special magic to it,  but Thanksgiving spurs that warm Christmas spirit. Thank you for all that we have; let’s share the wealth and keep on giving.

To start the holidays with a fresh, almost cleansing start, here’s a recipe of bright red beet soup.

The recipe below was adapted from The Food Network here. IMG_3320

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 pound white mushrooms, trimmed, wiped clean, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
5 medium beets
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut across into 1/4-inch rounds
1 very small or 1/2 large celery root (about 3/4 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 pounds mashing potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 small white cabbage (about 3/4 pound), cored and shredded
3 large cloves garlic, smashed, peeled, and very finely chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 medium bunch dill, fronds only, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Coarsely chopped dill
Sour cream
Boiled potatoes, optional

In a tall narrow stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in the fresh mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes.

Add the beets, carrots, parsnip, celery root, 8 cups water, and the mushroom soaking liquid. bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the potatoes, cabbage, garlic, and, if using, the beet greens. Dissolve the tomato paste in 1/2 cup of the liquid and stir back into soup. Return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the reconstituted mushrooms and simmer for 5 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.

Remove from the heat. Stir in the dill, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Pass bowls of chopped dill and sour cream at the table.



-two tbsp olive oil
– two chopped onions
– three chopped carrots
– 1.5 pounds of chopped butternut squash (I’m lazy and get precut at the supermarket)
– two chopped potatoes
– three cloves of chopped garlic
– four cups of chicken stock
– one tsp cumin
– one tsp coriander
– one tsp chipotle pepper
– two cups of water

Saute the onions in olive oil for five minutes, then add all other ingredients in a dutch oven. Bring to a low medium  heat and cover for 50 minutes. When you uncover the dutch oven, it should be at a rolling boil. Turn off the heat then use an immersion blender to blend all the ingredients to the consistency you want it. Serve with a  nice toasted sourdough bread.



When I have meatballs with spaghetti, I am transported to being eight years old watching Lady and the Tramp. The moment when Tramp pushes a meatball with his nose to Lady at the end “Bella Notte” is imprinted in every Disney viewers’ minds, making Italian food – and particularly spaghetti – the emblem of romance, with the last meatball at its heart-stopping core.

I am not entirely sure, however, why meatballs are often associated with the other type of heart-stopping, too: cholesterol heaven. They’re not too bad for you, and this turkey spinach version is particularly heart-healthy. I followed Bon Appetit’s recipe for Turkey spinach meatballs because I loved the idea of getting some of my greens in one meal with my pasta. What I was additionally excited about was the volume: this made almost twice the number of meatballs I usually get from the regular non-spinach variety, so if you’re a glutton like me, this is the way to go.






Two sweet potatoes
one can of black beans
one cup of sliced mushrooms
one cup of carrots
two chopped yellow onions
one tsp salt
one tsp oregano
one tsp cayenne pepper
one cup chopped cilantro
six flour tortillas

Boil the sweet potatoes in a sauce pan of hot water for 25 minutes. The skin should then easily peel off, so that you can mash it or (for the lazy) whiz it through a large food processor.
While the sweet potatoes are boiling, saute the onions, salt and oregano in a pan for 10 minutes, then add the rest of the vegetables. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together, minus the flour tortilla.

Set the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the burritos on a greased cookie sheet, cover with foil, and put it in the oven for 25 minutes. Serve with guacamole, sour cream and salsa.



My husband bowed, “Pleased to meet you, Lasagna.” 

My lasagna replied, “Charred, I’m sure.”

I love a good pun. That one, not so good, but it kept me in good spirits as I served my slightly burnt but otherwise delicious lasagna to Jimmy for dinner.

Lasagna is an easy dish to master, I’ve been told, but for some reason, I have yet to make it perfectly. The first few times was due to a bad recipe. This time the malfunction was entirely my fault: the timer went ding, and I kept watching youtube, thinking, “oh, mozarella tastes better a little crispy anyway.” Other than that, though, a success, so we can just chalk up the burnt cheese to details.

Recipe from here, though I replaced the tomato sauce with pasta sauce with Italian seasoning, added more salt (sprinkle here and there!) and added half a cup of grated parmesan to the spinach ricotta mixture for some je ne sais quoi umami bounce.

So this has become my new delight: waking up on a Sunday morning to pore over a recipe that I bake rather than stuff into a casserole dish, and watch it rise in the oven. Breads are like magic to me because I love that the rise on their own, before you’ve heated them up. I wasn’t sure it would rise that well in my chilly kitchen, what with Michigan’s polar vortex,  but read a trick that all you have to do is heat your oven to 200 degrees for five minutes, turn it off, and then stick the covered bowl with the dough in there to let it rise for the right amount of time. It worked like a charm and I delighted in watching the dough puff up with air.


And of course, the gorgeous moment of cutting into the bread to see the delicate swirls of cinnamon raisin:


The best part about this recipe is that it isn’t chock full of butter or sugar the way I noticed most cinnamon raisin bread recipes are, yet the bread didn’t turn out dry or tasteless. I followed this recipe word for word.