Friday, April 24, 2015

Asian Turkey Meatballs

Asian Turkey Meatballs... A little over a year ago I discovered the perfect turkey meatball recipe from Smitten Kitchen which I put to use in this post and this post. The inspiration for whipping them out this week was a combination of a recent food obsession (dumplings) and a recent health obsession (majorly reducing calories and carbs *sigh*) and so I pretty much decided to make a dough less dumpling soup. AKA an Asian Turkey Meatball Soup.... and then I had so many extra that I used them in a lunch and another dinner this week.

The soup itself was super simple, think broth, meatballs, veggies, garnishes - about 15 minutes in total. The most laborious part was the making of the meatballs but for me those types of tasks are somewhat therapeutic, so if you're like me then stock of up on the following ingredients and carve out some time on Sunday and become a mini meatball factory.

What I used:
1-1.5 lbs ground turkey (I had 1lb breast meat and .5lb thigh meat)
Fresh Grated Ginger (let's call it a small palmful)
Garlic (2-3 cloves minced or pressed in a garlic press)
Green onion (say 10 or so sprigs, finely chopped)
Soy Sauce (1/4 cup?)
1 egg
Panko Bread Crumbs (1/4 cup?)

How To:
In a large bowl whisk the egg and add the breadcrumbs, give it a swirl and let them meld for a few minutes. Once they become a paste add everything else and mix by hand. Once everything is evenly mixed, with wet hands, form the meat into balls (think golf ball size) and place on a baking sheet. I made 17 meatballs in total but mine were a bit bigger than golf balls - I also wasn't aiming for an exact amount so 17 worked for me.

Post chilling, ready to bowl into to perfect fluffy meatballs

If you're cooking them that day in soup pop them in the fridge for about 20 minutes to firm up - in this case I made these Sunday for soup on Monday so I let them sit covered in the fridge for a full 24 hours.

Come Monday night I boiled a pot of chicken stock (I always use Chicken Better then Bouillon) and pulled my meatballs and already chopped veggies out of the fridge. Once the stock came to a boil I added 6 meatballs - gently lowering them in on a large spoon. I let them cook for about 12 minutes at a low boil/semi vigorous simmer. Once they were about 3 minutes away from being fully cooked I added in about 2 handfuls each of my veggies: Napa cabbage and lacinato kale (pre-chopped and ziplocked on Sunday)

Boiling away!

Pre-chopped veggies

Almost ready....

I wanted the soup to feel like I was eating wonton soup so for me cabbage is quintessential, and the dark green of the kale made me feel like I was getting some good vitamins in there. Once everything was nicely cooked I ladled myself a hot bowl and topped it off with a squeeze of lime, additional diced green onion and a few sprinkles of sriracha for heat. It was Dahlicious and filling and satisfied the craving.


The next night I wanted to use up the rest of the meatballs but wasn't in a soup mood, so instead I popped the remaining guys (which were already on a baking sheet) in the oven at 350 for about 35 minutes. While cooking I sauteed my leftover kale and cabbage on the stove and steamed up some TJ's white rice. I served the meatballs and veggies over rice with a  splash of TJ's Soyaki and voila.

Sauteing the rest of the veggies night 2

Meatballs way 2

The last of the meatballs, which had been part of the oven roasting, were cut up into bite sized pieces and added to a container of quinoa to bring for lunch. I also brought some chopped cucumber, soyaki, and an avocado to assemble at work on Wednesday. That also proved to be totally Dahlicious and a great lunch option

Crispy Chicken Breast, Greek Yogurt "Ranch", & Kale/Beet Salad

Crispy Chicken Breast, Greek Yogurt "Ranch", & Kale/Beet Salad... I had this plan for dinner last night that was going to be super duper healthy, you know boring old plain chicken breasts with salad. But I just couldn't bring myself to practice such cruel treatment to my taste buds so I decided to spice it up a little, at the slight expense of my waistline.

The Chicken:

What you need:
2 Chicken Breasts
2 eggs beaten
A cup or two of bread crumbs (eyeball it)
Salt/pepper/onion powder (to add flavor to your breadcrumbs if they are not already seasoned)

How to:
After tenderizing the chicken, dip each in an egg bath, then dredge in panko - twice. Next, shallow fried them in oil (I use grape seed oil) on high heat for about 2 minutes a side, then finish them in the  oven at 350 for about 25 minutes.

The Ranch (which was inspired by this recipe):

What you need:
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 tables spoons fresh dill
2 table spoons Parmesan cheese
6 tablespoons olive oil
Juice from half a lime
salt and pepper to taste

How to:
Add everything (except the olive oil) to a food processor or blender, or do like I did and use your immersion blender! As everything starts to blend, start drizzling in the olive oil to smooth it out. Voila!

The Salad (which was inspired by this post):

What you need:
Beets (or something else sweet like the link suggests, pomegranate)
1/3 Cup Olive oil
1/2 Cup White Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (I used a grainy mustard)
1 1/2 teaspoon agave (or honey or something similar)
1 teaspoon sriracha
Juice from half a lime

How to:
I trust you can all whisk the above ingredients together and toss it with the kale and beets right??

Friday, April 10, 2015

Tofu, Bok Choy, & Shrimp/Avocado Handrolls

Tofu, Bok Choy, & Shrimp/Avocado Handrolls... This was supposed to be world's most boring dinner of tofu & bok choy but as the impending meal was upon me I just couldn't even think about choking it down and feeling satisfied. I'm on a super low calorie kick right now, continuing in theory through May, but we'll see how that one goes. So when I started to think about what other things I could eat that would fill me up, be fun to make, and also be pretty low from a caloric intake standpoint - these handrolls came to mind. I stopped by Whole Foods on my way home and grabbed:

1 package organic nori
6 fresh shrimp
1 bunch cilantro
1 avocado
1 package Persian cucumbers

They were pretty easy to make and pretty darn good. I started by marinating the shrimp in some lemon juice while I sliced the cukes into long thin strands of crunchiness. I quickly grilled the shrimp, just a minute or two on each side, then got to building my rolls.

The first one I tried with a full sheet of nori but it ended up being quite large and the finished role had to be cut in half...  so for the other two I started by cutting the nori sheet in half first. I laid the nori out on a cutting board, then pilled on some cucumbers slices, 2 shrimp, a few sprigs of cilantro, and some hunks of avocado - then gave it a quick roll and VOILA!

I dipped them in a little mix of soy sauce and sriracha after sprinkling them with a few sesame seeds and called it a night. Simple as that.

For the tofu, I lightly crisped the cubes I'd cut in grape-seed oil and grilled my bok choy over the stove top in my grill pan. This whole meal took like 15 minutes (mainly for the chopping) and felt very well rounded.

Now that I've been so good all week I think I deserve to indulge in some Dahliciousness this week - right???

Thursday, April 2, 2015

March Food Roundup

March Food Roundup... Forgive me readers for I have sinned, it's been 28 days since my last post. I have been traveling almost every weekend and gobbling down Dahlicious things along the way. In between those travels I've been in the kitchen whipping up a few new things and few oldies that I'd like to share today, so get ready to feast your eyes....

March 14 - Laguna Beach California
A 10 day trip back home for work, fam time, and beach time!!! Also to nosh on my favorites...

Lunchtime Bowls at Active Culture

LB Rice Bowl which consists of Organic brown rice, prosciutto, goat’s milk cheese, apples, citrus, dates, basil.

Bountiful Bowl which consists of Greek yogurt, organic açaí, organic granola, flaxseeds, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, raw and organic agave nectar

Afternoon Tacos at Taco Loco

This was THE high school spot to stop at on the side of PCH to sit on a bar stool on the sidewalk and inhale a few tacos. They are the best.

Brunch at Anastasia

My favorite breakfast in California is the Eggs Ana 

March 16/17/18/19/23/24 - Back Home in Chi Town

Homemade Souped up Chicken & Salad

On the Menu that night was prosciutto wrapped chicken with a big arugula, roasted cherry tomato and burrtata salad. 

Carryout Ramen from Sushi Dokku

Is it just Chicago or is Ramen THE dish of 2015 everywhere? I cannot get enough, the more I eat it the more I crave it. Luckily we have a few really great options nearby including my FAV Sushi spot in Chi town which happens to be very close to our abode

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs, Sweet Potato Fries & Brussels

I think it's pretty clear why this dinner is a fan favorite in our house. The slow cooker is so easy to make fall off the bone perfect ribs, and oven roasted thin slices of sweet potato adds a nice little crunchy but healthful side.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala with zucchini over Cauliflower Rice topped with Crispy Chickpeas

That was a mouthful! And super Dahlicious, yet simple. I let a few chicken breasts shred away in the slow cooker with a jar of tikka masala sauce and served it over cauli rice (which I chopped up in my vitamix and then roasted lightly in the oven). The zucchini was sauteed with a little oil, salt and pepper, and the crispy chick peas were roasted in the oven at 425 for about 20 minutes until golden and...well, crispy! I rinsed and drained a can of them then drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper and voila. So easy and such a nice addition (PS the idea came from Dinner a Love Story although she actually pan fries them).

Homemade Ground Beef Enchiladas

I'll admit straight up these were only OKAY. I wasn't really sure how to go about them (fry or not fry the tortillas first) and I think the big issue here was that I tried to be fancy and use these whole wheat tortillas from Whole Foods and it was just odd. So again they were OK but I'll modify next time.

Spinach Ravioli with Salmon & Spinach in Vodka Sauce

This was really a meal I assembled as opposed to made. I did roast the salmon and boil the pasta but otherwise it was pretty much a big toss. Voila!

March 29 - NYC Eats

I flew to Manhattan last weekend on a whim to visit some girlfriends and breath in the most electric city I know. It was a quick 36 hours in and out but well worth it, even just for THIS meal. I don't know about you guys but I follow like 58 million food instagram accounts (which means I am constantly drooling and constantly remembering places I need to try). So when we were looking for a spot to carbo load on Saturday for a lunch I knew the spot high on my list, as documented on many NYC food insta accounts as being delectable... enter Rubirosa in Nolita.  We had a pretty solid order for 3 people consisting of: a simple arugula salad, a bowl of spaghetti carbonara, the Tie Die pizza (vodka sauce & pesto & fresh mozz), and their brunch pizza topped with bacon and yolky eggs. Please do yourself a favor and go next time you're there.

I came back from NY feeling like an elephant and have been trying to be good this week, which didn't work out well on Monday when I decided not to work out and grab a burger instead. OOPS! 

We are headed to ATL this weekend and I have about 5 reservations tomorrow night because I cannot make up my mind!! Of course I've been on a bender all week stalking ATL food insta accounts.... here are a few I screen shotted because I couldn't help myself. Enjoy these Dahlicious mouthwatering pics yall!!