Meatloaf Monday

Every evening Billy or I will take Marlo for her walk. When I take her, I always make note of the strange, exotic, and mouth-watering dinner smells that emanate from all of the homes in our apartment complex. This past weekend, I happened across the most delicious smelling meatloaf. I am not a huge meat fan, and meatloaf isn’t at the top of my list for meals that make me salivate, however, the aromas coming from this apartment were definitely yummy and it made me crave meatloaf of all things! So while many people are taking part in the Meatless Monday campaign and eating their veggies on this cool fall evening, I made turkey meatloaf instead.

I was inspired by this recipe, but was out of eggs and milk, so I improvised and came up with something new. Here is the recipe I used instead. It smelled delicious while it cooked, and now that I am eating it, it totally wins! So glad I made the substitutions that I did šŸ™‚

Adrian’s Italian turkey meatloaf

  • 1lb lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (you can also use marinara sauce, but I like ketchup)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl combine turkey, ricotta, and bread crumbs. Mix in salt, pepper, oregano and garlic powder. Add water as needed and combine until sticky. Transfer to a loaf pan and top with shredded mozzarella, then ketchup. Ā Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour.

Makes 4 servings

calories: 287, fat: 11.32, carbs: 18.3, fiber: 0.4 and only 7 Weight Watchers points per serving. (I created this recipe on the daily plate and it gave me the nutritional information based on the ingredients I listed, such a helpful tool!)

Meatless Monday: Portobello pitas and orzo salad

I would love to start participating in the “Meatless Mondays” campaign that I have noticed a lot lately, but with a hubby and a roomie that are meat fans, it’s a little hard to incorporate.

Thankfully, neither of them cook- pretty much ever- so I am able to make what I want and serve it to them and hope for the best. Both of the recipes I used tonight were from videos that popped up on my iGoogleĀ home page. Neither of them had set amounts of ingredients, but watching the short videos gives you an idea of what, and how much exactly, you will need. I broke it down as best I could, so hopefully this works for you!

Portobello Pitas

  • 4 pita breads
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 Portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 large tomato
  • herbed goat cheese
  • shredded basil, about Ā 4 tbsp
  • salt and pepper to taste

Brush pitas with olive oil and garlic, then place on a heated grill (or grill pan) for a few minutes, then flip and toast the other side as well. Once both sides have toasted, spread goat cheese on the pitas and set aside.

Slice tomato, then sprinkle salt and pepper on tomatoes and mushroom caps. Place Portobellos on grill for 4 minutes, turn over and grill for 2 more minutes. Place tomatoes on grill and flip, about 1 minute on each side. Once veggies are grilled, assemble them on your pitas, tomatoes then Portobellos, and sprinkle with basil. I served the pitas with orzo salad and cubedĀ cantaloupeĀ for a nice light dinner.

Orzo salad

  • orzo, cooked as directed, without salt or oil. I made a whole package, bad idea! Way too much! I say 1/4 pkg max for 4 people.
  • 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained, with liquid reserved, chopped coarsely
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes pack in oil
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion (I substituted chopped cucumber for crunch, no one here likes onions)
  • 1/4 cupĀ fat-free feta cheese crumbles (thank you Trader Joe’s for having fat-free!)

Cook Orzo as specified without salt or oil. While orzo is cooking, chop artichokes, olives, tomatoes, spinach and onion/cucumbers, set aside. When orzo is cooked, drain and rinse with cold water, then transfer to a large bowl. Add artichokes, olives, tomatoes, spinach and onions/cucumbers, mix, and top with reserved marinade, salt and pepper, and feta cheese. Toss and serve with chopped basil if you wish.

Hope you enjoy your own meatless Monday!

House Guests

I LOVE taking care of people. I really enjoy playing “mom” to my friends, and doing whatever I can, and offering all I have to the people I love. It’s a part of my personality, something I have embraced and encouraged, as it makes not only my friends happy, but also makesĀ me happy. This past week at church, the pastor asked us what our strengths and weakness are. I think hospitality is one of my strengths. I am working out the rest of my strengths and weaknesses, but this I absolutely know.

Billy and I played host to my great friend Lexie and her Scottish boyfriend Grant for the last 3 days, and we had an absoluteĀ blast! Lexie and Grant just returned from an 11 month stint in New Zealand where they lived and worked and traveled, and have sinceĀ been running around California, from Morro Bay to San Francisco, and gave us the pleasure of their company.

We wanted to make sure they had a good time with us, so I went into ultra hostess mode, stocking the fridge with all sorts of goodies, filling up the aerobed, and cleaning theĀ apartment fromĀ top to bottom. I was toldĀ Grant is quiteĀ the cook, so I took him on a tour of my kitchen, gave him free rein for any meals he wanted to cook, and told them both to make themselves at home. My graciousĀ repression of my pseudo OCD and control issues paid off, as Grant and Lexie made us a UK favorite of bangers, mash and peas! It was a totally Americanized version with Trader Joe’s mango sausages, but it was delicious. It was nice having someone else want to take care of dinner for us, instead of me rushing home to hastily throw together a meal for Billy and I.

I returned the favor the next night, and created the Traveler’s Cafe with menu cards, cloth napkins and all. On the menu: sautĆ©ed broccoli with red pepper flakes, parmesan and romano rice, chicken cordon bleu, and home-made chocolate chip cookies for dessert. We had a great dinner together, and beyond the food, it was nice to enjoy their conversation, the stories from the last year they have spent abroad, and get to know Grant whom Lexie has been dating for the last 3 years and we have heard LOADS about. Favorite quote of the night: “It was YUM!” Thanks Grant.


Our Table

We enjoyed a hike in Santa Teresa Park, forging our own path up and over hills, enjoying the reprieve from the rain, and enjoying the beauty of nature and again, each other’s company.

Grant and Lexie helped me figure out if a faux fur shrug I have is actually faux fur, not stray dog or kitty fur because it was made in China, where they have lower standards. Grant even modeled the shrug, and I happened to catch it in a photo! Oh Grant, did you realize you would be put on my blog in Lexie’s shades and my shrug? Oh boy, you should know better!

I am so glad Lexie is back in California, I missed her so much the last year, and can’t wait to hang out more once she is all settled in.