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 🙂

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)

Directions:

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.  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!)

Zucchini Bread


The end of summer is a wonderful time not only for the weather, and the fact that my favorite season is arriving, but also because of the bountiful crop of late summer vegetables that is ready to eat! The weather as of late hasn’t felt much like fall, (hello upper 90s!) so I had to add this recipe while it still feels like summer 🙂

The family I nanny for has a garden planted by the landlord, who happened to go on a trip and left his big beautiful zucchini plants to fend for themselves. A quick wander through the giant leaves, and I found myself a specimen of supreme proportions that begged me to take it home and make it into something delicious. I obliged! I found this wonderful zucchini bread recipe, but wasn’t feeling super adventurous so I omitted all the far eastern nuances and kept it simple. My final product was so good! Billy and I really enjoyed the moist, rich bread this recipe makes, so I hope you get a chance to check it out! If you are feeling frisky, add the curry powder, walnuts, poppy seeds, lemon zest and crystallized ginger and tell me how it goes!



Cake balls!


I only recently discovered cake balls, and quickly became obsessed with these baked goodies. I am a self-professed cupcake addict, and I love pretty much any dessert, so it was only fitting that I try out this new take on cake. You can find the recipe and instructions on Bakerella, the blog I found these on, and that’s a blog you should follow! Uunless of course you need to stay away from the temptation of tantalizing treats constantly on display. Her current post is about pillow cookies, which is another baked goody I just have to make soon! Quick take on pillow cookies: chocolate chip cookies with a brownie inside, um hello, sign me up!

I attempted to make the cake balls on Sunday evening. It’s super simple, you use a box cake mix and follow the directions to make a 13×9 inch cake in whatever flavor you desire. I’m sure you can make the cake and frosting from scratch, but it’s just more work, so I stuck with the easy route. I made a chocolate cake and a white cake which I added lemon zest and flavoring to. Once the cakes have cooled, you destroy them! I had a major problem crumbling up a perfectly good cake, but it was for the cake balls, so I relented.

Once the cakes have been crumbled up into large bowls, you add an entire can of frosting to them! I used chocolate and butter-cream for the chocolate and lemon cakes respectively. I also added more lemon zest to the lemon cake at this point, I wanted really lemony cake balls!

You then go to town mushing the frosting and cake together. You can use a spoon, or get down and dirty and do it with your hands. It was a little weird, but totally took me back to childhood, and memories of playing with my food. When the cake and frosting is combined, you make quarter sized balls and place them on a covered baking sheet. I used my amazing Pampered Chef medium-sized scoop, which made it super easy to keep uniform sized balls. I love using this scoop when I am baking! It creates the perfect sized and shaped cookies, and it allows me to fill my cupcake pans just right by using two scoops of batter to each cup. I will be hosting a Pampered Chef catalog party during July, so if you want to order any products, let me know!

After all of the cake balls are made, you chill them for a few hours, or stick them in the freezer to speed up the process. Melt chocolate and dip and cover each ball and set aside to harden. I found this to be the most tedious part of the whole process, and had really bad luck melting chocolate. I only dipped 16 balls, I had made over 40 balls total, and called it a night after burning my chocolate and getting crumbs everywhere. I used milk chocolate chips for the chocolate balls, and white chocolate chips for the lemon balls.You then chill the balls again, and after they have hardened, you get to enjoy them! I brought them out for dessert after my meatless Monday dinner, and it was a huge success because they were cool and refreshing on a hot evening. I will definitely be dipping the rest of the cake balls because they were just so yummy, I can put up with the task!

I am completely in love with cake balls, even with the tedious steps and burning the chocolate chips! Both flavors turned out superb. The chocolate was decadent, and the lemon refreshing. I will definitely be making these again, but hopefully not soon, my diet took enough hits as it is!

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 myrecipes.com videos that popped up on my iGoogle 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  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 cubed cantaloupe 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 cup 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!