Make something new out of something old: teriyaki meatballs and pasta

Teriyaki meatballs served over whole wheat spaghetti with sliced green onion.

This one’s real easy. After New Year’s Eve, we found that we had far too much in the way of the teriyaki meatballs I had made in my slow-cooker, so we froze half of them. Keep in mind that they are not great if you’re trying to watch your sugar intake. But hey, when you’re looking for a really fast meal and you have leftovers in the freezer, you use what you have on-hand!

I won’t even hide this one behind a  ‘read more’ link because it’s pretty short and sweet.

Ingredients

  • 2 portions whole wheat pasta of your choosing
  • 1-2 Tbsp chopped red onion
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 10 frozen leftover teriyaki/Swedish/Hawaiian meatballs w/sauce
  • 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth or water
  • 2 green onions, sliced and divided

Method

  1. In a small saucepan over a medium heat, saute red onions in the olive oil for a few minutes until softened.
  2. Add frozen meatballs and broth or water. Cook for a few minutes until meatballs are heated through.
  3. Allow to bubble away until sauce begins to thicken. Add half of the  green onions and stir.
  4. Divide in half and serve over two portions of pasta, topping with the remainder of the green onions.

Sorry, I have no nutritional values on this right now, but man, this was very, very yummy. 😉

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Just what the doctor ordered: potato-leek soup

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So, I’ve been sick since New Years Day though I finally seem to be on the mend. The problem is that when I’m sick, we tend to eat horribly and rely on takeout a lot. This probably isn’t helpful to the recovery process as takeout isn’t exactly the most nutritious food out there

So I mustered up some strength and tore apart the fridge, taking my cutting board and veggies into the living room to chop and prepare while sitting down as much as I could. (Standing for long periods of time just won’t do when you are lightheaded.)

Luckily, there were lots of veggies to choose from including leeks, which is something new to this household. I’ve wanted to try them out for a while and just thought to pick them up with the last grocery run. And when you’re ill, what’s the first thing you generally want to eat other than toast or crackers? Soup!

Now, I haven’t had any stomach problems with this illness, so I didn’t need it to be broth-based, so here’s what I did…

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Healthy food at work!

Three lunch containers with Shepherd's Pie, a salad and pureed tomato soup with baguette crackers.

It’s so hard to eat well at work sometimes. The cafeteria and fast food options are always the quickest and easiest, it seems, so sometimes it’s easy to forget about having a good, balanced meal at work. But a little bit of planning on the weekend might help through the week, if you’re lucky! See the image above? This was my lunch at work today. In fact, I’m just finishing up the soup now. (Sorry that the image is a bit blurry but by the time I realized, most of the food had already been devoured!)

Make-ahead meals are not only better on your pocketbook, but also on your morning prep and your waistline. I sometimes find it hard to plan my day’s meals nutrition-wise if I know I’m going to grab “something” at the cafeteria later because I didn’t have the foresight or time to pack something before work.

Today’s lunch consisted of things I prepared this weekend. Let’s take a look at each one and how easy it was to make each one…

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REVIEW & REJIG: Hungarian mushroom soup recipe

A bowl of low-sodium Hungarian Mushroom SoupI was off sick from work today and slept most of the day away. When I awoke, I was feeling much better, but was absolutely famished. I considered calling and ordering some take-out chicken soup from Swiss Chalet until I looked up the nutritional value. For one bowl of chicken and vegetable noodle soup was over 1000mg of sodium!! No thank you!

My husband suggested that I make my own. The problem with that was that I had no chicken in the fridge! I had veggies and broth and whole wheat egg noodles (no yolk) but no chicken. Can’t have chicken soup without chicken, can we?

But by this point, I knew I wanted soup. So I went scouring around the web, looking for ideas. I knew I had about a pound of mushrooms that needed to be used up soon, so I based my searching on that ingredient. What I found was an intriguing recipe over on AllRecipes.com called Hungarian Mushroom Soup. I was surprised to find out that with the exception of the fresh parsley (I just had dried), I had all of the ingredients.

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Hoisin beef stirfry

A white rectangular plate shows off a beef and vegetable stirfry meal with a pair of black chopsticks resting on the napkin beneath the plate.I think I posted something very similar to this a while back, but I’m revisiting it. I’ve changed up the ingredients a bit, including the amount of hoisin sauce and spices, as well as adding a can of water chestnuts (which were a fantastic addition!).

Stirfry lunch or dinner is a nearly no-guilt meal for me. So long as I watch the sodium, don’t add much in the way of oil, and am careful with what sauces I add (and how much), I think it’s a pretty healthy way to eat. And loading it up with veggies but just a little bit of meat allows you to spread out a small portion of meat (especially if that’s all you have) between more people/portions.

You see, I’m not much of a raw-veggie fan, but stirfry needs to be crunchy. Warmed through but still undercooked enough to have that crunch. A floppy, mushy stirfry is just nasty, so the key here is a high enough heat to warm quickly while preserving the crunch of the veggies, but not so high that it burns, along with cooking it very quickly. Cooking it on a lower heat just boils or simmers it in whatever you’re cooking it in. I am by no means a master at this. I just kind of eyeball it and judge by how the food feels against the spatula.

So I had some strips of an Eye of Round roast in the freezer that I hadn’t cooked up yet and decided that was going to be the meat of the dish. Here’s what I did…

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Homemade chicken biscuit pie

A bowl of chicken biscuit pieWe’ve had grey skies on and off this week, so I’ve found myself craving comfort food. Keeping in mind my new meal plan regimen, I decided to see how I could revamp an old favourite: chicken pot pie. My old version was no doubt loaded full of sodium, fat, calories and carbs. This new recipe still has all that, but the values are no doubt cut back. Choosing lower sodium ingredients and limiting portions on the bread-like topping by using perfectly sized biscuits helps keep some of those values in check.

Here’s what I did…

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Moroccan chicken tajine (stew) w/lime rice

A bowl of rich Moroccan chicken stew with lime rice.This recipe came out of a desire to cook something “different”, yet comforting and was a total, pleasant surprise. It was based on a recipe from Antony Worrall Thompson recipes (LifeStyle FOOD). I substituted what I had on hand. Next time, I would see about adding some root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes (omitting the rice) and/or some chickpeas (if I like them?) for some more substance. I’m not complaining! This was a really yummy dish. But I’d love to continue to play with it to see how I can make it better.

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