Monthly Archives: March 2016

Sweet and Sour Meatballs


Calories 428  Fat 19.2 Protein 34g.

I cut this recipe  out of one of my Cooking Light magazines but when I went to the website to link it here, I couldn’t find it. Hmmm It’s just too good not to share, so here is how I did it.

During any given week night, I don’t have a lot of time so I did all my prep work on Saturday. I made the meatballs, cooked them, cooled them and refrigerated. I also made the tangy sauce and stored it close to the meatballs. When I got home tonight I was already in the middle of a call with a volunteer, but that didn’t slow down dinner. I started my stock to boil for the Polenta and began heating the sauce and meatballs up. Once I was finished with the call I used both hands to chop an onion and began to sauté some baby spinach.


3 c. chicken stock

1/4 kosher salt

3/4  c ground polenta

1 Tbs butter, unsalted

1 1/4 pd 93% ground turkey

2 tbs dark sesame oil

Cooking spray

1/4 c water

1/4 c ketchup, unsalted

2 tbs Sriracha (hot chile sauce)

1 1/2 tbs oyster sauce ( I used fish sauce because that’s what I had)

1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Addition to original recipe: 1 small onion, chopped, 5 c fresh baby spinach

Bring stock and salt to a boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually add Polenta, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and Polenta is thickened. Add butter, stirring until melted.

Combine turkey and sesame oil in a medium bowl. Divide and shape turkey mixture into 20 meatballs. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add meatballs to pan; cook 6 minutes, turning  to brown on all sides. Remove meatballs from pan. Add 1/4 c water and remaining ingredients to pan, stirring with whisk; bring to a boil. Return meatballs to pan. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until meatballs are done. Serve over Polenta.

I plated the Polenta, topped it with a little sauté baby spinach then added a few meatballs and drizzled the sauce over the top. This sauce kinda has a kick to it so don’t go crazy at first just in case. I loved the cooling effect the Polenta had with the Bam of the saucy meatballs but if the constant attention to Polenta causes you grief this would be just as delicious over rice, mashed potatoes, couscous, risotto; you get the point the meat balls just need a bed to lay on so they don’t roll off your plate.








What’s Green All Over and Low in Calories?

Traditionally the tasty treat on St. Patrick’s Day is a hearty Corn Beef & Cabbage and I have found a really fantastic recipe for this. Tyler Florence, Corn beef & Cabbage

In my house however it’s not a favorite of anyone but me. So this year I was thinking green and low calorie and came up with this tasty recipe. Split Pea Soup Just 304 calories compared to other recipes that can add up to 500+ in calories.  Since the holiday falls in the middle of the week a little prep work is required so that when you and your family hit the door after a long week this hearty, warm and welcoming soup is ready to go with just a few minor prepping details. I rinsed and drained my peas over the weekend as well as cut up all my veggies. Thursday morning before I leave the house I’ll just have to toss everything into the Crock-Pot and out the door I go. When I get home all I’ll have to do is hit it with the immersion blender and my very GREEN dinner is table ready. Happy St. Patrick’s day

Split Pea Soup

BUSYGAL - WIN_20160215_093158

Servings: 8 Calories: 304 Fat: 4g Protein: 22g Carbs: 45g

1 lb dried green split peas, rinsed and drained
1 lg or 2 small Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced (reserve peelings)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped.
5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
2 lbs ham hocks
6 cups beef broth (or a combination of water and broth totaling 6 cups)

Combine all ingredients into a crock pot, set LOW for 8 hours
Remove ham hocks, remove any meat from bones, discard bones
Remove bay leaf and discard
Using an immersion blender, blend soup, adding additional water until desired consistency. Do not over blend, you want to leave some texture. If you don’t have an immersion blender- get one Amazon has this super great Red one that I love, they are awesome.  But you can use a potato masher heck even a fork will do the trick. You just want to mash it up a bit. I don’t recommend putting the hot soup in your blender- Yikes this will make quite a mess.  Add the ham reserved from the bones and serve it up.

Subsitute – If you don’t have a ham hock- I just happen to have save one in the freezer from our Thanksgiving Ham, but I’ve also made this using precooked diced ham. just add it after you’ve blended it.  Just a good. Sour cream would be a great topping but don’t forget to add those calories… Trust me this is amazing without it.

Bonus: You might be tempted to toast up some crusty bread to dip, but save those calories and carbs for dessert and try using the peelings from the potatoes… Put them in zip top bag, add a drizzle of olive oil, s & p and toss. Then lay out the peelings on a baking sheet and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 5-7 min. Yum!

What’s for dinner on a Wednesday?

Wednesdays always seem so blah… but if you remembered to thaw out some chicken this morning you are in luck. I just posted my Lemon Dill Chicken recipe and it’s only going to take you about 20 mins to get this on the table and into your belly when you get home tonight. Super low calories; just 173, so there is either room for a fresh salad or dessert depending on how good you’ve been today. Let me know what you think.




Servings: 4 Calories: 173 Fat: 6g Protein: 24g Carbs: 3 g

4 boneless Chicken Breast
3tbs olive oil
¼ cup onions, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1 cup chicken broth, reduced sodium
2 tsp flour
2 tbs dill, chopped fresh, divided
1 tbs lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Season chicken breast on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1 ½ tsp oil in large heavy skillet over med high heat. Add the chicken and sear until well browned on both sides. About 3 min per side. Transfer to plate, cover with foil. Reduce heat to med. Add remaining 1 ¼ tsp oil to pan, warm slightly. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring for 1 min. Whisk broth, flour 1tbs dill and lemon juice in a bowl and then add to pan. Cook whisking until slightly thickened about 3 min. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan; reduce heat to low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through about 4 min. Transfer the chicken back to pan and season sauce with additional salt and pepper. Spoon over the chicken. Top with remaining 1 tbs of dill.