Meatballs in a creamy lemon and pesto sauce…

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…say what! Yum is you should all be saying. This is a rich sauce because of the olive oil. Such a healthy fat, you can indulge with none of the guilt and all of the pleasure. Serve with lightly sauteed, steamed or roasted veggies and/or over brown rice, GF pasta, polenta, quinoa or amarynth.

Meatballs in a creamy lemon and pesto sauce:

1 pound of extra lean ground beef, chicken breast or turkey breast (or some combo, organic, local and grass fed)

4 tsp olive oil, divided

1/3 medium sized onion, diced

1 Tbl fresh parsley, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 pinch of oregano

1 tsp each real salt and pepper (plus more to season the sauce to taste with)

2 Tbl GF panko breadcrumbs (to make healthier, substitute brown rice, amarynth, quinoa, almond meal)

1/8 c fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 c almond milk, plain and unsweetened

1 Tbl homemade basil pesto or fresh chopped basil

 

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2) Heat 2 tsp of oil in a oven safe pan that has a tight fitting lid. Then add the onions on medium/high heat. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Next add the garlic. Saute for 2-3 more minutes. Add the breadcrumbs (or grain) and brown for 2-3 more minutes. Transfer to a glass or stainless bowl to cool.

3) Once mixture is cool, add the meat, oregano, parsley and s and p. Form into meatball size (2 inch rounds, a little bigger than a golf ball).

4) Go back to the original pan (no need to clean it after sauteing the onion etc. Lots of flavor there that you want to keep). Heat up 2 tsp oil on medium/high heat. Brown the meatballs for about 3 minutes before flipping to another side. Brown 2 sides of each. Then add 3/4 c water.

5) Cover and put in the oven. Back about 15 minutes until meat is cooked.

6) Take the meatballs out of the pan. It will have lovely dripping and liquid. Add lemon juice. Reduce on a simmer for about 5 minutes. You will notice it starts reducing. Add the basil or pesto and continue to simmer for a few minutes so the flavors can blend.

7) Whisk in 1/4 c of the milk until it’s incorporated, about 5 minutes then add the remaining milk while whisking for a few more minutes. Season with s and p as you like.

8) Return the meatballs to the pan. Get the sauce all around them and simmer for 3 -5 more minutes.

9) Serve with veggies and over a grain, pasta, polenta…whatever you like. Enjoy!!!

 

 

 


Lentil and Veggie Soup

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This is a hit! Always warming, tasty and satisfying. The trick to making soup is making your own stock (recipe  listed as an earlier blog entry). It’s very easy and full of nutrition!

Lentil and Veggie Soup:

2 Tbl olive oil (or canola)

1 each carrot, celery, onion, zucchini, diced

1/2 onion, diced

7 shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp chopped garlic

1/2 c chopped broccoli rabe (regular will work also)

1 cup lentils, rinsed

1 tsp each cumin, coriander and paprika

1 1/2 c chopped kale

4-6 c stock

1-2 tsp salt and pepper each, taste as you go

3 Tbl fresh chopped parsley, optional

1/2 pound of chicken sausage or sprouted tofu/tempeh, optional

 

Directions:

1) Heat oil. Add onions and all spices including 1 tsp salt and pepper. Saute  for 3 minutes.. This toasts the spices. Also, a culinary fact (and my nonna also always said this) is that you need the salt and pepper from the beginning. This is how you bloom the  flavors. You will adjust seasoning at the end also, but you always need to have some at the start.

2) Add garlic. Saute for 2 minutes. Add lentil and the remaining veggies (and protein if you want). Keep stirring. This is browning, toasting and coating. Flavors are getting to know each other. House is warming. Digestive juices are flowing!!! Do this at medium heat for about 5-10 minutes.

3) Add stock. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 45-60 minutes until everything is cooked. Adjust flavors. Add chopped parsley if you have it.

4) Enjoy!