Prep2eat

December 10, 2014

Vegetable Soup With Turkey Meatballs & Rice

Filed under: Food, foodblogs, Meals, Meat, Soup — Tags: , , , , , , — prep2eat @ 10:54 am
Hearty, Spicy Vegetable Soup

Hearty, Spicy Vegetable Soup

My spicy vegetable soup is a tomato base with vegetable options of the day, but usually begins with a  sauté in canola oil on medium-high heat of onions, celery and carrots.

In the photo above, I added 1/2 cup of brown rice, stirring along with the vegetable sauté,  following with a 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes (low sodium), two cups chicken broth (low sodium) and 2-1/2 cups of cold water. Stirring often with a wooden spoon, I bring the mixture to a rolling boil with the lid on the pot and then turn down the heat to a low setting.

Adding flavor begins after the soup boil with about one tablespoon of Kosher salt and one-half teaspoon of crushed black pepper. This is the time I add dry spices of choice, optional for using all, such as a quarter-teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, quarter-teaspoon each of smoked paprika, chili powder, cinnamon, turmeric and cumin. Choose spices and amounts for your soup depending on personal taste.

Cooking the soup covered on low heat setting for about 30 – 45 minutes allows flavors to blend and the rice to cook. Most times, more Kosher salt is added after tasting at the end of cooking. Add small amount, stir, taste and repeat until the soup is pleasing for your tastebuds. Sometimes, a small amount of sugar added slowly takes a bitter taste from the canned tomatoes. This is all personal taste at the finish of the soup.

The protein of choice for this meal in the photo is ground turkey meatballs. The meatballs can be baked on a lined cookie sheet with a rim or cooked in a large frying pan with some canola oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook over a medium heat on the stove or at 350 degrees F. in the oven until the meatballs are cooked fully and browned.

Serving the vegetable soup with rice included and adding the small turkey meatballs completes a hearty, spicy meal-in-a-bowl. Adding small soup crackers and/or a toasted piece of crusty bread turns this meal into satisfying comfort on cold winter days.

Option: if dairy is tolerable, shave some melting cheese on top of your bowl of soup, such as fontina or gruyere. Delicious.

October 9, 2014

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Filed under: Food, Food blog, Homemade, Meals — Tags: , , , , , — prep2eat @ 4:38 pm

Our weather in New England is cool and crisp on most days now in October. This is our Autumn or Fall Season. Our trees turn from green leaves to orange, red, and yellow leaves before gently falling in piles to the ground. A gusty wind sometimes hurries the process.

People in New England prepare hearty soups and stews with colors to match the season with different Fall vegetables. We dress in layers and our taste buds long for richer flavors to warm our tummies.

Today I wanted to make an old favorite meatball recipe. I gathered my ingredients on hand and realized I did not have apricot preserves but I did have a jar of wild blackberry preserves. I knew a version of this recipe had been made with Concord grape jelly, so I was pretty sure the seedless wild blackberry preserves would blend in nicely into the sauce.

Sometimes playing with flavors enhances a special dish to wake up the taste buds and we enjoy a new favorite recipe.

Here is the original recipe I have for Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Cook for 1 hour in a covered pot (depends on the size of the meatballs)

1 lb ground beef (prepared as your favorite meatball recipe)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1 tsp green tomato relish
Raisins, a small handful (optional)

Updates:

1/2 cup wild blackberry preserves (omitting the apricot preserves)

The Cooking Process:

Large bowl
Large platter
Fork
Wooden spoon
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Large pot with matching lid
Large serving bowl
Large serving spoon
Oven mitts

Prepare the ground beef and roll into small or medium balls.
Into the uncooked ground beef, mix in one beaten egg, 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup Worcestchire Sauce, 1 tsp Kosher salt, 1/2 tsp crushed black pepper, and 1 cup Panko bread crumbs or more to allow the ground beef mixture to gently form a ball. Set the uncooked, prepared meatballs aside on a platter.

Put the large pot on the stove and add the water, chili sauce, preserves, tomato relish and raisins.
Turn the heat under the pot to medium high temperature until the mixture bubbles, about 2-3 min. and stir the bubbling mixture with a wooden spoon.
Gently add one meatball at a time and cover the pot.
Turn the bubbling sauce mixture down to a low temperature and keep covered.
Lift the cover to gently stir the half-cooked meatballs around in the sauce.
Continue to cook the meatballs in the sauce until the meat color turns from pink to brownish and the meatballs are firm.

Serve the cooked meatballs over your choice of grain, white or brown rice or quinoa.

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November 6, 2013

Baked Haddock

Filed under: Cook, Fish, Food, Healthy, Meals — Tags: , , , , , — prep2eat @ 9:05 am
Fresh fish, Haddock

Fresh fish, Haddock

Preparing fresh fish is truly stress-free. Knowing where to purchase fresh fish is important, trusting the source and knowing it got to market as soon as possible. As a consumer, ask questions about where the fish came from, how long has it been in the food display and ask to smell the piece of fish you intend to purchase. A fresh piece of fish has no smell, it should not smell like fish!!! Hint: if you smell an odor like ammonia just around the fish counter, walk away, don’t bother buying fish there.

The simplicity of preparing this healthy fish meal is a relief, knowing I can quickly serve a lean protein meal for my family and be satisfying to our taste buds.

What you will need:
Fresh haddock, about one pound for two to three people.
Medium baking dish
Olive oil, about 3 tbs. or (butter for enhanced flavor, more calories)
Panko crumbs or plain bread crumbs, about 1/4 cup
Salt and crushed black pepper, enough to sprinkle over fish
Pot holders
Large spatula

How to prepare this recipe:
Baking rack should be in the middle of the oven. Preheat setting of the oven should be 400 degrees F.

Put the fresh haddock in a baking dish
Put a little olive oil down the top center of the fish
Sprinkle Panko crumbs (or bread crumbs) on top of the olive oil
Salt and ground pepper on top of the fish (optional)

Put the baking dish with the prepared fish into the oven at 400 degrees F. for about 15-20 minutes or until fish looks white, browned on top and flakes easily.

Serving time

Serving time

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