Archive for Main Dish

Sriracha Marinara with Turkey Meatballs

This is based on a Martha Stewart recipe. I changed the meatballs a bit and increased the ingredients so there are a whole bunch to freeze.

2 lb Ground Turkey
16 oz frozen chopped spinach (I get the loose kind in a bag and throw it in the food processor while frozen to chop it up super fine)
2/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 tsp dried garlic
2 tsp dried onion
2 eggs

1 diced onion
2 coves minced garlic
1/8-1/4 cup Sriracha
2 large cans crushed tomatoes
salt & pepper to taste

1 lb cooked pasta (I like thin spaghetti)

Mix all ingredients. Shape into 1″ balls. I use a cookie scoop because I don’t like toughing raw meat. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Freeze about half of the meatballs and for next time.


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Turkey Chili

Super yummy and super easy. I usually make a double batch and freeze it in meal sized containers. It’s better the second day or when you unthaw it because all the ingredients get a chance to mingle and become friends (kind of like the second season of Seinfeld vs. the first).

1 tsp Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, Chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Lb Ground Turkey
1-2 Green Peppers, Chopped
2 Cans (28 oz) Diced Tomatoes
1 Can (40.5 oz) Kidney Beans (do not drain) – if I’m making a double batch, I will use one can dark and one can light
1 Can (15 oz) Pinto Beans (do not drain)
1 tsp Dijon or Stadium Mustard
1 tsp Cumin (ground, whole or 1/2 + 1/2)
2 tsp Chili Powder
2 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
3 Bay Leaves
½ tsp Black Pepper

Sautee onions & garlic. Add meat and cook until done. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for about 1 hour. Eat.

Other than opening a lot of cans, it doesn’t get any easier than that, does it?

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Crockpot Moroccan Chicken


I work from a home-based office, so I’ve been trying to find good crockpot recipes. Most of them are not really all that great no matter what the promise was. This, however, is pretty tasty and probably fairly low-cal. I combined a couple of recipes and my own incredible culinary skills 🙂 I can whip it together on my lunch break, and by dinner time it’s ready to eat. Win.

2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp salt
6 chicken breasts cut into pieces
olive oil
1 medium onion cut into 1/2″ wedges
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp ground ginger
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup diced prunes (or try raisins)

Serve on rice, couscous, or quinoa.

Mix first four spices in a large container that you can seal tight. Add chicken and shake it up to coat. In a large skillet, heat olive oil, add chicken and cook until it starts to brown (don’t cook it all the way, that’s the crockpot’s job). In the meantime, add onion, garlic and ginger to the bottom of the crockpot. Add chicken. Top with tomatoes, chickpeas, and prunes. Turn on crockpot and get your butt back to work. Cook on high for about 4 hours, low for about 8 hours (I’m guessing here). Stir it an hour or so before serving to mix everything together.

This makes a large pot, so invite your neighbors over. I made 3 cups of rice and that seemed to balance well.

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Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

Just when you thought I exhausted all the possibilities of Things Based on Meatloaf, I came up with this beauty. I think this was my first time making stuffed peppers and they turned out really good. I added sliced eggplant and red peppers from our garden around the peppers and served it with cornbread.

4 large bell peppers of your favorite color
1 jar spaghetti sauce (I used a tasty organic vodka sauce)

1/3 cup rice
1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg
1 tbs. dried onion
1 tsp. dried garlic
3 tbs. ketchup

Cook rice and 2/3 cup water. Mix all filling ingredients. Clean peppers, cut off top and core. Place in a casserole dish and fill with meat mix. . Microwave for about 5 minutes to start heating. Poor sauce around peppers and bake at 375 degrees for one hour.

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Spaghetti & Meatballs

Another family favorite from the series “Things Based on Meat Loaf.”

Meatballs Ingredients
1 lb. ground turkey (feel free to substitute beef, I only cook with turkey)
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg
1 tbs. dried onion
1/2 tbs. dried garlic
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3 tbs. ketchup

Other Ingredients
Box of spaghetti
Jar of sauce – look for a really tasty pre-made sauce, you’d be surprised how much better some are

Mix all meatball ingredients. Shape into 1.5″ balls (I have a cookie scooper that works really well so you don’t have to touch any of the nasty). Either fry in olive oil on the stove or bake. Baking is easier, but frying is tastier. To bake, place on lightly oiled cookie sheet and bake at 400 for 3o minutes or until brown. To fry, well, you can figure that out, but use olive oil because it’s yummier. Add cooked meatballs to heated sauce.

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Swedish Meatballs


The next entry in the series “Things Based on Meat Loaf.” Ohhhh, yeah, I’m adding pictures to the blog! Raw meat is a great place to start.

Meatballs Ingredients
1 lb. ground turkey (feel free to substitute beef but I claim no responsibility if it doesn’t work out for you)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
2 tbs. dried onion
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce

Sauce Ingredients
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce

Mix all meatball ingredients. Shape into 1″ balls (I have a cookie scooper that works really well so you don’t have to touch any of the nasty). Place on lightly oiled cookie sheet and bake at 400 for 2o minutes. While that is baking mix all sauce ingredients and microwave for 5-10 minutes until boiling. Add cooked meatballs, cover and bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes. Serve over buttered noodles.

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Turkey Meat Loaf

I’ve been neglecting this blog for a while, so I’m starting a new series titled “Things Based on Meat Loaf.” First entry… Meat Loaf!

On a side note, I don’t eat beef. Leftover habit from my obligatory Art History major vegetarianism from undergrad school. I don’t have any problem with it, I just don’t eat it. You can certainly substitute ground beef for any of these recipes. I add a little extra spicing which maybe you’d want to cut down on?? I don’t know, it’s been well over 20 years since I tasted beef.

2 lbs. ground turkey
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 tsp. garlic
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/3 cup ketchup

Worcestershire sauce & ketchup

Mix all ingredients, shape into a ball, dump in a baking pan, bake at 350 for about an hour. Voilá, meat loaf. I like to make baked potatoes with it because they take an hour in the oven too. It’s like God is telling you these things belong together isn’t it? My baked potatoes are pretty amazing, rub them in oil and sprinkle kosher salt on both sides. Ten years in restaurants I had to learn something useful. Oh, don’t forget to spread the topping on the meat loaf for the last 5-10 minutes.

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Momma Dross’ Jungle Stew

A lovely submission from our friend Jeff Dross.


  • 1lb ground beef – I like it best if about 80% lean. The 90%+ beef doesn’t have enough fat and the meal tastes dry (Yes, I am aware that fat is not healthy). Editor’s note: see Fatty Foods and Alcohol for suggestions on counteracting the effects of unheathly eating.
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • oregano
  • black pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 28oz can tomatoes (I like the diced, whole can be used, but should be cut up a bit when added to the pan)
  • 1 beef bouillon cube (Yes, I know it’s filled with sodium. Just use it!)


Brown the ground meat in a large pan (that has an accompanying cover) along with the chopped onions, black pepper and oregano. Reduce the heat to low once the pink has disappeared.

Flatten the ground meat in the pan and pour the uncooked elbow macaroni evenly over the top of the ground beef. Spread the can of tomatoes (and any can juice) evenly over the top of the macaroni. DO NOT MIX. DO NOT POUR FAST. You want to trap the dried macaroni between the moist meat and the wet tomatoes. Now, the pièce de résistance, stuff the bouillon cube into the tomatoes at the center top of the assembly.

Cover the pan and cook on the stove top for about 45 minutes. Keep the heat low, or the beef will stick to the bottom of the pan and result in a burnt taste to the completed dish. Mix the ingredients before serving.

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I Made Some Pretty Good Chicken the Other Night

– 2 Chicken breasts
– 1/2 cup of white wine
– Tablespoon or so of Butter/Margarine
– Teaspoon-ish of Dijon Mustard
– Little bit of Lemon Juice

Melt butter in pan. Add in wine, mustard, and lemon juice. Once it’s all good and hot and mixed, toss in the chicken and sear over high heat. Then, turn down the heat to medium and cover so it cooks through. Check after 8-10 minutes to make sure it’s not still pink in the middle. If it is, obviously keep cooking. The last step is crank the heat back up to high and take the lid off for just about 2 minutes, just to give the outside some color. Be careful with this last step because the liquid will splatter at high heat. And by be careful, I mean wear something with sleeves. You’ve been warned.

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“Nothing’s Easier than Ham” Ham

This is how my grandma’s southern family fixes a ham. This is the fall off the bone kind of ham. I don’t even eat red meat and I think this looks pretty good.


Wrap in foil shinny side in. Roast at 275 for 4 or more hours, the longer the better. I think you can go up to about 8. You really can’t screw it up.

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