Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pasta and Meatballs Meatloaf

(adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)

Pasta and Meatloaf - two very basic and staple meals in this household... you can imagine how wowed I was when I stumbled upon this mash up of mini meat loaves stuffed with pasta and then placed on a huge piece of garlic bread.  Oh holy delicious! I had to make it and did and we ate until our bellies burst. It was absolutely easy to make and you should really give it a go. Really really.


1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/2  Cup dried penne pasta
3 Hoagie buns - make sure you find wide ones. I wasn't able
    to so I found a wide fresh baguette loaf from the bakery,
    which worked fantastically.
1  Medium onion (chopped)
3  Garlic cloves (minced)
2  Eggs
3/4  Cup milk
2/3  Cups fine dry italian bread crumbs
1/4  Cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 Cup pasta sauce
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Shaved parmesan cheese
Garlic Butter

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Boil the penne noodles, drain and set aside to cool.
  3. Cut each bread roll into half (for a total of 6 individual pieces).
  4. In a skillet, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Medium heat.
  5. In a bowl, combine the eggs and milk - whisk gently.  
  6. Next add the bread crumbs, bread crumbs and grated parmesan cheese.
  7. Fold in the ground beef and cooked pasta.
  8. Form six mini loaves. Don't worry about them being perfect The mixture will be soft and lumpy.
  9. Place the loafs on a baking pan (cookie sheet) and bake uncovered for 25-30 mins or until completely cooked thru.
  10. Butter the bread with the garlic butter and bake for 10 mins or until golden brown.
  11. While the bread is baking, heat up the pasta sauce.
  12. Spread sauce on each slice of bread, sprinkle with some shaved parmesan then top with a meat loaf. Sprinkle some more shaved parmesan and garnish with parsley.
  13. Serve with a side of pasta sauce for dipping.

Its that easy! Make pasta, make meatloaf, make garlic bread. Put it all together and Mmmmmm.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Avocado, Pineapple Banana Shake


1/2 Cup Almond Milk
1/2 Avocado
2 Cups Spinach
1 Banana
1/2 Cup Pineapple
Juice of 1 Lemon (3tbs)
1 Cup Ice
1tbs Minced Ginger (optional)

Put the spinach and almond milk in the blender first. You'll want to be sure you've tightly packed your cup of spinach, get all that good stuff in there. Once you've blended that down, add everything but the ice. Blend again for just a few moments and then add the ice. Blend to desired texture.

This one isn't bad at all. I added the mince ginger but I think from here on out, I'll leave it out. I've decided I'm not too fond of tasting ginger in my smoothie - don't get me wrong, I like ginger... just not in my smoothie. BUT if you like it in your smoothie, its good for you, so put it in... or don't... but certainly no more than the 1 tablespoon because then you'll just have a ginger smoothie.

As for the pineapple - I totally cheated and used one of those small 8oz cans of crushed pineapple (or at least I think it was 8oz...whatever the smallest can size is).  Its what I had in a pinch and it worked just find. Saved me the cutting and mess too.

This smoothie was very filling, tasty enough, but again.. the ginger wasn't my friend, but don't let that keep you from trying it.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Antioxidant Cheers!

1 Cup Kale
1/2 Cup Pomegranate Juice
2 Cups of Frozen Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries
1/2 Cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt

Blend your kale and juice first. Add the rest.

Did you know, that Kale has more iron per calorie than beef AND its high in fiber. Its true!

In fact, dark leafy greens have more nutrients per calorie than most foods and are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins (like K, C, E, and B), minerals (think iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium),  and phytonutrients (like beta-carotene, lutein). I mean, that alone should be enough for you to go for it. 

And here's a tip.. it blends out green but then when you add the berries, it turns purple - and that means, no turned up noses at the table because they are too busy slurping up this purple goodness.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunshine Smoothie

Well doesn't this look tropical.  I decided I'd attempt fancy today. I think I just surprised myself at my capabilities.. Ok, I know its a fairly simple thing, anyone can do it. But, I've never done it..and I did it! So that means you can too!

1/2 of an 8oz can of crushed pineapple
1 Banana
1/2 Cup Frozen Strawberries
1/4 cup Mango-Peach Juice
2 tbs Honey

For the first layer, you'll want to blend your yellows. The banana and pineapple (with juice it comes in). If its too thin, add another banana.  Add the two spoons of honey.
Set aside.

For the second layer, blend the mango-peach juice with your strawberries. You may opt to add more strawberries if you feel its not enough. If you need it to be looser, add more juice.

Next, pour your yellow smoothie in a tall glass.
Then, SLOWLY pour your strawberry mixture. You want to do this slow so it stays somewhat separate.  Garnish with a strawberry and serve!

NOTE: you'll want to be sure the consistency of each layer is more thick than thin so that it stays separate. So add more or less of any of the ingredients as you see fit. Adding ice will also thicken it up if you are in a bind.

Pretty in Pink

Mmmm, look how pink this smoothie looks! A blend of random things found in my fridge, this was absolutely yummy, and you should make it or miss out.

1 Avocado
1 Cup Frozen Strawberries
1 Apple
1 Banana
1 Yoplait (or whatever brand) Cherry Cheesecake Yogurt (single serving size)
1/2 Cup Pomegranate Juice

You can most definitely use fresh strawberries if you have them, and just add ice at the end to get the slushy smoothie consistency.  Add more or less juice (depends on you, but start with less and work your way up).

The yogurt, you can use whatever you have. This was just what I found in my fridge.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Basic Smoothie

1 Cup Spinach
2 Bananas
1 Cup Frozen Strawberries
1/2 Cup Grape/Apple Juice

Fairly basic.  Blend the juice and spinach together first. Always do this first. It just makes it better Easier.  Then add the remaining ingredients.  Add more juice if you want it looser. Add ice if you want it slushier.  Thats it!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

My New Blender

So I got this awesome blender for Christmas. I've been begging for a blender since I started this whole cooking adventure, and finally..... my whining has been heard and I received The Ninja Master Prep Professional Food & Drink Maker.   I've decided I'm going to blend the hell out of the kitchen, starting with smoothies. I'm going to go on a smoothie binge, just watch.  For one, every single day that I was in Vietnam visiting family, I had fresh smoothies every day. I miss that. Secondly, a healthy, delicious, filling breakfast in a cup, on the go?? I  mean really.. who can argue with that. This'll be the perfect way to get fruits and vegetables all in one little cup and feel like i'm having a sweet treat the whole time.   Plus i'm getting really bored of boring english muffins and oatmeal for breakfast...

Behold..the fancy, inexpensive, awesome Ninja. It comes with four different containers for your various needs. Storage lids, sharp blades (i've already cut myself), and probably my only complaint is that now I need to find a place to store all those containers. Otherwise, I love it!  But if you are concerned with space, there are other Ninja systems, with just one pitcher.  Anyways, enough of this. I'm not here to advertise, I'm just excited I finally got a blender. :-)

I'd tell you how I made this but honestly, I have no idea. I was just so blender happy I started throwing random things in it. This is a blend of coffee, ice, peanut butter, bananas, and chocolate chips, topped with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles.   I'm pretty sure its not too difficult to reproduce and you really should because holy yum!