Simple Supper: Curried Meatballs

I found this meatball recipe on the Everyday Paleo blog. We love curry around here and I enjoy trying different recipes that use curry. These meatballs are full of flavor and fabulous served alongside some curry-spiced stir-fried veggies. The sauce that coats them is just enough for the meatballs, if you want to serve these over rice or pasta, you may want to double or triple the sauce recipe to allow a little extra yumminess to mix in. ūüôā

CURRIED MEATBALLS
Print This Recipe

1 pound ground beef
1/3 cup finely diced red onion
1/3 cup finely diced apple
1/3 cup quick oats (use certified gluten-free oats for gf)
1 egg
1/2 – 1 Tablespoon curry powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400¬įF. In a large bowl, place all of the meatball ingredients and mix well (if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, I find it best to mix meatball ingredients with your hands). Form into golf-ball sized meatballs and place in a glass baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes. Makes 8-10 meatballs.

CURRY SAUCE

1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup chicken broth

In a large skillet saute the garlic in the coconut oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the honey, curry powder, and tomato paste and whisk together. Add the chicken broth and continue to whisk until the sauce is smooth. Bring to a simmer. After the meatballs come out of the oven, add them to the sauce and turn to coat well. Cover and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.

Weekend Fare: Curried Lentil Soup

This delicious soup was featured in this month’s issue of Bon Appetit. I wished I had doubled the recipe – it was creamy, perfectly spiced, and great for a winter supper. I did not have green onions so we just enjoyed it without. This vegetarian soup would be a wonderful starter for meal or served as¬†the main dish. You could omit the butter for a vegan dish but the addition of the butter took the flavor to a whole new place – so good!

CURRIED LENTIL SOUP – Bon Appetit, December 2010
Print This Recipe

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped, divided
2 tablespoons (or more) curry powder
1 cup French green lentils* (I used regular green) 
4 1/4 cups (or more) water, divided
1 15- to 16-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, rinsed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges

*French green lentils are small, dark green, and speckled with black; they can be found at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add half of chopped garlic; stir until vegetables are soft but not brown, about 4 minutes longer. Add 2 tablespoons curry powder; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add lentils and 4 cups water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Increase heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, puree chickpeas, lemon juice, 1/4 cup water, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and remaining garlic in processor.

Add chickpea puree and butter to lentil soup. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional curry powder, if desired. Add water by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency. DO AHEAD Soup can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Rewarm before continuing.Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle with thinly sliced green onions and serve with lemon wedges.

Weekend Fare: Curried Lentils

I love eating and cooking vegetarian! We probably average 2-3 nights a week of meatless meals. This easy and quick meal (takes under an hour) was popular with the whole family. Lentils are probably my favorite legume and they are quite versatile.

CURRIED LENTILS (adapted from More-with-Less)
Print This Recipe

1 c. lentils
2 1/2 c. beef or vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. salt

Bring to a boil and simmer 20-30 minutes until tender.

1/4 c. butter
1 lg. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
2 Tb. curry powder
2 Tb. lemon juice
chopped parsley

Saute together the butter, onion, and garlic until onions are translucent. Stir in salt and curry powder.  Add cooked lentils with lemon juice and parsley. Makes 4-6 servings.

Serve over rice.

Market Fresh: Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash is my favorite winter squash. I love its mild, sweet taste and its bright orange color. I’ve been noticing the suggestion this fall of using butternut squash puree in place of pumpkin puree in your favorite pumpkin recipes. Sounds like a good idea to me!

Here are some other ideas for butternut squash:

Butternut Tarts with Spinach and Feta make a delicious fall take on quiche.

This Spicy Butternut Curry is a recipe I made several times last fall. Company loved it and, served with brown rice, it is a very healthy meal.

Roasted Sweet and Savory Squash is a quick and easy side dish that mixes fresh herbs, butter, and brown sugar for a winning combination.

Favorite Fall Recipes

In my opinion, fall is one of the best seasons for cooking and eating. Harvest provides the bounty to cook with and hungry appetites, whetted by the cold weather, are eager to devour the fruits of the kitchen. Here are our favorites:

Rustic Apple Tart: I love to make these tarts because they are easier than a pie, and you can get two of them from one recipe of pie crust. Apple pie is a perennial favorite and a must for the autumn.

Spicy Butternut Curry: this was a random selection from a squash cookbook that turned out to be a winner. I served it to company as well as just to our family.

Spiced Cider Punch: We enjoyed this at a friend’s wedding and then used it for parties here at home. It is easy, seasonal, and very delicious.

Roman Apple Cake: This was most likely the first apple recipe I ever made growing up and it has stuck around as my go-to for a comfort cake.

Treacle Scones: these scones are filled with the scents of autumn and perfect for tea time on a windy wet day.

IMG_6692

SAUSAGE LENTIL SOUP: We love this soup –¬†It’s filling and absolutely delicious!

IMG_8430
BEET, GOAT CHEESE, & AVOCADO SALAD: This was such an unexpected and fabulous combination of flavors.

IMG_8165

PUMPKIN DESSERTS: Pretty much anything pumpkin tends to be my favorite! The pumpkin cake, pumpkin bars, and pumpkin cheesecake are all wonderful.

cranberry pie
CRANBERRY CHESS PIE: I stumbled on this recipe a few years ago and it’s become a family favorite.

PUMPKIN PANCAKES & MAPLE BACON: While I didn’t love how the photo turned out, we have continued to return to this pancake recipe.¬† Very fallish!

Weekend Fare: Chicken Curry

We love international cuisine – even our kids enjoy ethnic foods. This is one of our favorite recipes. I served it over rice this time but our absolute favorite way is to have it over mashed sweet potatoes (mashed with a little plain yogurt, salt, and butter). Give it a try! The kids love that they can choose their own toppings.

CHICKEN CURRY
Print This Recipe

2 cooking apples, unpeeled, cored, and diced
1 lg. onion, finely chopped
1-2 Tb. curry powder (according to your taste)
2 Tbs. canola oil
1 tsp. salt
¬ľ tsp. black pepper
2 c. chicken breast, cooked and diced (I bake it or boil it)
1 1/2 c. chicken broth

Sauté apple, onion, and curry powder in oil in skillet until tender and glazed. Season with salt and pepper. Add in cooked chicken and chicken broth and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Serve over cooked brown rice or mashed sweet potatoes (try mashing with a little plain yogurt and salt). Top with raisins, craisins, pineapple tidbits, toasted chopped almonds, plain yogurt, and/or toasted coconut.

6 servings

Off the Shelf: January Magazines

Here are our January magazine reviews! Also this is the last day to enter our calendar giveaway!

EVERYDAY FOOD¬†(Alaina) – This issue is packed full of recipes. It includes several “light” recipes heading into the new year with health and diet resolutions. It also features a great section with citrus recipes. I especially think the Fresh Orange and Yogurt Tart looks wonderful. They also have a nice section on stir-fry!

I decided to try the Chickpea¬†Curry – it’s vegetarian. My older kids thought it was¬†a little too spicy but the youngest really liked it. It has an international flavor and is definitely curry. It was quick and easy to put together. You can serve this by itself or over couscous or rice. I like the addition of the lemon wedge – I squeezed it over right before eating and it added some freshness but was not over-powering.

QUICK CHICKPEA CURRY
(Everyday Food, January/February 2010)

1 Tb. olive oil
1 lg. yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tb. curry powder
1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
ground cloves
2 cans (15-oz. each) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
3 Tb. ketchup
coarse salt and ground pepper
chopped cilantro and lemon wedges (opt.), for serving

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until dark brown around edges about 6 minutes. Add garlic, curry, cinnamon, and pinch of cloves and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add chickpeas, ketchup, 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and 2 c. water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 20 minutes. Uncover and increase heat to medium-high (I removed the cinnamon stick at this time); cook until sauce is lightly reduced, 5 minutes. Serve topped with cilantro, with lemon wedges along-side if desired.

COOKING LIGHT (Alaina) – This issue features quite a number of seafood recipes but it also include a variety of other proteins and main dishes. There are several soups and several vegetarian recipes.

The cover boasts superfast comfort foods and tips for eating healthier in 2010. The photos are (as always!) beautiful and inspiring. The Upside-Down Fudge-Almond Tart looked delicious and¬†I really would like to try the¬†Grown-Up Grilled Cheese.¬†I tried the Carrot Cake Pancakes and they did not disappoint. They were quite good topped with the suggested honey butter and even though it doesn’t keep it quite as light, we added a bit of pure maple syrup drizzled on top. Yum!

CARROT CAKE PANCAKES
(Cooking Light, Januray 2010)

5.6 oz. flour (about 1 1/4 c.)
1/4 c. choppe walnuts, toasted (I didn’t have walnuts so I subbed pecans)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
Dash of ground cloves
Dash of ground ginger
1/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. low-fat buttermilk
1 Tb. canola oil
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 lg. eggs, lightly beaten
2 c. carrot, finely grated (about 1 lb.)

Cooking Spray
3 Tb. butter, softened
2 Tb. honey

Combine flour and next 7 ingredients (through ginger) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine brown sugar and next 4 ingredients (through eggs); add sugar mixture to flour mixture, stirring until just moist. Fold in carrots.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat (I used my electric griddle). Coat pan with cooking spray. Spoon batter by 1/4 c. into mounds in skillet, spreading with a spatula. Cook for 2 min. or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Carefully turn pancakes over and cook 1 min. or until borroms are lightly browned. Repeat until all batter is gone.

Combine buter and honey in a small bowl and serve with pancakes. Yields 12 pancakes (about 6 servings)

FOOD NETWORK (Alaina) – Perhaps the best feature of the January issue is the 50 dips pull-out. They have quite the variety of dips for your next party including several hummus recipes, aiolis, and southwest dips.

I thought their cupcake recipes looked divine. The White Chili With Quick-Roasted Garlic sounded good and as did the Bourbon Praline Cake, the Truffles, and the Hot Wings with Blue Cheese-Yogurt Sauce. If you are hosting a super-bowl party or any kind or party this would be a great issue for you!

I must mention that the section on Fast-Food Fix was quite disappointing to me. It seemed that it would be equivalent, healthy recipes –¬†instead it used drive-through sandwiches and fillings to make different dishes. Not my cup of tea and far too many pages were devoted to it (four). Hopefully they will leave fast-food at the drive-through and come up with some creative alternatives in the future.

BON APPETIT¬†(Heather) – This is Bon Appetit’s “review of the year” issue. In it you will find the dish of the year, cuisine of the year, ingredient of the year, party of the year, desserts of the year, and getaway of the year.

In the “fast, easy, fresh” section you will find a scrumptious looking Chocolate Nut Tart with Dried Fruit, Pork Tenderloin with Pears and Shallots, and Lentil Soup with Spicy Italian Sausage to name a few. Fennel is their ingredient of focus this month, with four recipes to try, including the Spicy Spaghetti with Fennel and Herbs which I tried and loved.

The rest of the magazine is devoted to large and beautiful articles on each of the “of the year” topics, including numerous recipes, complete with gorgeous pictures.

SPICY SPAGHETTI WITH FENNEL AND HERBS
(Bon Appetit, January 2010)
Print this recipe

3 ounces pancetta (or regular bacon)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped or pressed
2 large red jalapeno chiles, seeded, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup) — I omitted these for our family
2 large fennel bulbs, stalks trimmed, cut into thin wedges with some core attached (I used one)
1 1/2 c. low-salt chicken broth
4 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. crushed fennel seeds
1 pound spaghetti
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 c. finely grated Pecorino Romano or Pecorino Toscano cheese, divided

Saute pancetta in large skillet over medium heat until pancetta is golden. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels. Add 1 Tbsp. oil to drippings in skillet. Add garlic and chiles; saute over medium heat 1 minute. Add fennel; cook until beginning to soften, 5 minutes. Mix in broth, 2 Tbsp. parsley, lemon juice, and fennel seeds. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until fennel is very tender, 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta until tender; drain. Reserve 1 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.

Uncover skillet with fennel mixture and return to high heat. Cook until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 4 minutes. Add fennel to pasta. Stir in 2 Tbsp. oil, 1/2 c. cheese, and pancetta. Add cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if dry. Toss pasta; transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp. parsley over. Serve with cheese.

NOTE: Since most of my family does not like very spicy, I omitted the jalapeno chiles and substituted most of the grated Pecorino Romano with 1 c. grated pepper jack cheese. I then just garnished the top of the spaghetti with freshly grated Parmesan. The dish was delicious!

MARTHA¬†STEWART LIVING (Heather) – I don’t often consider reviewing MS Living for this blog because it is more than just a food magazine and often its recipes are a little “over the top.” However, I was delighted to find a number of recipes in this issue which sounded very good and didn’t look that complicated. The first set of recipes comes under the title Dinner in No Time Flat¬†and is a collection of three main dishes based on paillards (pieces of meat that are pounded thin) cooked in a saute pan and finished with a sauce made in the very same pan. Included in the article are Chicken with Lemon Butter Sauce, Pork with Sour Cream-Paprika Sauce, and Veal with Mushroom, Mustard, and Sherry Sauce¬†(for which I may substitute chicken). Cooking paillards in a saute pan is one of my favorite, easy dinners and I can’t wait to try these new versions!

Later on in the magazine there is a whole article devoted to chicken soup, with four options pictured just calling my name to be made. Recipes include Basic Chicken Soup, Thai Chicken Soup, Colombian Chicken Soup, and Spicy Indian Chicken Soup. Immediately following is a helpful article on Fresh Thinking: Organic, Local, Seasonal, meant to help you out when you go to the grocery store. The article includes The Clean 15 and The Dirty Dozen — foods with the lowest pesticide residue and foods with the highest pesticide residue. Of course there are other recipes and articles, including a focus on cabbage, and a menu featuring a hearty winter-vegetable soup with popovers. Yum!

MARY JANES FARM (Heather) – I also wanted to mention a magazine that has just come to my attention this week. Mary Janes Farm dubs itself “the everyday organic lifestyle magazine”. Sort of a Country Living for those interested in organic, simple, and seasonal. It includes a large section on food (this issue¬†includes a great mini-section on an organic, gluten-free valentine’s day), as well as sections on gardening, community, quilting & stitching/crafting, city and town “farming”,¬†and natural home care. Next time you are by a magazine stand, you’ll have to have a look!