Thursday, April 19, 2012

Meatball Mayhem...

Don't you just love Meatballs?  I mean, seriously, how creative are they....  Asian, Southwestern, name it!  Not too mention the variety of meats you can use for your meatballs; ground turkey, chicken, pork, beef, venison, lamb, and even salmon.  I have been in a meatball making mood (say that 3 times fast, Lol) in our kitchen.  They freeze so well and are so flexible as being anything from appetizers, lunch, or dinner.  I love making up a large batch of meatballs and storing them in the freezer for a rainy or super busy day.  I can serve them on an Udi's hot dog bun for a sandwich, toss into a fresh salad, serve over rice, or the quintessential pasta..  The other day, I surprised my daughter by making an asian-style sandwich for her lunch box, topped with a quick asian salad.  It looked so good that my son wanted one as well.

Asian-Style Meatballs
I used 1 lb of organic ground turkey
1 healthy tbs of my garlic-ginger paste (recipe idea I got from Aarti's Party on Food Network)
3 dashes or to taste of Try Me Tiger Sauce (available at WalMart)
1 egg
1/4 cup Glutino Bread Crumbs
2 dashes or to taste of Coconut Secret Soy-Free Soy Sauce
1 green onion minced
Millet flour - as needed to make mixture dry enough to handle...

Place all ingredients in a large bowl, remove rings, push up sleeves, and get to mixing with those hands!  When mixture is just combined, add Millet flour as needed to allow mixture to be dry enough to roll into the ball size of your choice.  I place all on a platter and put in refrigerator at least 20 minutes to firm-up.  To my large skillet I drizzle my roasted garlic oil and turn to medium heat.  When skillet is hot, I add my meatballs.  Brown on both sides, turn skillet to low heat (almost off), and cover with lid.  Let the meatballs finish their cooking process by steaming to maintain their tenderness.  They steam for 10-15 minutes or so, and then you're ready to serve however you would like.  I used my Udi's hot dog buns for a sandwich, topped with a quick asian slaw of daikon, carrots, cilantro, a touch of sesame oil, fresh sesame seeds, and a little rice wine vinegar.  Toss really well and serve on top.

I also love experimenting with different sausages to make meatballs.  There are a lot of allergy-friendly options out there, you just gotta search for them!  How about a jalapeno cheddar chicken sausage for southwestern style meatballs served with rice and black beans?  Or a greek-style lamb meatball tossed into your favorite greek salad; the family really enjoys this.  I'm getting them to eat salad for dinner and the meatballs add a bit of fun and fullness to their meal.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Farm to Lunch Table... Lunch Options

I'm always getting asked about what our daughter takes to school for lunch, so I thought I would share some of our favorites..

What she ALWAYS has in her Lunchbox...
yogurt (always a healthy option, especially for sensitive tummies)
fruit (bananas, cuties, blueberries, apples...she always has 1 or 2 of these..)
fresh veggies (cherry/grape tomatoes, celery, bell pepper slices..these are great with a dip or hummus.)

What she SOMETIMES has in her Lunchbox...
hummus (there are a lot of premade allergy-friendly varieties or it's just as simple to make your own..)
suntella (my recipe to come....  a homemade version using sunflower seed butter)
chicken ( I change it up by making a batch of nuggets and also grill chicken legs, this way she's getting options.)
pizza (either udi's crust or homemade... I'll make a buffalo chix or veggie pizza every couple of weeks or so..)
baba ganoush (it's a roasted eggplant dip... I buy premade at Whole Foods and also make. Lots of FLAVOR
go picnic (an allergy-friendly lunchable..LOVE these, just wish there were more to choose from...)
LEFTOVERS...(if we have taco night, I automatically set aside 2 shells for her to make for school.  Leftover fried rice is a winner as well!)

Our elementary school is WONDERFUL about allowing us to have a microwave for her use only.  They understand that she can't just bring a ham sandwich and a bag of chips to school (as if I'd let her...)!  My son is 2 years older and in Middle School, I love his responses when I ask him what he had for lunch.  He often says he didn't eat any vegetables because they looked as if they came out of a can.  He cracks me up!  It's amazing at what kids get used to....   I am so lucky to have kiddos that look forward to what we're bringing to the table, literally.  They have grown up working in gardens, milking our goats (yes, really), and gathering eggs in the evening.  I am blessed to be able to provide them with a true farm to table lifestyle....