Italian Wedding Soup

I haven’t been very good over the last year or so about making healthy choices, but I’m working on changing that. I’m trying to use my wedding as a motivator to get back into an exercise routine and to eat better. Scott and I went through some light recipes and each picked out some we’d like to try. Portion sizes are a bit of an issue too. When you’re making all this yummy food and there’s only two to eat it, it’s easy to just keep eating.  So here’s the first recipe he picked, and it was a great choice. This was a hearty soup with a lot of color and flavor. Even though I probably could have eaten a second bowl I am proud to say I stopped at one and don’t feel like I missed out!

3/4 lb ground beef or ground turkey
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/4 milk
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 large egg
salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients until well blended. Shape tablespoonfuls into 24 walnut-size meatballs. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat; add meatballs and cook until well browned, about 6-8 minutes. Remove to a plate, reserving 2 tbsp of the drippings.
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced carrot
4 cloves garlic, through the press
7 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (I couldn’t find these so I used great northern beans)
1/4 cup ditalini pasta
1/2 lb Swiss Chard, stems chopped and leaves torn into bite size pieces
2 tbsp chopped oregano
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese

Heat reserved drippings from meatballs in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat; add the onions, carrots and garlic. Cook 2 minutes, stirring; reduce heat to low, cover pot, and cook for 10 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Stir in meatballs, beans, pasta, chard and oregano and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Whisk eggs with some of the hot broth; remove soup from heat and stir in egg mixture. Let stand covered until egg sets. Serve garnished with parmesan cheese.

This makes quite a bit of soup, about 8 servings, but I will freeze some and sure won’t mind eating the leftovers! 🙂
– Jodi

Spaghetti and Meatballs

I started out the day intending to open a jar of spaghetti sauce and make some meatballs to dress it up a bit. Patricia continues to push me to make more things from scratch, so when I told her my plan she of course was opposed. She told me I could make the sauce myself. She also happily provided me a few key ingredients I didn’t have on hand. 🙂

Once again she was right. Not only did it taste great, I also got to use some of the herbs I’ve been growing and a home grown tomato I’ve been waiting for an excuse to use. I’ll include my ingredients here but the measurements are not exact – I just added things until I liked the taste. I’m more the type of person to follow a recipe to a T, but I’m learning to cook more by taste and come up with my own variations.

This recipe made quite a bit! Since there are only two in my household, I froze the leftovers to eat again another time. 

– Jodi

1 lb ground beef
12 oz italian sausage
1 egg
1 tsp mustard
1/2 cup onion
1/4 grated parmesan cheese mix
1/2 cup bread crumbs (Patricia says used crushed Cheez-its)
fresh basil, chives, parsley (about 1 tbsp)

Mix throughly and form into 2 tbsp balls, about 34. Bake at 350 for 30-35 min until cooked through.

3 cans tomato sauce
1 medium tomato, cut up
3 cloves of garlic
3/4 cup onion
1 small can black olives
fresh basil, chives, parsley 

Stir to combine ingredients. Simmer on stove or in crockpot with meatballs until heated through or until ready to serve.