Turkey & Veggie Meatloaf

You need to try this recipe. I have never liked meatloaf, but my mom emailed me this recipe promising  it was the absolute best meatloaf. I gave it a try, and I concur.

turkey vegetable meatloaf

The use of turkey makes this healthy and the veggies keep the dish moist. It’s a win-win!

So if you think you don’t like meatloaf, try this one out, you won’t regret it.

___________________________________________________________________________

Turkey & Veggie Meatloaf

Serves 6.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon ground thyme
  • 1/4 cup dried parsley
  • 1 pound ground turkey (I used 94 percent lean)
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Dice the zucchini and bell peppers. Mince the garlic.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
  4. Add zucchini, bell peppers, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are almost soft, about 5-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  5. Whisk an egg, parsley and thyme in a large bowl.
  6. Add the turkey, panko, grated cheese, 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and the cooled vegetables; mix until just combined.
  7. Gently press the mixture into a 9×5 pan.
  8. Mix 1/8 cup ketchup, 1/8 cup barbecue sauce, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes in a small bowl; brush the mixture over the entire loaf.
  9. Bake for 1 hour.
  10. Let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

turkey vegetable meatloaf

Eggplant Casserole with Roasted Red Peppers

I saw Bobby Flay make this over the weekend on Food Network. Hubby and I knew immediately that we would HAVE to try it! And it came out absolutely DELISH!

This dish is a flavorful twist on your ordinary eggplant parmesan and a great alternative to lasagna because it doesn’t have the pasta (yay for being low carb)! It is even BETTER the next day once it has been able to sit and settle.

Eggplant Casserole with Red Pepper Pesto

Eggplant Casserole with Roasted Red Peppers

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

For the Eggplant Casserole

  • 3 eggplants, peeled
  • Olive or canola oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 roasted red peppers, skin and seeds removed (use the jarred variety or make your own)
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped in half
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced (remove excess liquid on paper towel, if you skip this step you will have a watery casserole)
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

For the Breadcrumb Mixture

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

For the Casserole

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Slice the eggplant in 1/2- to 1-inch thick pieces. Lay them on an aluminum foil-covered baking sheet.
  3. Brush the eggplant with olive or canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Turn the slices over and repeat.
  4. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 12 minutes (flip them over about 6 minutes in).
  5. Quarter the red peppers.
  6. Combine the red peppers, pine nuts, garlic, and thyme in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
  7. Add Extra virgin olive oil, parmesan, cayenne, salt and pepper. Puree. Adjust the seasonings to your liking.
  8. Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce into the bottom of a baking dish.
  9. Line the dish with some eggplant, then mozzarella slices. Season with salt, pepper and oregano. Spoon over a few tablespoons of the red pepper sauce.
  10. Place another layer of eggplant, mozzarella, seasoning and sauce until you use all the eggplant.
  11. Top with remaining sauce, mozzarella and goat cheese.
  12. Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and the casserole is hot, about 10 minutes.

For the Breadcrumbs

  1. Heat oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  2. Add paprika and cayenne and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until the crumbs have browned.
  4. Add parsley and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and scatter over the casserole after it has come out of the oven.
  5. Let rest at least 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Eggplant Casserole with Red Pepper Pesto

Bacon & Gouda Mashed Potatoes

I was in search of a mashed potatoes recipe for a party, but wanted something that wasn’t too similar to what everyone would be eating at Thanksgiving, so this recipe Looked perfect. Everyone at the party  was raving about it, so I think it might just replace ordinary Thanksgiving mash from now on 😉

Mashed Potatoes with Gouda and Bacon

Bacon and Gouda Mashed Potatoes

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 5 large scallions, chopped
  • 3 pounds petite red potatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temp
  • 1/3-1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups smoked gouda, grated
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9×13 baking pan.
  3. Cook bacon until desired crispness. Drain on paper towels.
  4. Chop bacon and place in a medium bowl.
  5. Add scallions and toss together.
  6. Place potatoes in a large pot full of salted water. Cover and boil until potatoes are tender. Drain.
  7. Add sour cream, butter, and milk to the pot of potatoes. Mash together until your desired consistency (I like to have some of my potatoes still a bit chunky).
  8. Stir in 1 1/2 cups smoked gouda and 1 cup of the bacon mixture.
  9. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Put all that deliciousness in the baking pan and top with the remaining gouda.
  11. Bake for about 30 minutes, the top should be golden.
  12. Once it’s out of the oven, place the remaining bacon mixture on top before serving.

Enjoy!

Parmesan Crusted Swai with Veggies and Lemon Beurre Blanc

I’m not a huge fan of fish, with the exception of sushi. Don’t ask me why I can eat it raw, but shy away when it’s cooked like a steak. That’s just the way it is. But a few years ago I came across Swai. It’s a type of catfish found in Vietnam. And I adore it. It doesn’t taste like fish at all. I call it chicken with more texture.

Anyway, my hubby had never tried it so I wanted to make it extra special (before today, I have only ever had it pan fried with nothing special added). I came across a recipe for Parmesan Crusted Swai with Mushrooms Artichokes and Spinach and changed it just a bit.

In a large sauce pan, add olive oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until lightly caramelized. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, add garlic powder, roasted red pepper and artichokes, sweat for several minutes just to warm through.
Remove from heat then add spinach and tomato, toss until spinach is lightly wilted (about 1-2 minutes). Come back and put this on low heat when your fish is almost done, so you don’t have cold veggies.

Combine eggs and water. Mix well.

Lightly season the Swai. Dredge lightly in the flour and shake off the excess. Dredge in the egg wash, completely coating the fish. Let excess egg drip off the fish, then press into the grated parmesan, coating the fillet.

In a heavy bottom sauté pan over medium-high heat, add 3 tablespoons olive oil. When the oil is hot, carefully add the fish (be careful not to splatter yourself!). Sauté until golden brown, gently turn, reduce the heat to medium and finish cooking. Remove from pan, pat excess oil away with a paper towel. Hold in warm area (but not on the paper towel… it will stick).

Upon reading the weblink I provided above, I was scared because I had never attempted a beurre blanc sauce before. But it came out wonderful!

Here’s what I did…

In a heavy sauce pan over medium-low heat add oil, wine and lemon juice. Reduce to about 2 tablespoons.

Add cream, reduce by about 2/3, until it is fairly thick. Return to a low simmer, slowly add the butter one cube at a time, whisking constantly. When one butter cube is almost melted add another. When you add the last butter cube, remove pan from the stove and let the heat melt the last cube, whisking constantly. Add honey and sea salt, whisk.

Arrange veggies on the Swai. Pour some lemon beurre blanc over the fish. Dig in!
Happy Eating 😀
P.S. My husband said this is probably the best meal I ever made! I am one happy wifey ❤
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
Parmesan Crusted Swai with Veggies and Lemon Beurre Blanc
Serves 2
Ingredients: 
For the Swai & Vegetables
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, chopped
  • 9 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 3 ounces baby spinach
  • 3 ounces vine ripe tomato, chopped
  • 2 Swai fillets
  • pinch Kosher Salt and fresh ground Black Pepper
  • Flour for dredging
  • 1 egg whisked (for egg wash)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Parmesan Cheese

For the Lemon Beurre Blanc

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cubed into 4 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • pinch of sea salt
Directions:

For the Vegetables

  1. In a heavy bottom sauce pan add the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until lightly caramelized (browned). Season lightly with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the garlic powder, roasted red pepper and artichokes, sweat for several minutes just to warm through.
  2. Remove from heat then add spinach and tomato, toss until spinach is lightly wilted (about 1-2 minutes). Come back and put this on low heat when your fish is almost done, so you don’t have cold veggies.

For the Fish

  1. Combine the eggs and water. Mix well. Lightly season the Swai. Dredge lightly in the flour and shake off the excess. Dredge in the egg wash, completely coating all edges of the fish. Let excess egg drip off the fish, then press into the grated parmesan, coating both the top and bottom of the fillet.
  2. In a heavy bottom sauté pan over medium-high heat, add 3 tablespoons olive oil. When the oil is hot, carefully add the fish, letting the fillets fall away from you (so if grease splatters it will splatter away). Sauté until golden brown, gently turn, reduce the heat to medium and finish cooking. Remove from pan, pat excess oil away with a paper towel. Hold in warm area (but not on the paper towel… it will stick).

For the Lemon Beurre Blanc

  1. In a heavy sauce pan over medium-low heat add the oil, wine and lemon juice. Reduce to about 2 tablespoons. Add the cream, reduce by about 2/3, until it is fairly thick. Return to a low simmer, slowly add the butter one cube at a time, whisking constantly.
  2. When one butter cube is almost melted add another. When you add the last butter cube, remove pan from the stove and let the residual heat melt the last cube, whisking constantly. Add the honey and sea salt, whisk.

Assembly

  1. Arrange veggies on the Swai. Pour some lemon beurre blanc over the fish. Serve immediately.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

I apologize in advance for the lack of photos in this post. My husband and I hosted our housewarming party this past Saturday, so everything was made in a bit of a rush. But once I tried these amazing cupcakes, I knew I had to snap a few photos of the finished product to share with you!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
These cupcakes are so deliciously moist and the frosting is smooth and not too sweet, which is so hard to find unless it is a cream cheese-based frosting. So this recipe is definitely a keeper, and if you love peanut butter–you NEED to try this!!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
Serves 12
Ingredients:
For the Cupcakes
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter, at room temperature (I use natural)
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

For the Frosting

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (or a little more to make it thicker)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter (again, I used natural)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (or less if you like it thicker)
Directions:
For the Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine milk and vanilla in small bowl.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in another bowl.
  4. Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar in mixer until light and fluffy.
  5. Add eggs to the butter/sugar mixture and blend until smooth.
  6. Slowly mix in peanut butter.
  7. Add half of the flour mixture and blend slowly.
  8. When fully incorporated, add milk mixture.
  9. Continue to blend slowly.
  10. Add remaining flour mixture and mix on low speed until smooth; don’t overmix!
  11. Add chocolate chips and fold in by hand.
  12. Put 12 cupcake liners in baking dish.
  13. Fill the cupcake liners.
  14. Bake for 22 minutes.

For the Frosting

  1. Combine sugar and salt in a bowl.
  2. Combine milk and vanilla in another bowl.
  3. Beat butter and peanut butter in mixer until smooth.
  4. Alternately add sugar and milk mixture until fully incorporated.
  5. Check consistency of frosting. I had to add a little more powdered sugar–but I also didn’t want to make the frosting too sweet, so I put the frosting in the freezer for a few minutes to harden. If you want a looser frosting, add a little more milk.
  6. Once you get your desired consistency, frost the cooled cupcakes.
  7. I topped them off with three chocolate chips 🙂

I hope you enjoy them as much as my guests and I did!! Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Gnudi: A Must Try Italian Recipe

Are you are familiar with gnudi? In Italian it literally means “nudes.” Sexy right?

Well they sure are delicious, sexy or not! Anyway, they are kind of like gnocchi (the potato dumplings) except instead of being made with potato, they are made with ricotta and spinach–or at least this recipe is 😉 Online, I have also found gnudi recipes made out of just ricotta…but these are divine. I have seen them described as the inside of a ravioli, without the pasta on the outside–and that’s the best part of ravioli, right?!

These are light and delectable! I highly recommend everyone try this. They are quick and easy and most of the ingredients are in your kitchen already (maybe not the ricotta or frozen spinach, though I personally always keep at least one or two boxes of spinach in the freezer).

*Full recipe at the bottom of this post.

Gnudi Italian Recipe

Gnudi Italian Recipe

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In a large bowl, mix ricotta, spinach, parmesan cheese, egg and yolk.

Gnudi Italian Recipe

Stir in nutmeg, salt, pepper, garlic powder and flour. Form mixture in to small, flattened balls.
Gnudi Italian Recipe

Dredge the formed gnudi in flour to coat, tapping off the excess. Slide formed gnudi into the boiling water. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan; work in batches if necessary. Remove the gnudi using a slotted spoon after they float to the top and have cooked for about 4 minutes.

Heat the tomatoes in a pan over medium high heat. Add some olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and chipotle seasoning (if you want to add a bit of spicy heat). Cook to your desired consistency–I like mine somewhat chunky with the liquids cooked off for this meal. More like a salsa topping, not like a marinara sauce with spaghetti.

Place gnudi in two bowls and spoon the tomato sauce on top. Feel free to garnish with grated cheese if you wish.

Wow, look at that steam!

Gnudi Italian Recipe

Happy eating! And let me know what you guys think 🙂

_______________________________________________________________________

Gnudi

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 8-10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan (or other cheese of your choice)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • about 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Chipotle powder (or any spicy heat that you like)
  • Olive oil
  • 2.5 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for coating
  • 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes (I love Hunt’s Fire Roasted)

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix ricotta, spinach, parmesan cheese, egg and yolk.
  3. Stir in nutmeg, salt, pepper, garlic powder and flour. Form mixture in to small, flattened balls.
  4. Dredge the formed gnudi in flour to coat, tapping off the excess. Slide formed gnudi into the boiling water. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan; work in batches if necessary. Remove the gnudi using a slotted spoon after they float to the top and have cooked for about 4 minutes.
  5. Heat the tomatoes in a pan over medium high heat. Add some olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and chipotle seasoning (if you want to add a bit of spicy heat). Cook to your desired consistency–I like mine somewhat chunky with the liquids cooked off for this meal. More like a salsa topping, not like a marinara sauce with spaghetti.
  6. Place gnudi in two bowls and spoon the tomato sauce on top. Feel free to garnish with grated cheese if you wish.