Friday, September 16, 2011

Vintage Kitsch'n: Vegetables and Meat Balls Italiano

When you have a lot of tomatoes, eggplant, and green peppers you find yourself cooking a lot of Italian recipes. This Italian selection is from the trusty Cooking Calendar. It's nice to be utilizing the September chapter to it's fullest.

Instead of following the recipe to "Make spicy meatballs." I totally cheated and bought meatballs at Trader Joe's. In a stab to make this dish healthier, I bought turkey meatballs.

After the meatballs thawed overnight, I started on the sauce. Again, in an attempt to be healthy, I substituted olive oil for the butter. I also forgot to buy celery-so I omitted that. I didn't have time to look for "spaghetti sauce mix" so I had to improvise. Looks like this recipe is shaping up to be nothing like it should-oops! A friend once told me that all recipes were just an outline anyway, and that they all have room for some improvisation.

Anyway I sautéed the onions. Added garlic, added the tomato paste, water and tossed in oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Who knew sauce could be so easy?

Then I chopped all my veggies and tossed them in my large stock pot.

I cooked them in olive oil until limp(-ish, always best to err on the side of undercooked with veggies. Especially since I know I'll be reheating this for dinner.) Then added the sauce and the cheese.

At this point I'm thinking "Wow that's a lot of food." so I decided to freeze half of it. I froze the veggie mixture sans meat as refreezing the meatballs is not a great idea. It's easy enough to add them later.

I added the meatballs to the remainder of the mixture and packed it into some Pyrex storage containers to take to work. I love these glass containers because I can just reheat the meal in it directly without having to worry about plastic in my food.

I had this for dinner with brown rice on the side. I hate pasta and red sauce unless it's fresh pasta, so the noodle part of the recipe got omitted too. It turned out really well and I am excited for the leftovers tonight!

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