asian spaghetti & meatballs

Meals like this just make me happy.

It’s healthy but filling; comforting but exciting; delicious but simple. The meatballs are flavored with a classic Korean sauce, the pasta tossed with a simple dressing of toasted sesame oil and soy sauce. It’s the perfect combination lean protein, whole grains and vegetables and the ultimate in clean eating.

Asian Spaghetti & Meatballs - 4 servings

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Gochujang sauce
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat panko
  • 8 oz brown rice noodles (I used Brown Rice Mai Fun sent to me by Annie Chun’s)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce

Combine chicken, peppers, green onion, gochujang sauce and panko.

Mix until just combined.

Form into little balls and place in muffin tins. (I used a mini muffin tin)

Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare noodles as directed and toss with sesame oil and soy sauce.

Top noodles with meatballs and serve with sriracha or additional gochujang if desired.

Veggies for the meal were sautes of bok choy and snow peas with peppers.


lamb ragù

This is the kind of meal that will make the men in your life very, very happy. I can’t necessarily guarantee diamonds or a vacation to Fiji but if your men eat meat, it’s certainly worth a try! ;)

It involves a lot of meat, that unmistakable slow-cooked flavor and I mentioned meat, right? Making this ragù also taught me about a sofrito. The term varies by culture, but typically consists of chopped onion and garlic and then other additions like carrots, celery, peppers, tomato, etc. My sofrito contained onions, leeks, carrots and shallots. (I was out of garlic – the horror!) Regardless of the sofrito you use, this dish is an incredibly filling and satisfying winter meal.

Lamb Ragù

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 3 leeks, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp greek seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup half & half
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • feta cheese

Heat oil in large pan. Add sofrito mix to pan (onion, leeks, shallot and carrots) and let vegetables sweat, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.

Add all spices and lamb, stirring to break up meat. When meat has browned, about 4-5 minutes, add wine, half & half, tomato paste and the bay leaf. Lower heat and simmer for 1-2 hours.

Serve over pasta and sprinkle with feta if desired.

In between bites the Taster said, “You can make this anytime you want.” And I just might do that. I’m still waiting on that trip to Fiji. ;)

PS. Congratulations to Samantha, the winner of the bean pasta giveaway! Please email me your mailing address!

in my cupboard: black bean pasta

Last week I shared a recipe with you for black bean pasta with chorizo & peppers. Turns out this black bean pasta gem that I picked up on a weekend when I was visiting my parents is pretty hard to track down, but a lot of you were interested in where you could find it. Also turns out that is is very tasty and incredibly healthy. Why must you be so hard to find?!

The Black Bean variety has one ingredient: black beans. It also has a ridiculous amount of protein (20.5 grams per serving) and is pretty low in carbohydrates (16 grams per serving). I did expect it to be higher in fiber (only 0.5 grams)…can’t quite figure out why it is so low. It is also organic, vegan and gluten-free. Oh, did I mention it is delicious too?

The pasta, which comes in three varieties that I saw (Mung Bean, Soy Bean and Black Bean) is imported from China and the company doesn’t even have a website, making it even harder to find! So there are a few options.

  1. You can request that your local store bring it in (typically the best way to get the product you want in stores) – the brand is called Explore Asian Authentic Cuisine.
  2. I’ll get some for you! After all, Christmas is in a few days and I’m feeling pretty giving. :) I will send one winner (US only, sorry International friends!) one bag of each variety. Might as well try them all, right?

To Enter:

  • Leave me a comment telling me which variety you are most eager to try
  • Like me on Facebook (please!!) (leave an additional comment letting me know you did so or you are already a fan)
  • Tweet about the giveaway, including @nutritionisteat (leave an additional comment letting me know you did so)
  • Post a link to the giveaway on your blog if you have one (leave an additional comment letting me know you did so)

I’ll choose a winner Sunday December 26th – Happy Holidays and Good Luck!

Edited to Add: Congratulations Samantha! Send me your mailing address and I’ll get the pasta sent out for you!

thanksgiving 2010: turkey noodle soup

The big question after Thanksgiving is always what to make with the leftovers. Growing up, we always spent Thanksgiving in Milwaukee and the Friday after, we always had turkey sandwiches on little potato buns with crunchy lettuce and a bit of mayo. While sandwiches are fine and often appreciated, this year I wanted to do something a little different and I finally wanted to tackle something I’ve been putting off for the last year: noodles from scratch.

My noodles need some work, these were more like dumplings, but I did what I could without a rolling pin and I promise you next time they’ll look more like noodles. :) If you don’t feel like making your own noodles, you could always just add 2-3 cups cooked whole grain noodles right before serving.

The best thing about soup is that it easily freezes – meaning I can wait to eat it until I feel like turkey again – in March.

Turkey Noodle Soup - about 6 servings

  • entire leftover turkey (I removed most of the meat – you’ll be surprised by how much falls off when making the broth)
  • 2 white onions
  • 4 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 5 large carrots, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp sage, 1/2 tsp parsley and 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups shredded turkey
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg + 1/2 egg yolk
  • 2-3 Tbsp water

    Prepare the Broth: Cover turkey carcass in large pan. Chop one onion into large pieces and add them to water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 3 hours. When cool, strain all the liquid out and separate meat and bones. Set aside meat and discard bones.

    Prepare the Soup: Mince remaining onion. Heat olive oil in large pan and when hot, add onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Season with salt & pepper and remaining spices.  Stir occasionally for about 5 minutes.

    Add 12 cups of broth and the shredded turkey to the pot. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about an hour.

    Prepare the noodles: Combine flour and salt in bowl. Form a well in the center. Add egg, yolk and water (start with 2 Tbsp, add more if need-be) and mix together with fork. Knead for about 5 minutes on a floured surface. Set aside. Roll into thin pieces and cut into desired shapes. Boil in salted water for about 8-10 minutes.

    Add noodles to soup and taste. Add more salt and/or seasonings if necessary, remember the broth doesn’t have any!