Favorite Meatloaf with Italian Tomato Paste Topping

Meatloaf with Italian tomato paste topping

Meatloaf with Italian tomato paste topping

It’s that time of year when I crave something warm and cozy to eat; ok, ”comfort food.” And my favorite is Meatloaf. Besides being satisfying and delicious right out of the oven, you can make my favorite
sandwiches on good whole grain toast the next day
(or two). With ketchup of course! You can make this Meatloaf with ground turkey or a ground beef/pork mixture depending on your preferences. It’s delicious either way.

I confess we often watch TV while we eat, and meatloaf sandwiches are just great to munch while watching British mysteries! Of course, Rick being the disciplined guy that he is takes a walk every evening after dinner to lower his blood sugar; I join him often; see the Journey for more Type2 diabetes lifestyle tips.

I’ve recently discovered something that makes my favorite Meatloaf topping very special and easy. It’s Italian tomato paste in a tube. You just squeeze out what you want – I like to make squiggles that melt and spread while cooking. Instead of opening a can and only using a small amount and the remainder then usually sits in my fridge and I forget about- yes, it goes bad and I throw out once I notice it!

INGREDIENTS (2-3 servings, plus leftovers)

  • 2-21/2 lbs ground turkey (I prefer thigh only as it’s juicier); or a ground beef/pork mixture
  • 1/2 large or 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1/3 cup Cremini mushrooms, chopped fine (optional)
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 slices whole grain bread
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Italian tomato paste for topping
  • Thyme, and/or salt-free seasoning/pepper to taste

TO DO:

1. Mix turkey or meat with chopped onions, beaten egg and spices- I use my hands.

2. Sauté mushrooms in butter; after they’re browned (about 6-7 minutes), let Cool

3.  Add mushrooms to mixture. Set aside

4. Mix tomato sauce with bread in a bowl- mash with fork til completely mixed and bread is soft.

5. Combine all in a bowl- best using hands again.

6. Put meatloaf mixture in a loaf pan prepped with an oil spray; Pam or olive oil spray works fine.

7. Squeeze tomato paste on top

9. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Turn oven off and let sit inside for another 10-15 minutes.

10. Serve with your favorite whole grains and a great salad – this is a delicious one with goat cheese, persimmons and greens.

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

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Sautéed Squash with Secret Sauce

A variety of squashes and onion

A variety of squashes and onion ready for sautéing

It’s starting to be fall in Santa Cruz – there’s a chill in the air, although we’re still enjoying the last of Indian summer. (Actually, September/October is our real summer- June, July and August are usually foggy and cool here by the ocean); except this summer which was unusually warm— say global warming anyone?

A mix of squash, onion and ketchup sautéed in pan

Delicious sautéed squash and onion dish

Sautéed squashes and onion with ketchup

German Secret Sauce

Which brings me to this recipe for your remaining summer zucchini/squash harvest – plus what’s still available at farmer’ markets. You can use any type of soft skinned winter squashes just as well. This family favorite is a great side dish for roast chicken, broiled fish or almost anything you serve.

I first enjoyed this recipe when I was visiting my mom’s cousin Erica in LA in the eighties. My mom and her cousins Hans and Erica were born in Germany- escaped here during the war. Erica was an excellent cook. This dish surprised me as I had no idea that the “sauce” was nothing but ketchup, and that ketchup is a mainstay of  German cooking!

This is a very easy to make dish with a rich, satisfying taste. It always comes out delicious. You can use any combination of squash and onions you like.  I make it for company and let them guess what is in the sauce- so far no one has figured it out!  But now you know!

German Squash with Secret Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 5-7 squashes- your choice (I like to vary the colors- using yellows and greens)
  • 1 large onion plus 1-2 cippolini onions if you like
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • Salt-free seasoning, pepper; or use salt if you can
  • Fresh chopped herbs- thyme or marjoram are my favorites for this

TO DO: (serves 3-4 or 2 with leftovers)

1. Chop onions into 1/2 “ pieces

2. Chop squashes in approximately 1/2 pieces also- they can be sliced but the way Erica made it they were chopped

3. Heat oil on med high heat in large sauté pan; add onions and sauté until just brown- 5-6 minutes

4. Add squashes to pan, and spices; sauté 3-4 more minutes uncovered- cover for about 5 more minutes til tender

5. Add 1/2 cup ketchup—sauté another 2-3 minutes; taste and add more if you like

That’s it! I’m sure you’ll be surprised at how rich tasting this is! Thanks Erica!

Serve as a side dish; and, as we usually have, a crisp green salad with a tart, lemony vinaigrette–see previous Salad posts for the vinaigrette recipe: https://wordpress.com/post/type2delicious.com/1075

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Hearty Lentil and Veggie Soup

Lentil Veggie Soup process

Here’s the recipe as promised:

When the weather is turning to fall we like a hearty, healthy soup chock full of fresh vegetables. It’s easy to make and very satisfying as the evenings get cooler. And I like to make a sufficient quantity so we have leftovers; (this freezes well too).

If you have veggies from your summer garden such as zucchinis and tomatoes, this is a great way to use them.

It is a thick soup; almost like a stew. You can, of course, thin it with additional broth, but we enjoy the texture and heartiness of it as is.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6 or 2-3 with leftovers)

  • 1lb. Dried Lentils, any kind; (rinsed and any bad ones removed- no advance soaking necessary)
  • 1-3 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 large onion -chopped
  • 2-4 carrots (depending on size), washed, chopped or diced
  • 2-3 zucchinis-chopped
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes in juice ( plus 3-4 fresh diced tomatoes)
  • 2-4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 32 oz/quart low sodium chicken stock (or more, depending on how thick you want it)
  • 1/3 -1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1-2 Bay leaves
  • salt free seasoning (or 1 tsp salt if you like), pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 Tbsp.fresh herbs or 1tsp. Dried; thyme, oregano, marjoram (you probably know that dried herbs are much stronger tasting- also best to crumble or crush before adding)
  • Paprika or smoked Paprika

TO DO: in a 6 quart Dutch oven or other large pot:

  1. Sauté onions til soft (medium to medium high heat depending on your stove, on stove top) in 1-2 Tbsp. oil (4-5 minutes); add carrots -sauté another 4-5 minutes; add zucchinis, sauté additional 2-3 minutes. Add another 1Tbsp.oil if needed.
  2. Add garlic; sauté another 2 minutes
  3. Add rinsed lentils, Bay leaves and seasonings to pot
  4. Add broth, tomatoes and wine; stir
  5. Bring to low boil- then reduce heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes-1 hr. Til lentils and carrots are tender
  6. Garnish with fresh herbs
  7. optional: add cooked sliced sausage before final cooking; and grate cheese on top of each bowl

For a delicious meal serve with whole grain toast and a green salad with your favorite vinaigrette, (for a suggestion see ).

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Hearty Lentil Veggie Soup

Lentils, tomatoes, onion, on cutting board to be made into Lentil soup

Lentil Veggie Soup process

 

Lentil Veggie Soup -recipe to come

Hope you don’t mind, but before  I share this recipe I want to express something that has become even more clear to me; the difficulty it can be for folks who had totally different lifestyle and eating habits to make healthy choices–and how impactful that can be.

What prompted this are two people I met in different circumstances. Rick and I were shopping for olive oils at a World Market store, and a guy started asking us about our choices, and that he was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and was “trying to reduce sugars”– he had no idea about carbs – just that “sugar is bad.” He was buying two large cans of high carb snack foods (no sugar though), to substitute for sugary snacks. Actually I couldn’t help but suggest he try this blog (and especially read “The Journey” post).

The second incident was a woman who came to our house to pick up bottles we were giving away (we’re in process of stuff reducing)–she was thrilled as now she had containers for her own salad dressing, sauces, and such non-processed foods she was making for the first time in her life. She was so excited as this was a huge change for her!

It hit me strongly that these folks are representative of a large group of our population- who grew up with lots of processed foods and are used to eating one way, and are now faced with changing their diets- and what a major deal it is. I know this theoretically, of course, but it was reinforced!

Made me realize even more how lucky some of us are to have grown up mainly eating in a healthy way, with an emphasis on fresh foods; (although my son went through a fish stick and tater tot phase–I’m not a total purist (<*).

Makes me even more motivated to show that delicious, healthy eating and cooking is not difficult, not expensive, (cheaper that buying most processed foods, such as bottled salad dressings), and fun to do!

Stay tuned soon for the Lentil Veggie Soup recipe!

 

 

 

 

www.type2delicious.com

Fresh Chicken, White Bean and Vegetable🌶 Chili

Bowl of Chili with fresh chicken, white beans, carrots, tomatoes and other fresh ingredients

Fresh Chicken Chili with Vegetables and White Beans

We’ve been off our regular diet as we’ve been traveling a lot lately; to CO to visit with family and to the CO Music Hall of Fame concert induction of Joe Walsh, (my brother took the cover photo of JW’s Barnstorm album). Then turned around and went to OR for the eclipse!

So I’ve been craving some “comfort food” that’s tasty, healthy and satisfying.  I made this Chili soon after we returned–hit the spot!

It’s full of good protein and fiber with the chicken and beans, fresh carrots, onions and tomatoes–hearty and flavorful with just the right amount of heat for me; (I’m a bit of a wuss- but like a little.) It’s also easy to prepare, and makes great leftovers– another big advantage when you’re home after a vacation.

Serve with brown rice and a green salad with a tangy vinaigrette- delicious!

At the CO Music Hall of Fame concert

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3 with leftovers)

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken thighs or breasts (we like the thighs- Trader Joe’s sells Organic thighs that I prefer)
  • 2-3 cans Cannelini and/or white great northern beans
  • 1 quart box low sodium chicken stock (TJ’s again)
  • 1 28 oz can low sodium diced tomatoes with juice
  • 3-4 carrots, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small can diced jalapeños (mild or hot depending on preference- you probably know I use mild)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • salt free spices to taste; ground pepper
  • 1-2 Bay leaves
  • 1-3 Tbsp olive oil

TO DO:

1. Chop chicken into 1″ pieces; brown in 1Tbsp. olive oil in 4-6 quart Dutch oven

2. Remove chicken from pan into a bowl, (will be added back soon).

3. Add 1-2 Tbsp. Oil- sauté  onions for 4-5 minutes. Add chopped carrots, sauté another 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and sauté an additional 2 minutes.

3. Add chicken back with vegetables.

4. Add broth, tomatoes, jalapeños, spices.

5. Mash 1 1/2 cans of beans – (this is the Trick to thicken the Chili). Add this and unmashed beans and mix well.

6. Bring to a low boil, then reduce to simmer for 1/2 -3/4 hr. til carrots are tender, not mushy.

Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

Summer Cucumber Salad

Julienned Cucumbers, carrots in a yogurt sauce

Summertime Cucumber Salad

I’m reposting this as I think summer calls for cool, tangy salads, and this is one of my favorites.

My German grandmother was a terrific cook. One of her specialties in summer was a refreshing cold salad made of sliced cucumbers in a creamy dressing of red wine vinegar and sour cream, topped with fresh dill or chives. My updated version juliennes the cucumbers, adds carrots and a yogurt-based dressing instead of sour cream. It’s easy to make, very tasty and refreshing as an accompaniment to a summer meal such as grilled chicken or burgers. I like it by itself for a light lunch as well. It also keeps in the refrigerator for at least a few days and gets even more flavor.

It’s a funny thing- somehow marinating the cukes in this dressing makes them more digestible- as I find raw cucumbers sometimes upset my stomach. This salad never has. You can do the cucumber/salt drainage* technique in advance if you like but I confess I rarely have- as I am too impatient!

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)

  • 2-3 cucumbers ( medium size- if very large one might be enough)
  • 1/2 medium carrot; julienned or chopped fine
  • 1/2-1 cup plain yogurt (I use whole milk Greek type), or a 1/2 and 1/2 mix sour cream (I like the “light” reduced fat sour cream–I can’t taste the difference) and yogurt mix
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar (it sounds like a lot but the cukes need this amount)
  • 1/2 tsp. Xylitol (see my previous blog posts for more details about this natural no-sugar sweetener)
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion (optional)
  • salt free seasoning ( or 1 tsp salt if you like)
  • fresh herbs- chives, dill or thyme
  • Paprika or smoked Paprika

TO DO

  1. Make the sauce first so the flavors can meld. Mix the yogurt (and sour cream if you’re using it), red wine vinegar, xylitol and seasonings (not the herbs)– I use a wisk. Taste to make sure it has enough vinegar- should be tangy.
  2. Peel and slice thinly or julienne the cukes- I use a Mandolin with the julienne blade.
  3. Wash carrot, peel or brush well. Juienne or cut into small cubes and combine with the cucumber; add green onion (optional)
  4. Add dressing and mix well.
  5. Let sit in refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour before serving.
  6. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs.
  7. Sprinkle with Paprika (or smoked Paprika) to add a bit of color

* To drain and remove excess moisture from peeled, sliced cucumbers in advance of making the salad; put them in a colander with a larger bowl underneath. Sprinkle 1 tsp. salt or more depending on amount of cukes, (sprinkle lightly) and let sit for approximately an hour. You can then blot with paper towels. It does help to keep them crisper and less watery in the salad.

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Chicken Italiano

Chicken pieces ready to be baked for step 1

Chicken pieces ready to be baked for step 1

Chicken pieces with sauce

2nd step-Chicken pieces with sauce ready to be baked

Chicken pieces with sauce and cheese- ready to be served!

Chicken Italiano ready to be served!

Maybe it seems a little off season during summer months, but this hearty Italian dish is simple to make, including in advance, rich tasting and satisfying when you don’t want to barbecue burgers and want something easy and delicious to serve for a dinner party or as a treat your family.

When my kids were growing up, this was one of their favorites, plus it was one of the first dishes my son mastered; (he’s  now 28 and an excellent cook).

As I said, this can easily be made in advance as there are only a few steps. Just make it through step 1, refrigerate and do the final baking just before you’re ready to serve. Very easy, very delicious, low carb–hope it becomes a favorite for you too!

Chicken Italiano ( serves 3-6)

INGREDIENTS:

–6-8 Chicken pieces (we prefer breasts and thighs)

–1 32 oz. jar pasta sauce ( I’m a Mazzetta’s fan- any type of theirs is very good– or make your own)

–6-8 cheese slices; we use goat cheese slices from- yes, my go-to place; Trader Joe’s

–no salt spices, fresh oregano if you have it

–1-2 eggs, beaten

— bread crumbs- your choice ( I actually toast whole grain bread and crumble it, or use commercial whole wheat bread crumbs)

TO DO:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Spread about 1 cup sauce on bottom of a 9×13 baking pan

Dip chicken pieces in egg ( both sides)

Either dredge chicken in bread crumbs in a plastic bag or in a flat pan

Add chicken to baking pan (I use Pyrex)

Step 1: bake chicken for about 20 minutes (here’s where you can let this cool and refrigerate and finish later- like the next day- obviously don’t wait too long!)

Step 2: Pour rest of sauce over chicken; add a cheese slice on each piece; sprinkle bread crumbs on top.

Bake for another 30 minutes, til brown and bubbly.

Serve with whole grain pasta, green salad with tangy vinaigrette, and a good bottle of red wine if you like.

Enjoy!