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 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

Marinated Swordfish

Two Barbecued Marinated Swordfish

Marinated Swordfish Steaks

Two Swordfish Steaks in marinade

Swordfish Steaks in marinade

Fish is great for lots of reasons and Swordfish is one of my favorites; low calories/low cholesterol, healthy for you, plus overall deliciousness.

We try to eat fish at least once a week, sometimes more often. If available, I look for fresh, line -caught varieties, or line-caught frozen fish; just as nutritious. See * below for more information about healthy fish choices.

(Trader Joe’s is a good source of many frozen fish varieties, and Costco often has fresh.) Our local farmer’s market as well as other local markets offer fresh line-caught fish depending on the season– yes, a California coastal option, not everywhere.

Barbecuing fish in warm weather is a great option and actually very easy. While the grill is hot and there’s room, we like to add sliced fresh vegetables such zucchini, onions, eggplant, red pepper ( I’m not a fan of green peppers- but if you are add them too). You can also broil the fish for equally great results. We’ve done it both ways and both are delicious!

Starting with a tangy marinade gives great flavor. The one I’m giving you has lots of citrus, garlic and a touch of heat. We love it- hope you do too!

* https://www.seafoodwatch.org/seafood-recommendations/groups/swordfish/overview

Marinated Swordfish 

INGREDIENTS

  • MARINADE:
  • Juice of 1lemon, plus 1-2 tsps. grated rind (yellow only as the white is bitter)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine (something dry like Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Dijon-type mustard
  • 1-3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped fine
  • 1tsp. Ground red chili pepper ( we get a mild/medium mix at a Mexican grocery store- use whatever type you have)
  • Salt-free seasoning, pepper; or use salt if you can
  • Fresh chopped herbs- thyme is my favorite
  • Paprika to dust on top before serving
  • FISH:
  • 1 Swordfish steak per person, preferably wild, line-caught

TO DO:

1. Prepare Barbecue coals (spread coals on sides. When hot; put fish in middle and vegetables on sides)

2. In a Pyrex glass or Corningware pan (I used Pyrex 9×13 size) lay steaks on a single layer on a thin layer of olive oil ( approx. 1Tbsp.).

3. Mix/wisk together marinade ingredients; olive oil, mustard, white wine, lemon/rind and herbs/seasonings.

4. Pour marinade over fish.

5. Let fish marinate approx. 1/2-1 hr.

6. Barbecue 10-15 minutes depending on thickness of fish; (we like our fish moist and just a tad underdone- cook yours how you like it).

7. Sprinkle fresh herbs and dust with paprika.

Serve with grilled vegetables, your choice of whole grain rice or other grains, 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

Summer Salad with Fresh New Peas and Strawberries

Gardens behind the Boonville Hotel, Boonville CA

Lovely Boonville Hotel gardens

Summer Salad with fresh new Peas and strawberries

Summer Salad with fresh new peas and strawberries

 

We recently visited Boonville, CA, a small bend in the road (rte 128), on the way to Mendocino. We enjoyed a delicious meal at the Boonville Hotel, actually a top level hotel and restaurant that serves fresh farm-to-table selections; many items, such as the peas, right from their beautiful on-property gardens.

I was especially knocked out by this salad combination so I tried to recreate it on my own to share with you. I added avocado (which is a “good fat” along with the olive oil), plus sliced almonds. Served with a tangy, lemony olive oil dressing, this salad is refreshing and delicious.

One important thing is that the peas need to be very young and tender. (I made a mistake the first time I made it and the peas, especially the pods, were tough- no good!) If you can’t use fresh, young English peas, use snap or sugar peas instead.

So good, so easy, so pretty and with very fresh peas and sweet strawberries– one of the best salad combos I’ve ever tasted!

Summer Salad –serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Head of Red Butter, or Red Leaf lettuce, torn into bite size pieces; (and/or arugula; if adding to lettuce use 1cup)
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, halved or quartered depending on size
  • 3/4 cup fresh peas (plus pods, chopped into 1/2″ pieces, any strings removed and quartered)
  • 1 small or 1/2 large ripe avocado, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. Sliced toasted almonds (Trader Joe’s is my friend)
  • Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice ( adjust to taste)
  • Dash of white (or red) balsamic or white wine vinegar- again, adjust to your taste
  • fresh Thyme leaves (about a Tbsp.)
  • Salt-free seasoning and pepper to taste
  • shake or mix with wisk

TO DO:

1. Wash and spin dry lettuces

2. Put lettuce(s) in salad bowl; chill in fridge until ready to serve

3. When ready to serve, add dressing to lettuce and mix (a tip–mix dressing with lettuce before adding other ingredients, so they don’t sink to the bottom)

4. Add other ingredients on top

5. Add seasonings and salt if you like.

6. Serve; (especially good with fish)

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Spring Veggie Breakfast Scramble

Eggs and fresh vegetables in a breakfast scramble including tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms and spring onions

Spring Veggie Breakfast Scramble

 

 

Saute onions mushrooms spinach

Saute onions, mushrooms and then spinach.

Eggs and fresh vegetables in a breakfast scramble including tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms and spring onions

Eggs and fresh vegetables in a breakfast scramble including tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms and spring onions

Spring Veggie Breakfast Scramble

Breakfast, especially on a lovely spring Sunday morning after a busy week, is one of our favorite meals.  For this dish, I sautéed  Spring onions, spinach, Cremini mushrooms, and tomatoes and added eggs and fresh thyme from my garden for a delicious scramble.

It’s spring and the weather is lovely.  Spring onions are a special treat now in season for a short while. They look like regular scallions with a slightly larger bulb, but they are very different; sweeter and more tender. I use them as often as I can find them at the local farmer’s market or even at the supermarket. (We have a local one that features fresh, local produce.)

(I also added sautéed chopped chicken livers–I love them although I know everyone doesn’t share my enthusiasm.) The secret to making them is not to overcook–they should be pink inside.

Low carb and so delicious and satisfying!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3-4 fresh spring onions, washed and chopped, including white bulbs and green stems
  • 1/2 cup spinach, chopped, removing stems (I use washed and bagged baby spinach, but if using fresh from garden or farmer’s market be sure to wash thoroughly and use a salad spinner before adding.)
  • 1/2-1 cup Cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • Fresh chicken livers; I used about 4 livers for the two of us. (optional of course!)
  • Tomatoes–cut into quarters
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp butter (I use unsalted, both as it’s my taste preference and for the salt-free aspect)
  • Thyme, herbs de Provence and/or salt-free seasoning/pepper to taste

TO DO:

1. Beat eggs ( I add a tsp. of milk or 1/2 and 1/2- that small amount Rick can tolerate); add seasonings to the eggs, and set aside.

2. Sauté mushrooms in butter; after they’re browned (about 6-7 minutes), add chopped onions and saute until soft, about another 5-6 minutes.

3.  Remove mushrooms and onions to a bowl.

4. Add spinach to the pan; saute briefly, 1-2 minutes until wilted.

5. Sautee tomato pieces in the pan, pushing spinach to the side.

6. Add mushrooms and onions back into the pan.

7. Sautée chicken livers til pink inside (about 3-4 minutes/side) and then chop–add to Mushroom, onion, tomatoes and spinach.

8. Add beaten eggs over the mixture in the pan.

9. Gently cook the mixture, using a spatula around the sides to fold in the mixture as it’s cooking.

10. Cook until barely firm, and serve.

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com