This week's Craving Ellie in Your Belly is brought to us by Oddball Oven Mitt (what a great name for a blog!)
This one came at the perfect time for me. I've been so busy at work and at home that my meal prep is almost at zero. I look in the fridge every morning on my way out the door, see tons of food, none of it suitable for lunch (ginormous celery root, anyone?) and leave empty handed. Once lunchtime arrives, I rush out to the Student Union and grab something that's not very healthy. I opted for orange chicken the other day, and all afternoon I felt ill. Too much MSG and simple carbs made me crash around 3. After an intervention by my trainer, I spent a couple hours that evening making the meatballs for this dish, and prepping the haul from my CSA box to allow easy portability (and readiness for snacks!) The next morning, I made the sauce and packaged up several lunches for the week, along with some basil to snip on with my scissors and some (not freshly grated) parmesan cheese. Big sigh of relief.
Enough about my lunchtime angst and back to the dish. I was excited to make this one because we love spaghetti with turkey meatballs. I purchased all the necessary supplies at Trader Joe's (love that place). I didn't notice that the fire roasted tomatoes were with green chiles, a la Ro-Tel tomatoes, but we like it spicy so I wasn't worried about using them and the chipotle chile. I keep canned chipotle chiles in a ziploc bag in the freezer, and break off an appropriate piece whenever I have a recipe that calls for some. Ditto tomato paste. I made the meatballs while watching TV and doing other veggie prep, and even though I broiled them like Ellie says to do in the cookbook, they burned got very brown. They were hard and dried out and I was a little bummed. I let them cool, packed them up and went to bed.
Before work the next morning, I threw together the spicy tomato sauce. I am learning not to doubt Ellie, because she's always right and it annoys me when she proves my mental taste buds are defective. Because I was doing three things at one time (of course finishing none of them), I managed to burn make the onions very brown. So I added the garlic and cooked it a few moments, then added the rest of the ingredients over the next, oh, 20 minutes. Then I checked the recipe and realized if I was going to stretch out the cooking time like that, I should at least let the golf balls turkey meatballs simmer in the sauce. I simmered the turkey meatballs for a few minutes, and let them languish in the sauce while I started three other things, and even finished two of the things I started before. Sweet!
So, you all know that I *heart* Ellie, but I think the portion sizes are wrong on this recipe. Either that or my measuring cup is defective. Or I bought the bottomless box of spaghetti by accident, the one that they make for households with teenagers and their football player friends. I have so much leftover spaghetti, I could make a spaghetti dinner. What's that? I just made a spaghetti dinner? Oh.
If you'd like to join us in cooking through Ellie Krieger's recipes, visit Craving Ellie in My Belly and check out how you sign up. It would be great to have you cooking along with us. Don't you want to open your fridge and know you have a healthy, tasty Ellie meal to take to work?