Feb 4 - 10, 2018

Meal Plan for the Week:

Sunday: Meatball Subs (Spaghetti and meatballs for the kids)

Monday: Sports practice so everyone is on their own

Tuesday: Rotisserie Chicken and green beans

Wednesday: Chicken Eggrolls with Ginger Dressed Salads

Thursday: Leftovers

What I prepped on Sunday:

The Meatballs and the Ginger Salad Dressing

Prep Time on Sunday: 70 Minutes

I love making meatballs, it is one of those things that you can have fun switching out simple ingredients to tweak the taste.  They can taste the same each and every time you make them. Or you can shake-it-up and they can taste completely different each and every time.

I doubled the recipe this week so I could put a set in the freezer.  I am not a huge fan of freezing red meat, but I know when I pull those out of the freezer in about two weeks I will be doing back flips because I will have some extra time one evening. 

I like to put in at least two different types of meat in my meatballs.  This week I went simple and used 1.5lbs of ground beef and 1.5lbs of ground pork sausage (not seasoned).  I read in one of Bobby Flay’s recipes to sauté the garlic before you add it to the mix, so that is what I do.  If the sautéing step pushes you over your limit, then just mince the garlic and add it in raw. 

Here is the combo I used, remember, I had enough for two meals.  I made all the ingredients in this nice and round so you can ½ easy if you only want one set.  I made 44 meatballs from this combo:

Mel’s Meatballs: 

1.5lbs ground beef

1.5lbs ground pork sausage

4 eggs

½ cup parmesan cheese

6 cloves garlic sautéed (thanks Bobby!)

½ cup dry bread crumbs

1 tbsp dried oregano

1 tbsp dried basil

Salt and pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients together in a bowl.  Roll into 1.5 in balls.  This is the prep work that I did on Sunday afternoon, I stopped here, placed ½ the meatballs in a freezer bag and the other ½ on a plate.  I covered the plate and placed the fresh meatballs into the freezer.  Later Sunday night I cooked them.

Take 1 cup oil (I use olive oil) and heat to a medium-high heat.  Fry meatballs in oil until they are cooked to the temperature of your liking.  I don’t quite cook them all the way though, but the choice is yours.   Once they are cooked remove with a slotted spoon and place onto plate lined with a paper towel.   At this point you can chose what you would like to do with them.  They are great for spaghetti and meatballs or meatball subs.  This week I used my homemade tomato sauce (recipe still to come) and did both options.  The kids gobbled up the speg & meatballs and Brian and I were up to our elbows enjoying the meatball subs. 

 Open Faced Meatball Sub...delish!

Open Faced Meatball Sub...delish!

The second item I prepped on Sunday afternoon for this week was the Ginger Salad Dressing.  I love, love, love this light, robust flavor, tangy salad dressing.  It is super easy to make this dressing at home and make it taste exactly like what you would get at your favorite sushi joint.  Here is what I did:

It’s a Ginger Thing Dressing:

½ cup diced onions

½ cup peanut oil (you can use any oil, but this really makes it pop)

½ cup rice vinegar

2 tbsps. ketchup (what did you think made it orange?)

4 tsp soy sauce

2 tsp sugar

½ lemon - fresh squeezed the juice

2 cloves garlic – minced

2 tbsps. fresh ginger

2 tbsps. water

Salt and pepper to taste

The easiest thing to do is get one of those salad shakers cups and toss all the above into the cup. 

This is the one I have and use, but this will work as well:  Salad Dressing Cup: $13.99

Please, please, please invest in a hand blender!  This will save your life, I use mine in so many of my recipes.  It is worth every penny, they are really not that expensive. 

Hand Held Blender: $28.07

So, throw all the ingredients into your salad dressing up, grad your hand blender and blend until smooth.   Enjoy!!


Recipes for the rest of the week:

Tuesday: Rotisserie Chicken and green beans

We grab a cold Rotisserie Chicken from the store, the cold ones are typically marked down.  Plus, if you buy it cold then you don't feel like you have to make it that day.  When you are ready, just heat your oven to 350 degrees and heat for about 20 minutes.  While that is heating make the green beans.

Greenest Green Beans:

Two handfuls of fresh green beans

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 cloves garlic chopped

1/2 cup chicken broth

Guess what I do with the garlic...you got it, I sauté it.  Sauté the garlic in the olive oil until golden, add the green beans.  Continue to sauté for around 5 minutes, this will get that garlic flavor into the green beans.  Add the chicken broth and simmer until almost all the broth have been reduced.  These green beans are enjoyed by 3/5 of the family :-)  Not everything is always a hit at our house, but we still make what we like and the kids all at least have to try it...every time.

Wednesday: Chicken Eggrolls with Ginger Dressed Salads

Baked Eggrolls with Chicken:

1 whole chicken breast

1 tbsp. oil of your choice

1/2 of a white onion

1/2 cup carrot strips

1/2 red cabbage

1 cup peas

1 package of eggroll wraps

Dice the chicken, then sauté it in oil until cooked just about all the way through.  Add the onions, cook until translucent.  Add the carrots, cook until tender, add the cabbage and peas.  Cook until tender.  

Once the mixture is cooked, divide the chicken goodness into even portions and wrap in eggrolls.  Spray the eggrolls with cooking oil on both sides.

Bake in the oven on 350 degrees until crispy, turning once.

Brian and I love making sauces to complement our dishes.  With this meal we made two dipping sauces to go with our eggrolls.  

In sauce one we mixed with wasabi sauce with soy sauce.  In sauce two we mixed wasabi sauce, soy sauce and an orange ginger sauce.  We just mix and taste and mix and taste until we get it just right.  Taster be ware....the wasabi sauce is a sinus cleanser if you are not careful.  Use sparingly! Unless of course you are looking for that sinus cleaners, then use a lot.