Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Its Not Delivery Its Deliciously Home Cooked

Ok, so clearly I am not as good at this as my husband is, its been over a week since my last blog, but really I can barely respond to an email within a proper time frame. I just can't seem to find the time to do this daily, so it just might be a weekly venture.

So I am just starting my third week of eating healthy and trying to be fit. Other than it is just plain good for your health there are many other reasons for doing this, who doesn't want the perfect bikini bod for that upcoming spring vacation, or being able to borrow your best friends pair of jeans, or just being able to turn heads when you walk into a room. But are all of those good enough reasons, is being healthy all its cracked up to be. Yes, I think they are or at least good enough reasons for me but it still doesn't help the fact that all I want is take out, of any kind, pizza, burgers or even a bucket of chicken, that's right a whole bucket. So what is a girl to do? First show a little restraint and a little will power and lets star cooking and recreating our favorite delivery or take out dishes. So whats for dinner....... I think spaghetti and meatballs, I know I know your asking yourself how is that carb loaded fatty burger meal good for you. Well let me tell you.

First lets start with pasta, try whole wheat or multi grain pasta. If you recently read Ken's blog you would see that we recently had a pasta making extravaganza at work, now I am not suggesting that you must make your own pasta, although personally I think it tastes better. There are a lot of great products at the local super market to choose from, whole grain, health and heart smart, just read the packaging you will probably find that your favorite brand now has a healthy version, and you probably won't taste a major difference.

Now lets talk sauce, shall we. I will give you a list of ingredients and preparation method that I like to use. Personally fresh is best. This should make about 21/2 to 3 liters.

1 small red onion (white will do) small dice
4 cloves of chopped garlic
2 carrots peeled (small dice)
3 celery branches (small dice)
11/2 cups of sliced mushrooms
1 cup diced red and green peppers
1 cup fresh chopped herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, chives) dried will do but not preferred
1 tbsp crushed chili peppers
12 peeled and rough chopped roma or plum tomatoes (to peel tomatoes bring a pot of water to a boil make a little cross cut in bottom of tomato, drop them into boiling water for bout 30 secs. until skin starts to wrinkle take out of water place in cold ice bath and the skin should peel right off) you may use a can of tomatoes personally I like to use a combination of both.
1 tbsp white wine
1 tbsp veg oil
salt and pepper

Place oil in pan until hot add carrot, celery, & onion saute until soft add garlic (garlic has a tendency to burn quickly) cook for about a minute, deglaze pan with white wine. Add other chopped veggies cook until they are semi soft add tomatoes, herbs and chilies add salt and pepper to taste. Bring sauce to a boil, if you like a chunky sauce you can leave as is, I like to use my handy little hand blender and blitz the sauce to a thick creamy texture. Turn heat down and let sauce simmer for about an hour just to let the flavors blend together. Your ready to eat.

Blending the sauce is also a good way to hide vegetables that your kids normally wouldn't eat. I chose the vegetables that I like to use but by all means substitute or add some of your favorites, spinach is a great additive.

I actually stopped typing for about 45min and just made a pot for dinner, boy does it smell good in here. It may not be identical to your favorite delivery spot but my guess is that it will taste better.


Everybody has a favorite meatball recipe, so just try making some substitutions use lean ground beef instead of regular or ground turkey or go to the extreme and use a ground soy product, or a combination of these things I prefer the meat products over the soy myself.

Take whichever meat or non meat you chooses had some of those fresh herbs (or dried) a little salt and pepper, some small diced onion and chopped garlic. To add moisture to the meat try using just the egg whites instead of the whole egg and I always like to add a few bread crumbs but use a whole wheat or whole grain instead of the traditional white. Something you could also try is adding a bit of the tomato sauce (cooled of course) to the meat for moisture and flavor. Then just simply form the balls to the size you choose, keep in mind a healthy portion for any protein is around 3.5 oz so either make one big one for every person or a few smaller ones. Rather than searing them in a pan or baking them in an oven just try boiling them until cooked and either add to the sauce or serve on top.