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Eastern European Meatballs - servingMost of us here in the US are used to preparing meatballs in tomato sauce, however Eastern Europeans customized this dish to their own taste and ingredients.

I already shared a post on Meatballs with Mushroom Sauce, but today I will post my recipe for Meatballs with Cabbage.

If you like Cabbage Rolls (Holubtsi – in Ukrainian, or Golabki – in Polish), you will enjoy this dish.

The taste resembles Cabbage Rolls, but this recipe is much simpler to prepare.

Ukrainian Meatballs with Cabbage – Eastern European Recipe

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ukrainian Meatballs with Cabbage – Eastern European Recipe

Ingredients

    Meatballs:
  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground meat (I prefer meatloaf mix – pork/beef/veal)
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbs. Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbs. olive or canola oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Cabbage and Veggies:
  • 1 white cabbage, medium size, cored and chopped
  • 1 Leek, cleaned well and chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large carrot, shredded on large eye shredder
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled and shredded
  • 2 Tbs. olive or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup water mixed with 1 chicken or beef bullion (or use broth)
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Tbs. Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tbs. Dill weed
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

    Meatballs:
  1. In a medium size bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, egg, milk, seasoning, salt, pepper and Parmesan Cheese. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan, and saute the onions, until translucent.
  3. Add the chopped garlic, and saute for 1 minute longer.
  4. Add onion to the seasoned mixture.
  5. Mix in the meat, to incorporate all ingredients into uniform paste.
  6. From 1.5 inch size meatballs, and place on a cookie sheet lined with aluminium foil, greased with cooking spray.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake 10 minutes on each side, turning once.
  8. Remove from oven, and transfer meatballs into a medium pot. Set aside for now.
  9. Cabbage and Veggies:
  10. Heat 2 Tbs. of oil in a 6 quarts pot, and saute the onions until translucent.
  11. Add carrots and leeks and saute 2 minutes longer.
  12. Add minced garlic and saute 1 minute.
  13. Add chopped cabbage, water/bullion or broth, apple,and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, mixing gently, but frequently.
  14. Add meatballs and bay leaf.
  15. Cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  16. Mix tomato paste with 1 Tbs. of water, and fold into cabbage/meatball mixture.
  17. Season to taste with salt, pepper and dill.

Notes

Serve hot, with pasta, mashed potatoes, or even a fresh piece of rye bread....aahh just like in Europe. Tastes even better the next day, as flavors have time to blend together. The meatballs can be made ahead, or even previously frozen. These meatballs freeze very well.

http://suburbangrandma.com/saving-money/ukrainian-meatballs-with-cabbage-eastern-european-recipe/

Pasta e Fagioli – Light Recipe

Pasta e FagioliThis cold weather calls for a cup of hot, hearty soup, so Pasta e Fagioli is a perfect solution.

Being of Eastern European background, I enjoy homemade  soups anytime, but especially on cold winter days.

Pasta e Fagioli, is one of my favorite Italian soups, so today I am posting its lighter version recipe, made with ground turkey, less beans, and low fat cheese.

 

Pasta e Fagioli - Low Fat Recipe

Serving Size: 6-8 servings

Pasta e Fagioli - Low Fat Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Turkey, ground
  • 4+ cups Vegetable or Chicken Broth (32 oz)
  • 1 tsp. Basil, dried
  • 2 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 30 oz. Crushed Tomatoes (2- 15 oz cans)
  • 2 Tbs. Tomato Paste (I use Contadina Italian Style)
  • 2 Carrots, shredded
  • 2 Celery Stalks, chopped
  • 3 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 Leek, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 15 oz can of Great Northern Beans, rinsed
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 tsp.Oregano, dried
  • 3/4 tsp.Thyme, dried
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Tbs. Dry Wine (red or white)
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste
  • Low fat cheese, shredded (Swiss, Havarti, Gouda)
  • 2 cups cooked pasta (small cut - Elbow, Ditalini, Shells)

Instructions

  1. Place 1 Tbs. of olive oil in a sauce pan, add ground turkey, and saute for 15 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Drain and discard any excess fat. Remove meat from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add another Tbs. of olive oil to pan, add onions and saute until translucent.
  4. Add garlic and leeks, and saute 1 minute.
  5. Add carrots and celery, and cook 10 minutes longer, stirring frequently.
  6. Remove from heat. Mix veggies with ground turkey. Set aside.
  7. Pour the Vegetable or Chicken Broth into a 6 quart pot, and bring to boil.
  8. Add the turkey/veggie mixture, and bring to boil.
  9. Turn the heat to medium, and continue simmering.
  10. Add the Crushed Tomatoes, Beans, Oregano, Thyme, Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, and wine.
  11. Cook for 5 minutes.
  12. Mix tomato paste with 1/2 cup of water, and add to the soup. Simmer 2 minutes longer.
  13. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove and discard Bay Laves.
  14. Remove from heat.
  15. Serve hot with 2 Tbs. of pasta per serving, topped off with 1 Tbs. of shredded cheese.

Notes

To make this recipe even lighter, this soup may be served without any pasta. It still tastes wonderful.....very full body and delicious.

http://suburbangrandma.com/recipes/pasta-e-fagioli-light-recipe/

 

 

 

Ukrainian-Meatballs-Eastern Europeans like their meatballs served with mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, and a side dish of well seasoned sautéed cabbage.

You might think this is a strange combination, but it’s just a matter of acquiring a taste for it, and loving it.

Meatballs and cabbage stew is another interesting dish you might think is different, yet very tasty.

Today I will share my recipe for the Ukrainian Meatballs with Mushrooms.

This recipe yields 4-6 servings.

Meatballs Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground meat (I prefer meatloaf mix – pork/beef/veal)
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbs. Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbs. olive or canola oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Mushroom Gravy Ingredients:

  • 10 oz white mushrooms, rinsed and sliced (trim off the stem ends)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. Canola or Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 cup Half and Half
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs. Dill weed, fresh or dried
  • 1/2 tsp. Maggi Seasoning, optional

 Meatballs Directions:

  1. In a medium size bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, egg, milk, seasoning, salt, pepper and Parmesan Cheese.  Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan, and saute the onions, until translucent.
  3. Add the chopped garlic, and saute for 1 minute longer.
  4. Add onion to the seasoned mixture.
  5. Mix in the meat, to incorporate all ingredients into uniform paste.
  6. From 1.5 inch size meatballs, and place on a cookie sheet lined with aluminium foil, greased with cooking spray.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Bake 10 minutes on each side,  turning once.
  8. Remove from oven, and transfer meatballs into a medium pot.  Set aside for now.

Mushroom Gravy Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan
  2. Saute onions until golden.
  3. Add the chopped garlic, and saute a minute longer.
  4. Add sliced mushrooms, and saute until they begin to release their juices (5 minutes), stirring often.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. In a small cup or bowl, combine the cream with flour, to form a smooth mixture.
  7. Mix the cream/flour mixture with the mushrooms.  Bring to boil.
  8. Pour mushroom gravy over meatballs,  and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  9. Season with Dill Weed, and Maggi seasoning.
  10. Serve hot, over mashed potatoes, or your favorite pasta.

Enjoy!

 

 

Birthday Party AppetizersWhether you are cooking at home, dining out, or ordering take out, there are almost always some leftovers to deal with after the fact.

There is nothing wrong with having leftovers.   After all, you spent time and money on this food, so you deserve to enjoy it to the last morsel.

Some prepared dishes are not suitable for later use as a leftover…they lose their taste and texture, so it is best to just part with them right there and then.

Numerous others, on the other hand, are still great for at least one or two meals, or even to be frozen for that rainy day when you have no time or desire to cook.

Some people do not like leftovers, and never keep them.  However, if you are like me, you don’t mind them, and feel that you get your money’s worth if you use them.

Most Europeans don’t believe in leftovers….maybe because they hardly ever have any.

They serve their meals already preportioned per plate, and make just enough to feed the crowd they accounted for.  The portions are large enough to satisfy the consumer, so there is no need, or room, for seconds.  Therefore, there are no leftovers.  Any remaining food on each plate, which hardly ever happens, is discarded.  It is almost impolite to ask for a “Doggie Bag”.

Here in the USA we have no problem asking the waiter/waitress to pack up our leftovers to take home with us.

It is very important to keep track of your leftover food in your fridge, which is one of my pet peeves.  I almost feel like I am a fridge police, whether it is at home or at work.

There is nothing worse than seeing “old” food sitting in the fridge way past its safe consumable time.

My personal time line for using up leftovers in up to 3 days…4 being the absolute max.

Now I will share my best way of using up leftovers, and keeping your fridge fresh, and ready for restocking.

Since most of us work full-time, and don’t have much time for cooking during the week, we prepare extra food on weekend, to hold us over for couple of days.  Then by mid-week, it’s time for some take out.  By Thursday we have leftovers to use, or lose.

I consider Thursday  a “Leftover Smorgasbord Dinner Day”.  We pull out all the leftovers from the past few days, and add something new if needed, and call it a day.

Everyone is to create their own plate of food from the smorgasbord spread available.  We also use disposable dishes and utensils that day, to save time on clean up effort.  Whatever food is remaining after this dinner, gets discarded for good.

This is the BEST way to free your fridge of leftover food, and to prevent any food from hiding in there for too long.

Since we have no dishes to wash on this day, we devote our time to cleaning up the fridge, and getting it ready for fresh food from Friday or Saturday shopping.

It works very well every time, and it also is fun, economical, and stress free.

I suggest you try it too, and share your comments.

Have fun!

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Roasted turkey ready to servePumpkin-RollOrange-Apple-Cranberry sauce 2

It is time again to give thanks for all our blessings, and to spend time together with family and friends.

Thanksgiving holiday this year will be low key at my house, since all my children and their families, will be spending it with their in-laws.

I am counting my blessings, because we will be all together for Christmas!

Today I will not be posting any new recipes, but will provide links to my previous posts, for your convenience.

Roasted turkey ready to serve

Here is my favorite turkey roasting recipe.

stuffing ready to serve 2

Stuffing with Italian Sausage and herbs.

Orange-Apple-Cranberry sauce 2

Homemade Apple Orange Cranberry Sauce recipe.

Sweet Potatoes casserole - ready to serve

Sweet Potato Casserole.

I did not post a recipe, since it was a very simple process of cooking sweet potatoes, mashing them with a seasoning of brown sugar and cinnamon.

Then, placing the mashed potatoes in a greased casserole dish, covering them with a layer of miniature marshmallows, and placing them under broiler just long enough to form a golden crust.

Need to watch them carefully, since the marshmallows can burn VERY quickly!!

Pumpkin-Roll

Since I am not a big fan of Pumpkin Pie, I bake Pumpkin Roll as one of my Thanksgiving desserts.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY TO YOU ALL!!!

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