Spinach Mac and Cheese and Chicken Sausage meatballs


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If there is a staple item that I loved as a picky little kid but have never grown out of even as my tastes have matured, it is mac and cheese. But with the high fat/low nutritional content ratio, it is usually not a good thing to make. I found this recipe on Rachael Rays cooking show- Meals in 30mins or less then added some tweeks of my own
Ingredients:
-One package of fresh or frozen spinach
-Cup or so of parmesan cheese
-Milk (I used regular but suppose you could subsititute)
-Bit of butter
-Pasta for the mac and cheese (I used veggie shells)
-Ground chicken or turkey can be subsituted
-Herbs for meatballs- rosemary, tarragon, thyme
-Onion or leek, chopped
-Bread crumbs- I used italian style but you can use regular and add your own herbs
-Two eggs
First, make the sauce. Saute a small pad of butter then add milk, you can use a dash of half and half or cream but of course that adds to fat content. Slowly pour in the parmesan cheese stirring on medium heat until it melts making a creamy sauce. The key to any good alfredo/cheese sauce is adding the cheese slowly. Once you have a good amount of sauce, add in the spinach. While fresh is best, I love frozen spinach because they pack sooo much into a little package so you are eating tons of greens. Stir the spinach into the sauce. Meanwhile, cook the pasta. I used multicolored shells that are veggie based.

The meatballs:
I use ground chicken because it is leaner and healthier than ground beef. With the right combo of herbs it tastes just like sausage, you won’t know the difference but is lower in fat and cholesterol. Also, by adding in bread crumbs etc you are making the meat (and your money) stretch.
Mix together herbs (onion, rosemary, thyme and fennel see are key to making it taste like sausage), a little parmesan cheese if you have some left, bread crumbs, two eggs and ground meat. Make into decent size balls then place in 350 degree preheated oven for ab out 15mins or until meat is brown, not pink.
Serve over mac and cheese and voila!- a grown up healthier veggie and protein packed version of your childhood fav!
chops bobblehead etc 011 300x225   Spinach Mac and Cheese and Chicken Sausage meatballs

April 29, 2011
Food, Recipe

 
 

QueenEarth at Terra Cafe


In my spare time, I am a musician, among other things. Every Friday, I have the pleasure of playing a lunch gig at Baltimore’s Terra Cafe (101 E 25th St.) from 12-2pm. This restaurant is one of my favs for food, atmosphere, and for their support of local musicians and artists. I have a good relationship with those guys (my boys work hard), so good that they gave me an original sandwich creation.

This is the QueenEarth!!!

bakedQEsand1 300x225   QueenEarth at Terra Cafe

QueenEarth fish Sandwich from Terra Cafe (101 E 25th St)

The famous Terra Cafe fish sandwich (I call it famous because any patron who visits the place will be eating a fish sandwich or they will wish they had ordered it when they see your plate), baked or fried, on a bed of leafy greens and tomatoes with a light layer of chipotle mayo, all served on a fresh baked sub roll. You can add cheese. What makes it a QueenEarth vs regular fish sandwiches? I add a healthy serving of sautéed spinach, mushrooms, and onions. It’s heavenly.

I usually order the potato salad (it tastes like Mom’s) but I was urged to try the yams. They make them with pineapple!! Need I say more?

 

If you order a QueenEarth sandwich, you can also get my EP, Introducing . . . QueenEarth for half price. That’s a helluva deal 🙂

I forgot to mention the desserts. Cakes and pies!! WORD!!

cakesandpies 300x225   QueenEarth at Terra Cafe

Terra Cafe Dessert Selection

 

 

March 18, 2011
Food, Restaurants