We had quite the comfort food meal for our Sunday night dinner. We have been working on some home improvement projects, and for a couple of hours today that meant being without heat on a really cold day… so I thought what better excuse to whip up some real heart warming comfort food.
I was lucky enough to escape our fringed house for a while thanks to errands to Trader Joe’s and a few other places around town. I came back mostly empty handed, but with two paper bags full of groceries (and a few snacks thrown in too, because Trader Joe’s just has the best snacks ever.) Once I got home I threw on my scarf (it was cold!) and apron and got to work in the kitchen.
On the menu tonight – homemade turkey meatballs. I was going to do our favorite bison / turkey meatballs, but TJ’s does not seem to carry ground bison anymore. I did not fret when I found this out and just got a pound of all natural and very lean turkey. Making your own meatballs involves getting your hands dirty. Seriously gewy. It is not the most photo friendly thing to make. I washed my hands probably seven or eight times during this process – and I wasn’t even taking photos of what I was doing (and I am sorry for this – it just was not going to happen today!) For the record, I did stare at my camera and tripod for a moment, trying to think about setting everything up and just decided against it.
Once you have mixed all of your ingredients together, you can heat up some olive oil in a non-stick pan and sear the meatballs before putting them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper…
One pound of ground turkey, two eggs, onions, garlic, tomato paste, spices, the zest of an orange, 3/4 cup of panko bread crumbs, all came together to make a lot of meatballs!
I cooked the meatballs in the oven for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. They were nice and browned when they came out of the oven. I had half of one to make sure they were ok. Were they ever!
Once the protein was out of the oven, I cut a spaghetti squash in half and took out the seeds and membrane. I sprinkled it with kosher salt and put it in the oven for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees.
Once it came out of the oven, I prepared the squash and I was so happy with how much “spaghetti” there was to eat! Plenty for dinner and two more meals (at least!) I just love healthy leftovers – especially when I haven’t thought ahead far enough to think about lunches for the week. A plate full of squash:
During this process, I had also been making my homemade tomato sauce. I chopped up an onion, 1 stalk of celery, 1 carrot, 3 cloves of garlic and sautéed it all in olive oil. While the vegetables are cooking, add a sprinkle of salt (maybe a teaspoon) because that helps the vegetables “sweat it out”. The kitchen always smells amazing while this is happening. I just love sautéed onions, celery & carrots together. Every so often I think “I could eat this for dinner”… but normally I stop myself before that is the case.
The tomato sauce eventually came together, and after a couple of hours of cooking we had a complete meal – and it was healthy and delicious. On my plate: about a cup of spaghetti squash, half a cup of sauce, 3 meatballs and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese as a garnish:
This was such a great dinner and I have leftovers for tomorrow – my idea of a productive Sunday afternoon. See you soon!