Turkey meatballs and lentils

These were a big hit with everyone. Not only did they cook quickly for a weeknight meal, I felt that the leftovers tasted even better than the original night.

What do I like about this meal? The spice level is perfect. There are very complex flavors in this meal. Also, this is a food that has minimal fat. It is full of vitamins and healthy proteins.

I found the original version at Tasteandsee.com. The real changes I made were to leave out the cinnamon and cloves as recommended. I also changed parsley for cilantro.


1 pound ground turkey

1/2 sleeve saltine crackers crumbled – about 15

1 egg

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper



2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup brown lentils

1 can diced tomatoes, undrained – 14.5 oz

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 cup sliced carrot

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

5 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of the meatball ingredients until fully combined. Make meatballs that are about 2 inches in diameter or 1/3 cup of filling. Lay them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 30-45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

As the meatballs cook, prepare the lentils.

Cook the onions, garlic, and carrots in the olive oil over medium heat. Cook for about 5-6 minutes or until soft. Add the lentils, chicken broth, tomatoes, and the dry spices. Do not add the cilantro yet. Cover and reduce head to low. Simmer about 20-25 minutes or until lentils are done. Add the meatballs and cilantro. Toss to coat the meatball.. Let sit 5 minutes and then serve.







Pasta con broccoli


This is a leaked recipe from one of my favorite restaurants in St. Louis called Pasta house.  It is simple and fabulous. Serve it alone or with grilled chicken.


4 ounces uncooked large shell pasta

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons butter

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons tomato sauce

1/2 cup chopped fresh broccoli

1/3 cup sliced fresh button mushrooms

1/4 grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper


Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook 4 minutes. Drain pasta. Return the pasta to the pot.

Add the cream, butter, garlic, tomato sauce, and broccoli. Bring to a boil. Boil until noodles are fully cooked. Add the mushrooms and parmesan. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss and serve.

Chicken and okra creole


This happens to be one of the times where I want the tastiest chicken possible. Sometimes when chicken is braised in sauce or made in a crock pot, it turns rubbery or over cooks to mush and cannot be identified as chicken. For that reason, I prefer grilling the chicken breast first and adding it at very end. Also, you could use leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken.

This recipe also allows me to use all the okra we grow in the garden.



1 cup sliced okra

1 can corn, drained

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 medium yellow onion, diced

1 jalapeño, sliced

1 large (1 pound) chicken breast, grilled and sliced

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon paprika

3 large tomatoes, rough chopped

1/4-1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

2 cups chicken broth

salt and pepper to taste

green onions, diced for garnish

cooked white rice to serve with


Heat the oil in a wok or pot on medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and peppers. Sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the chicken broth, cayenne, bay leaf, tomatoes, paprika, thyme, corn and okra. Simmer on low uncovered for about 10-15 minutes stirring often. Add in chicken. Cook another 3-5 minutes until chicken is just heated. Add salt and pepper as needed to taste. Serve over rice and top with green onions.






Broccoli sausage pasta


This is a popular recipe with several variations from Emeril to Once upon a chef. I first found it at Once upon a chef. It tastes amazing and can be made in about 30 minutes. It is wonderful for a fast dinner after work and not very expensive to make.

1/2 pound orcchiette pasta

1 pound mild italian sausage

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 white onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 heads of broccoli florets

1 cup water

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4-1/2 cup shredded parmesan

1 tablespoon butter


First, cook the pasta to desired texture. While it is cooking, prepare the rest.

Place the olive oil in a skillet. Add the sausage and onion. Cook while breaking up the sausage into small pieces. When the sausage is cooked, add the garlic and red pepper. Cook 1 more minute.


Add the butter, water, and broccoli. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. The broccoli turns bright green when done. You can see the change in my photo below. The sauce will thicken.

Add in the drained pasta and parmesan.




Ground turkey stir fry

AKA my version of the “egg roll in a bowl”.  It is really just cabbage stir fry but I guess that does not sound like as much fun.

I am not sure there are many filling meals that are also this healthy. You can easily leave out the rice, or use brown rice, or even quinoa.


2 pounds ground turkey 93% lean

1 package 8-10 ounces shredded cabbage

2 large carrots julienned

1 orange bell pepper thinly sliced

1/2 cup broccoli cut small

5 green onions sliced

2 hot thai peppers chopped

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch

1/4 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon sriracha

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon chinese 5 spice

Lime wedges to garnish

cooked white rice

roasted cashews to garnish

soy sauce to garnish


Prep all the veggies first.


Mix the soy sauce, chicken broth, cornstarch, brown sugar, sesame oil, sriracha, garlic powder and 5 spice.


Sauté the turkey until done.


Add in veggies. Cook about 3-5 minutes. Add in the sauce. Stir and done. Garnish with fresh lime juice, cashews, green onions, sriracha.