Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Good Ole Basics - Healthified

"Going healthy" means giving up flavor, right?  I mean, nothing tastes good unless it's dripping in butter and fat (well, it's true, those things can make almost anything taste wonderful)!

Well, I have found that most of the little things I can do to make my meals just a bit healthier really don't taste much different than the original.  Tonight I wanted something traditional!  Despite the 90 degree temps in my kitchen, I NEEDED pasta, sauce, meatballs and garlic bread.  It had to be done.

Nothing fancy here, just some healthier choices of ingredients.

1 lb 95% ground sirloin
1 egg
1/2 cup whole wheat panko
1/4 cup fat free milk
2 shots hot sauce
garlic powder, to taste
salt & pepper, to taste

1 large can San Marzano tomatoes, peeled
2 large cans NJ Fresh crushed tomatoes
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
5 basil leaves
salt & pepper, to taste
red pepper flakes, to taste

Garlic Bread:
1/2 loaf whole grain baguette
3 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano, finely shredded
red pepper flakes, to taste

1 lb. whole wheat spaghetti

First thing I did was start the sauce.  I'm sure most of you have a better recipe than this, but I like this one for a basic marinara that I can transform later in the week into different dishes (and pizzas, of course).

Heat olive oil in the bottom of your sauce pot and saute the garlic.  Meanwhile, empty the whole tomatoes into a bowl and squish them into a pulp.  Yay, love this part after a rough day!  Toss the tomatoes (the canned crushed and your newly mutilated ones) and remaining ingredients into the pot, bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer.

To start on the meatballs, I just add all the ingredients in a bowl and work them into the meat so that everything is evenly distributed.  My meatballs are pretty "wet" when raw.  I feel that it makes them a little more moist given the low fat content of the ground sirloin.  Form into balls and drop into your simmering sauce.

While the sauce and meatballs simmer away, pass the garlic cloves through a press and into a small bowl.  Mix with olive oil and then brush generously onto the bread.  Sprinkle with the grated parm and a dash of red pepper flake.  Broil until slightly browned crispy on the edges - or to your liking.  By this point I am tearing off a corner and dipping into the sauce pot.  You know, someones got to taste test it!!

Then I just prepare my pasta and by the time that's done, the meatballs are cooked through and we're ready to eat.

Dig in!


  1. I love pasta... now you're making me want some tonight! :)

  2. Oh yeah, I'm a pasta-pusher. Helps you get through those insane workouts too! :)

  3. Pasta is my life line.. I could eat it every day....4 times a day! This looks and sounds fabulous!

  4. Amen Jenn! Pasta was part of my lunch and dinner today. :)

  5. LOL... I could eat pasta everyday too... That and pizza! Thank god for Insanity or I'd probably be 500 lbs!