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Recipe: “Gobble Me Up” Turkey Meatball Soup with Pastina

I enjoy coming up with new ways to use a common seasoning.  Curry over bananas,  Southwestern spice over popcorn, salt and pepper in chocolate bark — these are a few of my creations. The latest one was inspired by Thanksgiving, just a few weeks ago, and a desire to use my “Gobble Me Up”  seasoning for something besides stuffing.

Sage Turkey Meatball soup

Turkey seemed like the perfect vehicle since it echoes the Thanksgiving roots of this recipe. From there, it was easy to fill in the gaps and create this warming, easy soup that just happens to be very low-fat. Read the rest of this entry

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Recipe: Italian Wedding Soup, YSOL-style

Typically, Italian Wedding Soup is made up of chicken stock, tiny meatballs, even tinier pasta (pastina) and escarole. It’s fantastic, but like many traditional recipes, could use a little lightening up by reducing fat and adding more veggies. I’ve also amped up the flavor by using my complex “Viva Italia!” seasoning blend,  both inside the meatballs and in the broth at serving time.

"Viva Italia!" spice blend

So, I’ve swapped out the pasta for cannelloni beans,  which provide the same weight and starchiness as the pasta, but add protein. The typical beef meatball is transformed with low-fat turkey breast, and I’ve added carrot and fennel bulb to the usual garlic and onion in the meatballs.

Overall, you still get the same warm, wedding-ish feeling from this soup, but now you can feel better about eating it! Who wants to hear the recipe?  I DO! Read the rest of this entry

Recipes: Time-savers and add-ins

Who wouldn’t love creating soup-to-nuts meals every day, from scratch?

OK, maybe not literally soup-to-nuts, but you know what I mean: wholesome, healthy meals that are creative and delicious. Time constraints and energy shortages can get in the way;  as much as I   to cook from scratch,  there are times when I need to take a few shortcuts.

I’m not alone in that, either;  there is a very popular show on the Food Network, Semi-homemade with Sandra Lee,  in which Sandra combines fresh ingredients with store-bought to create what she calls “semi-homemade” dishes.

Over time, I’ve come up with a few shortcuts, myself,  that are real winners: Read the rest of this entry

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