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MEDITERRANEAN MEATLOAF

Meatloaf is one of my favorite meaty dishes. There’s nothing in this world that beats a good meatloaf with fantastic homemade mashed potatoes. It was one of my favorite things to have growing up. This recipe has a little flare to it and it’s all healthy. I’ve been pretty big on using ground turkey as an alternative to ground beef for years now and it’s worked wonders for me as far as flavor goes. Flavor is far from compromised. If you feel the need to use ground beef instead that’s completely fine but have some faith in me with this one! If you’re using the right spice combinations, you would be amazed what it can do to an otherwise bland type of meat.

Meals like this are so ridiculously easy to make just like one pot meals. Instead this is throw every ingredient together, plop in a meatloaf pan and have at it! I won’t keep you long on this blog but as always I encourage you to add, give or take any other ingredient that suits your fancy to this recipe to make it all yours.


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MEDITERRANEAN MEATLOAF
DIABETIC FRIENDLY: 6 servings | about 7 carbs per serving.
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Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine every ingredient together excluding the ground turkey. Mix all the ingredients together. Then, using your hands, fold in the ground turkey without over mixing.
  2. Spray a meatloaf pan with a non-stick spray and place the meatloaf mix inside. Smooth out the top and pour an even thin layer of the reserved ½ cup of tomato sauce on top.
  3. Place the meatloaf pan on top of a cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.
Recipe Notes

Feel free to use ground beef with a lower fat percentage.

LAMB STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS

If you love stuffed cabbage rolls, then you’ll love this recipe! It takes the whole dish to a whole new level. I know some people are purists but you’ll be surprised to find there are many cultures including the Middle East that have their own variation of stuffed cabbage or some other kind of leaf. So I took the concept of the traditional Polish stuffed cabbage and used a more flavorful meat like ground lamb and complimenting it using the proper spices for it. Yet another fusion dish perhaps that is worth the prep work, I swear!

I’ll say though, it may sound like a lot of work but it really isn’t. You can make the lamb mixture the day before which is super fast. Then take care of the rest later. One major word of advice though is make sure you have a big, tall pot one you’d use to cook spaghetti in. Also, a hand held strainer that would fit a cabbage head in. This will make removing a piping hot cabbage head so much easier preventing burnt hands.

One last thing, the very end of the leaf can have a very thick spine which makes it difficult sometimes to roll the cabbage leaf. In the picture above you can see I cut an upside-down “V” to remove most of it off. It does make a big difference. Don’t worry about ruining the leaf! If you are confused and have any questions don’t hesitate to ask!


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LAMB STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS
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Ingredients
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Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a pan over medium-high heat drizzle the olive oil and sauté the onions, garlic, black pepper, cumin, and cinnamon together until the onions are softened, about 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Mix the ground lamb, rice, cooled onion mixture, fresh cilantro and salt thoroughly in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil. Place the cabbage head carefully into the boiling hot water using a large strainer with a handle for about 5 minutes. You want the leaves to appear bright green.
  4. Remove the cabbage head into a large bowl. Peel off some of the softened leaves and place onto a plate covered with paper towels. Place the cabbage back into the boiling water for a few minutes until the next layer of leaves are ready to be peeled. Do this a few times until you peel most of the leaves off the head. Save the damaged and/or outer leaves to cover the bottom and top of the baking dish.
  5. Using a knife cut an upside-down “V” to remove the toughest part of the spine at the bottom of each leaf. This will make rolling the leaves easier. Place each cabbage leaf sideways, spoon about ¼ cup give or take of the lamb mixture onto the bottom part of the leaf. Roll it up and tuck in the sides before completely rolling it up.
  6. Line a 9” x 13” baking dish with imperfect cabbage leaves, place the stuffed cabbage rolls into the baking dish and sprinkle the top with garlic powder, sea salt and pepper. Add the bay leaves and vegetable broth. Top the rolls with tomato puree, the remaining fresh chopped onion and feta crumbles.
  7. Cover everything with remaining leftover cabbage leaves and aluminum foil. Bake at 350 F for about an 1h 15min to 1hr 30min. Everything should be boiling hot.

GREEK FRITTATA

There are so many ways to have a fantastic breakfast for a group of people without having to spend a lot of time or buy fancy ingredients. Frittata’s are one of my favorites because I love throwing a bunch of things, especially veggies, together to make a healthy yet filling meal. And because there are no rules, you can totally slice as much frittata as you like and put between two of your favorite slices of toasted bread for an awesome egg sandwich.

I’m not particularly a big breakfast person but I do force myself to eat something small regardless; but when I’m in the mood for eggs I’m a sucker for a little bit of mayonnaise on toasted bread for my egg sandwiches. (You should try making your own Mayo some time using my Homemade Mayonnaise recipe.) Or just simply put some of the frittata on top of one slice of breast like crostini. You do whatever the heck you want. Not only that but frittata’s can have ANYTHING in it. Better yet, double the recipe for leftovers. You won’t be disappointed.

 

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GREEK FRITTATA
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Instructions
  1. Spray a 9 inch round baking dish with olive oil cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, onions, salt, and pepper. Stir and let cook until the onions become translucent. Turn the heat off, stir in the chopped spinach, and let cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk the 5 eggs, add the crumbled feta and the cooled sauted mixture together.
  4. Add the egg mixture into a round baking dish that’s been sprayed with a cooking spray.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes at 400 F degrees or until the top is golden.

MEDITERRANEAN ARTICHOKE CHICKEN

It’s been a fairly busy lately with traveling, working on the house during these beautiful sunny days along with everything else life loves to dish out. So, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve been diving into the “one pot meals” lately to simplify my days (this technically a one-baking dish-meal, haha). Sometimes we get so wrapped up in everything we crunch in a day that we lose sense of time and have little time to do much meal planning. My Mediterranean Artichoke Chicken dish has been my go-to at least once a week and leaves me a few leftovers for lunch.

This dish provides a great amount of protein and fiber which is optimal for those who are watching their carb intake. It doesn’t get any easier than this; you just simply throw everything together into a baking dish, put in the oven, set a timer and walk away. If you’re not watching your carb intake then you gotta try this over jasmine rice. There’s something amazing when all the fresh and tangy flavors come together into the chicken stock that goes wonderfully over the jasmine rice.

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MEDITERRANEAN ARTICHOKE CHICKEN
Servings
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Ingredients
Servings
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Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix everything together into a 9" x 13" baking dish and bake at 375 F degrees for about 20 - 25 minutes. Stir once half way through.
  2. Serve over jasmine rice.
Recipe Notes

It tastes even better using the olive oil from the sun-dried tomatoes jar.

To make this a diabetic friendly meal, avoid the rice and enjoy as is. Or, use about a palm-sized amount of cooked quinoa.

BBQ RIB SUPER GREEN SALAD

This is not a chick salad. Although if you love salads, you’ll go crazy over this one. If you’re not a salad person, this one in particular may just convert you. Typically people throw a few things together like your standard tomatoes and croutons over iceberg lettuce with some store bought dressing and call it a salad. No. Just NO! You deserve better than that and so does your health. So leave it to me to create something where we can compromise a little splurge and some good health all in one. Besides, Spring time is right around the corner. Perfect for a recipe like this!

I must say really good smokey ‘n sweet BBQ pork ribs remind me of my childhood when my Dad would make them in the Summer time. Nowadays these aren’t really something I eat much of at all if ever but I recently had a craving for them and got a full rack. It only took half the rack to satisfy my itch. With another half rack left, like any other leftover meat I have hanging around in the fridge, I turn into a big chopped salad. Thus this BBQ Rib Super Green Salad. It’s literally sweet, salty, smokey, bitter, tart, savory and satisfies every taste bud on your tongue.


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BBQ RIBS SUPER GREEN SALAD
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Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Toss everything together in a large bowl and serve.