Spicy Meatballs and Spaghetti

This is the first month I’ve participated in the Crazy Cooking Challenge. Every month a new dish is listed to be created, using a recipe from a blog found elsewhere on this world wide web we surf. This month’s challenge was spaghetti with red sauce. I knew when I saw this that I needed meatballs, because no spaghetti is complete without them. But I didn’t want normal meatballs, I wanted something more! So I surfed the web and found normal meatball recipe after normal meatball recipe. When I stumbled upon Blissfully Delicious however, I changed paces. The Spicy Turkey Meatballs that Yudith made are anything but your traditional meatball. Using prosciutto in her meatballs, she added that spark I was looking for!

Now unfortunately when it came to meatball making night I had forgotten to buy prosciutto. But I did have pastrami, so I decided to use that instead. And also.. stupidly, the ground turkey I was going to use had been in the refrigerator too long and had to make its dissent into the trash. With only the Italian sausage thawed, I decided to just go with it and make sausage/pastrami meatballs.

So while my meatballs may not be exact replications of Yudith’s, they got their inspiration to do something different and be more than a boring ball of meat.

Spicy Meatballs and Spaghetti

1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk
1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed
2 oz pastrami, thinly chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 jar marinara sauce
1 lb dried spaghetti


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.

2. Pour the bread crumbs and milk together. Let sit for 5 minutes.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sausage, pastrami, bread mixture, Parmesan, parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Combine with your hands. Add the olive oil and eggs and mix together well.

4. Roll the mixture into 2-inch-round meatballs and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

5. Pour the marinara in a large pot. Add the meatballs and bring to a simmer.

6. Cook spaghetti according to the package directions. Drain. Place spaghetti in individual bowls and top with meatballs and sauce.

* serves 3


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Around The World in 52 Weeks: Barbecue Limas

This week my kitchen to the Marshall Islands. I was going to make dessert as well as dinner, but I kind of forgot I didn’t have any heavy cream and had to say goodbye to my plans to make a coconut cream macadamia cake, because I was too lazy to go to the grocery store.

While I didn’t make the coconut cream cake, I did use an ingredient I haven’t use before (which by the way is another of my resolutions for the year.) I had no idea until I made last week’s meal plan that butter beans and lima beans were actually the same thing. I had a can of butter beans in my cabinet, for whatever reason, and they have been sitting there forever because I had no idea what a butter bean was. I learned this week that it’s a lima bean! I’d never cooked with butter/lima beans before, but this Marshall Islands dish was delicious.

Of course the American is using canned lima beans.. But if we were actually on the Marshall Islands in the Caribbean we would have fresh beans that grow wild on the island. Cite.

I wasn’t too sure about this recipe. But after it was made and I was eating it, it was so good. And my boyfriend liked it too. We like the Marshall Islands.

Barbecue Limas (adapted from here)

1 can lima beans (or butter beans)
6 oz spicy Italian sausage
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 16-oz can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp mustard
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar


1. Brown the sausage, onion, and garlic in a skillet. Add the tomato sauce, mustard, and brown sugar and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes.

2. Pour the sausage mixture into a baking dish. Mix with lima beans and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

* serves 2
* I’m sharing this dish with KB and Whitesnake’s Simply Delish Saturdays.

I’d like to see people travel the globe with me.
Every Saturday I will be posting my recipe, as well as pictures to ethnic cuisines you have made and want to share.

– You must mention The Law Student’s Cookbook‘s Around The World In 52 Weeks in the entry you link. You can either use a link or use the banner.
– In your post you must  at least mention what cuisine the dish is.
– Email me your recipe at elizabeth@crabtech.net. Make sure to include:

* Your name or blog name
* The direct link to your post
* A picture of the dish or permission to pull a picture from the post

– Make sure to email me by Saturday at 12noon Pacific Standard Time
– If you enter a recipe you will be automatically entered into my current giveaway.

Easy Jambalaya

Jambalaya, a-crawfish pie and-a file gumbo
‘Cause tonight I’m gonna see my ma cher amio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-oh
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou.
Hank Williams Jr.

While this obviously isn’t a traditional jambalaya, it was tasty and it was easy.

Easy Jambalaya

1 tbsp canola oil
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 small red bell peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 cups dried rice
2 cups water
15 oz fire roasted petite diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 chicken sausage, sliced
15 oz boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
5 oz raw shrimp, deveined and peeled


1. Heat the oil in a pot. Once hot add in the vegetables and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the spices and saute for a minute.

2. Add the rice and saute for a few minutes to toast. Add the tomatoes, water, chicken, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.

3. Remove the bay leaf. Add the sausage, shrimp, and parsley. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the shrimp are pink.

* serves 4
* 550 calories per serving

Chickpea and Turkey Curry over Curried Mashed Sweet Potatoes

I feel like I need to sing and dance for sweet potatoes. They just never can do me no wrong.

For some reason I was always terrified of sweet potatoes growing up. I think it was because I could only think of that sickeningly sweet casserole with marshmallows and stuff on it. I know a lot of people love that stuff, but the thought of it to me is repulsive. That of course made sweet potatoes in any form repulsive, because that’s how my mind used to work.

But then I tried them in a different form and my life was changed.

This recipe is a chickpeas and ground turkey. I served it over curried sweet potatoes, a recipe I have made before and will make over and over again.

The first night it tasted delicious, but I think it tasted even better as leftovers the next day.

Chickpea and Turkey Curry

1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 can chickpeas, drained
1/2 can petite diced tomatoes
1 tbsp curry powder
2 tbsp garlic chili sauce
1/4 cup coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp dry red pepper flakes


1. Heat the sesame oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the turkey with the garlic and onion in the oil until the turkey is no longer pink.

2. Stir in the garbanzo beans, tomato, curry powder, chili sauce, and coconut milk. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.

* serves 3
* 367 calories per serving


Easy Creamy Sour Cream Chicken Casserole and Spicy Brussels Sprouts

Though it was just the small side of this meal, this post is about how much I typically I hate Brussels Sprouts. When I was growing up my mom had a policy that basically, I couldn’t say I didn’t like something until I’d tried it. This resulted in me taking a lot of tiny bites of food thinking I was going to hate it, and then gagging like I had eaten the most disgusting thing in the world.

As I grew up and began to cook for myself, this pickiness decreased actually much thanks to my mom. I still kept the notion that I couldn’t say I didn’t like something if I had never tried it. For me this also turned into trying foods that I was certain I despised (like spinach) and trying them in a way prepared differently than I’ve had before.

Brussels sprouts and I have been having a go with it. Every time I make them, I still hate them. But I knew there had to be a way I would enjoy the sprouts. There just had to be.

Now, I will say Brussels sprouts are by far not my favorite food in the world, but I have found one way that covers up the taste of them enough to make me enjoy the dish.

Spicy Brussels Sprouts

1 lb Brussels sprouts
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 green onions, chopped
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and black pepper, to taste


 1. Place the Brussels sprouts in a pot and fill with water. Boil for 30 minutes or until the sprouts are to your desired crispness.  Remove and drain.

2. Season with garlic, cayenne, and red pepper flakes. Add the green onions, mustard, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Toss until evenly coated.

* 62 calories per serving
* serves 4

Easy Creamy Sour Cream Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1 lb
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
25 reduced-fat Ritz crackers
1/2 cup Brummel&Brown yogurt spread, melted (or other butter substitute)


1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. Boil the chicken in a pot of water until it is cooked all the way through. Let cool and then cut into cubes.

3. Spread the chicken cubes over the bottom of a baking dish.

4. Mix sour cream and cream of mushroom soup in a bowl. Spread the mixture over the chicken.

5. Crush the Ritz and cover the dish with the crushed crackers.

6. Pour the melted Brummel&Brown over the dish.

7. Bake for 30 minutes, until brown on the top.

* 483 calories per serving
* serves 4

Turkey and Mushroom Sloppy Joes and a Review

I recently won a giveaway over at the Crazy Cooking Couple. I typically don’t enter giveaways (though this win might change that!), but I was intrigued by the prize in this challenge. The Crazy Cooking Couple was giving away several varieties of Brad’s Raw Chips. The flavor I got was the Leafy Kale Vampire Killer. Basically, it was pieces of kale, that some process was done to them to get them crispy coated with a soy cheese substitute and garlic. They definitely weren’t the same as potato chips and I don’t know if they could satisfy my potato chip cravings, however, they definitely were yummy. I’d actually like to try some of the other variations of Brad’s Raw Chips. For example, there’s a sweet potato chip, a red bell pepper chip, and a sun dried tomato chip. I actually think one of those may be more suitable for craving a “chip” craving than pieces of greenery. However, it wasn’t until this moment that I have consciously eaten kale and it was good.

I received the kale chips last Tuesday and decided to serve them with my sloppy joe lunch.

Turkey and Mushroom Sloppy Joes

1 tbsp olive oil
12 oz ground turkey
16 oz sliced mushrooms
1 cup onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp molasses
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp Sriacha sauce
4 hamburger buns


1. Heat a skillet over medium-heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Add the turkey, cooking for 4 minutes, until brown. Stir to crumble.

2. While the meat cooks, place the mushrooms in a food processor. Pulse 10 times, or until finely chopped. Add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic to the pan with the turkey. Cook for 3 minutes, until the onion is tender. Add the tomato paste, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, and salt. Cook for 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and the liquid has began to evaporate.

3. Stir in the ground black pepper and Sriacha. Spoon 1/4 of the meat mixture onto each bun.

* makes 4 sloppy joes
* 374 calories per joe

* This sandwich will be entered at Kahakai Kitchen’s Souper Sundays!