Wednesday, February 1, 2012

So Many Balls

Oh, the places this post could go. ;-)

First, though, let's back up to yesterday. I wrote a book review instead of my usual exercise and food posts, and Mom was not happy. My apologies, Mom; I'll double-post next time to get in all the goods.

So yesterday, a wrestling match at my school and lots of traffic got me back into West LA much later than I would have liked, and I still had to stop at the store for dinner. I was seriously craving spaghetti squash, and I couldn't wait to try out a new recipe, but, alas, no squash to be found. Given my time crunch, I opted to switch to an easier meal - peppers, onions, and sausage with brown rice. Easy and delicious! I'm glad I didn't cave and just eat out, as I would have done a year ago.
Super simple dinner!
Before last night's yummy dinner, I managed to bust out a tough cardio workout: 3 miles in 27 minutes, plus another 10 minutes walking at an 8.0-10.0 incline. Then I threw in a plank, some calf raises, lat pull downs, and leg presses. I kept the strength training light, because my half-marathon training schedule suggested only a run.

Tonight's workout got me feeling pumped! I found an arm workout on Brittany's blog that I found really challenging and fun. I did it twice through, and I highly recommend it! Then Terry and I ran two miles together, and since it was freezing we ran super fast! Two miles in 17:25. Not bad! (Granted, we were dying by the end, but still.)

And then a glorious meal. I had several types of meat in the fridge from the meatloaf last weekend, and I decided to use it up to make meatballs!

Homemade Meatballs
Makes approximately 30
3-Meat Meatball!

  • 3 hot Italian sausage links, casings removed
  • 4-6 ounces ground turkey
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
Mix all ingredients together. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Roll the meat mixture in your palms to create balls about the size of a ping pong ball. Place the meatballs in the pan, spaced evenly (I cooked mine in two batches). Cook two minutes, then turn, cooking two more minutes. Repeat (turn and cook) until the entire outside is browned. 

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a rack on top of a baking sheet (to catch drippings), then place the browned meatballs on the rack. Cover with foil and bake for about 10 minutes. 

These meatballs can be terrific appetizers (serve with teriyaki sauce) or would be awesome in meatball subs. The other night, Terry and I had a few appetizers at Salt Creek Grille, and our favorite was a marinara-goat cheese-crostini thing. I loved the combination of flavors, so here's what we did tonight:

Goat Cheese Eggplant and Meatballs (serving suggestion)
Tonight's delicious dinner
Bake eggplant (sliced crosswise in 1/2-inch rings, then tossed lightly in olive oil, pepper, and salt) at 400 degrees for ten minutes. Then add goat cheese on top of each eggplant slice and bake another minute or so. 

To assemble, top a cup of fresh spinach with the eggplant-goat cheese slices, homemade marinara, and homemade meatballs. Enjoy!

Prior to the marinara and meatballs
I'll share my marinara recipe tomorrow, but you can also use store-bought - just try to make sure the ingredients are all real and don't include sugar. :-) I like Trader Joe's Organic Marinara Sauce.

This recipe totally hit the spot. I worried that I might miss having pasta or bread with the Italian flavors, but it all worked out great! SO delicious!

After the meatballs, apparently I was in the mood for other round foods, and I happened upon Lisa's Powerballs and made a delicious batch. I made the following changes:

Makes 24 balls

Wholesome sweets are the best!

  • 3 cups oats
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans and walnuts)
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Mix the first four ingredients together (it's super sticky!), then roll ping pong-sized balls in the cocoa powder.  Perfect little dessert or post-workout snack!

Hope you had an awesome first day of February!


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