Easy Meatball Subs (and a small life update)

Holy cow. It’s been almost a month (over a month?) Since I posted. Ridiculous, I know, but–I GOT  A JOB! Anyone who knows me will remember that I had been unemployed since October. Well, not anymore! I am back in the workforce! Working hard, making money…relinquishing all of my free time to my new place of employment. So…basically I will update this when I can, but I make no promises on how frequently that will be. Hang in there with me. 🙂

Now, a recipe that is not really a recipe. After the BBQ pizza I posted, I had some BBQ sauce leftover. I thought, ‘What could be easier than throwing that in a crockpot with some turkey meatballs? Nothing!”. And I was right.

BBQ Turkey Meatball Subs

Ingredients

1 bag frozen turkey meatballs
14 oz BBQ sauce (whatever kind is your favorite)
Hoagie rolls
shredded cheddar cheese

1) Put meatballs and BBQ sauce in the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

2) Put meatballs on Hoagie rolls and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

3) Eat.

I know, I know, I should be ashamed of putting this “recipe” on my blog. Whatever, I have no shame. It was delicious, I don’t care if it’s not real cooking. If you have the time and energy, by all means, make the meatballs/sauce from scratch. I might try that some weekend.

I just served these sandwiches with a simple salad and some fruit for dessert.

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No Noodle Crockpot Lasagna

First of all, is crockpot one word or two? The first person who can correctly school me gets…well, my sincere gratitude.

Anyway, this crockpot recipe is delicious, easy, vegetarian, and, since slices of eggplant and squash replace the noodles, it’s not as carb laden as a normal lasagna. That means you can have seconds. 🙂

Original recipe can be found HERE.

No Noodle Crockpot Lasagna

 

Ingredients

1 26 oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce
1 small container of ricotta cheese
8 slices of mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded Italian cheese mix
1 large eggplant
3 summer squash
1 pound of mushrooms, sliced
bag of baby spinach
2 T warm water

 

1) Wash all the veggies. Slice the eggplant and squash into long strips, about 1/4 inch thick.

2) In the bottom of your crockpot, pour 1/4 cup of pasta sauce. Layer in a few pieces of squash and eggplant, then smear some ricotta cheese on top. Add a generous handful of baby spinach and some mushrooms. Top that with a few slices of mozzarella cheese. Pour in some more pasta sauce.

3) Continue layering the ingredients until you run out of ingredients or your crockpot is full. (I ran out of room before I ran out of ingredients.) Top with the end of the pasta sauce and the shredded cheese. Put 2 tablespoons of warm water into the empty pasta sauce jar, cover, and shake. Pour the remaining sauce on top of everything.

4) Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. The lasagna is done with the cheese is melty and the veggies are tender.

 

Next time I’ll leave out the last bit of water and pasta sauce, I think it made it a little too runny. I also subbed in zucchini for the eggplant since all the eggplant at our store looked bad.

Overall, it was delicious and husband approved. I served it with some of the leftover garlic knots that I had hidden in the freezer and it was a great, easy dinner.

Butternut Squash Soup

I love butternut squash. Love, love, love it. I love it in soup. I love the smell of it when you first cut into it. I just love it. I wish I had more recipes that called for it. I plan on finding some a.s.a.p.

I know butternut squash soup is more of an autumn dish, but I was really craving butternut squash this week, so I decided to make it anyway.

This is a slow cooker recipe. I love making it on a lazy day when I’m going to be home to smell it cooking.

**I adapted this recipe from Betty Crocker Easy Everyday Vegetarian.**

Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 6
240 calories/serving

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1 medium onion, chopped
1 butternut squash (2 lb) peeled and cubed
2 1/4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, cubed

1) In 10-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Cook onion in butter, stirring frequently until tender.

2) In 3 or 4 quart slow cooker, mix onion and remaining ingredients EXCEPT cream cheese. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

3) In blender, place 1/3 of soup mixture and blend. Add another 1/3 of mixture and blend. Add last 1/3 of soup mixture and blend until smooth. Return mixture to slow cooker.

4) Using a wire whisk, stir in cream cheese. Cover and cook on low for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally with whisk until cheese is melted and soup is smooth.

The original recipe called for vegetable bouillon cubes and water instead of the veggie stock, but I could not find veggie bouillon cubes at any of the stores I went to. Granted, I only tried like, two before I called it quits and decided to sub in the stock.  Using the stock is just as easy anyway.

I love this soup. And luckily Chad agrees. Sometimes we have it with grilled cheese, but tonight I just threw some grapes on the side. Next time I want to make homemade bread with it. Perfect dinner for a cold night.

Taco Casserole

I have been neglecting this blog for a little while. It isn’t entirely my fault. I HAVE been cooking, but a lot of what we’ve had in the last week have been repeats. We had the garlic and red pepper pasta one night. We’ve had vegetarian chili. You get the idea.

Plus I spent all last weekend baking and decorating a strawberry and white checkerboard cake, so I was definitely not going back in the kitchen to do anything complicated for a while.

But today, I decided I should actually cook. Or, more accurately, throw a bunch of ingredients in the slow cooker, ignore it all day, and see what came out.

Taco Casserole

Makes 4 servings
470 calories/serving

Ingredients:

3 cups frozen soy burger crumbles (You can sub in 1 lb ground beef/chicken/turkey/whatever)
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 (10 3/4 oz) can tomato soup
1 package taco seasoning
1/2 cup water
6 corn tortillas, cut into 1/2 inch strips
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese
3 medium green onions, sliced

1) Spray 3 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In prepared slow cooker, mix crumbles, tomatoes, soup, seasoning, and water. Gently stir in tortilla strips.

2) Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours.

3) Spread sour cream over casserole. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and let stand about 5 minutes (until cheese is melted). Sprinkle with onions.

This recipe came from my Betty Crocker Easy Everyday Vegetarian cookbook. I loved this cookbook when I first got it, and I still have a few recipes that I’ve made from it that I think are amazing. This was not one of those amazing recipes.

My issues with this recipe are:

*Anything made in a slow cooker is not a casserole. Sorry, Betty Crocker, maybe I just don’t get it, but this was really more of a strange soup than anything.

*The amount of cheddar and sour cream seem excessive to me. To cut back on calories, I used light sour cream and added that after casserole was plated. That way I could use less than what would have been on a serving had I prepared it the way the recipe suggested. If I make this again I would cut the cheese in half and probably use vegan cheese.

*It just wasn’t anything special.

The cookbook says the recipe serves 4, but the portions would be pretty big. I think if you were serving 4 you would probably have leftovers.

In the end, this recipe was okay, but I felt like it was missing something. Something crunchy. Perhaps a taco shell.

Considering I did just turn the slow cooker on and forget about it, I really can’t complain too much. Next time I’ll just make regular tacos.

Lentil and Mixed Veggie Casserole

Lentils are said to be a staple of vegetarian cooking. They have a high amount of protein and are often used as a meat substitute, or so I am told by  my good friend Google. I learned that a while ago and just needed to find an excuse to cook with lentils. And here we are.

I learned two things cooking this particular dish. The first thing I learned is that lentils are a member of the legume family. Just a random fact for you. I’ll share the second thing I learned later.

Lentil and Mixed Veggie Casserole
**From Betty Crocker Easy Everyday Vegetarian**

Cook Time: 3 hours
Makes 8 servings
220 calories/serving

Ingredients

1 lb (2 cups) dried lentils, sorted and rinsed
2 cans (14 oz each) vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bag (1 lb) frozen broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower, drained and rinsed
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed golden mushroom soup

1) In a 3 or 4 quart slow cooker, combine veggie broth, lentils, pepper, and salt. Cover and cook on low heat setting for approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes

3) Stir in vegetables and soup. Cover and continue cooking on low for another 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

The changes I made: I used cream of mushroom soup because when I picked up the golden mushroom soup and looked at the ingredients, I discovered that it was made with beef broth. Not an issue if you aren’t a vegetarian, but I opted to go with the cream of mushroom soup since it was vegetarian friendly.

I left out the cauliflower and subbed in some fresh celery. I hate warm cauliflower, that was the only reasoning behind that.

So, (and here is the second thing I learned with this dish) I really don’t like lentils. Neither does Chad, so this recipe was not husband approved. We both agreed that the broth and veggies tasted GREAT, but the lentils just were not our favorite thing. Don’t let that discourage you from making this dish, I know plenty (okay, maybe 2) people who really like lentils. Besides, if you make the dish and hate it you can always order pizza. That’s what we ended up doing.

And the pizza was great.