Italian Lentil Soup With Meatballs

With a single day of cool breezes summer was blown away and autumn took it's place. Alex has laughed at me since we were dating about my love and over-anticipation that comes with each change of season. But in all honesty, fall is my favorite....or spring...no, it's fall for sure. Oh, but the first snow of winter is magical...or sunny days of summer...okay I love them all!I made some yummy Italian Lentil Soup one night when the cool evening breeze was blowy through the open windows. It was one of our meat free/vegan meals and it was so yummy and filling. Luckily, I made plenty and we had extras. So a couple night later as a cold rain fell I made meatballs and added to the left over soup for a hearty meal. I love stretching meals and giving leftovers double duty. It's so economical and time saving, but even better than that, the flavors have all marinated and it seems to taste better on round two! Bonus!

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Meatballs & Mushroom Marinara Sauce

The kids are starting school and schedules are set with sports, music lessons, and whatever else keeps us busy. No matter what's going on in our lives I always make sure we sit down to eat dinner together. It may have to be a little early or a little late to accommodate everyone's schedules, but dinner as a family is not negotiable for me. I mean, where else would you find out about everything that happened at school, share our latest "knock-knock" jokes, or just enjoy the quiet of one another's company?

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Slow Cooker Beef & Broccoli

I hate being rushed, but especially when it comes to dinner time!  It may not be this way in your home, but at my house from about 4:00 till dinner time is usually hectic...with my little guy coming home from school, homework for him and my little miss kindergartner to get done, everyone needs snacks, my littlest (2 1/2 year old) who has decided to forego naps is miss cranky pants (boo), everyone wants my attention at the same time and hubby isn't home yet!  I'm sure no one else has experienced this scenario before (insert sarcasm here), but these are the nights when mom's tend to throw up their hands in exasperation and order fast food for dinner just to make life a little less crazy.  Been there.  Done that.But since I'm on a mission to, as much as possible, feed my family healthy, home cooked meals without all the unpronounceable ingredients I turn to my slow cooker when I know it's going to be a busy day.  This beef and broccoli look-a-like is better than takeout from your favorite Chinese restaurant because you know exactly what's in it and that makes it taste even better at the end of a long day!  Serves 62 round steaks about 2-3 lbs. total. I had a couple chuck eye steaks in the freezer that worked just fine2 tbsp. sesame seed oilsalt & pepper1 onion, chopped2 clove garlic, minced1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and minced2/3 cup apple cider vinegar1/2 cup coconut aminos2 tbsp. honey2-3 cups fresh broccoli florets or thaw frozen broccoli1 8 oz. can water chestnuts, drained1/2 cup cashews, chopped (opt.)2 cups brown rice, cooked according to package directions or quinoaSalt and pepper steaks on both sides then in a hot skillet pan sear in the oil until browned on both sides. Transfer steaks to slow cooker, but leave the drippings in the skillet to cook the onion, garlic and ginger root until soft and the onion begins to caramelize around the edges.  Add the apple cider vinegar, soy sauce and honey.  Scrap up all the yummy bits off the bottom of the pan and pour everything into the slow cooker along with the meat.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  The meat will shred easily at this point.  The last 15-20 minutes of cooking time add in the broccoli, water chestnuts and cashews if you like.  Serve over rice.

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Root Vegetable Beef Stew

You've gotta love quick and simple Crockpot meals that are as healthy as they are delicious. This dinner is especially good on a day when you've got one million and three things to do and you were already exhausted before you even got up this morning.  Maybe knowing that you've got a healthy dinner waiting at home for you and your family will help you get through the day and check one thing off your to do list... one million and two :)

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Meatball Appetizers with Tomato Vinaigrette

Appetizers are great because they're so versatile!  You can serve these savory meatballs at your next get together or as part of "finger food" night with your kids along with a Rosemary Hummus Snack Platter!  Plus, your kids and guests may not know how good for you these cute little meatballs are since they're blended with sweet potatoes which are naturally packed full of vitamins C and A, folate, calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals.

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Round Steak Basil Rolls

The main course for our father's day feast was ingenious and yummy, and very beefy and manly for the men in my life.  Round Steak Basil Rolls2 boneless beef round steaksMcCormick Montreal Steak Grill seasoning20 basil leafs1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese1 tbsp olive oilsalt and pepper First thing you need is a couple boneless beef round steaks.  They look like giant thinly cut steaks.  Cover meat with plastic wrap to avoid splattering then using meat mallet hammer them until tenderized. Grind some of the grill seasoning over top (how ever much you want) followed by 10 basil leafs per steak and finally 1/2 cup mozzarella per steak. Starting at one end begin rolling steak up like a burrito.  Disclaimer:  tuck your ends in other wise you'll lose lot of cheese and moisture out the sides.Secure with meat string. (notice how we did not secure ends...don't do that.  Remember roll it up like a burrito, tucking the ends in as you go). Rub olive oil all over outside of steaks then salt and pepper.  Bake uncovered in a 400 degree oven for 30  minutes, then turn the heat down to 325 and finish baking another 45 minutes.   Enjoy!
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546 Hits
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Hobo Dinner

My mom made "hobo dinner" regularly when I was growing up.  I think it's called that because you usually make it when you haven't had time to get to the store and you just have a bunch of odd veggies laying around that need to be eaten.  I remember my mom putting the hamburger patties, potatoes, carrots and whatever frozen vegetables she could find into a casserole dish, topping it off with cream-of-"something" and putting it in the oven for an hour and a half or so.  Here's my recreation of her classic meat and potatoes meal.6-8 big red potatoes (about one per person), sliced2 carrots, choppedBoil potatoes and carrots in salted water until just tender. While that's cooking start thawing whatever frozen veggies you got taking up space in your freezer (i.e. corn, green beans, peas)2 lbs. organic hamburger or turkey burger1/2 tsp. dried thyme1 tsp. dried tarragon leaves1/2 tsp. garlic salt1 parsley sprig, chopped2-3 pinches crushed red pepper flakes2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauceMix seasonings and Worcestershire sauce into hamburger or turkey burger.  Form into patties and cook in large skillet until browned and cooked through.  Remove and set aside. Into the same skillet you just cooked the meat in add:1 tbsp olive oil1 small onion, diced6-8 mushrooms, slicedCook onion first for a couple minutes before adding your mushrooms.  Let sizzle away for a few minutes.  While that's busy whisk together:1 can beef broth (or chicken broth if using turkey burger)1 tbsp cornstarch 

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Summer Sausage Jambalaya

I had some left over beef summer sausage from a recent camping trip. Normally I stay away from any processed meats since most contain loads of artificial preservatives like nitrates and nitrites, gluten fillers, and MSG. But, I found a great summer sausage that was uncured, gluten free and organic. So, I turned it into a simple jambalaya.  I used quinoa -my favorite food to cook with because of it's short cooking time and super food qualities, but you can use brown rice instead.  Just up the cooking time an additional 30 minutes.

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Melissa Cornwall has spent years researching and implementing nutritionally-based approaches to health and wellness. Her lifelong love of food and health evolved from a hobby to a passion when her daughter was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease.

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