Roasted Red Peppers with Sausage & Ricotta Meatballs

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We had this one tonight. It was pretty dang delicious and had such an interesting depth of flavor. I saw the recipe for Pork and Ricotta Meatballs in Cook’s Country and saw lots of potential in it, including ways to use those pesky sweet red peppers we had hiding in the veggie drawer. So here is my wildly adapted version of this recipe, broken into a few parts.

Sausage and Ricotta Meatballs
Serves 4-5

2 slices bread, torn into small pieces
4 oz (1/2 cup) ricotta
5 sweet italian sausage links (total about 20 oz), removed from casings
1/4 cup Parmesan Reggiano Cheese, grated
1 1/2 Tb dried parsley
1 egg
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 Tb salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest (1/2 lemon)

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Set wire rack on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or baking pad. Spray liberally with Pam.
2. Combine bread and ricotta in a large bowl and mix with a fork, let stand, and mix again, until a smooth paste forms, up to 10 minutes.
3. Add sausage, Parmesan, parsley, egg, shallot, garlic salt, pepper, and lemon zest to bread mixture and mix with hands until thoroughly combined.
4. Divide mixture into 16 equal portions. Roll meat between wet hands to form meatballs and sapce evenly on prepared wire rack.
5. Roast meatballs until browned and cooked through to about 155-165 degrees. Check after about 35 minutes. If not hot enough, put back in for another 10-15 minutes.

Roasted Red Peppers
Serves 4-5

4 sweet red peppers
1 Tb olive oil
pinch salt, pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon

1. Cut out the stems and remove the seeds from peppers. Slice length-wise.
2. Brush olive oil on peppers on all sides. And sprinkle with lemon juice.
3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4. Roast along with the meatballs and take out right as you notice the edges turning dark. These should be soft when poked with a fork.

Sauce
Serves 4-5

1/8 c olive oil
5 garlic gloves, smashed and peeled
2 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper

1. While meatballs and peppers are in the oven, combine oil and garlic in a dutch oven set over low heat and cook until garlic is soft and golden on all sides, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Stir in tomatoes. Cover with lid slightly ajar. and bring to simmer over medium high heat.
3. Squeeze lemon juice into sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until sauce has thickened somewhat. Turn off heat and let sit.
3. When you take the meatballs and peppers out of the oven, pour this into a food processor and process until smooth.

To plate, with an extra 1/4 cup grated Parmesan:
1. Lay down two roasted red pepper halves.
2. Sprinkle some Parmesan over peppers.
3. Place 4 meatballs on top of the peppers.
4. Ladle sauce over the meatballs.
5. Garnish with more Parmesan.

Then enjoy! I loved the garlic and lemon in this dish. The sausage was incredible. The meatballs were killer and could’ve been just fine on their own, but the sweetness of the red peppers and the sauce brought everything together.

Nutrition:
Weight Watchers Points: 12

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Kale Fritatta

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Yet another thing we had too much of– kale. Kale is another vegetable that I’m really not a big fan of. But I’m willing to try it all sorts of ways to see if it has more value than being made into kale chips. Luckily our CSA newsletter has had a few recipe ideas for us, and this is one we made recently. It is intended for swiss chard rather than kale, but I made it work.

Adapted from Stillman’s CSA newsletter, Week 6 (July 20-26)
Serves 6
Active Time: About 40 minutes

1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tb olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh basil
1 tsp fresh oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
ground pepper to taste
1 zucchini, chopped
1 bunch of kale, leaves chopped
1 pepper, chopped
5 eggs and a splash of milk
1 c shredded cheddar

1.) In a French oven, saute onion and garlic in oil with seasonings for 5-8 minutes.
2.) Add zucchini and kale. Cover to help cook the kale down and wait to add more ingredients until the kale cooks down by at least a quarter.
3.) Add pepper.
4.) Beat eggs with milk, add cheese. Pour over veggies.
5.) Place French oven in a 400 degree oven and cook 15-18 minutes or until set.

Nutrition:
Weight Watchers Points: 6

Between steps 3 and 4.

Between steps 3 and 4.

Right before sticking in the oven.

Right before sticking in the oven.

Beef Stir Fry

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3/4 lb steak, cut into pieces
1 Tb grapeseed oil
4 cups napa cabbage, chopped
1/2 roasted red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup garlic scapes, chopped
1 large red radish, sliced (thick)
1 1/2 Tb Stir fry sauce

1.) In a wok, cook the steak until medium doneness. Remove from wok and keep warm.
2.) Add grapeseed oil to wok and let heat briefly. Then add garlic scales and cook about 1 minute.
3.) Add radish, napa cabbage, and radish and toss to cover in oil and garlic. Then cover and cook, tossing frequently with a wooden spoon.
4.) When the vegetables are mostly cooked down and wilted, add stir fry sauce to the top edges of wok and toss then vegetables to coat.
5.) Add steak and toss to combine.

Total time: About 30 minutes

We were bigs fans of this meal, especially since we used some quality meat. I think I would redo this with a bit more stir fry sauce and rice next time around and that would really make this a total meal.