Monday, February 11, 2013

Diet-Friendly Meatball Macaroni Soup

So, I love Rachael Ray, but sometimes her recipes are not all that diet-friendly. Because I am trying to be health conscious, this poses a bit of a problem for me in general. Tonight, I was able to "dietize" one of her recipes (and yes, I have made "dietize" a word). This recipe is based on hers, but I didn't use red meat (I rarely make red meat at home), I didn't use white macaroni, and I didn't serve it with 4 cheese grilled cheese sandwiches. Overall hers isn't even that bad I suppose, but I made it better, if I do say so myself.

Thanks to Nemo, groceries are limited in the house. I have ground turkey in the fridge (because, obviously, I always have ground turkey in the fridge) and so I had to think of something - and the usual just sounded horrific to me. Also, thanks to Nemo, I was craving something warm and hearty. 

The Recipe
Recipe inspired by Rachael Ray
2 tablespoons EVOO
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
3 bay leaves
Fresh thyme, leaves off of 2-3 stems
Sprinkle of poultry seasoning
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground turkey
1 egg, beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, eyeball it
½ cup plain bread crumbs, eyeball it
½  teaspoon nutmeg, eyeball it
6 cups low-sodium, fat free chicken stock
2 cups water
¾ box of whole wheat rotini pasta
1 bag frozen peas
2 handfuls of baby spinach, coarsely chopped

  1. In a deep pot over medium heat add first seven ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Cover pot and cook veggies 5 or 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the veggies cook, combine meat, egg, garlic, cheese, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg.
  2. Uncover your soup pot and add liquid. Increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil. When soup boils, reduce heat a bit and start to roll meat mixture into small balls, dropping them straight into the pot. The meatballs will cook in the broth.
  3. When you finish your last meatball, add pasta to the soup and stir. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add in frozen peas, bring back to a boil and cook another 5 minutes.  Stir in chopped spinach,  let it wilt, and the soup is ready to be served. 
While the grilled cheese sandwiches featured on RR's recipe sound like one of the most delectable things you could possibly eat with a bowl of soup, I chose to forgo them. Maybe next time if I'm feeling cheesy. 

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