Greek Turkey Meatballs

OMG, the work week is almost over and I am thrilled with my schedule.  Wednesday nights used to be a mess of rushing home, making dinner, eating dinner, making breakfast, getting ready for bed, picking out clothes for Thursday, packing Thursday’s workout bag, writing blogs, reading blogs, checking email, crashing into bed, reading, sleeping…

 

Instead, last night I came home and the BOY had dinner (grilled salmon and broccoli) ready.  I cleaned up a few things, got into my comfies, and sat on the couch to watch the Hawk’s game.  Any other cleaning and meal prep could be done today!  I almost didn’t know what to do with all of my time, but I liked it! 

 

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I was not able to stay awake for the entire Hawk’s game, but the BOY reported their win when he came up to bed.  Despite the big storms rolling through last night, Thursday appears sunny.  My first thought this morning (after tea of course) was to get started with dinner.  I found a fun looking recipe that would allow me to use my mint plant for the first time.  I have been working so hard at keeping him alive that I forgot I should be using the mint.

 

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I began with the non-meat related ingredients and got stuck when upon cleaning out my spice cabinet (yikes…there were things that expired 2 years ago and at least 3 cumins) discovered that we have no oregano.  Since I was planning on running out this morning anyways, I stopped dinner (putting the bowl in the fridge for later) and got started on breakfast.

 

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Another eggie concoction consisting of a Dr. Praeger’s Veggie Burger with 1 egg + 2 egg whites and a splash of seasoned salt.

 

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After breakfast, it was off to the pool for one last swim after a stop at Target for a few things, including oregano.  I am a tad worried about Sunday’s swim portion of the triathlon.  Should one really swim for the first time in a brand new wetsuit in a race?  I have used wetsuits before, so it will have to be okay and thankfully it is only a 1/3 mile swim.  I can float my way through that, right? 

 

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This morning, I had the most amazing swim epiphany.  In the past, I have prepared minimally for the swim section of the triathlon (seriously only swimming twice before last year’s tri) and it is typically in a pool.  This year, I have been swimming almost every week since March so I should be much more prepared.  Expect this morning I realized that I am not as prepared as I thought when I attempted to swim a few laps in a row without stopping.  See…I can’t do the flip turns because my goggles fill up with water and then my contacts hate me, so I typically touch the wall, grab a few quick breaths of air and then continue on my way.  I didn’t fully understand how limiting that was (I mean it’s not like I was hanging out for a full minute after each lap) until this morning when I pushed on without the extra air.  I kept my same slow steady pace, but my heart was racing, and I when I got to the next walk, I lunged at it gasping for air.  Ahhh…It all makes sense….why when I am in the water for the triathlons without walls to grab ahold of, I struggle with my breathing, end up getting nervous, and pop my head above the water anxious and sucking in air.  Maybe it’s the runner in me that is used to breathing in/out nonstop throughout a workout that makes swimming even tougher, but it was clear to me today, 2 days before my triathlon, that I do not train properly in swimming.

 

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With that being said, I swam my 15 minutes, eventually building up how many laps I could do without rest, before lazying in the hot tub for a few minutes.  At this point, there’s not much I can do before Saturday and I’m hoping my wet suit will help.  Plus, I know how to breast stroke when I need the air.  But as I am considering another late season tri, I will definitely have to make some changes to my training.  Suddenly, ladder drills are making a whole lot more sense.

 

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I returned home starving, so I threw together a Cucumber Mango Green Smoothie before hopping into the shower.  I had plenty of time to finish putting together the meatballs for tonight’s dinner before work.  My thought is that the BOY can make a Greek meatball pita and I will use my leftover lettuce from the Teriyaki Chicken Wraps.  But, I’m guessing these meatballs would be great over pasta or spaghetti squash as well.  I rolled the meat into balls and left them in a baking dish where the BOY could find them when he got back home after school/work.

 

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I’m not sure how he is feeling about it, but I am loving this tag team dinner prep!

 

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I ended up staying later than expected at work, but the BOY was all set at home sticking the meatballs in the oven for 25 minutes.

 

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And dinner was served!  These meatballs are seasoned perfectly, very flavorful, and super tasty!  I highly recommend them for your next week night meal! 

 

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The BOY and I are enjoying a quiet night in with Downton Abbey before our busy weekend!  It’s been a fantastic first week of summer scheduling including some delicious dinners.  Enjoy!!!

 

 

 

Greek Turkey Meatballs

From The Eat Clean Diet

 

Ingredients

    1 lb. lean ground turkey

    1 cup low-fat feta cheese

    1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

    2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint

    2 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano

    2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

    2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning

    3 garlic cloves, minced

    1 (12 ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry and chopped (I used an 8 ounce jar which was sufficient)

     

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Mix lean ground turkey, feta cheese, parsley, mint, oregano, lemon juice, lemon pepper, garlic and roasted red peppers together in a large bowl, blending in cheese until no chunks remain.

    Using a 1/8 cup to measure, roll into 16 meatballs and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake until browned and cooked through, about 25 minutes.

    Serve with Greek yogurt cucumber sauce!

    Post-Superbowl Cucumber Tomato Feta Dip

    One of the benefits of CrossFit is that you have to sign up a few days in advance.  Why is this so good?  Because it holds me accountable to get to the gym on Monday mornings like this one, when I’d much rather stay in bed.

     

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    I did take a quick peak at the website to see that we were doing ‘Tall Paul’ this morning, but I had no idea what that meant!  I brushed off my car for the third morning in a row (thinking again how cool it would be if I had snow shoes) and trekked off to the gym.

     

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    Confession…I stayed up a little later than usual last night watching the Superbowl and then Elementary, of course.  We had so much fun at my best friend’s house eating dinner, watching football, and hanging out with her two adorable children. 

     

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    The appetizers were unique and delicious!  This Feta Dip was a big hit.  Because the BOY doesn’t like tomatoes, I only added them to half of the dip and didn’t stir everything together.

     

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    I used an herb flavored feta, and the addition of Cavendar’s (one of our all time favorite seasonings) was perfect!

     

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    We had a very un-football like dinner.

     

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    And every single thing was flavorful and satisfying!

     

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    It’s amazing how colorful this spread was!  We all dug right into the food, going back for seconds.  I mentioned to the BOY that we should bring in Indian food more often!

     

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    The exciting thing is that we even have leftovers for lunch today.  After CrossFit, I refueled with a Green Juice Smoothie (I have been craving this ginger infused drink since last week) and am about to dig into some tasty leftovers.  I know compared to most, I have it easy today with a quiet day at home watching Biggest Loser, doing chores, and prepping for Friday’s trip to Florida!

     

    Oh Yea and we are going to Yogurtland!

    Yogurtland is having free yogurt and toppings TODAY from 4-7 pm.  We’ll see you in line!

     

     

    Did you stay up late last night?

    How are you recovering today?

     

     

    Cucumber Tomato Feta Dip

    Adapted From The Girl Who Ate Everything

     

    Ingredients

    about 1/3 cup olive oil

    1 container of grape tomatoes, diced or quartered

    4-5 green onions, sliced thinly

    1 small cucumber, diced in small cubes

    8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (see Note)

    2-3 teaspoons Cavender’s Greek seasoning

     

    Directions

    On a large platter drizzle olive oil until you have a thin layer on the entire platter. You may use more or less here depending on your preference.

    Add the tomatoes, green onions, cucumber, and feta on top of the olive oil. Sprinkle with the Greek seasoning to taste.

    With a spoon carefully combine the ingredients.

    Serve with warm sliced baguettes or pita chips for scooping up the dip.

    CSA Inspired Dinner

    The BOY and I made a fabulous fresh dinner tonight, which was perfect after a busy weekend of training and sports.  Did I mention that the BOY picked up a new hobby?

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    We took are first golf lesson on Saturday.  We are both newbies to the sport, but the BOY has been wanting to learn for awhile.  We found a very nice and patient pro, which is good because hand-eye coordination is not my strength!  We are all signed up for another lesson next weekend!

    For Dinner tonight, I got a jump start on my August goal to use fresh and seasonal produce.  I made a crisp salad using the lettuce, cukes, and tomato from this week’s CSA.  I sliced up the green pepper we got along with some yellow and orange to grill as a side to the Santa Fe and Mediterranean premade Turkey Burgers we picked up from Whole Foods this afternoon.

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    As an appetizer, we had grilled feta with my new favorite Kashi pita crisps.  They were sampling them at the Super Target and they are fabulous.  I also saw them at Costco this weekend.  Even the BOY approved as he dug right in to the feta.

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    Our grilled peppers turned out good. I loved the taste of my Santa Fe turkey burger, but it was a little dry.  The BOY enjoyed his Mediterranean turkey burger on a toasted sourdough roll which was incredible!  Along with a new beer (for him) and an old favorite for me.  I am still replenishing carbs after this mornings workout.

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    But the star of tonight’s dinner was definitely dessert.  We got a lot of peaches and plums in the fruit share this week.  They were all ripe and I was worried whether the two of us would be able to eat them fast enough.  So I decided to turn them into a dessert.  There are tons of grilled stone fruit recipes out there, but I made up my own and kept it simple.  I sliced up the fruit and spread it out over foil coated with cooking spray. I drizzled on some maple syrup, cinnamon, walnuts, and raisins.  Then tented the foil turning it into an enclosed little packet and handed it off to the grill master.

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    I’m not sure exactly how he cooked it, but he left it on the grill for about 12 minutes.  When he brought the packet inside, it smelled amazing!  We ate our grilled dessert warm sitting side by side on the couch with everyone’s favorite topping (Reddi Whip).  Can you see the steam coming off the plate?  The fruit was soft and warm and the maple and cinnamon were a fabulous combination.  I was stuffed from dinner, but dessert was so good, I couldn’t stop eating it.  The only feedback from the BOY was that he wanted more raisins next time.  This is definitely a repeat dessert!

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    Thank you to the CSA (and Whole Foods) for providing us with a spectacular three course meal. After a busy and productive day, it feels great to sit back on the couch and unwind before the work week.  I am also looking for something to do with the two eggplants I got in this week’s CSA box.

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    Any Suggestions???

    A Simple Something New

    As many of you know it has been an interesting and exciting week!  Plus, my schedule has changed (I have Fridays off for the summer instead of Mondays) which always throws me off course.  That being said, I have not had much time at home and certainly no time to play online.  BUT, I made a commitment to trying something new each week, and I wanted to make sure to share this with you since it is AMAZING! 

    Although it is probably not new to you, feta is definitely a new food to me. I JUST started eating the crumbled stuff and never tried the block version, especially not like this…

     

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    This grilled feta is easy to make and tastes gourmet.  Take a block of feta (I bought mine at WF in liquid).  Drain and bring to room temperature.  Place feta on foil and cover with a pinch of salt and pepper, drizzle with a healthy dose of olive oil, and then sprinkle with dried thyme.  Place on medium-low heat of grill in foil packet (you can tent it, but we did not) for 18-20 minutes.  Transfer to a plate and serve warm with pita chips or crackers.

     

    Trust me…you will want to include this at your next BBQ!!!