Pumpkin Meatballs

Pumpkin + ground turkey + mushrooms = delicious meatballs. I regularly stock my fridge and freezer with ground turkey for instances when burritos or meatballs call our name. Tonight, while I went to town prepping meatballs, I serendipitously set my sights on the Sugar Pie Pumpkin that came in our bi-weekly Capay delivery.

Meatballs require moisture, whether it’s bread crumbs or egg whites, so pumpkin is the perfect seasonal addition. I simply scooped out the seeds and added the fleshy portions to my meatball mixture. I roasted the remaining pumpkin slices in the oven, just like you would with butternut squash.

I served the meatballs with Healthy Harvest pasta, topped with olive oil and parmesan. Delish! (The pumpkin will be saved for another time – unfortunately I had a small thumb casualty when attempting to peel the skins.)

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Bringing Home the Bacon

Black bean soup + broccoli + mashed potatoes = just add bacon! In my quest to eat healthy this month, I’ve had a lonely package of bacon sitting in the fridge, waiting to expire. In a last ditch effort to use it on this lazy Sunday evening, I dug up a couple of bacon-based recipes from one of my old favorites, Epicurious (which recently released a free iPhone app). The results didn’t compromise my diet, and David cleaned his plate:

  • Black Bean Soup – My paraphrased version left out the jalapenos, oregano, bay leaf, thyme and cilantro; and since I used canned black beans instead of dried, I cut back on the simmering time (1 hour vs. 2.5). I also used homemade (frozen) chicken broth, defrosted in the microwave.

I may have dodged a grease fire in the process, but I did learn a nifty trick for cooking bacon when you need to collect the fat for use later: layer the strips of bacon inside a wok or coffee filter-shaped sauce pan. Plus, the slanted angle seemed to prevent a lot of the typical splatter that happens in a flat frying pan.

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Health and Home

After traveling for almost half of September, I am ready to get my body back in check. Before I get into the nitty gritty discipline stuff, I’d like to take a moment to highlight some of the amazing meals I had in Vegas and NYC:

Italian was the cuisine of choice – I made repeat visits to Fiamma (remember the amazing black truffle crema I wrote about in July?); and Morandi, where the Orecchiette con Salsiccia e Piselli was divine. I also had a delicate bolognese at Japanese-influenced Basta Pasta; and last but never least, I shared Macaroni and Cheese at Joe Allen (because I will never deny M&C on a menu).

With all the gluttony out of the way, it’s time to whip myself back into shape – so I can enjoy cooking without calorie counting again. Which means precisely that: watch your calories. It’s that simple. Fortunately, I have a nifty iPhone app, “The Daily Plate” to help me track my daily intake and exercise, courtesy of LiveStrong. And I will also tweet my daily menu and activities to help me stay motivated and accountable.

Follow me at @dinnerwithdavid on Twitter if you aren’t already! Suggestions and feedback always welcome.

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