Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lower Carb Italian Meatballs for the Slow Cooker!

Slow Cooker Low Carb (but you'd never know it!) Grandma's Meatballs!

½lb ground pork
½lb ground beef
(or you can do a whole pound of your favorite – beef, pork, turkey, chicken, veal, etc)
1t garlic powder
1t onion powder
1 egg
½C parmesan cheese, grated (I use Trader Joe's b/c it is just cheese – no preservatives.)
1t baking powder
1 ½ – 2t Italian seasoning (depends on how strong you want it)
24oz – 1qt your favorite tomato sauce.  (I use Singing Tomato Sunday Gravy – you can order some if you live in Nashville made by ME!)

Take out your Slow Cooker.  Spray it with cooking spray (preferably a Misto or other non-chemical spray).  Turn it on low.  Pour in your tomato sauce.

You may want to do the following near your slow cooker if you have the counter space.

Put the rest of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and using your hands – mix it all together until well blended.  Then grab about 1 ½ – 2 T size of the meat mixture.  Using your hands form them into little balls and plop them into the slow cooker.  It should make about 12 of them.  When you're done – cover the slow cooker and cook for 8-10 hours.

I have to tell you – Darren HATES meatballs, meat loaf and the like because normally they have bread crumbs.  He LOVES these (ate seven of them the first time I made them) because they don't have bread crumbs and are not mealy.  Also, if you have a bread sensitivity and have avoided meatballs because of the bread – these are a great alternative!

You can make them on a weekend and freeze them for a quick, healthy weeknight meal as well.

Monday, September 24, 2012

EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! The Singing Tomato is cookin' for you!

Hello My Mater Friends!  So excited to let the full cat out of the bag - even though we all know I have been hinting because I can't keep a secret for nothing!  The Singing Tomato is expanding beyond just a recipe & foodie blog.  I am happy to say I am now offering the following services:

Personal Chef - I come to your home for a few hours and cook in your kitchen.  I make you a few meals that we can put in the fridge or the freezer, with instructions, and then I clean up everything and leave you with very little KP duty.  You come home to a clean kitchen and a full fridge of healthy Italian meals.

We meet previous to my first visit and discuss likes, dislikes, any allergies or special requests - such as all organic or all natural items.  You will choose how many meals you would like, the day you need me to come (I can come while you are at work like a little dinner elf and be gone when you come home) and go over our menu options.

A more comprehensive menu and cost page is forthcoming

Meal Delivery - You order off our soon to be released menu, you place your order and later that week, I will bring dinner to your door.  You can order just the marinara because you love homemade tomato sauce but don't  have the time to make it or order a full meal soup to nuts, as they say, delivered right to your door.  There will be a delivery charge depending on distance.

COMING SOON!   Pop-Up Singing Tomato Cafe - The commercial kitchen at the Nashville Farmer's Market is set among all the other great restaurants in the Market House and hosts "pop-up restaurants" like mine, as well as a place to cook the above.  My goal is to do a restaurant night once a month, including entertainment, where you can come and have a great night out or just sample the great dishes we offer.

I am still working out menus for each so that is forth coming.

I want to thank EVERYONE who has supported me over the last year, lifting me up with your complements on my cooking, and suggesting I offer these things to the Nashville community.

I know there are a bunch of Italian offerings in Nashville.  I believe that we will set ourselves apart by making traditional Italian comfort food that is holistic and a touch on the lighter side.  My goal is to use ingredients that are free of chemical preservatives (which is why we freeze our sauce and don't can it for delivery) and as close to organic on a regular basis but offer full organic upon request.  Make your favorite dishes in a healthier way - but also offer traditional options as well.

Your favorite Italian foods custom made just for you!   Mange!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Create your own Pumpkin Pie Spice & Chili mix! Just say no to MSG!

Hi all!  As many of you know from my facebook posts, I am not a big fan of GMO (stands for genetically modified foods) products, chemical preservatives or "taste enhancers" or processed foods in general.   I have over the last several months slowly been converting my pantry and food habits to a cleaner way of eating.

Two of my favorite "go to" spice mixes to use are Pumpkin Pie Spice and a Chili Mix packet.  I make a ton of breads, muffins, apples things using pumpkin pie spice.  And Fall wouldn't be Fall without chili!  But read the ingredients and you will find that there are some extra things in those little packets that have nothing to do with pumpkin pie spice or chili making....  Stuff that in parenthesis explains that it is an "anti caking agent" or MSG.  YUCK!

My friend Courtney shared with me some recipes for spice mixes so I could share with you. 

Pumpkin Pie Spice From My Baking Addiction.com:
(click the link to see more great recipes from this site!)

YIELD: about 5 tablespoons

3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice
1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves

1. Combine spices in a small bow, mix well to combine. Store in a small jar or spice container.

Chili Mix from Courtney:
1 tablespoon paprika
2 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Use this spice mix in place of a packet of chili mix per 1lb of ground meat (chicken, beef or turkey)

Thanks Courtney & Happy Fall cooking y'all!!!