Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs

Big news of the day month: I moved! When I first moved here a little over a year ago (I can’t believe here I’ve been here for over a year now), I was 110% sure that when my lease was up I was going to move to my own apartment closer to work on the west side (i.e. suburbs). Of course guess what ended up happening? I moved in with a friend to a two-bedroom apartment downtown that’s further from work. Funny how things change…

As always, with moving comes shopping. One of my newest acquisitions is a slow cooker. I wanted to buy a slow cooker a while back, but there were only a few months left on my lease so I decided to wait until after I moved to buy one. It was a pretty exciting moment when I finally bought it last week. My family group had a potluck tonight, which was the perfect opportunity to try it out.

I decided to try out this meatball recipe, but I have a friend who doesn’t eat beef or pork, so I switched out the beef and pork for turkey. I thought they came out ok, but the turkey gave the them a funny texture and they didn’t really hold together that well. They were almost a little too tender. I think it would have been better with beef and pork. But they were still pretty good, and the sauce had good flavor. I’m pretty excited to try out more slow cooker recipes in the near(ish) future.

I loosely followed this recipe from Dash recipes, but I made a lot of modifications.

Here’s what I did.

Ingredients
For the meatballs:
2 lb ground turkey
1/4-1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1.5 tbsp italian seasoning
1 egg, beaten
5 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

For the sauce:
3 can crushed tomatoes (15 oz)
2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 oz each)
1 can stewed Italian tomatoes (14.5 oz)
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
4 tsp garlic powder
4 oz white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 sweet yellow onion, chopped coarsely

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the meatballs together.

In a frying pan with a little oil, saute the onions and mushrooms until soft. Put all the ingredients for the sauce in the slow cooker and mix. Form balls (~1″ in diameter) and mix into the sauce.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve over pasta.

炸酱面 (zhajiangmian/noodles with pork and bean sauce)

I’m almost done with my fourth week at work. I’m still in training, so still not doing any real work. I turned in a project and took an exam on Tuesday, and I’m taking another exam on Thursday morning and then start another series of classes on Thursday afternoon. When I was taking my exam, one of my trainers was taking an exam at the same time… which is just evidence that you’re never done taking tests. Awesome.

It’s weird to think that people will be headed back to w-town soon. And I won’t be. It’s real. I’m no longer a college student. Crazy, huh.

Well, onward to the recipe. It isn’t a super authentic recipe, but it gets the job done. It tastes good and that’s what counts right? It’s really simple, but involves ingredients that I only find in Asian grocery stores. Which exist here. Haha.

Ingredients
1/3 lb ground pork
garlic powder
salt
soy sauce
vegetable oil
cornstarch
1 clump? (also don’t know the measure word…) of Yangchun (阳春)noodles, dried
1 carrot, shredded (or in my case, cut into thin strips)
ground bean paste (if you don’t know what that is, refer here)

Marinate ground pork with garlic powder, soy sauce, salt, vegetable oil and cornstarch.

While meat is marinating, boil water and cook noodles. When soft, drain and set aside.

In a non-stick frying pan, heat vegetable oil. When hot, add carrots and stir fry until almost tender. Push carrots off to the side of the pan and add the pork. When fully cooked, mix meat and carrots together. Add a spoonful of bean paste and stir until paste coats the meat and carrots. Serve on top of the noodles.

Beef with Green Peppers

First day back. Let the battle against jetlag begin. It’s 1:30, so I’m ok so far, but the trouble zone is from like 2-6pm. To keep myself busy, I’m doing laundry and uploading photos from Singapore and Hong Kong.

Alright, on to the recipe. The discovery of black bean garlic sauce was wonderful.

Seriously, Asian sauces make cooking so much easier. That and marinating. Alright I don’t have much else to say about this recipe. It’s good and really simple.

Ingredients
1 large green pepper, cut into pieces
1/2 lb flank steak, sliced thinly
Lee Kum Kee Black Bean Garlic Sauce
vegetable oil
soy sauce
garlic powder and/or onion powder
cornstarch
salt

Preparation Marinate beef with vegetable oil, soy sauce, garlic powder (and/or onion powder), salt and cornstarch.

Pour oil into a frying pan. When oil heats up, add pepper. Sprinkle with salt and a few spoonfuls of water and cook until tender.

Add a spoonful of black bean garlic sauce. Stir to coat all the pieces with sauce. Remove from pan and set aside.

Pour more oil into the frying pan and when the oil is hot, add beef in a single layer and cook on one side until the side facing upward begins to change color. Flip and cook the other side then add a spoonful of black bean garlic sauce. Add peppers back in and toss together.

Turkey Avocado Melt

So I’m headed to Hong Kong early tomorrow morning (in about 13 hours) and will be there for 4 days, so no updates for a little while (try not to miss me too much, haha).

In the meantime, to make up for yesterday’s post (my guess is you didn’t try it), here’s something that truly is delicious. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t until a year or two ago that I started to like avocado. But now I love it. Especially in guacamole. In this recipe, I don’t use a whole lot of stuff because I didn’t really have anything in the house. Normally I’d add real onions, real garlic, and some diced tomatoes. But for a guacamole recipe that doesn’t require any dicing or mincing, it tasted pretty darn good.

One more thing to note. Since this only calls for half an avocado, I’ve found that the best way to preserve the other half is to wrap it in plastic wrap such that there is no air between the plastic wrap and the avocado. So don’t pull it tight, but let it bunch up around the pit to fill any gaps. This should keep it from turning brown. I’ve heard lemon/lime juice helps too.

Anyway, hope you enjoy this!

Ingredients
1/2 avocado
garlic powder
onion powder
salt
lime juice
2 slices smoked turkey breast
2 slices bread
1 slice cheese
butter

Preparation
To make simple guacamole:
Spoon out avocado into a bowl and use the spoon to mash it. Add a dash of lime juice and salt, garlic powder, and onion powder to taste (I use a fair amount).

Spread guacamole on a slice of bread. Place turkey, then cheese and top with second slice of bread.

Melt butter in a non-stick frying pan. When hot, grill sandwich until cheese is melted and both sides are golden brown.

Brown Sugar Meatloaf

My mom likes meatloaf, but it’s not something we eat often in the house. So I looked up a recipe on Allrecipes.com.

This recipe worked out pretty well. My mom liked it, although next time I’ll be careful to chop the onions smaller… or use onion powder instead. She didn’t like the chunks. But in general, it was a good recipe.

This was also the introduction of the nice camera. It cost me about a week’s worth of pay, but in my opinion, it was a worthy investment. Although in this picture, I hadn’t figured out how to properly focus the lens. Oh well. They’ll get better.

Ingredients
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 cup of milk
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
garlic powder
Worcestershire sauce

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350 degrees(F). Lightly grease a 5×9 inch loaf pan. Mix the brown sugar, ketchup and a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce to make a glaze. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine all remaining ingredients. Press meat mixture into the pan. Spread around half of the glaze on top of the meat and bake for around 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes spread the rest of the glaze on top and bake for another 15-20 minutes.