Mexican Meatball Soup

The recipe for this soup caught my eye for a number of reasons-it’s easy and fast to cook and the ingredients are probably already in your pantry (I just had to buy the carrot and zucchini) yet delicious when put together. You can very easily adjust the heat too-add a bit more or less of the chili powders or add some diced green chiles. I made mine rather mild,  opting for a few squirts of hot sauce later.  I really loved how crisp the veggies stay even after reheating and there’s just enough rice. I served it with a small cheese quesadilla, a bit of refried beans, sour cream and salsa.  It was nice to dip the quesadilla into to broth. I think it would be great topped with some tortilla strips or crunched tortilla chips. This recipe is a keeper!!

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Mexican Meatball Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb 93% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed to a paste
  • 1 large egg
  • kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Goya Adobo
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cups low sodium, low fat chicken broth (I used the last 3 cups of this home made chicken stock plus an additional 3 cups which I purchased)
  • 1 large carrot cut into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 large zucchini,  halved then cut into 1/4 inch half-moons
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes, undrained (I used Muir Woods Organic)
  • 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
  • chopped fresh cilantro, for topping
  • freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, for topping

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl combine the first 9 ingredients (beef through and including Adobo). Using your hands mix to evenly combine. Be careful not to over-mix. Pinch off tablespoon-sized pieces and roll into balls.
  2. In a large dutch oven heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Place as many meatballs into the pot as you can without crowding them and push slightly on the top to flatten a bit. Brown on all sides for about 3/4 minutes. You do not have to cook them all the way through but they must be mostly done. You may have to work in batches to brown all of the meatballs.
  3. Add the chicken broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the carrots, zucchini and rice. Return to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes until the rice is done and the meatballs are cooked through.
  4. Season with salt if necessary.
  5. Serve garnished with cilantro and cheddar cheese if desired.

This soup reheats beautifully for left overs and I would imagine that it freezes well-although I didn’t try.

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Adapted from February, 2014 issue of All You Magazine.

Chicken Rollatini with Zucchini, Mozzarella and Pecorino Romano

 

I’ve made this dish a few times now and love it! The outside of the Rollatini is crispy, the inside creamy and tasty and the chicken comes out perfect every time! It’s important to buy super thin cutlets for this as they’re easier to roll, skush out less of the filling and lay more evenly in the pan. Do not use pre-shredded cheese here. Go and get yourself a nice wedge of Pecorino Romano. The recipe calls for part-skim mozzarella but you can certainly replace it with a gorgeous hand-made fresh mozzarella as well.

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Chicken Rollatini with Zucchini, Mozzarella and Pecorino Romano

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups (1 medium) zucchini, shredded
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp Pecornino Romano cheese (or parmesan)
  • 3 oz part skim shredded mozzarella
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 thin chicken cutlets, 3 oz each
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • non-stick cooking spray 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Wash cutlets and pat dry, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Place a large skillet over med-high heat. When hot add oil and saute garlic until golden-about a minute. Add zucchini, 1/4 cup Romano cheese, salt and pepper and saute about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool. When cool, add mozzarella cheese and mix to combine.
  4. Lightly spray a baking dish with non-stick spray.
  5. Combine breadcrumbs and grated cheese in one flat, wide bowl. In a second flat, wide bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice.
  6. Lay one cutlet down on and spread 3 tbsp of zucchini mixture on top. Roll it up and roll it in the same direction first through the lemon juice and olive oil then through the bread crumbs. (It’s important to roll it in the same direction so that the seam stays together.)  Then place the roll seam side down (no toothpicks needed) in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with all chicken. 
  7. When finished, lightly spray with oil spray.
  8. Bake 25 – 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Prep time: 10 minutes. Total time: 40 minutes.

Slightly adapted from SkinnyTaste