Monday, May 13, 2013

Thanksgiving Stuffing Meatballs + Carrot-flower Puree

I can't believe we're already halfway through's weird that Mother's Day has happened and yet it was 40 degrees out this morning.  I'm pretty much counting down the days until the Coach and I have some time off this summer.  We have a lot going on these next few weeks so we are REALLY looking forward to some much needed R&R in June, not to mention our 3-year anniversary (!) at the end of May.  Lots to look forward to!


Back to lifting today!  And I'm already sore.  Womp womp.  Today's workout included dumbbell plank rows, which I have only been able to master recently.  I've pretty much figured out why these used to be so hard for me: I didn't have my feet planted wide enough in the starting position, so I would quickly crash to the floor as soon as I lifted an arm up.  You basically set yourself up in a plank, with your hands on dumbbells (I use 15lbs) and (apparently) your feet wider than your shoulders.  Then you simply do a 1-arm row with the weight, making sure to brace your core and your bum muscles, like this handsome man does so beautifully.  Let me tell you, the Coach makes it look easy but this sh*t is hard!  Major ab workout right there.  Who needs crunches, right?


So this meal last night was pretty epic, which is why you get TWO stellar recipes today!  The Coach loves all things meatball (minus any Jersey Shore references), while I tend to avoid making them because of the serious mess factor.  But I have to return Practical Paleo this week and I wanted to make one more recipe from this informative/delicious book.  This meatball recipe would pair nicely with a simple cranberry sauce like the book recommended (as the Coach quickly pointed out) but I had to use up my cauliflower before it went bad.  So enter my spin on Nom Nom Paleo's carrot and parsnip puree!  Here's how both recipes came together:

Thanksgiving stuffing meatballs
1lb Italian sausage
1/4c walnuts, finely chopped
6 sage leaves, chopped
 1 egg
1 onion, finely chopped
4 carrots, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 425.  Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and saute the carrots and onions until translucent.  Meanwhile, mix the sausage, nuts, egg, and sage together in a bowl.  When the veggies are done, let them cool for a few minutes, then mix the whole mess together.  Roll in to 12-15 golf ball sized meatballs and bake for 20-25 minutes.


Carrot-flower Puree
1 head cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1lb carrots, chopped into bite-sized pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
1c chicken stock
3T butter

Melt 1T butter (or cooking fat of your choice) in a large saucepan over medium heat, then throw in your veggies and stock with s&p.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover for 25-30 minutes (I started this puree before the meatballs, and the timing worked out perfectly).  The veggies should be very tender, and then either use an immersion blender or food processor/standard blender to mix everything up.  Add the last 2T of butter and adjust for seasoning.


These two dishes went together SO well!  The meatballs were moist and delicious, and the puree was insanely creamy.  This is the first way I've been able to coerce the Coach in to enjoying cauliflower puree, as my previous efforts have been poorly received--I think the sweetness the carrots added to the mix won him over.  The meatballs weren't super Thanksgiving-y (I hate to admit it but the Coach is right, the cranberry sauce would have knocked it out of the park), but the sage flavor plus the toasty nuts made these a definite make again.

Hope everyone's week is off to a great start!

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