Indian Spiced Meatball Tomato Soup

I had planned on going to the gym yesterday before work, but Tony was awake when I woke up so I chose snuggling over getting sweaty.  I knew the weather was going to cooperate later in the day, so I promptly fell asleep on Tony’s shoulder for 20 more minutes. 😀

I realized I never made my wonton cups for my egg white spinach breakfast, so quicky subbed in an english muffin egg/spinach sammie and 3 clementines on the side – they were tiny!  I forgot my good camera at home, so please bear with the pictures today. 😀  Breakfast comes in at 7 points.

The sun was shining and it was a gorgeous 45 degrees when I went on my walk/run.  I probably walked a total of 5 minutes, and ended up doing my 3 mile run in 36 minutes.  My goal this coming weekend for Lori’s Heart Heathy Weekend is to try to run/walk 5 miles in 55 minutes. 😀

So I had Kerstin’s Indian Spiced Mini Meatball Soup (Printable Recipe) on my menu, but I did have to make a couple substitutions based on what I had on hand.

You all know I hate ground meat – so if I need ground chicken I just grind it myself in my food processor.

I also omitted the onion, oil and tumeric (which is why mine is so red and not orange like her version), and Pam fried the meatballs instead of baking them.  I just cooked them enough to brown on the outside, and then after the soup cooked for 30 minutes and I pureed the soup base, just added the balls back in and let them simmer for 5 minutes to cook through.

THIS IS A GIANT SERVING!  2 1/4 cups broth with 10 meatballs – 348 calories, 11.7 fat, 17.25 carbs, 1.45 fiber and 36 protein, or 8 WW points.


1 1/2 pounds ground turkey ground chicken breast
1 large egg
1/2 cup panko
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons fennel powder (ground fennel seeds) (love this!!)
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt

I also added 1/2 cup cilantro to the meat mixture.

1 tablespoon canola oil – left out
1 yellow onion, chopped – no thanks
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground tumeric – left out because I didn’t have any
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (I apparently can’t read and used a 28 ounce can!)
1 cup chopped roasted red peppers (I put a whole 5 oz. jar in)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt

To make the meatballs, heat oven to 375˚F. Place ground turkey, egg, panko, garlic, ginger, cumin, fennel powder, cayenne pepper, and salt in a large bowl and knead with your hands until well mixed. Shape into 50 mini meatballs and place on a large cookie sheet. Bake at 375˚F for 12-14 minutes or until cooked through and no longer pink in the center.

I put all the meatball ingredients in my food processor and pulsed until it got to my desired consistency.  Since this made 4 servings I made 40 meatballs.  In batches, I browned the meatballs just until all the sides were browned, then added them back to the soup at the end to finish cooking.

To make the soup, heat canola oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat. Add onions and sauté 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. Stir in garlic and sauté 30 seconds; stir in coriander, cumin, ginger, garam masala, cayenne pepper, and tumeric and sauté an additional 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, and roasted peppers, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer for 10 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree soup until smooth or place batches in a blender and process until smooth. Stir in apple cider vinegar and salt. Mix in cooked meatballs. Makes 4 servings.

I had actually never used fennel seeds before – I am not a huge fan of fennel itself, but LOVE fennel seeds.  I bought this 16 ounce container for $3.50, and this will last me a long time – I just ground up the seeds in my coffee grinder that I cleaned out.

This one is a keeper!  Perfect amount of spice without it being too spicy.  I brought a bowl for one of the attorneys I work with and he declared:

This is the best soup you’ve ever given me!

Nice. 😀

The only thing I love about it being the end of January?  It’s light out when I leave the office!

Update – just wanted to post my dinner pics.  Ever since Tony had his colon cancer surgery, he is not a fan of thick pork chops – I got a package of 5 of these for only $3.68!

So I had to butterfly them and pound them thin.

Crap – WordPress just ate the rest of my post!  And I gotta get going.  Here’s a snapshot of dinner – 12 points.

Supposed to be 58 degrees today – so crazy!   Make it a great day!


Cranberry Pecan Struessel Muffins

Sunday mornings are the most relaxing for me.  I’ve done my grocery shopping, I may have some laundry to do, but I like knowing I don’t have to be anywhere most Sundays.

Hannah had to work in the early afternoon, so she and I had a diner breakfast at home – bacon, sauteed apples, eggs/egg white scramble and hash browns.  With some fresh coffee, this was a delicious way to start the day.  This plate is 8 points.

Then we ran to Walmart for a couple things and then hit up the gym.  I ended up doing 8.2 miles on the bike, resistance 15 the whole time in 40 minutes.  Hannah snapped this picture of us – it looks like my baseball hat is trying to knock her out!

Tony watched on America’s Test Kitchen yesterday about how to make a great cranberry muffin.  Can I just tell you how excited I am that Tony’s appetite is coming back?  I didn’t even think twice about making these for him.

And as always, America’s Test Kitchen never fails.  These were amazing!  The batter was light and tender, you got a nice sweet and sour kick from the fresh cranberries – totally worth the points!  Obviously I wouldn’t make these every week, but if you have to bring something to a brunch, bring these muffins.

Cranberry Pecan Muffins with Streusel (makes 12 – 9 WW points each)

Ingredients for the struesel topping:

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves

For the muffins:

  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups pecans
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons of melted butter, cooled
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar.
  • 1. FOR THE STREUSEL: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Process flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, and salt in food processor until mixture resembles coarse sand, 4 to 5 pulses. Add pecans and process until pecans are coarsely chopped, about 4 pulses. Transfer to small bowl; set aside.
  • 2. FOR THE MUFFINS: Spray 12-cup muffin tin with baking spray with flour. Whisk flour, baking powder, ¾ teaspoon salt together in bowl; set aside.
  • 3. Process toasted pecans and granulated sugar until mixture resembles coarse sand, 10 to 15 seconds. Transfer to large bowl and whisk in eggs, butter, and milk until combined. Whisk flour mixture into egg mixture until just moistened and no streaks of flour remain. Set batter aside 30 minutes to thicken.
  • 4. Pulse cranberries, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and confectioners’ sugar in food processor until very coarsely chopped, 4 to 5 pulses. Using rubber spatula, fold cranberries into batter. Use ice cream scoop or large spoon to divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups, slightly mounding in middle. Evenly sprinkle streusel topping over muffins, gently pressing into batter to adhere. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 18 minutes, rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin on wire rack, 10 minutes. Remove muffins from tin and cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Tony said that he could eat the streusel all by itself!

Um, turns out pecans are expensive.  I lucked out on the sale rack at Wal-mart – these must have been leftover from Christmas?  I don’t know, but I only paid $1.99 for this can vs. $6 for an equal amount of bagged pecans.

The idea of porcessing the berries with powdered sugar is to sweeten them, and the dash of salt masks the bitterness:

I actually thought of adding lemon zest to this step, but followed the directions as is – next time I will though.

The topping was so crunchy and delicious:

The cranberries got evenly distributed – the muffn is so light and tender.  My mouth is literally watering as I type this!

These will be easy for Tony to have with his morning coffee. 😀  Um, let’s just say one of these muffins was my lunch!

Dinner was simple and delicous.  I roasted a chicken in a little butter, rosemary, lemon and salt.  Made baked potatoes on the side.  I plan on making chicken and biscuits later in the week with the leftovers, then making chicken noodle soup with the rest.

Our temps this week will be in the mid-40’s so I’ll be getting some lunch time runs/walks in too. 😀

Happy Monday!  How was your weekend?

Weekly Menu

It’s weird but when I go to WW on Sunday and come back home, I am never hungry.  Which is weird because usually I need to eat within 1/2 an hour of waking up.

So when Tony and I ran an errand yesterday, we stopped at Subway.  Tony is a fan of the footlong BMT – he eats half one day and the other half the next day – total deal for $5.  I got the egg white sammie on whole grain oat bread.  So this was my breakfast and lunch – I haven’t looked up the points yet, but my guess is 8.

*Note to self – remember to change back the white balance setting!

I am joining Lori’s Heart Healthy Challenge next week.  My goal is to run 5 miles in 55 minutes.

Helen is the running guru – she once told me to do hills on the treadmill to prepare myself for running outside.  I decided to do the hill climb until I ran a 5k.  I walked the first 5 minutes to warm up.  Wow, was it hard – the last incline was at 11%!  But I told Hannah when the treadmill was at 0% incline, it felt like I was running so fast!

I plan on running the 5 miles at 0% incline though!  Yep Skippy, my cheeks are rosy! 😀

I made another pot of the best beef stew – you guys really have to make this – the cinnamon brown sugar mixture that you toss the meat in before searing makes this dish.  The only thing I did differently was to use Miller High Life instead of Sam Adam’s.  For some reason my sauce wasn’t as thick this time either, but still delicious!

With a side of toasty bread, dinner comes in at around 12 points.

So Tony and I are on a tight budget, the only room I have control over is the groceries.  I usually spend about $100 a week.  This week?

What’s on the menu?


  • egg, cheese and spinach wonton cups
  • zucchini pancakes with buffalo chicken sausage egg whites
  • breakfast parfait with blueberry sauce and granola
  • bacon spinach egg white omelet with sauteed apples
  • pecan maple scones



  • beef stew
  • whole roasted rosemary lemon chicken
  • chicken and biscuits
  • pork chop milanese with baked potatoes
  • short rib ragu pasta

So not too bad for $83 bucks!

Tony watched America’s Test Kitchen and saw a recipe for cranberry muffins – that’s on my list of things to make today, along with the Indian spiced soup.

What are you cooking up this week?  Enjoy your Sunday!

Weekly WI and Party Pizza Friday?

I had one super ripe banana and I had pumpkin waffles in my freezer, and thought of making a banana topping – I cut up the banana, added 2 tablespoons of skim milk, and 1/4 cup of sugar free pancake syrup, turned it on low and let it simmer while I took a shower.  The topping comes in at ony 1 point! 😀

When I came back it was all bubbly and the bananas almost disolved – with two pieces of turkey sausage on the side, breakfast comes in at 7.  Hannah thought I had refried beans over the waffles when she saw the picture – while this isn’t the most photographic, this was delicious!

I didn’t have my workout bag with me at lunch, but being that it was sunny and 37, and I keep a pair of gym shoes under the desk, I got moving!

A quick 50 minute walk was wonderful.  I had so much energy in the afternoon I was a filing fool at work. 😀

It was slim pickings by Friday – so I had a plate of nachos – 1 oz. tortilla chips, 2 ounces taco meat, diced green pepper, taco sauce, hot sauce and cilantro – this plate comes in at 9 points.

So I came home and literally had no idea what to make.  As I was going back and forth from the pantry, fridge and freezer, Tony says “do you have stuff to make pizza?”  Why yes I do!

Show of hands how many of you have made my no rise pizza dough?  What?  You are dialing a phone, calling your local pizza place and waiting over an hour to get your pizza when you could have my pizza in 30 minutes?

No Rise Pizza Dough

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Mix together.  Done.   This is enough dough for two 14 inch pizzas (thin crust).  Just put the dough on your counter and add enough so that it isn’t sticky – about 1/4 cup more flour.  Roll out and add your toppings.  Be sure to use a fork on the dough before adding your toppings so it doesn’t bubble up on you.

Tony had a simple sausage pizza. Well, actually Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage because that’s all I had – he liked it!

Here is my pizza porn pics:  ham, green pepper, chopped hot peppers and cilantro on top as it came out of the oven.

My guess is that 2/3 of the pizza I ate was 15 points.  So yummy!

Drum roll please . . .

-1.2!  I’ll take it.  I plan to do strength training at least three times this week, and I think I am going to do a lower carb meal plan – my average blood sugar this past week was 167 so I am going to try to bring that down.  I have my diabetes doctor appointment on Friday, February 3. 😀

I know for sure I am making Kerstin’s Indian Spiced Mini Meatball soup.  Love the combination of flavors!  What’s on your menu next week?  Recipe links would be appreciated!  Enjoy your Saturday!


I Love Bubbies Pickles!

Since Hannah and I had a lunch date with my bosses Dad for lunch yesterday, I didn’t give my meal plan a thought.  Until I got have way to work and realized “I never brought anything for breakfast!”

I had an apple at my desk, and I borrowed an instant pack of oatmeal from someone in my office – a quick breakfast and only 4 points!

So Hannah met me at noon, and my bosses Dad got at the office at the same time.  I was wrong, our lunch date is 80 years old, not 82!  He was interesting to talk to and at some points he was talking about his grandchildren, then he’d start talking about trips he took with his wife, and then would go back to 1938 and talk about a golf course his father belonged to.  I guess when you make it to 80 you have so many memories that it would be easy to jump around the decades of your life.

He talked about how his wife had CLL for 15 years, who passed away five years ago, but they still enjoyed trips to Seattle and to Sante Fe where they watched the huge balloon festival.  He described his bout with prostate cancer 15 years earlier and “knock on wood I haven’t been in the hospital since!”

At one point there while we were eating, he just shouted “I love Bubbies pickles!  I haven’t been able to find them anywhere up here though.”

I think he had a nice time – Hannah and I were fresh meat so he could tell any story and we hadn’t heard it yet!  And he paid for lunch against our wishes since we invited him out.   He said “it’s not very often I have lunch with two young ladies.”  He looked at Hannah and said “you are too young for me and your Mom is already taken!”

I ended up getting a spinach goat cheese frittata with hashbrowns on the side.  The frittata was huge – I only ate half of the eggs and half of the potatoes – my guess is that lunch comes in around 12 points.

I really had no idea what I was going to make for dinner.  I looked on last weeks menu and saw that I never made Danica’s lasagna cups.  But then I realized I didn’t want to make a whole batch (hers made 12) and I wanted to use some ground beef in mine.  So here’s a version of hers, scaled down for 1 serving at 11 WW points.

Lasagna Cups, makes 6 at 11 WW points

      • 6 wonton wrappers
      • 3 ounces 90% lean beef
      • 1 garlic clove
      •  1 small zucchini, chopped
      • 2 tablespoons chopped red pepper
  • 1/8 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 slice provolone cheese (cut into 6 squares)

Heat oven to 375.  Put wonton cups in a regular size muffin tin, making sure the bottom of the wonton is pressed down – I sprayed mine with Pam first just in case they stuck.

In a skillet saute the beef, zucchini and garlic, until the meat is cooked through.  Add remaining ingredients except provolone, and cook for a couple minutes and the ricotta is melted through.

Divide mixture between the wonton cups, putting a slice of provolone on top, then bake for 18-20 minutes.  Mine took 20 minutes.  Let cool about 3-5 minutes.

These were delicious!  I was worried that the bottom of the wonton wouldn’t be crispy, but they were.  And if I had stuff to make a salad, 3 of these would have been plenty with a side salad.  Thanks for the idea Danica!

Hooray for Friday!  Got any fun plans this weekend?  Make it a great day!