Sunday Supper: Italian Sausage Meatballs, Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes, And Gravy

meatballs, mashed potatoes, gravy, italian sausage, supper, dinner, sunday supper, simple, comfort food

"Oh good grief -- looks so fancy and good," my friend Jenn texted back after I sent her a photo of Sunday Supper: Italian Sausage Meatballs, Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes, And Gravy. Good? Yes! Fancy? No way.

A while ago I thought it'd be a smart idea to make meatballs using ground Italian sausage that is sold without the casings because it already has so much flavor: you'd need to add nothing else.

I was wrong: those meatballs turned out incredibly dense. This time, I added a few other ingredients to stretch the ground Italian sausage and make the meatballs less dense and more airy. It was a success.

Sunday Supper: Italian Sausage Meatballs, Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes, And Gravy

Italian Sausage Meatballs

1 pound mild ground Italian sausage (if you can't find the ones without the casings, simply remove and discard the casings)

2 broccoli stems, peeled, grated (if you don't have broccoli, use half an onion, a small zucchini, a few carrots, or even celery)

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1 egg

2 tablespoons half & half

1. Preheat the oven to 425F and line a small roasting pan with aluminum foil.

2. Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs. Then using a cookie or ice cream scoop to divide the mixture into uniform lumps, roll each into a ball. Place the meatballs on the roasting pan with space in between and roast for about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165F. Optional: put the meatballs under the broiler for a few minutes.

Mashed Potatoes: cook red skinned potatoes in salted water until completely tender. Using a fork mash drained potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Mix in a few spoons of olive oil. Done.

To serve, put mashed olive oil potatoes into a bowl. Add 3 meatballs. Drown in gravy. Top with fresh thyme

What's your idea of comfort food?


Garlicky Lemon Shrimp Roll With Roasted Broccoli

shrimp, broccoli, sandwich, roll, seafood, easy dinner,

Garlicky Lemon Shrimp Roll With Roasted Broccoli is a meal that comes together in less than 30 minutes and can be served for lunch or dinner. You can eat this as a roll or mix the shrimp and broccoli into spaghetti, rice, or orzo.

Over the weekend I saw and liked Lisa Is Cooking's instagram post featuring a sheet pan of roasted broccoli and lemony garlicky shrimp. Remembering that I had a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer (duh) and fresh broccoli in the refrigerator, I decided to recreate Lisa's dish.

By the time you've preheated the oven, you'd have the time to prep everything. Then you just need to wait 15 minutes to have dinner on the table.

Garlicky Lemon Shrimp Roll With Roasted Broccoli


shrimp, defrosted or fresh

olive oil

lemon juice

garlic, microplaned, or finely minced


red pepper flakes

broccoli, cut into individual florets

French roll, toasted



1. Start preheating the oven to 425F.

2. As the oven preheats, in a bowl combine the shrimp with a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice (about 1/2 of a lemon), garlic, a pinch or 2 of salt and a few pinches of red pepper flakes. Set aside.

3. On a cookie sheet, drizzle broccoli with olive oil, season with salt, and mix to combine.

4. Roast broccoli for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss it around on the cookie sheet, and add marinated shrimp (sans any leftover marinade). Roast for 5 more minutes.

5. Make a slit in the toasted French roll and slather it with mayonnaise. Add shrimp and broccoli.

shrimp, lemon, garlic, seafood, marinade, red pepper flakes

shrimp, garlic, lemon, broccoli, oxo, sheet, one pan dinner


Vegan French Lentil & Turmeric Potato Bake

vegan, lentils, mushrooms, le creuset, meal prep, meatless monday, mashed potatoes, pie, vegetarian, baked, oven, potatoes

If you need a healthy meal prep idea, look no further than Vegan French Lentil & Turmeric Potato Bake. It's similar to a shepherd's pie, but with lentils instead of lamb.

This dish is inspired by and adapted from a recipe Joe Yonan posted on his instagram from his cookbook called Cool Beans for Lentil-Mushroom Farmer's Pie With Turmeric-Cauliflower Mash.

Because I did not have all the ingredients, I made a few changes. Below is what I did:

1) cook French lentils until tender in salted water, drain

2) pressure cook potatoes, discard the skins, put cooked potatoes through a press, mix with olive oil, salt, and turmeric

3) in an oven safe big skillet, sauté chopped red onions and carrots in olive oil for about 10 minutes

4) add quartered white mushrooms and continue sautéing for another 10 minutes adding more oil if necessary

5) season the mixture with salt, pepper, dried thyme and add flour to coat

4) stir in red wine vinegar and a mixture of water and ketchup, bring to a boil

5) stir in frozen corn

6) while preheating the oven to 400F, add drained lentils to the carrot/mushroom mixture, and top with turmeric potatoes

7) bake for about 30 minutes

This dish can be adapted in many more ways and can be baked in individual ramekins for better portion control. I'll be eating it all week long for lunch!


Vegan Butternut Squash & Red Lentil Curried Soup

vegan, soup, butternut squash, lentils, curry, ginger, fall, recipe, comfort soup, meatless monday, pita, chips

The minute I saw Liren's Spiced Butternut Squash Lentil Soup on her instagram, I knew I'd have to make it. It only took me a few weeks. 

Luckily, I had most of the ingredients on hand, and the ones I did not have (coriander and almond milk), did not make much of a difference.

I followed the recipe pretty closely but made a few changes:

1) I chopped the ginger and left it in the soup instead of using a ginger chunk and removing it before pureeing the soup

2) I did not add balsamic vinegar

3) I used red lentils instead of the brown ones

This soup comes together souper (I could not resist) quickly and is incredibly warming, comforting, and flavorful. Curry powder and turmeric are definitely fall flavors and are helped by fresh ginger and ginger powder. 

I used spinach in my soup and topped it with chili oil and cilantro. Not only is this a great first course or a full meal, but it also heats up well the next day, and the next.

You can use any type of winter squash in this recipe or even sweet potatoes and carrots. Or combine all 3. 

What's your favorite soup? 


Delicata Squash, Beets & Feta Salad

salad, squash, delicata squash, feta, beets, oranges, olives, healthy, meatless monday, vegetarian

In a blink of an eye, fall is here! How is the time flying so fast, and at the same time dragging?

Let's talk about Delicata Squash, Beets & Feta Salad instead!

Yesterday I saw Domenica post an insta story of her salad from La Fromagerie that had delicata squash, beets, turnips, and feta. I took that idea and ran with it...to the kitchen using produce I had from my Washington's Green Grocer order. 

Delicata Squash, Beets & Feta Salad


olive oil

delicata squash, sliced into 1/4" rounds, seeds removed with a biscuit cutter or a spoon


roasted beets, sliced into wedges

orange, segmented

green olives

feta, sliced into planks


red pepper flakes


1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté delicata squash slices seasoned with salt until they are tender, about 5-7 minutes on each side.

2. Plate a salad on a plate. Drizzle with more oil and a few dashes of salt. Sprinkle with dill and red pepper flakes. 


Weekend Inspiration: Shana Tova with Dahlias

Shana tova, l'shana tovan, jewish, kosher, challah, apples, honey, new year, labneh

Shana Tova to all those celebrating! Wishing all of us a year of peace, health, beautiful surprises, content, and beauty. I defrosted a turmeric challah roll with pistachios and nigella seeds for my celebration and to go along with labneh drizzled with olive oil and topped with honey and smoked honey. 

May we all be and do better in the new year.

dahlias, flowers, hgtv, home decor, vases, flower power, pink, yellow, blooms, flower arrangment


Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts With Tahini Dressing And Pickled Red Onions

sweet potato, brussels sprouts, vegetarian, vegan, pickled onions, side, salad, healthy, cilantro

This past weekend I created a vibrant and healthy vegan side dish: Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts With Tahini Dressing And Pickled Red Onions.

This recipe is incredibly easy to make because you can make all the components ahead of time, and you can serve this side hot, at room temperature, or cold. Because it's vegan, it's good for you and you can bring it on a picnic without any worries of things spoiling.

A note on tahini dressing: I make mine without any specific proportions, but to taste. I learned a trick of pouring lemon juice over minced garlic and letting it sit for about ten minutes to infuse the lemon juice with the garlic. Then, strain and discard the garlic. Add tahini to the lemon juice, a pinch of salt, a pinch of cumin and enough cold water to whisk into a smooth sauce.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts With Tahini Dressing And Pickled Red Onions


sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed into bite size pieces

Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved or quartered depending on the size



olive oil

pickled red onions

tahini dressing



1. Preheat the oven to 425F.

2. In a bowl combine the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts with za'atar and salt to taste and enough olive oil to coat.

3. In a large cookie sheet, in a single layer, roast the vegetables for about 25 minutes, occasionally shaking the sheet. 

4. Serve the roasted vegetables on a large platter topped with pickled red onions, drizzle of tahini dressing, and fresh cilantro. 


Ground Beef Bulgogi Platter

bulgogi, korean, ground beef, beef, kimchi, salad, eggplant, mushrooms

After getting a few Asian pears in my Washington's Green Grocer order last week, I asked my instagram followers what I should make with it. Several people said bulgogi: a flavorful Korean beef dish. In fact, I've made bulgogi before, but this time around I only had ground beef.

Not to worry, I found a bulgogi recipe using ground beef on Carmy's blog. It did, however, not have Asian pear in the list of ingredients, and I also did not have a few ingredients that Carmy called for: thus, and as always, I made a few alterations.

Ground Beef Bulgogi Platter


6 tablespoons soy sauce

1.5 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 small onion, cut into chunks

1/2 Asian pear, cut into chunks

4 garlic cloves, smashed

1" ginger, chopped

1 pound ground beef

1/2 onion, sliced

green onions, thinly sliced

sides: kimchi, cucumber salad, kimchi, red pepper slices


1. Put the first 7 ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the marinade over ground beef in a large bowl, mix to combine, and allow to stand for 30 minutes.

2. Add the marinated beef into a heated skillet with the sliced onions and saute until the beef is cooked through. 

NOTE: I used 80/20 beef. It was quite fatty and did not need extra oil for sauteing. In fact, at one point I had to drain the beef and onions to get rid of extra fat. You may have to do the same. Just be careful not to splash yourself.

3. Serve topped with green onions and all the sides.

I'm currently not eating rice, but that of course would be a perfect accompaniment for the dish.

So much flavor! Such great comfort food. Perfect leftovers. 


Best Baked Plantains I've Ever Made

plantains, puerto rican food, zhoug, appetizer, gluten free, vegetarian, snack

I LOVE plantains and associate them with my friend Laura, who is Puerto Rican and always makes plantains when we see each other.

Last year I texted Laura to tell her I baked my plantains instead of pan frying them, and she said she did exactly the same a few days prior.

Since then, I've made several versions of baked plantains, but last week I perfected my technique!

Best Baked Plantains I've Ever Made


a very ripe plantain peeled and sliced into 1/2" rounds

olive oil


zhoug sauce from Trader Joe's or any other dipping sauce


1. Preheat the oven to 425F.

2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Trust me: do NOT use aluminum foil because plantains will stick to it.

3. Lightly brush the parchment paper with oil. Layer plantain rounds in a single layer with space in between and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt.

4. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip the plantain rounds and season with a bit more salt. Bake for 10 more minutes.

5. Serve with zhoug sauce.

I was so pleased with how these turned out! I think Laura would approve too.


Weekend Inspirations

flowers, flower arrangement, urban stems, roses, eucalyptus, bouquet