Lemony Italian Wedding Soup With Chicken Meatballs

I’ve been fighting a cold all week and decided to make some homemade soup to help knock it out a little faster. I had some ground chicken on hand, so I went with an Italian wedding type soup and added a lot of lemon and garlic, knowing those are two great cold-fighting ingredients. It was delicious the first night, but even better for lunch the next day! There’s just nothing like a homemade bowl of soup when you’re feeling a little under the weather…

Ingredients:

Meatballs:
1 lb ground chicken
1/2 small white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (or more as needed to form meatballs)
Good pinch of salt and pepper
Olive oil

Soup:
1 leek, lighter parts only, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups chicken broth
1 lemon, juiced
1 can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked ditalini pasta
1 cup chopped spinach (I used frozen this time but fresh is great if you have on hand!)
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste

Start by making the meatballs. Cook the garlic and onion in a little olive oil until translucent, about 1-2 minutes. In a large bowl, mix together (with your hands) the ground chicken, cooked onion/garlic, parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, egg, salt and pepper. Form the mixture into little meatballs and place on a plate until ready to cook. Add some olive oil to a large skillet and cook the meatballs in two batches over medium heat, turning them constantly to avoid sticking to the pan. Plate and set aside.

Get a large pot of salted water boiling and cook the pasta as directed on the box. In the meantime, sauté the garlic in some olive oil for about a minute then add in the leeks, cooking for another 3 minutes or so. Add the chicken broth, lemon juice, sherry vinegar, cayenne pepper, spinach, beans, and cooked meatballs. Salt and pepper to taste. Let the soup simmer for about 5 minutes before adding in the pasta, then continue simmering for an additional 5-10 minutes. Serve with a pinch of fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Spicy Thai Chicken Bibb Lettuce Wraps

I love lettuce wraps! They’re so easy to make, and you can’t really go wrong with whatever you throw in there as long as you have a good amount of spices so it’s not just bland meaty lettuce pockets. I got a large Bibb lettuce and bag of basil in my CSA bag this week, so I thought it was a perfect meal to make. The whole thing took about 20 minutes and was a perfect healthy weeknight meal.

Ingredients:
1 pound ground chicken
1 bell pepper, chopped small
8oz sliced water chestnuts
1/2 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
Handful fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
8 large romaine or Bibb lettuce leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons lemongrass powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 lime, juiced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Sauce:
4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sriracha (or to taste)
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 lime, juiced

Add some olive oil to a large pan and cook the ground chicken. Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper, and water chestnuts, cooking until the onions are translucent. Add the lemongrass, ginger, cumin, salt and pepper. Mix well into the meat. Next add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Lastly, toss in the basil and cook for another minute or so, then turn off the heat and squeeze in the lime.

For the dressing, simply mix together the rice vinegar, scallion, sriracha, and lime juice. Place some ground chicken mixture into the lettuce, topped with a drizzle of the dressing and enjoy!