Chia seeds are virtually tasteless, and adding them to family-friendly foods is a great way to give yourself a boost of fiber and protein while upping the satiety of any dish.
1½ lb ground beef or other ground meat
½ c Romano or Parmesan-Romano cheese, grated
¼ c raw ground chia seeds
1 tsp granulated garlic
¼ c fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3-4 tsp olive oil for frying
1. LET ground beef come to room temperature.
2. SPRINKLE garlic, parsley, oregano, the cheese, and chia seeds to the meat.
3. ADD the egg and Worcestershire sauce and mix together in a bowl.
4. FORM consistently sized meatballs by rolling the meat mixture between your hands.
5. HEAT 3 teaspoons of the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Fry meatballs over medium heat, turning every few minutes until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Add the additional teaspoon later on in the cooking if needed.
NUTRITION (for two meatballs) 260 cal
Chickpea Stew with Eggplants, Tomatoes, and Peppers
PREP TIME: 13 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes
1 lb eggplant, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ c olive oil (divided)
1 medium onion, diced in 1-inch cubes
1 small yellow or red bell or other sweet, thick-fleshed pepper, cut into triangles or strips
1 large zucchini, cut into rounds 1-2 inches thick
1 tsp paprika
¼ tsp turmeric
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 Tbsp tomato paste
½ c chunks of tomato, peeled and seeded first, any juices reserved
1½ c leftover chickpeas, drained and liquid reserved
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
Harissa, for serving (optional)
1. HEAT 2 Tbsp of the oil in a wide skillet over high heat until hazy. Add the eggplant and stir quickly. Reduce heat to medium and cook, turning the pieces every few minutes, until golden, about 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and set aside.
2. WARM the remaining 2 Tbsp oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, pepper pieces, and zucchini and cook until the onions are lightly browned around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Toward the end, add the paprika, turmeric, and garlic, taking care not to burn. Stir in the tomato paste, then moisten the pot with a few Tbsp water and scrape up the juices from the bottom. Add the tomatoes, eggplant, chickpeas, 1½ c water (or the liquid from home-cooked chickpeas), and season to taste with salt.
3. REDUCE the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice. Stir in the cilantro.
NUTRITION (per serving) 266 cal
Moroccan Couscous with Roasted Butternut Squash
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes
2 c diced butternut squash
1 c diced onion
1½ Tbsp olive oil, divided
1½ c water
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¾ tsp cumin
¾ tsp cinnamon
1 box (5.8 oz) garlic-flavored couscous (such as Near East)
2 Tbsp golden raisins
¼ c dark raisins
1¾ c leftover chickpeas
Sliced almonds, toasted (optional)
1. PREHEAT oven to 450°F. Toss squash and onions with 1 Tbsp oil. Spread on a baking sheet lined with foil and roast for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.
2. COMBINE remaining olive oil, water, cayenne pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and spice pouch from couscous package in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add raisins and chickpeas, stir, then add couscous; cover. Remove from heat and let stand for at least 10 minutes.
3. REMOVE vegetables from oven, toss with couscous mixture, and garnish with almonds, if desired.
NUTRITION (per serving) 336 cal