In October, I adopted a forgotten task I once did: meal planning. As part of an effort to reduce miscellaneous spending and make time for new endeavors, I recreated my budget and started planning meals and grocery trips. For the past three weeks, it’s worked out tremendously. The Hero and I have reduced our restaurant expenses considerably. Instead of pizza three times a week (yes… shameful), we’re down to once a week. Wendy’s twice a week? Not anymore. We’re down to once every two weeks.
Another perk of planning and budgeting is the quality of the food we now eat. When I decided to take charge of our financial future and health, The Hero and I made a list of things we’d like to eat and some things we’d be willing to try. He decided to cut out red meat and as a result of peer pressure, I’ve reduced my intake considerably. So far we’ve tried four new foods and about 10 new recipes, all with great success.
I got the inspiration for this Spinach, Carrot and Potato Soup with Turkey Meatballs from Gina over at Gina’s Skinny Recipes. I decided to see what I had on hand (saving money) and found a bag of spinach in the freezer. I also purchased what seemed like a ton of ground turkey, so I made meatballs instead of buying turkey sausage. The results were fantastic. Serve it with cornbread or rolls and it’s a hearty meal.
While the meatballs are baking, you can prepare the other ingredients for the soup. Feel free to experiment with the breadcrumbs. I literally use anything I have on hand: saltine crackers, Ritz crackers, croutons and pretzels.
Spinach, Carrot and Potato Soup with Turkey Meatballs
adapted from Skinnytaste.com
For the meatballs:
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp onion soup mix
- Paula Deen’s House seasoning
- 1 bag of frozen spinach (or two bags fresh)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 3 medium potatoes, diced into ¼ “pieces
- 1 pinch dried red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray or brush with olive oil.
In a medium bowl, mix ground turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, and house seasoning. Form into meatballs and place on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside on cooling rack.
In a large Dutch oven or pot, add oil and cook onions and carrots on medium until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
Add broth, water and house seasoning, bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes. Add meatballs, potatoes, red pepper flakes and frozen spinach (if using) and bring back to a simmer. Cook covered for about 4 minutes. If using fresh spinach, add it now and bring back to a simmer. Cook partially covered until the potatoes are cooked, about 5-6 minutes. Adjust house seasoning if needed.
Makes about 7 cups.