Quick and easy, satisfying dinner

October 8, 2018

Comfort food gets an upgrade with meatballs and zucchini roll ups.

Joe and I share in the prep work for dinner most nights. We don’t always do it together.

Sometimes he will just say, “What do you want me to cook for you?” Then I’ll shrug my shoulders, which will always prompt him to sell me on his skills, “Oh, do you want meatballs?” “I make the best meatballs, even better than yours!”

Though I feel challenged somewhat, I resist that because he is a more adventurous cook than I and no doubt his meatballs are the best. Two or three times a week I cook and it usually involves chopping cauliflower or broccoli into “tiny trees.” I know the drill, it’s a rough chop, usually bigger than my mouth will comfortably contain and way larger than a table grape. I then turn the cauliflower or broccoli into a hot skillet with a bit of salt, olive oil, and whatever spices and seasoning strike our fancy that night. He’s a meat and potatoes kind of guy and I’m salads and vegetables all the way.

But somewhere along our journey together he has moved closer to my kind of dinner. He eats salads now and roasted vegetables — yeah, he likes them.

Though protein is his main objective for the day, he welcomes vegetables, salads and healthy carbs.

This is my solution where two food worlds live happily ever after. A combination of meatballs and zucchini ricotta roll ups. This eliminates pasta but you don’t miss it since the ricotta cheese shows up in the deepest, most delicious way.

I love alternative dinner ideas that meet the needs of everyone involved especially when it’s this delectable and simple.


3/4 lb. ground beef

1/4 lb. ground sausage

1 large egg

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

/3 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 cup minced Italian parsley

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

Zucchini cut into thin slices

1 cup ricotta cheese

/3 cup Parmesan cheese

1 jar of spaghetti sauce

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Take the zucchini strips and soak in salted water. Soak for half an hour. Mix together and form round balls. In a skillet brown the meatballs. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes.

Pat dry the zucchini strips and spoon on the ricotta cheese and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Roll them up. Set aside.

In a cast iron skillet, add the spaghetti sauce. Place in the meatballs and set in the zucchini roll ups. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve.

Janet McCormick is the owner of Let’s Eat Cafe in downtown Huntington. More of her recipes can be found at http://www.10-minutemeals.com.

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