Sitting by the pool, flip flops, food on the grill, going to the beach and hot, sunny weather! I don’t know about your area, but we have a few local meteorologists that post on Facebook and when they share a post in the winter about the freezing cold temperatures and the white stuff falling from the sky, there is inevitably someone who responds that they can’t wait for summer and warmer temperatures and someone else who replies that ‘come summer, they’ll be wishing for cool temps’. I can without a doubt tell you I have never complained about the hot, muggy summers Maryland is prone to. Bring on the heat!
Anyway, for the June reveal of the Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to The Tasty Cheapskate which is written by Jean. Her childhood seems similar to mine, not cooking nor eating very much with that stick of fat-free margarine glistening from under the butter dish. Oh the misguided-ness of the 80’s and 90’s and what was actually good for you.
Did anyone else put margarine under the butter dish? The always seemed to amuse me.
Since then, Jean has learned to cook and eat healthier choices all while keeping it on the budget-friendly side. Healthy foods are expensive. Processed foods lacking all nutrients are cheap. That’s the sad state of our grocery stores. Personally, I think link to The Tasty Cheapskate should be handed out at every food pantry and discount grocery store. Sure, its harder to eat healthy when you’re on a small budget, but it’s not impossible given the vast variety of recipes listed on her site.
That got a little heavy, didn’t it? Sorry, but it makes my blood boil thinking about how much harder it is to eat healthy than to just pop into the nearest fast food restaurant and feed a family for $10. (I’ll save my ranting about this for another post.)
So I chose this recipe because it reminded me of the great flavors of summer. I have a basil plant growing out of control and the combination of fattier beef with light, fresh basil is something to make your taste buds sing. Then the crunch of carrots, celery and cabbage combined with the tang of vinegar in a slaw? That screams summer!
Source: The Tasty Cheapskate
- 2 cups carrots, chopped, matchstick or grated
- 1 cup cabbage (red or green), shredded or grated
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 lb. ground beef
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 green onions, diced
- 1 tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 tbsp. hot chile sauce (or garlic chile sauce)
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 tsp. sugar
- salt and pepper
- For the Slaw:
For the Meatballs:
1. First prepare the slaw by combining all of the slaw ingredients into a medium bowl. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour to allow the flavors to develop. (If you are in a rush, you can skip this step, but the slaw tastes much better after the flavors mingle together.)
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire cooling rack on top. Spray the rack with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Combine the meatball ingredients into a medium bowl. Form into 1 ½ inch meatballs and place on the wire rack.
4. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through. (Alternately, you can cook the meatballs in a skillet over medium high heat for 2-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through.)
5. Serve meatballs alongside slaw.
We ate them with a side of corn on the cob and slaw. It was delicious and I cannot wait to make this recipe again!