Tag Archives: cannellini beans

Spicy Meatball Stew


I enjoy hearty stews in the winter but I also enjoy them in the warmer months just because I like stews. Since my family doesn’t eat beef too often I decided to create a stew that replaces a typical beef stew using spicy meatballs but still remained hearty.


When you think meatballs you usually think of beef but meatballs can be made out of ground turkey, chicken or pork. In most recipes that call for a ground meat I use turkey. The one thing about ground turkey is that you must season it really well otherwise it will taste bland. Lately, I prefer baking my meatballs instead of frying them. This eliminates having the meatballs absorb a lot of excess fat. Plus, it is easier to control the heat so the meatballs don’t dry out too much while cooking.


Spicy Meatball Stew was somewhat of a surprise for my family. I received a few strange glances when I placed a bowl full of stew on the table for dinner. They were use to seeing meatballs floating around in a nice tomato sauce not swimming with veggies and gravy. However, it did not take long for them to trust I had worked my cooking magic so they lunged into their bowls and came up saying “Hmmm… not bad”. The second and third bites had them totally convinced that Spicy Meatball Stew was fantastic and produced smiling faces. It is always nice when the family requests a second helping.


Spicy Meatball Stew


1 lb ground turkey
1 lb ground spicy sausage
2 eggs beaten
½ cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup half and half
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp parsley chopped
½ tsp Adobo
cooking spray

1 jar beef au jus
1 small bag baby carrots cut in half
1 small bag frozen peas
1 small onion diced
2 stalks celery dice
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 red potatoes cubed
1 cup beef broth
½ cup water
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp thyme

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl mix ground turkey, ground sausage, seasonings and worcestershire. Form meatballs and place on a rimmed baking sheeting sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. If not quite done, meatballs will finish cooking in the stew.

While the meatballs are cooking heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onions, celery, salt and pepper. Saute for 2 – 3 minutes to let veggies sweat. Add garlic and stir for 1 – 2 minutes. Be careful not to let garlic burn. If necessary, reduce heat. Add remaining ingredients except for peas. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add meatballs and peas. Cook for an additional 20 – 25 minutes. May be eaten alone or served over egg noodles, mashed potatoes or rice.

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Pork and White Bean Stew


I spotted some nice country style ribs at the grocer while shopping this week. They looked so good and were on sale so I couldn’t pass them up. I was sure I could come up with a new recipe to include the country style ribs so they landed in my cart.


Country style ribs are thick and meaty and are great in chili, stew or all by themselves. I am not sure if I should classify my Pork and White Bean Stew as a stew or a chili dish. I will leave that up to others. For now I will call it a stew. I just liked the idea of the pork with white beans and a few fresh veggies. Plus, one pot dishes are at the top of my list when it comes to cooking. Who wants to clean a lot of pots and pans when you can toss everything into one pot? Definitely, not me. In the case of my Pork and White Bean Stew I did use two pots. I used a pressure cooker to speed up the process of making the pork nice and tender. If you are not comfortable using a pressure cooker I would stick to cooking the pork a little longer to make sure it is tender. Just don’t over cook the meat or it will be dry and chewy.


The flavors of the pork were amazing with the white beans. At the last minute, I decided to throw some fresh chopped tomatoes from our garden into the pot to give the dish a pop of color. The smell of the home grown tomatoes hit my nose before I could even take a bite of the stew. Wow, what a difference between home grown tomatoes and hot house tomatoes. Home grown beats out store bought tomatoes every time.


Stew or chili? I am still not sure which one describes this dish the best. Whatever you decide to call it, I know you will like it.


Pork and White Bean Stew

4 – 6 thick country style ribs cubed
2 15oz cans cannellini beans (do not rinse/drain)
1 can green chiles
2 small tomatoes large dice
1 small onion diced
1 small green pepper diced
1 clove garlic minced
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1tbsp cilantro
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp parsley chopped
½ tsp cayenne (optional)
1 pkg whit chicken chili dry mix

Place pork in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt, pepper and cayenne. Toss until well coated. If comfortable with using a pressure cooker, place pork in pressure cooker with water and cook for 30 minutes to tenderize meat. Then place pork and remaining ingredients in a large pot along with 1 cup of juice from pressure cooker. Skim off grease. Cook for 1 hour. If not comfortable with using a pressure cooker, place all ingredients in a large pot and cook for 2 hours over medium high heat until meat is tender.

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Cannellini and Kale


Many moons ago when I was single and purchased my first home I lived next door to a wonderful elderly Italian couple. Ernie and John B. welcomed me into the neighborhood and into their home with open arms. I quickly became part of their extended family and was blessed with many delicious Italian treats Ernie always liked to share.


Ernie was a great cook and I looked forward to her knock on my door to say she had something extra she wanted to me to try. Besides Ernie’s holiday pizzelles there was one treat I looked forward to eating. It was a simple cannellini bean and garlic dish made with olive oil and Italian seasonings. Simple but delicious. Probably the most important ingredient Ernie added was love. I have always said that food prepared with love is the best food in the world.


I have since moved from the old neighborhood and my extended Italian family has passed on. I have fond memories of Ernie and John and only recently remembered her cannellini and bean recipe. In honor of Ernie, I decide to create my own version of her dish. I souped up the cannellini and garlic by adding fresh chopped kale and red pepper slices for color. The creaminess of the beans, the sweetness of the red peppers and slight crunch of the kale ( I like it al dente in some recipes) created a ping pong of textures in my mouth. Throw in nice Italian seasonings and you have a fantastic side dish or meal.


I think Ernie would be proud of my version of her delicious beans and would give me a big hug for honoring her memory.


Cannellini and Kale

2 cups chopped kale
2 15oz cans cannellini beans drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic sliced
½ red pepper seeded and sliced thin
½ cup chicken broth
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tbsp salt
½ tbsp oregano
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large frying pan. Add kale and saute until slightly wilted (cook longer if you do not like kale al dente) for 3 – 5 minutes. Add garlic, sliced red pepper and seasonings. Stir then add chicken broth and beans. Stir to mix beans with kale and peppers. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.