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by Sarah Steimer

One of my best friends came to visit recently and she loves Italian food. I had this meatball recipe bookmarked for a while and this was the perfect chance to try it. AND I made homemade pasta to go with it, which Anna - a pasta pro herself - helped me with.

  • 1 1/2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • pasta sauce

Place beans and roasted red peppers in a food processor and pulse until chopped, not pureed. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.

Using a wooden spoon, mix the onion, garlic, parsley, oregano, egg, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper into the beans mixture until well combined.

I actually used mozzarella to top the meatballs, totally forgot to pick up Parmesan.

Coat the bottom of a glass cooking dish with olive or vegetable oil. Work the bean mixture into balls that are slightly larger than golf balls. Because of the consistency of the “meatballs,” it requires more of a pressing motion than a rolling motion to form the balls. Place “meatballs” on the prepared dish, allowing for about an inch in between each.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm to the touch and lightly golden brown. Remove from the pan and serve with pasta sauce and spaghetti, topping with shredded Parmesan if you so choose.

Makes about four servings.

Recipe adapted from: Cookin’ Canuck

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by Sarah Steimer

After my friend Nick made pepperoni rolls, I started brainstorming what else you could roll up in pizza dough. Squash, feta, onions and sage? Why not.

My friends have had some pretty fabulous parties over the years, everything from a Black Friday Party (where everyone dressed in black the day after Thanksgiving) to Christmas sweater extravaganzas. One of the most recent parties was a Fall Dip Party with assorted appetizers. We ate way, way too much, drank hot spiked cider (thank you, Ashley) and carved pumpkins. It was a total success. Here are just a handful of recipes from the party:

Autumn pizza rolls

  • pizza dough (I halved this recipe but didn’t let it rise)
  • small butternut squash
  • 1/3 cup of sage, chopped roughly
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup of feta
  • egg white from one egg

Cut the squash in half, lengthwise, and remove seeds. Place on a glass baking dish with the open sides facing down. Cook at 350 for about a 30 to 45 minutes until you can insert a knife easily into the skin. Cut the squash into 1/4-inch thick, 1-inch diameter pieces. I only used about half of my squash for the roll and stored the rest in the refrigerator.

Mix pizza dough and set aside (unless you just bought the dough, then just make sure it’s thawed). Caramelize the onion in a small pan with about a tablespoon of butter or oil. Add sage to this when the onions are almost done. Roll out pizza dough to about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thickness. Try to keep the dough rolled in a fairly rectangular shape.

This isn't even everything. We had to keep rearranging the table all night as more people came bearing food.

Layer the ingredients as though making a pepperoni roll: Sprinkle some of the feta across the top, followed by some of the onions and sage. Add the squash pieces across this. Fold dough over and continue to layer the ingredients and fold over the dough until the end. Place the roll on a cookie sheet and brush the egg whites over top. Cook at about 375 until the roll is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool then cut.

Recipe: Sarah Steimer (in a moment of genius)

Crab-ulous Dip (vegan)

  • 1 (12-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 12 ounces firm tofu, drained, patted dry and broken up
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • Old Bay seasoning

Chop the artichoke hearts and place in a bowl. Add the tofu, mayonnaise and approximately 1 tablespoon of Old Bay. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes, checking to see if the top is slightly bubbly. If it’s not, microwave for another 1 1/2 minutes. Top with another sprinkle of Old Bay and serve warm with crackers.

Recipe: PETA’s Vegan College Cookbook: 275 Easy, Cheap, and Delicious Recipes to Keep You Vegan at School (via Tom Flavin)

Slow cooker meatballs in peanut chile sauce

  • 40 already cooked meatballs (frozen or fresh)
  • 2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
  • 1 cup canned coconunt milk
  • 1 tablespoon red chile paste
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Put meatballs into slow cooker (frozen is fine). Add peanut butter and coconut milk. Drop in red chile paste, then add fish sauce and sugar. Stir as well as you can to combine — it won’t be perfect because the peanut butter will still be clumpy.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours, high for 2-4, or until peanut butter mixture is fully melted and the meatballs are heated throughout.

Recipe adapted from: A Year of Slow Cooking (via David Richie)

Photos: Sarah Steimer

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