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More Than Meatballs

I provided a meatball recipe for you, but do you need a little something more to serve with those meatballs? How about some easy popovers and a salad?

As an alternative to French bread and something different, Cold Oven Parmesan Popovers are simple, quick, and inexpensive. The popovers will puff, but they won't be huge--just nicely sized to accompany your dinner (or breakfast). The little popovers are crisp on the outside and slightly pudding-like in the center, and they get extra flavor from a small amount of Parmesan cheese. If you aren't serving them immediately, don't forget to prick them with a toothpick or knife tip (just a little, you don't have to slay them!) so that the steam inside them can escape. It's best, though to serve the popovers hot out of the oven, all puffed and browned, so people can say, "ooh! ahh!", before devouring them.

Cold Oven Parmesan Popovers -- Makes 12

3 eggs

1 cup of low fat milk

1 cup of flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese

You'll need a muffin pan that makes 12 muffins. Spray the bottoms of the 12 muffin wells with nonstick cooking spray and set the pan aside. Whisk the eggs and milk together well. Whisk the flour and salt into the egg/milk mixture until everything is well combined, but don’t whisk until everything is smooth (if you whisk too much, the popovers won’t “pop” much). Divide the batter among the 12 muffin wells, filling them about half full, then sprinkle a little of the cheese on top of each of the batter-filled cups. Put the muffin pan in a cold oven and turn the oven on to 450 degrees. Bake the popovers for about 30 minutes or until they are puffy and golden brown. Remove them from the oven and pierce them with a knife or toothpick to prevent their quick collapse.

Cold Oven Parmesan Popovers

Not Momma's Caprese Salad -- Serves 4-6

Although green beans make a great accompaniment to the Florentine Meatballs, you might also like a salad. Gourmet chefs will turn up their noses at this version of a caprese salad because it's made with low-fat string cheese. But the salad tastes great, and the string cheese cuts costs, calories, and provides some relatively cheap protein. Best of all, it's easy. If you'd like to use fresh tiny mozzarella balls instead of the string cheese, please do. They'll upgrade the salad. But, be aware, you'll also add to the fat and calories (not to mention the cost!). Traditionally, caprese salads are nothing more than fresh basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella. This one, though, obviously isn't traditional. It includes romaine lettuce and a simple dressing that really makes the tastes pop. And if the gourmet chefs don't like this version, I'll meet them at the StairMaster.

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of pepper

1 teaspoon of grainy Dijon mustard

1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

4-6 low-fat mozzarella string cheese sticks cut into half-inch chunks

1/2 cup of fresh basil, torn or sliced

4-6 cups of romaine lettuce

In a large salad bowl whisk the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and Dijon mustard well. Add the tomatoes, string cheese, basil, and romaine and mix gently to coat everything with the dressing. Mix again just before serving.

Not Momma's Caprese Salad

Cold Oven

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