Tag Archives: once a month cooking

Meatballs and Marinara Sauce

Day 11: “The Weeknight Survival Cookbook:  How to Make Healthy Meals in 10 Minutes

January 11, 2011

I love the ideas of once a week cooking.  By spending some extra time in the kitchen on a Sunday evening, I can then spend less time in the kitchen during the week.  This is as close to Nirvana as a mom of 3 can hope for!  I have read a lot of once a week cooking or once a month cooking.  I found this cookbook full of easy meals that any cooking level can attempt.  I appreciate the fact that she has the shopping list all made out for you too.  What this cookbook lacks in pictures makes up in ease of use.  It is simple and straight forward.  The recipes are easy enough to modify to fit your interests.  This is a great cookbook for those that want everything planned for them.  Love that feature!  Plus an added benefit is the meals are healthy.  The healthy aspect is not one that I have seen in the once a week cooking cookbooks on the market.

What I made was the Spaghetti and Meatballs on page 98.  Of course I made adjustments as leaving a recipe alone just is not in my nature.  I like to cook my meatballs on a cooling rack sprayed with some non stick spray.  I also like to use meatloaf mix for my meatballs.  This is a combination of pork, veal and beef and is available from my local butcher. 

The Ruling: The meatballs were tasty.  Although the kids thought the sauce was too “tomatoee”, whatever that means.  What is neat about this cookbook is that what you make on Sunday is used again later in the week.  So the leftover meatballs are going into sub sandwiches for Wednesday night dinner.  To give you an idea how cool this cookbook is here is the menu that the author has laid out for the week.

Sunday:  Spaghetti and Meatballs and Green Beans

Monday:  Meatball Sub-Sandwich and Green Bean Vinaigrette

Tuesday: Minestrone Soup

Wednesday:  Meatball Pizza and Green Salad

Thursday:  Hot Dog on a Roll, Baked BEans and Sauerkraut

Friday:  Pan Bagna

Meatballs and Marinara Sauce, page 98



  • 3 pounds ground turkey breast of 95% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 cup bread crumbs


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey or beef, egg, water, basil, black pepper, and bread crumbs.  Shape the mixture into 72 1 inch meatballs.  Place meatballs on foil-lined baking sheets and bake for about 20 minutes.  Save 8 meatballs for Wednesday before adding the sauce.

Marinara Sauce


  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 onion, peeled and minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and minced
  • 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
  •  6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 Tb. crushed oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. In a large nonstick skillet saute the garlic, onion, and carrot in the olive oil over medium-high heat until the vegetables are slightly brown and wilted.  Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, and black pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the cooked meatballs to the sauce.  Save half of meatballs and sauce for Monday before combining with the spaghetti.


To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com



Filed under Main Dishes, Pasta