Spaghetti Cheese Balls

Spaghetti Cheese Balls | @HipVegetarianAs a replacement to meatballs, I use a recipe my Mom gave me that I’ve renamed to Spaghetti Cheese Balls. It really didn’t have a name, so I came up with one that seems to describe it best.

Made out of cream cheese, Ritz crackers, and pecans — well to say this recipe isn’t tasty, would be a lie.

Both boys and the husband like this. Even more importantly, this is a fun recipe to have the boys help me with in the kitchen. From crushing the crackers to scooping the “dough,” there is something for everyone to do.

Spaghetti Cheese Balls

8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1 1/2 sleeves, Ritz Crackers, crushed
1/16 – 1/8 cup Salted Pecans or Cashews, chopped
Dash, Seasoning Salt
Dash, Garlic Salt
1/8 – 1/4 cup, Bacon Bits
1/2 cup, Onions, chopped
1 Egg

Mix all the ingredients together. Use a 1 inch scoop, and place into a pan of oil. Fry until the cheese balls are golden brown.

Spaghetti Cheese Balls | @HipVegetarian

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Pasta Asiago with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Pasta Asiago with Spinich & Sun-Dried Tomatoes | @HipVegetarian

Pasta Asiago with Spinich & Sun-Dried Tomatoes | @HipVegetarian

During the Thanksgiving holiday, I was slightly tired of left overs; so I pulled out a recipe I recently found in the San Antonio Express-News.  Their Taste section is the main reason I subscribe to the Sunday paper, and I have a stack of recipes that I want to try, to prove it.

I made the reduced-fat version of the recipe, which is listed here. I also added chicken strips from Morning Star to give it a protein boost.

Pasta Asiago with Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Makes 6 servings

12 ounces whole-grain pasta
1 bag, Morningstar Chicken Strips
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
11/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup Vegetable broth, divided use
2 cups fat-free half-and-half
1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (not oil-packed)
1 (6-ounce) package baby spinach

Instructions: Boil pasta according to package directions; drain, set aside and keep warm.

Saute chicken strips in a nonstick skillet. Set aside.

In a separate skillet, add olive oil and the red onion. Sauté onion, using broth if necessary to prevent scorching, until soft. Add garlic.

Combine cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the vegetable broth to dissolve. Add the rest of the broth to the dissolved cornstarch and pour the mixture into the skillet. Bring to a boil. Add half-and-half and return to a boil. Add Asiago cheese and stir. Stir in sun-dried tomatoes.

In a large bowl or pan, combine chicken or shrimp, pasta, sauce and spinach, and stir until the spinach is slightly wilted.

There is a nice tasty, original fattening version of this recipe at http://www.mysanantonio.com/life/food/article/Reduced-Fat-Pasta-with-Spinach-Asiago-and-3982289.php#ixzz2EEn7Ukp7.