Mediterranean Meatballs

I have been making these meatballs for years but kind of forgot about them. I originally got this recipe from the North Dakota State Fair and the “Beef – It’s Whats for Dinner” booth. I love most Mediterranean flavors but this is definitely an Americanized version. Easy to put together for a weeknight meal. I prefer these served in a wrap with a healthy dollop of hummus and a side of veggies.


I wanted to mention these carrots in particular. I found them at my local grocer, Krause’s Market, I believe. They are a little spendy for frozen veggies. However, they are super convenient, steam in the bag. I do have a spiralizer and you can certainly spiralize your own large carrots and make them – but convenience won on this night. They were really good and a perfect side dish. We even added a few right on to our wrap with the meatballs.

Mediterranean Beef Meatballs, serves 4, adapted from Beef, It’s Whats for Dinner (this site has lots of recipes and nutritional info also)


  • 1 pound Ground Beef (93% lean or leaner)
  • 2 egg whites or 1 whole egg
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 flatbreads (such as naan, lavash, tortilla or pita bread)
Toppings (optional):
  • Chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumber, chopped red or green onion, chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, Tzatziki sauce or hummus.


  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Combine ground beef, egg, parsley, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into sixteen 1-1/4-inch meatballs.
  2. Place in a sprayed 9×13 pan and then place in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes.
  3. Remove meatballs from oven. Serve in flatbreads. Garnish with toppings, as desired.

I like this recipe as it is a little different from the usual meatballs or ground beef recipes but probably tame enough for the whole family to agree upon. Enjoy!

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4 Ingredient PB and J Banana Cookies (healthy)

These cookies are a healthy treat and easy to bake, requiring only 4 ingredients! Peanut butter, jelly and banana are all in the title of the cookie, the only other thing you need is some oats. Easy! I had a few super ripe bananas on the counter and this was the perfect way to use them up.


I bake these on my Silpat for about 15-20 minutes and keep them in the fridge for a sweet treat after dinner. Like sometimes you just need something sweet to finish your meal. These are the ticket and they are guilt free.


My batch made 21 cookies but it really depends on the size of your bananas. This recipe is a guideline and adjust as you need.

PB & J Banana Cookies, makes 16-22 cookies


  • 2 medium ripe bananas
  • 1 cup of uncooked quick oats
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter (smooth or chunky or any nut butter)
  • A few Tbsp. of our favorite flavor of sugar free jelly


Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray a non-stick cookie sheet with cooking spray or use a Silpat.

Mash together the bananas and peanut butter in a medium bowl. Add the oats and mix until thoroughly combined. Place by tablespoon full on the cookie sheet, making an indent with the back of the measuring spoon.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and top each with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon jelly. Let cool completely and store in fridge or keep in freezer in zip top bag or sealed storage container.


I do think a dash of cinnamon in these would be nice as well. Enjoy!

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Stuffed Pepper Soup

I’m really hoping the evenings of a warm bowl of soup are coming to an end. But, as a lifelong North Dakotan I know we will have days even through June where a hearty bowl of soup will hit the spot. This stuffed pepper soup is warm but also healthy. I had made this back on Valentine’s Day hence the pretty chocolate covered strawberry on the side.


You can see we served ours with some asparagus (a sure sign spring is coming) and topped the soup with green onion for him and cilantro for her. Serve with a piece of bread and you will be very happy. I like to save a few calories and carbs by replacing the rice with cooked riced cauliflower.



  • 3 cups cooked brown rice or cauliflower pearls
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 heaping cup chopped peppers (bell or any garden peppers)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 2 cups reduced sodium, fat-free beef broth
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • salt and pepper to taste



  1. In a large pot brown ground meat on high heat.
  2. Drain fat if any, reduce heat to medium-low, then add peppers, onions and garlic.
  3. Cook about 5 minutes on low heat.
  4. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, marjoram and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
  5. Serve about 1 1/2 cups of soup in each bowl and top with 1/2 cup cooked brown rice.

You can also make this in your Instant Pot browning the meat and peppers like in steps 1 and 2 above. At step 3, add in the ingredients (reduce broth to 1 1/2 cups) and cover and cook high pressure for 15 minutes and natural release. Serve the same.



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Spiralized sweet potato, bacon, kale and egg frittata

Do you ever have breakfast for dinner? I don’t know why but it feels like such a treat. This meal comes together quickly after work or take your time on a weekend and make a big breakfast to start you day off right.


I use spiralized sweet potato, venison bacon, kale, eggs and cheese but this dish is really forgiving. Use pork bacon, white potato, or whatever you prefer and this dish should be a people pleaser. (If you don’t have a spiralizer, simply chop up your potatoes in a small dice to cook quick.)


Spiralized sweet potato, bacon, kale and egg frittata
Ingredients, serves 4

  • 6-8 slices venison bacon
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium sweet potato, spiralized (no need to peel potato)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 heaping cup kale, chopped
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 3/4 heaping cup shredded cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place a medium – large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook for 4-5 minutes, flip, and cook another 4-5 minutes or until crisp and cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
  3. Immediately add the butter (if using pork bacon, use the grease instead of butter) and then sweet potato noodles. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss in the butter or bacon grease and let cook, tossing occasionally until nearly cooked through, about 5 minutes.Meanwhile, crumble the bacon.
  4. Add kale, bacon and green onion and cook another 2 minutes as kale wilts.
  5. Whisk the eggs together in a medium bowl and add the the cheese. Stir to combine.
  6. Once the potato mix is done cooking, spread them out evenly on the bottom of the skillet. Pour over the egg mixture and swirl the pan until eggs cover the potatoes. Cook until eggs are set on the bottom, 2-3 minutes. Transfer the skillet into the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until eggs are completely set. Remove from the oven and slice into four or eight slices. Serve immediately.
  7. Top with hot sauce, salsa, cilantro or your other fave egg topping.

Here you can see the dish after adding back the bacon, onions and kale. Then when I poured the egg in and let it set and finally when it came out of the oven.


I used my cast iron skillet, but an oven safe skillet would work. You want the eggs to cook through and the top to just start browning. A great dish any time of the day. Enjoy!

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Poco Frio Rio, 2018

Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018 was the Poco Frio Rio race – you can participate on snow shoes, cross country skis or fat tire bikes. We went with snow shoes. Living in North Dakota, a person really has to find a way to deal with the cold and long winter. Snow shoeing is a great outdoor activity that gets your heart rate up and is also fun cross training for running or biking. The event takes place at the CCC Campground about 15 miles south of Watford City.



The following is from Nick Ybarra, (awesome) director of Save the Maah Day Hey. They feature events year round you can find at BadlaNDs Races.

“What does “POCO RIO FRIO” mean anyway?  It roughly translates to, “COLD LITTLE RIVER.”  What does that have to do with this event?  One winter while exploring the North Dakota  Badlands on my fatbike, I decided to take a turn off of the Maah Daah Hey onto a frozen creek.  It was like I found a doorway into Narnia… the sights and sounds and experience were so unique from what I usually see in the Badlands.  After I followed the “POCO RIO FRIO” for a couple miles I discovered that it connected to the Long X trail to make a 4-mile winter wonderland loop.   When I have an experience that inspires me and changes me, I like to share it with others, so here we are at the second annual POCO RIO FRIO!  Welcome to YOUR cure for cabin fever and my never-ending addiction… BadlaNDs Races!
Winter adventures make for some of the BEST outdoor experiences for many reasons: zero bugs, the beautiful white blanket covering everything, seeing the animal tracks in the snow, the quiet solitude, well earned bragging rights for braving the cold while others are hunkered down indoors.”


All entrants have three loops to choose from:

  • 11 mile Poco Loco Loop – earn 10 points per lap on this loop. This is for more advanced racers with over 1,000 feet of elevation gain and loss.
  • 4 mile Poco Rio Frio Loop – earn 2 points per lap. This is one mile of the Maah Daah Hey, 2 miles of creek and one mile of the Long X Trail. There is about 400 feet elevation gain and loss.2 mile Land Lover’s Loop – earn 1 point per lap. One mile of the MDH and one mile of the Long X Trail.

All loops are marked with red arrows.

Bring your own fuel and water or stop by the parking area to refuel between laps. Those on foot go clockwise and those on bikes go counterclockwise. Those on foot yield to those on bike. No littering and cheer on everyone you see.

You are responsible for tracking your own points. We hiked the 4 mile twice and one mile once so we ended with 5 marks each. This was actually the third most mileage for snow shoers this day! Pretty good for some flat landers from Hazen who had only gone out a few times to practice. Which ended up being evident as we both ended the day with a few blisters.

The race goes from 8am – 6pm, basically sun up to sundown. We started right at 8 and ended about 11:30am. We were done and hungry. Our loops were great, the weather was about -10 degrees F but no wind and it was actually warm in places with the sun shining. I didn’t even wear my jacket. For sure if it was windy I would have!


We ended our hike in Watford City at Stonehome Brewing for pizza and beer to refuel. This place was awesome. It SO hit the spot after our hike. We shared a buffalo chicken and a chicken artichoke spinach pizza along with their own beers brewed on site.

We went to our hotel to check in afterwards – the Roosevelt Inn was a great host. We took full advantage of the hot tub and sauna to warm up our bones after the hike and before the evening event. At the Rough Rider Center in Watford City that evening the ND Brewers Guild held the ND Beer Fest where we got to sample awesome beers from our home state and enjoy live music. The best part was meeting up with others that did the race. It was quite simply too cold to sit around and chat at the event so it was great to make friends at the beer fest. 100% recommend and would do again. I genuinely appreciate the beer fest on the west side of the state as so much happens on the east side.

Maybe we will try the 11 mile loop next year?


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Asian Lettuce Wraps

Continuing with a theme – another easy, weeknight recipe that is tasty but healthy. We have a LOT of ground beef as we butcher our own. However, these wraps could be made just the same with ground turkey, chicken, pork or tofu crumbles.


I served these with a side of steamed edamame and it was a great, filling meal. Here is the secret shortcut:CauliRice

Riced cauliflower. This is lower in calories and carbs then traditional rice and better yet, it is made in about 4 minutes in the microwave. The rice is already seasoned in a teriyaki glaze, ready to go. I got these at Sam’s Club.

Asian Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients for 4 servings 

  • 1 lb ground meat or tofu
  • 1 teaspoon dried garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 – 4 oz. package cauliflower rice with Teriyaki sauce, cooked
  • Romaine or bibb lettuce leaves

Brown the meat in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Add all the ingredients up through the cauli rice and cook another 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Serve the meat and cauliflower rice mixture with the lettuce leaves. Top with Sriracha or more soy sauce. Serve with steamed edamame or other veggies.

This recipe almost makes you feel like you are dining out. It comes together quick, is salty, sweet and satisfying. Enjoy!

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Resolution Run 10k – Fargodome, 2018

My first race of the year was the Resolution Run 10k in the Fargodome on Saturday, January 6, 2018. This race was held inside, running laps on the concourse level. For those not familiar, the concourse is the cement upper ring of the dome when you walk in on ground level. The lower level is the field/concert area. (Also as a side note, this isn’t turning into a running blog, this is my last run event to catch up on and then more food or other events should be coming up!)

This race was put on by Go Far Events or the group that organizes the Fargo Marathon that most people are familiar with. I had not heard anything about this run until the Thursday prior. I was going to be traveling to Fargo for our niece’s baby shower, so I signed up for the 10k knowing I’d want some exercise and this was all indoors with temps forecasted to be -20F windchill. No brainer!


I signed up online, $35 and easy process. My sister joined me as my cheerleader and we checked in about a half hour early to grab a bib, check my coat and get situated. The director gathered us about 5 minutes before the start and explained we were responsible for counting 21 laps around the concourse and continuing on to the finish line. The race was not officially timed but there was a clock at the finish to record our time. My watch doesn’t pick up GPS in the Fargodome so I planned to run by feel alone. I had run an 18 miler on Monday and several more miles each day leading up to the race so I knew it wouldn’t be a personal best, but definitely wanted to run this event.

The field was small (just like I prefer; I am easily overwhelmed by people) and we were off with a 3-2-1 count. You would maybe think that running over 21 laps on a concrete floor would be boring. But it actually wasn’t bad. I got to see my sister every lap and she helped me count. They were playing music overhead and that was appreciated.


As I generally do, I think I went out too fast. The first 6 laps or so was just trying to find a pace and place. The crowd did thin out and I was able to run more comfortably at this point. I saw a gal in front of me about my age I guessed and tried to keep with her. I was very thankful my sister was helping me count. After I got about halfway done, I was trying to count my laps and also do the math on how many I had finished and how much longer it would take. That is way too many numbers for my simple brain.


Kind of before we really knew it, it was over. Jodi met me at the finish line, we had a brief break and got to see my friend, Celeste, run by and cheer her on. She was looking great! Also, I couldn’t stick with that gal in front of me, she is behind me in the pink here but she was fun to chase after.

A few perks of running in the Fargodome: 1) obviously, staying out of the winter weather, 2) plenty of bathroom pit stop options, 3) lots of chances to wave at my cheerleader, 4) small organized race with lots of friendly smiles.


The only cons I could think of is the music was a bit boring (some CURRENT top 40 hits would be nice) and WHY do they make race shirts so obnoxious? The material is great but you can see me coming from miles away so I guess it’ll be good for road running.

My unofficial finish time was 49:23. With all the miles I had on me that week, I was happy with that and running without a watch. (That is something I am trying to improve on and run more just based on feel.)

10K: 49 minutes, 23 seconds | 7 mins, 56 seconds per mile pace


We followed up our run at BernBaum’s for some fresh bagels. I got the Mideast plate and it was everything. Highly recommend! Thanks Fargo for a fun run on a cold morning! As always, thanks to my sister for being such a big supporter of mine. I love you so much!!


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