Author: Spiceplace

Spatini Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

Prepared Spatini Turkey Meatloaf
Cooked Spatini Turkey Meatloaf

Spatini Seasoning is a versatile mix of Italian seasoning typically used for preparing Spaghetti and other pasta sauces. Yet, Spatini Seasoning is widely used as a “secret ingredient” in many other meals. Today’s secret recipe is for a lean Turkey Meatloaf with no fillers. Just meat, seasoning, green pepper, onion, and Campbell’s Tomato Soup. It’s simplicity doesn’t portend the great taste of this recipe – we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. While there are lots of recipes that use Campbell soups and it sort of feels like cheating, this Spatini Meatloaf Recipe is different, as the Tomato soup is used as a topping only — that is, it’s not incorporated into the Meatloaf mix. Plus, this recipe takes what is usually thought of as bland ground turkey and really jazzes it up.

Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup
Can of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup

  • 2 pounds lean ground turkey (or lean ground chicken breast)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper (membrane removed), finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp Spatini Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp McCormick Italian Seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large bowl combine to ground turkey, green bell pepper, yellow onion, Spatini, Italian Seasoning and egg. Mix well. An excellent way to do this is to wear a pair of disposable latex of nitrile gloves and dig in with your hands, mixing the meat mixture like you are kneading bread.
  3. Place in a lightly oiled bread loaf pan.
  4. Top with 1/3 to 1/2 can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup (cover and retain extra soup for leftovers)
  5. Bake for one hour or until internal temperature reaches 165° F. Remove from oven. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from pan to a serving plate. Serve with a fresh steamed vegetable and mashed potatoes.

This recipe makes about Eight 1/4lb servings, so you may have some leftovers. For a quick lunch, you may place a heated slice of meatloaf (cut in half to fit the roll) on a submarine roll, top with some of the leftover Tomato soup, (lettuce, sliced tomato, onions, and mayonnaise, if desired) and serve with potato or popcorn chips.

Spatini Turkey Meatloaf Submarine Sandwich
Serving of leftovers as Spatini Turkey Meatloaf Submarine Sandwich

Author: Matthew Schroebel

Zatarain’s Creole Rice Mix with Chicken Recipe

Zatarain's Creole Pilaf Mix with Chicken Recipe
Serving of Recipe for Zatarain's Creole Pilaf Mix with Chicken

If you are looking for an easy and tasty dinner then this recipe using Zatarains’s Lower Sodium Creole Rice Pilaf Mix is something to consider. Easy to make and delicious, low in sodium, and on the table in 30 minutes.

First, measure 2 1/3 cups of water into a 3 quart saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, cut up 3 boneless and skinless chicken thighs into 1/2 inch cubes (this is easiest to do if the chicken is 1/2 thawed and so is still a little stiff from being frozen).

When the water is boiling add 1 tbsp butter and 1 1/3 cups of Zatarains’s Lower Sodium Creole Rice Pilaf Mix. Return to a boil, stir and shake the pan to level the rice to the water, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

While the rice cooks, cook the chicken in a non-stick skillet lightly oiled with olive oil. Turn often and cook through until the chicken is done. Set aside until the Zatarain’s Creole Pilaf Mix is cooked and no water is remaining.

Add the chicken to the Creole Rice Pilaf Mix, stir in well, then recover and set aside for 5 minutes. Then serve. Makes 4 servings.

Author: Matthew Schroebel Author: Matthew Schroebel

Gravy and Biscuits Breakfast Meal

Gravy and Biscuits for Breakfast
Gravy and Biscuits for Breakfast

This is a classic southern breakfast meal. Because sausage is high in fat and cholesterol, it’s best made with a low fat sausage. The one we use is a locally made Kirby and Holloway Sausage which is always lower in fat when compared to the big name brands. You can just tell when cooking it because there is almost no fat in the pan after cooking.

To start this recipe, cook 1 pound of bulk sausage in a non stick skillet. Keep breaking the sausage up into smaller and smaller pieces as you turn and cook it. When the sausage is half way cooked add 1/4 cup of finely chopped onions.

When the sausage is cooked through, sprinkle 3 tbsp of flour over the top of the sausage. Mix in well. Add 2 cups of milk. Stir.

Cook over medium heat, while stirring often, until the milk mixture thickens and is bubbly.

Serve over freshly baked biscuits or as we do, over toast points. Picture of the final serving is at the top.

Finished Gravy and Biscuits in pan
Finished Gravy and Biscuits in pan
Toast Points
Toast Points

Author: Matthew Schroebel Author: Matthew Schroebel

A to die for Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Closeup of Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
Closeup of Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

This is the best recipe for Macaroni and Cheese we’ve ever made. It has the essential quality that we feel a good Mac and Cheese recipe has that the cheese mixture absolutely sticks to and surrounds the macaroni. Look at the picture above and you’ll see how the cheese has spread well. Try this recipe yourself and provide a comment on your thoughts please. We believe strongly that this is THE Macaroni and Cheese Recipe.

Bread Crumb Topping

  • 12 ounces of dried elbow macaroni
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan Cheese
  1. Melt the butter in a small non-stick skillet.
  2. Add bread crumbs and Parmesan Cheese
  3. Mix well. Remove to a small bowl. Set aside.

The Splendid Cheese Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  1. Preheat Oven to 500° f.
  2. Bring 3 quarts of water to boil in a large pan. Add macaroni noodles. Stir.
  3. Make a Rue: Melt 2 tbsp butter in a 3 quart non-stick saucepan. Add flour and stir until bubbly and the flour begins to lightly brown.
  4. Add milk to the saucepan, while stirring thoroughly to blend the milk and flour (a whisk works well).
  5. Heat slowly, stirring often until milk is hot and just near boiling. Whisk together well.
  6. Stir in cheese and mix until melted through.
  7. Mix in the nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Set aside, the pasta should be done at this point.
  8. Drain pasta well. Pour the cheese mix over the macaroni noodles and carefully stir to blend well.
  9. Spoon the cheese/macaroni mixture into 4 x 4″ diameter ramkins or similar sized oven safe bowls about 2″ deep.
  10. Top each bowl with 1/4 of the breadcrumb mixture.
  11. Place in the oven and heat until the bowls are bubbly 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for 4 to 5 minutes before serving.
  12. Enjoy.
Serving of Delicious Macaroni and Cheese
Delicious Macaroni and Cheese

Author: Matthew Schroebel

Twice Cooked Thai Chicken and Fruit Recipe

Serving of Twice Cooked Thai Chicken and Tropical Fruit

This recipe takes a little effort but the rewards in flavor makes the effort worthwhile.

First Cooking

  • 7 or 8 chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp Thai Kitchen Thai Seasoning
  1. Season Chicken Thighs evenly with Thai Seasoning
  2. Place in a 1/2 size aluminum steam table pan lined with non-stick aluminum foil
  3. Cover pan with foil and bake in a 300° F oven for 1 to 2 hours. Remove cover for last 1/2 hour.
  4. Allow to cool. Then remove skin from thighs and discard.
  5. Shred the chicken meat by hand and place in a large bowl.

Seasoned Chicken Thighs for Twice Cooked Thai Chicken
Seasoned Chicken Thighs for Twice Cooked Thai Chicken

Shredded Chicken
Shredded Chicken

Second Cooking – Curried Coconut Sauce with Shredded Chicken

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pan (large enough to hold ingredients plus chicken).
  2. Heat and blend Curried Coconut Sauce.
  3. When well blended, fold in the shredded chicken, and stir to blend well.
  4. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Serve 1 cup Twice Cooked Thai Chicken over 1 cup of fresh cooked Honey Cumin jasmine or basmati rice (recipe below).

Honey Cumin Rice Recipe

  1. Bring water to boil. Add rice, cover, reduce heat and cook until water is absorbed, about 20 minutes (less time for basmati)
  2. Remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  3. Sprinkle ground cumin evenly over top of rice, and drizzle with honey.
  4. Stir well

Dole Tropical Fruit Blend
Dole Tropical Fruit Blend

Author: Matthew Schroebel

Easy to make Crispy Potatoes Pancakes

Easy To Make Potato Pancakes (Blini)
Easy To Make Potato Pancakes (Blinys)

This dish is an excellent change of pace from mashed or baked potatoes as a side dish for pork chops, roasts and hamburgers. We used to make this recipe with fresh potatoes by peeling, shredding, and ringing out the excess water. That’s a lot of work and there are a couple obstacles to avoid. First, you have to have some McCormick Anti-oxidant on-hand to keep the shreds of potatoes from browning. All of those thin slices of potato brown almost immediately after shredding unless the Anti-Oxidant is used. It’s citric acid, just like in the OJ you drink, but without the flavor. Second, because you have to put those shreds of potato into the Anti-oxidant mixture, they get really wet and it’s really difficult to get rid of the excess water. And, the excess water makes it difficult to get the potato pancakes to form properly – they’ll fall apart while cooking.

So, we found the trick (aka cheat) to making delicious, well formed, simple to make Crispy Potato Pancakes is to cheat a little, and buy the Simply Potato Hash Brown Potatoes in the dairy section of your grocery store. The peeling is done and there is no extra water. This makes our recipe for Crispy Potato Pancakes a snap. From start to finish in about 10 to 15 minutes, just about the same time to cook those pork chops and a vegetable to square out your lunch or dinner. Plus these Potato Pancakes keep well in the refrigerator after being cooked and make an excellent leftover. Just zap them in the microwave for 20 seconds or so to warm them up.

Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns
Package of Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns

Recipe for Easy Crispy Potato Pancake

  • 1 store bought package of Simply Potatoes Hash Brown Potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions or onion [we prefer scallions as the green tops add some color]

  1. Combine the scallions and potatoes in a large bowl.
  2. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the potatoes and scallions (or chopped onion).
  3. Beat the egg in a small bowl and pour over the potato mixture.
  4. Mix well by hand. Latex or nitrile gloves work well as the mixture is sticky and sticks to your hands.
  5. Form into 4″ pancakes about 3/8 – 1/2″ thick. Place formed potato pancakes on wax paper.
  6. Heat a large lightly greased (with heart healthy olive or canola oil) non-stick skillet add 2 to 3 potato pancakes, depending on the size of your pan (ours pictured is about 14″ in diameter).
  7. Cook over medium heat for 3 – 4 minutes (until lightly browned, lift and peek underneath if required).
  8. Cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes.
  9. Remove to a warm plate and cover to keep warm while cooking a second batch.
  10. Serve plain, with low fat sour cream, ketchup or season with Old Bay French Fry Seasoning.

Makes six 4″ potato pancakes.

Just placed in pan to cook:

Crispy Potato Pancakes Cooking in Pan
Crispy Potato Pancakes Cooking in Pan

After being flipped once, note the browning is “just right.”

Crispy Potato Pancakes, Turned Once
Crispy Potato Pancakes, Turned Once

Ready to serve:

Serving of Crispy Potato Pancakes
Serving of Crispy Potato Pancakes

Author: Matthew Schroebel

Classic French Toast

Prepared French Toast
French Toast with Strawberry Jam and Maple Syrup

Looking to have something different for breakfast other than the standard eggs, potatoes and ham/sausage, today we had French Toast. This is a fairly simple breakfast that can be made from start to finish in about 10 minutes. What you need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup low fat milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • McCormick Cinnamon Sugar (or 2 tsp Cinnamon blended with 1/3 cup confectioners sugar)
  • 4 slices bread (we used whole wheat)
  • Strawberry Jam or Strawberry Jelly (as a garnish)

Beat the eggs in a bowl that is wide enough for the bread to fit across, but not to wide as you want the bread to soak up the liquid. Add the milk, and pure vanilla extract. Beat together well. Heat a large frying pan or griddle over medium heat and melt a small tab of butter in the pan or griddle.

Dip one piece of bread in the egg/milk mixture, quickly turn over and dip the other side. If you have a cookie rack handy, place the rank over a dinner plate, a place the dipped bread on top of the rack to allow any excess egg/milk mixture to dip off. Repeat for the other 3 slices of bread.

Brown the bread in the pan or griddle, and flip to brown the other side. You want to make sure to toast the bread will so that the egg is completely cooked (i.e. the finished French Toast should be firm and not damp). Place a tablespoon of Strawberry jam or jelly on the plate as a garnish and to dip the toast in when eating. I like to cut my French Toast up into about 3/4″ square pieces as I eat it.

Sprinkle the Cinnamon Sugar over top of the Toasted French Toast finally pour over a little warm Maple Syrup. Serve alone or with bacon, ham, or sausage as you desire.

Makes 2 servings, 2 slices each.

Use 1/4 tsp Imitation Rum Extract in place of Pure Vanilla Extract.
Cut 1″ thick slices of bread from a whole loaf, cook thoroughly, and use 1 slice per serving.

McCormick Cinnamon Sugar
McCormick Cinnamon Sugar

Author: Matthew Schroebel Author: Matthew Schroebel

Creamed Chipped Beef Breakfast Recipe

Serving of Creamed Chipped Beef Recipe
Serving of Creamed Chipped Beef Recipe

This is tasty breakfast meal and is often known as SOS. It’s easy to make, and tastes great. On the downside, chipped beef is high in sodium. Don’t salt this dish.


  • 6 Ounces Chipped Beef
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • Paprika as a garnish
Picture of Esskay Chipped Beef
Package of Esskay Chipped Beef


  1. Shred the chipped beef into about 3/4″ wide pieces
  2. Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet
  3. Cooked the onions and pepper until there is a light carmelization (browning) of the onions
  4. Sprinkle the flour over top and cook for another minute or two, stirring the mixture.
  5. Add the milk, and beef. Cook over medium heat, while stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.
  6. Meanwhile make 4 siles of toast and dice.
  7. Serve over diced toast pieces. Sprinkle with Paprika to add additional color.
Creamed Chipped Beef In Pan
Creamed Chipped Beef In Pan

Author: Matthew Schroebel Author: Matthew Schroebel

Zatarain’s Dirty Rice Recipe – A Meal In One Pan

Serving of Zatarain's Dirty Rice
Prepared Zatarain's Dirty Rice

Recently, Zatarain’s introduced a line of lower sodium, No MSG added rice mixes in their foodservice line. Today we’re featuring Zatarain’s Dirty Rice Mix, 50% lower sodium. Click here to see the Nutrition Facts for Zatarain’s Dirty Rice Mix. Three great things about this recipe are 1) it’s a one pan meal so there’s less cleanup, 2) there’s virutally nothing to cut up, no prep time is need, and it’s ready in about 30 minutes, and 3) it’s flavorful, low in sodium and when cooked with lean ground turkey, it’s low in fat.

Zatarain's Dirty Rice Mix 50 Percent Less Sodium
Package of Zatarain's Dirty Rice Mix 50 Percent Less Sodium


  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups Zatarain’s Dirty Rice Mix, 50% lower sodium

Preparing Zatarain’s Dirty Rice Mix on the Stove

  1. Brown the lean ground turkey in a very large skillet (12 to 14 inch wide) – remember this is a one pan meal. Break up any chunks with the end of the spatula while cooking and turning.
  2. Add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, follow the next step.
  3. The Zatarain’s Foodservice Mix is intended to make one box steam table pan of Dirty Rice. That’s a lot rice for a home setting, so we have to make an adjustment. First, shake the bag well, then pour into a large enough bowl to hold the package ingredients and have some extra space to allow you to mix. We found a 3 quart metal bowl works well. Mix the seasonings into the rice mixture with a tablespoon for 20 to 30 seconds (until well blended).
  4. Measure 2 cups of the Zatarain’s Dirty Rice Mix and add to pan. Mix the rice into the pan evenly. Cover. Return to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat, let sit covered for 5 minutes. Remove lid, stir to fluff. Serve.

Makes about Fifteen 1/2 cup servings. It might be worth considering cutting this recipe in Half:

  • 1/2 pound lean ground turkey
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup Zatarain’s Ditry Rice Mix

and a smaller skillet.

An Upside Down Lasagna

Upside Down Lasagna
Upside Down Lasagna

This is a break from the typical lasagna and is 10 times easier to make. With the standard “right side up” lasagna it takes a good bit of effort to cook the lasagna noodles, the meat sauce and mix the cheeses, and then layer them all together before baking the meal. This recipe leaves out several of those steps and doesn’t use lasagna noodles at all. This Lasagna is made in two steps, first the noodles and cheese are baked, and then a meat sauce is made while the pasta & cheese are baking. Finally the meat is place over top of the baked noodles and cheese forming the “upside down” lasagna.

1 lb of Your Favorite Vermicelli or Fettuccine Pasta
1 lb Ricotta Cheese
1/2 lb Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 lb Provolone Cheese
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Cook the pasta according to package directions to al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water. Meanwhile, mix the cheeses together in a large bowl. Add the cooked pasta, and mix well using your hands. Bake in a 350° F oven for 30 to 40 minutes until top is browned. We use an aluminum disposable baking pan because after baking the cheese and pasta a regular baking pan is hard to clean.

Lasagna right out of the oven

Prepared Upside down Pasta and Cheese In Pan
Prepared Upside down Pasta and Cheese In Pan

Meat Sauce
1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 15oz can tomato sauce
3 tbsp Spatini Seasoning
1/2 cup water

Cook the ground beef or turkey in a 3 quart sauce pan, mixing around and breaking up the ground meat into fine chunks. Add the chopped onion and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes. Then add tomato sauce, Spatini and water. Mix well. Lower heat to simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Assemble the Upside Down Lasagna
Cut a 4″ x 3″ piece of the cooked pasta/cheese and place on serving plate. Top with 1/2 cup of meat sauce. Sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan Cheese. Serve with Garlic Bread.