Open Nature Italian Chicken Meatballs

I will be the first to admit that homemade Cheesy Italian Meatballs are the best! When I have time they can be made ahead and frozen. Sometimes when life is busy (when isn’t it?) and I don’t have time to make everything from scratch it’s nice to buy some healthy ready made foods for quick and easy meals. Recently I discovered these Open Nature Italian Chicken meatballs at Safeway. They are really good! Hubby Tom added some to his soup. You could heat them up with some tomato sauce and make a meatball sandwich or toss a few with some whole grain pasta and your favorite sauce.

These are fully cooked so just heat and eat!

On my lower carb days I toss the meatballs with some sauteed zucchini and garlic mixed with canned diced tomatoes and Italian seasonings. It’s filling, low carb and low calorie. A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese adds even more flavor for little calories.

Nutmeg Notes

I have recovered from my chocolate filled weekend! Ha ha! I am happy to say that the little indulgences didn’t cause me to be off track – I managed to keep within my daily calorie range and so far this week the scale has been kind to me. Love that.

Allergy season is upon us and although I think we say this every year – this is a really bad allergy season! Even hubby Tom who is usually not bothered by the pollen explosion is experiencing some allergy symptoms. My daily walk outside usually ends with a sneezing session and watery itchy eyes. Even so it’s more fun to walk outside than to be on a treadmill.

Years ago our doctor gave us some good advice on how to survive the Spring allergy season so I thought I’d pass along some of his tips. When you are outside the pollen collects on your hair and your eye lashes. Yuck! You can wear a hat and sun glasses to help shield them from the pollen. If you spend a considerable amount of time outside say doing yard work, change your clothes when you come inside to lessen your exposure to the pollen that has collected on them. Wash your hair and your face before you go to bed to remove the pollen. Otherwise when you sleep the pollen gets on your pillow and then you are rubbing your face in it. Change your pillow case every day just to be sure. Don’t wear your shoes in the house (we don’t anyway) because pollen gets brought in on the soles of your shoes and then spread through out the house. Like wise if you have pets that go outside and come back in they are bringing pollen back inside with them. Maybe wiping their paws off with a towel would help – I don’t have pets so I’m not sure how to handle this.

Over the counter allergy meds are available and you have to try the different brands to find the one that works best for you. We like Allegra. Allergy eye drops  can be helpful when you eyes are watery and itchy. These products are so much cheaper at Sam’s or Costco and they also have the generic brands for less money.

I am getting ready to head outside for my walk with my hair pulled back, a hat on, sun glasses and a handful of tissues!


Add Your Thoughts

What are your allergy survival tips?

Do you buy any ready made main dish items?

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  1. Dr. J says:

    I bet you look like some undercover movie star when you are avoiding the pollen! Don’t be surprised if you get asked for an autograph 🙂

    Have you ever heard of eating locally harvested raw honey for allergies? The jury is still out on whether or not it works, but you can look it up and read opinions, or you can try it, if you eat honey anyway and see if it helps.

    1. Tami says:

      I have read that about honey but I don’t use much of it so I have never tried it as a remedy.

  2. Roz@weightingfor50 says:

    Hi Tami. Sorry to hear your allergies are in full swing. My husband suffers too. Hope you soar through the season and the symptoms are manageable. Take care.

    1. Tami says:

      Thank Roz – my kids have it worse than me!

  3. Jody - Fit at 54 says:

    I don’t eat too many premade things. I can never find ones that have the sodium level I prefer or there is always something else! 😉

    UGH on allergies! Everyone is talking about them! I am passing on your advice!!!!

    1. Tami says:

      The premade stuff is high sodium JOdy. Nothing beats home made but sometimes the pre made stuff comes in handy.

  4. Sharon says:

    I certainly don’t eat or fix as many pre-made items as I once did, but have found a few at Trader Joe’s that we like and I’m pretty comfortable with the ingredients in them. When we return from our trip, the Trader Joe’s in my town should have opened and i may seek out a few more favorites.

    We both suffer terribly from allergies. I take Singulair during allergy season, but I refuse to take it all year long as I do experience some side effects. And for some reason this year, it doesn’t seem to be working as well as it has in the past.

  5. Helen says:

    Like many people, I’ve developed allergies as I’ve aged. Tree pollen seems to be my nemesis and Allegra seems to be my hero!

    I have a hard time buying meatballs. Usually I’m so disappointed because I make a mean meatball even if I do say so myself 😉

    1. Tami says:

      Helen you need to post your meatball recipe!

  6. Cammy@TippyToeDiet says:

    I don’t buy pre-made entrees very often, mostly because I usually have portioned entrees in the freezer. If I get jammed up on time, I head to the Greek deli down the street or Panera. 🙂

    I’ve read some interesting articles on the local-honey connection Dr. J. mentioned. If you eat honey, it couldn’t hurt to try it.

    1. Tami says:

      The honey idea seems to be well known – I don’t eat much honey so we haven’t tried it. My kids use honey so perhaps we should give it a try.

  7. Renee@Mykitchenadventures says:

    I love this idea with meatballs and zucchini and tomatoes! Zucchini and tomatoes are such great go together flavors, aren’t they? I wish that brand would filter East.

    I am fortunate enough not to suffer much from seasonal allergies…I’m more sensitive to the molds that come near the end of summer and into fall. My son, however, suffers. This year, since we had such warm weather so early, he started his daily regimen of Zyrtec early…like March. Having a good level of the meds has really helped him this year. Past years, he’s had to supplement with several allergy meds and steroids to get relief. I have also heard that about the local honey, as Cammy mentioned above. My neighbor got some relief by doing this. 🙂

    1. Tami says:

      Good to know that someone had success using the local honey for allergies! Thanks for passing that along Renee.

  8. Biz says:

    I love, love, love meatballs, but can you believe my Italian husband doesn’t like them? Love the idea of having them with zucchini – stealing that idea!

    I haven’t been to Trader Joe’s in a long time, but I love their frozen orange chicken – tastes just like take out but much healthier!

    1. Tami says:

      Biz I have never tried the TJ orange chicken, will keep that in mind. Thanks!

  9. Jenn @ Cooking Aweigh the Pounds says:

    My allergies have gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. I was on Allegra for awhile and had to switch over to Zyrtec. (My allergist says that it’s sometimes good to mix up the medicines when they stop working.) I’m also on a nose spray and Singulair. My husband is on all of that plus he gets allergy shots twice a month. Yes, we’re a mess! 🙂

    Enjoy your weekend, Tami!

    1. Tami says:

      You guys are a mess Jenn! Thank goodness we have meds for this seasonal discomfort! 🙂

  10. The Candid RD (Gina) says:

    I’ve never tried (or seen) these meatballs, but now I want to look for them! Yum. I’m actually making meatballs this week for dinner….I think I found an EASY recipe that might not take long at all.

    Thanks for the tip about not wearing your shoes indoors during this allergy peak. We were just talking about this last night at dinner and I think that’s a WONDERFUL point!!

  11. erica @ fashionmeetsfood says:

    Oh my goodness this looks amazing. A simple idea that looks like it took forever! My allergies are in full swing as well. It is definitely the worst. xo

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