Quick dinner leaves time for flip-flop shopping


Spring is here and warmer weather is upon us. In my house, that means its flip-flop time. I know, I know, we Southern Californians pretty much wear flip-flops year-round. But when I say it’s flip-flop time, I mean it’s time to purchase some new flip-flops.

Currently, the pair I am wearing actually aren’t even mine. They belong to my daughter. I borrowed them from her a few months ago when my flip-flops pooped out, and I never gave them back. Sorry, dear.

Would you agree that flip-flops are the most amazing shoe ever? They are low maintenance, easy to store, easy to clean. And putting them on? You don’t even have to think about it.

I will admit, they are very casual footwear. Wear them around the house. Wear them to the beach. Wear them to the grocery store. I saw someone wear a sparkly pair to a high school prom a few years back. But wearing them to seriously formal occasions? You might catch some flak.

Remember, oh about a decade ago, the Northwestern University women’s lacrosse team won the national championship? They were invited to the White House and some members made the tactical error of arriving in flip-flops. They were roasted by critics.

When I was a kid living in Hawaii, we didn’t call them flip-flops. They were called “zoris.” I loved my zoris. They had a black foam rubber base, tatami straw foot bed, and velvet-y straps. Mine were always red velvet. The “statesiders,” or non-Hawaiians, called them shower shoes or thongs.

I can’t seem to find zoris anywhere in California, so I am content buying what they have at Costco or Target. A friend has a pair of Tory Burch flip-flops that cost her a pretty penny, actually 20,000 pennies if you’re counting, but that’s a bit extravagant for me.

Now that spring break is over and we are back to the school and sports schedules, demand for some 30-minute meals is at an all-time high. My goal this year was to incorporate easier recipes that get dinner on the table in a half hour or less.

With a little pre-planning, we all can avoid hitting the drive-thru on our way home from baseball practice or drama rehearsals. Making meals at home is cheaper, healthier, and let’s be real, tastier than most restaurants in our area.

This week’s recipe is another one from the website Natasha’s Kitchen. Served with brown or white rice and some steamed broccoli, this recipe has become a family favorite. It makes for an easy and delicious dinner in less than 30 minutes, which leaves more time for flip-flop shopping.


Photo by Betty Williams

Teriyaki Meatballs

For the Meatballs:

16 oz lean ground turkey, beef, or pork

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (regular or gluten-free)

1/4 cup green onion, finely chopped

1 large egg

1 tsp freshly grated ginger or 1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 garlic clove, pressed

2 tsp sesame oil

For the Teriyaki Sauce:

1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

2 Tbsp hoisin sauce

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1/2 Tbsp sesame oil

1 medium garlic clove, minced

1/2 tsp fresh ginger or 1/8 tsp ground ginger

To serve:

Sesame seeds and green onion for garnish


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray oil. In a large bowl, mix together the meatball ingredients: turkey, bread crumbs, green onion, egg, ginger, garlic and sesame oil. Mix together until just combined.

Using your hands, roll meatballs about one and a half inches in diameter. Place meatballs on prepared baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until browned and juices run clear.

While the meatballs are baking, make the sauce. In a medium saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients: brown sugar, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger. Simmer over medium high-heat until sauce starts to thicken, about three to five minutes.

Transfer warm meatballs to a mixing bowl, drizzle with warm sauce and toss to combine.


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