Cooking With Calamity

As a burlesque performer and producer in NYC who also have a full-time day job in the world of advertising, making food that is delicious and time-efficient is a huge priority in managing my busy life. The recipes I try all have one thing in common: they are designed for busy women running busy lives! You won't see convoluted, hoity-toity NYTimes-style recipes here. But you will see delicious meal prep recipes, Air Fryer shortcuts, slow cooker cheats, and other kitchen hacks that I employee so I have more time to travel all over the world to perform! Thanks for visiting!


My basil plant gets partially eaten

When we moved to the new apartment almost 3 months ago, our next door neighbor Santiago (who loves to grill chicken in the backyard) have us some chicken drumstick, fresh off the vine cucumbers from his garden, and a couple sprigs of basil. I am generally not a big plants/flower fan but if I can eat it, I like it! I put the sprigs in a cup of water and when the roots came out, I plotted them in a bowl. now it looks like this

I’ve been dying to make pesto but wanted a modified version that didn’t use pine nuts, SO much basil, and olive oil. When i found you can make a broccoli & basil pesto sauce on Modern Proper, it was game on! And I only used 1 cup of loosely packed basil leaves leaving plenty left on my tree for future harvesting. 😈

The OG recipe uses real pasta but since I have to be super vigilante about sugars in my diet (diabetes in my family on mom’s side!) I used “edamame pasta”- it ain’t bad, texture is like angel hair, a bit more bland and does not absorb sauces as well as real flour pasta. But let’s face it, nothing can really compare to REAL WHITE flour pasta! But as a dietary compromise, it ok. The “pesto” turned out pretty good! Def not as oily as the usual, and you can add more or less water to it to adjust the consistency.

The real winner though was the chicken meatballs!!! Dang it was good. I substituted fennel with just the generic “Italian seasoning“ from a bottle and used Basic lame Kraft parmesan cheese-yes the kind you dont want to look too closely at the ingredient List. I kid, I kid. But I did not go out to buy expensive parm, and it was still dang good! And i also skipped that last step of brushing with extra oil. Meatballs are my secret food snack on days when showbiz life gets crazy. They’re a great hit of protein power and dont slow me down.

here’s the OG recipe!

Baked Chicken Meatballs with Broccoli Pesto Pasta

Serves 6


2 lbsground chicken

1 cupbreadcrumbs

2 large eggs, beaten

1 tbspdried fennel seed (I used Italian seasoning)

1 cupfinely grated parmesan cheese

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp salt (one tspn is prob enough)

1 lbBucatini (or your favorite pasta)


Preheat oven to 450°F. In the same bowl, use your hands to combine the ground chicken, salt, eggs, fennel, grated parmesan cheese, garlic and bread crumbs. Using your hands form uniform meatballs about 2 tbsp each** and arrange on a baking sheet. Roast meatballs for 15 min on center rack. Turn heat up to 500°F and brush meatballs with olive oil. Cook for another 5 minutes. Toss pasta with broccoli pesto along with some olive oil and top with chicken meatballs. Serve with freshly shaved parmesan. Enjoy!

**Note: To keep hands from sticking to the meat, wet hands with warm water before forming the meatballs. for the roasted broccoli basil pesto sauce click here


© 2020 by Calamity Chang