If there is one food I miss the convenience of it's meatballs. A couple times a month, several years ago, I could wip open a frozen bag of meatballs, dump into the slow cooker, add some spaghetti sauce and by dinner time all I'd have to do is make some noodles.
Has anyone else done this?
Well, if you are on a natural whole foods journey like me, those frozen meatballs aren't going to cut it anymore. Here is a list of ingredients from a typical bag of italian meatballs:
Pork, Water, Bread Crumbs (Wheat Flour, Bleached Wheat Flour, Leavening [Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate], Dextrose), Textured Soy Flour, Soy Protein Concentrate, Beef, Salt, Dehydrated Minced Onion, Parmesan Cheese (Cow's Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Romano Cheese (Cow's Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Sugar, Hydrolyzed Corn And Yeast Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Gluten, Spices, Sodium Phosphate Dehydrated Granulated Garlic, Flavorings, Caramel Color. Contains Milk, Soy, Wheat.There are a couple things I've learned about whole real foods, in regards to this set of ingredients, you want to avoid anything hydrolyzed and anything that has more than 5-10 ingredients, this bag of meatballs has 30! And what does flavorings mean anyway?
But please, don't for-go meatballs forever
like I did, just make a bunch and freeze some for later! I don't know why I haven't made these before!
- 3.5+ pounds grass-fed ground beef
- 1 C frozen spinach, thawed and drained thoroughly
- 2/3 C grated parmesan
- 1 whole egg
- 1 1/2 t basil
- 1 1/2 t parsley
- 1 t garlic powder
- 1 t sea salt
- 1/2 t chili powder
- 1 T dried onion flakes
- 1/2 cup
bread crumbs(I used crushed/ground up Stone Ground Sesame Crackers)
What to do:
- Gather ingredients, preheat oven to 400 degree
- Add all ingredients into a large mixing bowl, except the crackers and spinach
- In a Mini Food Processor, chop up the crackers, dump into bowl, chop spinach (you may have to add a little water), then dump into bowl
- Take your rings off, pull up your sleeves and dig in, mixing all ingredients together
- Use a meatball scoop (I got my stainless steel one from Big Lot's) or spoon to make 1.5 inch balls, round with your hands if needed.
- Place on an ungreased pan an inch apart, bake for 25-30 minutes
- Use some right away with your favorite sauce and enjoy over pasta, whole wheat or gluten free are even healthier choices
- Let the others cool and store in a plastic bag or air-tight glass container, then put into freezer, add a few to your slow cooker with your favorite sauce! Yum!
I adapted this recipe from Alton Brown's Baked Meatballs.
What is your favorite meatball recipe to make with your slow cooker?