Monday, January 17, 2011

Meatballs and a Veggie Spaghetti Recipe

This is a recipe my mom came up with for me when she was helping me prepare once-a-month meals about a two years ago. I don't know if she made it up or just had it in her head. It would totally be like her to make it up. She pretty much a culinary genius.

And as soon as she reads this I will officially be her favorite!

I use this recipe for spaghetti (Hot Hubby prefers it with meat balls instead of meat sauce. Wierdo.), sweet 'n sour meat balls, Swedish meatballs, meatball subs. The list is endless really. And it's making me hungry.

This is also a triple or quadruple recipe. I separate them into meal size portions and freeze them in gallon freezer bags. I usually shop once a month so I plan a few meatball recipes for the month and then I only have to make the meatballs once. Easy-peasy!

Meatballs

4 lbs of burger
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1&1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs ( used this egg replacer and it worked perfectly)
1&1/4 cups milk
1&1/2 cups bread crumbs (I use oatmeal. My mom always did when we were little. I think it's a Weight Watcher thing. It works though.)

Last week when I made this recipe it yielded about 156 1 inch meatballs.

Mix all the ingredients together (I use my KitchenAid mixer). Shape into 1 inch balls. Pampered Chef sells a 1 inch ice cream scoop that works wonders for this. Bake on a sprayed pan for 20 minutes at 350.

If you haven't yet, you should totally check out the sweet 'n sour recipe above. Here's my recipe for spaghetti:

Disclaimer: When I cook I don't measure a whole lot unless I'm following a specific recipe. I use the "ish" system. Use your own discretion and add what sounds good to you.

Also, I pre-cut most of my veggies and store them in the freezer in recipe size portions. This helps insure that my dinner preparations are simple and it also makes it easier to get veggies into our meals. If you have picky eaters chopped or shred the veggies into small pieces that they won't be able to see. As long as there isn't an allergy possibility I add it. Hot Hubby doesn't like zucchini and Abiah doesn't care for mushrooms but they eat them all the time. Most of the time they don't even know.

Veggie Filled Spaghetti Sauce

If you are using a meat other than the meatballs brown it in a separate pan and add later.

1 Tbls olive oil
1 Tbls butter

Heat the oils in a large skillet. When heated through add:

1 onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic
1 cup (ish) of chopped mushrooms
1 zucchini chopped or shredded
1 cup of bell peppers sliced ( I get a combo pack of mini peppers from Costco and send them through the food processor. They freeze well for sauces and soups.)

When these start to brown I add 1 large can of tomato sauce (24 oz I think) and a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes. (This is also where I would add the browned burger. Add meatballs later.)

This is where I get my "ish" on. These portions are a guess but a great place to start.

2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp garlic powder
two or three dashes of salt
1 or 2 dashes of pepper
1 tsp of sugar ( I don't usually add more sugar unless I have a very bitter sauce.)
If you can handle the spice, add 1 tsp or so if crushed red peppers. Mmmmm...

Let all of these simmer together. If you are using meatballs, add them at this point and let them simmer in the sauce.

When your noodles are done cooking add about 1/2 a cup of the starchy water to the sauce and let it simmer a little longer.

You can serve this over your favorite noodles or serve it in hoagie rolls, add a piece of cheese to the top and broil in the oven until the cheese is melted for a yummy meatball sub.

Let me know what you think!

1 comment:

LaFonda Dunlap said...

Officially my favorite!