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Posts tagged ‘meat’

Meatballs served 3 ways (3 Meals in One!)

I love making meals that can be transformed into other things: meatballs are one of those meals. You can serve them with pasta, vegetables, or on  burger. One day, I decided to make meatballs using ground beef, pork, and veal.

I like to add veggies to food whenever I can, so to the meatball mixture, I added sautéed yellow peppers and onions. I also added coconut flour, egg, salt, and pepper. With the ingredients, you might notice that this recipe is paleo. While I haven’t made the plunge into complete paleo-ism, I have enjoyed exploring cooking this way. My mother-in-law has celiac, so paleo is an easy way to make sure she doesn’t get sick when I’m cooking (always a plus!)

Although I haven’t tried a Paleo diet consistently for any length of time, I had a friend who ate paleo for a month and she said that she had a lot of energy, so I’m sure there are a lot of health benefits to it. I am a big believer that we need fat to fuel our brains, so I enjoy my steak and bacon, but balance it with other veggies and other foods!

For the meat mixture, I decided to try putting the meat into portobello mushroom caps as well as form some meatballs to enjoy on their own.

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Here is a pic of the meatballs when they were done. I baked them at 350 degrees until they had a nice golden brown on them. They were delicious! I have swallow fried them before and that way they get some char on them, but this way, they brown slightly. I would say the swallow fry might be better if you’re going to eat them all in one sitting and baking them in the oven would be better if you’re planning on freezing some for later.

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Here is a picture of the stuffed portobello mushroom cap. I decided that putting the meat in raw cooks the mushroom a little more than needed. After researching, I found that when people make something like this, they tend to cook the meat first at least slightly, then chop or grind it to stuff the mushroom. Overall, they tasted great, but if I were to do it again, I would try to cook the meat a little first.

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The third way I made the “meatballs” was to transform them into burgers. These are packaged to go into the freezer until a nice warm day when we want to grill.

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I’d definitely recommend making meatballs this way. It’s easy and you can make several meals at once, which I love doing!

Spaghetti and Meatballs

I decided to make meatballs because I had quite a bit of ground meat in my freezer. This dish represents me trying to finish up some of the things that I had in the fridge that were about to go bad.

When I cook something familiar, I often wing it. I put a little bit of this and a little bit of that into the mix and that is what I did with this recipe. It’s different when I’m cooking something unfamiliar, and maybe easier in terms of blogging because I can simply put up a link to the recipe, rather than having to write each ingredient down. This conglomeration consists of food items I decided might go well in a spaghetti and meatball dish.

Here’s the recipe:

Sauce:
1 jar (44oz) Classico Tomato Basil pasta sauce
1 cup stewed tomatoes
1 tbsp pepper
1 tsp basil leaves (dried)
2 bay leaves
4 tbsp ground flax seed
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 onion
1 package baby portabello mushrooms

Bring sauce, tomato, and spices (excluding the onion and mushrooms) to a boil in a large pot. In a separate pan, saute onions with two tablespoons of olive oil until almost caramelized. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft. Add the onion and mushrooms to the sauce mixture and simmer for 30 minutes (longer is definitely fine). While the sauce is cooking, cook your favorite pasta to accompany the dish. I used a whole grain pasta. Here’s a picture of what the mushrooms and onions look like when they are done.


Meatballs:
1lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb ground meatball mix (veal, beef, pork)
1/2 tsp marjoram leaves (dried)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano leaves (dried)
4 tbsp parsley (fresh)
1/2 tsp cumin
1.5 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
2 eggs
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
3 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tsp basil leaves (dried)
2 tbsp ground flax seed
3 chopped green onions
1 roasted marinated red pepper, chopped

Combine all ingredients. I did so by hand because I think it is the easiest. Cook in a frying pan for 20-30 minutes on low medium heat, turning as necessary, until cooked throughout.

Here is the meat rolled up and ready to be cooked. The meat I used was 80/20 in terms of meat to fat ratio. Usually, I prefer less fat, but again, I was using up things I had. Since it was 80/20, there was not much need for oil in the pan before cooking the meatballs. If you’re using meat that is more lean, you might want to add oil to the pan to prevent sticking.

Here are two photo versions of the finished product. It was very tasty and flavorful. My meatballs never come out perfectly round, so don’t worry if yours don’t either. The flavor is what’s more important. I will say that I go easy on the salt, so if you like saltier food, I would use more of it. Also, I’m not sure that the small amount of cumin added to the meat really made a difference in terms of flavor. The addition of the roasted marinated red pepper definitely added a bit of sweetness as well as some color, so I would definitely do that again. It was a tasty dish that I’ll give 3.75 stars.