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Posts Tagged ‘carrots’

We love this tasty dish from Practical Paleo, but I despise making meatballs. The process is just tedious and messy. So I’ve found a way to maximize output and minimize mess – at least how many times I have to make a mess.

This meatball recipe uses nuts and veggies as the binder for the pork as opposed to eggs or breadcrumbs. The result is a sneaky way to get a little extra nutrition and fewer carbs. The original called for cooking these tidbits in a skillet first, but we found we actually prefer the bit of crunch from not cooking them ahead. (Not to mention having one less dish to wash!)

Here are my meatball tips:

  1. I double the batch. This means I’m making this family favorite once but getting more than one meal.
  2. I use my cookie scoop/melon baller to measure out the meatballs. This ensures they are the same size without a lot of guesswork.
  3. I put enough in a pan for dinner. The rest go on a cookie sheet to freeze. After being frozen, I put them in a freezer container and label. From there, I only pull out what I need for the next meal and bake as usual.

Thanksgiving Stuffing Meatballs

meatballs and corn

Thanksgiving stuffing meatballs with corn on the cob. Yummy!

  • 2 lbs ground pork
  • 2 Tbsps. Italian Sausage Spice Blend (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped*
  • 1/4 cup celery, finely chopped*
  • 1/4 cup carrot, finely chopped*
  • 1/4 chestnuts, walnuts, pecans, finely chopped*

*I put all these ingredients in my mini food processor. Speeds up the prep time.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine pork and spice blend until will combined. Then combine onion, celery, carrot, and nuts with the meat mixture until well combined.

Form into 1-inch meatballs. Place in an oven-safe dish or on a baking sheet and bake approximately 25-30 minutes or until cooked all the way through.

To use frozen meatballs: Place as many as you need on a baking dish or baking sheet and bake at 425 for 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Italian Sausage Spice Blend

  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. fennel seeds, ground
  • 1 Tbsp. ground sage
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper (or 1 tsp. black pepper)
  • 2 tsps. dried parsley (optional)

*I mix up a big batch of this (like, triple) and keep it on-hand in my spice cupboard. I tend to leave out the fennel, and it is still tasty. You can use 2 tablespoons of this per pound of meat to make sausage.

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When I was a kid, I hated mushrooms. They were slimy. I picked them out of my grandma’s lasagna, off of pizza, and out of pretty much anything that would allow me to separate them from the meal of the day.

Then my husband discovered sauteing them in butter. Oh. My. They come alive when sauteed in butter.

Mushrooms and carrots are sauteed to tasty perfection in this simple side dish. Personally, I feel the green beans are sort of just along for the ride. But hey, if mushrooms can get me to eat my green beans, all the better!

IMG_3171

Mushrooms, Carrots and Green Beans, sauteed to perfection!

Vegetable Trio

  • 1/2 lb fresh green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces. (I have used frozen, which works okay, too)
  • 4 large carrots, julienned (or you can just dump in a couple of handfuls of mini-cut carrots, though I usually still cut them in half.)
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp butter

Cook and stir green beans, carrots, salt, thyme and butter over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms. Cook and stir for additional 10 minutes, or until green beans are crisp-tender.

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I’m a mom. Few children I know like to eat vegetables, at least in the quantities they are supposed to. (Heck, I don’t like to eat vegetables in the quantity I’m supposed to.)

So when I want comfort food, like Cheesy Hash Brown Bake, I find ways to be sneaky with veggies without sacrificing flavor.

IMG_3163

Mmm…yummy. Can you tell there are carrots and broccoli hiding in this photo of my party potatoes?

The original recipe calls for 3 lbs. of frozen hash browns. My mom always used the cubed hash browns, but I found that I prefer the shredded hash browns from a texture standpoint. This offers easy opportunity for subbing in other veggies, like shredded carrots, and/or broccoli slaw.

Food processor

My food processor makes shredding easy.

I started by buying a bag of broccoli slaw and a bag of shredded carrots and substituting these for part of the hash browns. Then I tried using my food processor’s shredding disc to shred my own carrots and the stalks from broccoli, and we liked the texture better. I also recently subbed shredded cheddar for the shredded “process cheese food” and found no difference in flavor. So here is my recipe.

Makeover Party Potatoes

  • 4-5 cups shredded hash browns
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded carrots (or bag of shredded carrots)
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded broccoli (or bag of broccoli slaw)
  • 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
  • 1/2 cup onion, grated, or 1/2 cup dried minced onion
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups chopped ham

Topping:

  • 2 cups crushed corn flakes
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Thaw potatoes. Mix all ingredients for casserole together. Put in 9×13-inch baking dish. Top with buttered corn flakes. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

*You can also split the casserole ingredients between two 8×8-inch baking dishes. Make only half the topping and top one with it. Bake this one. Cover the other with plastic wrap and/or foil and freeze. (A disposable foil or plastic pan works great for this.) Top with buttered cornflakes before baking at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until heated through.

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