I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) that healthy eating involves planning ahead. Shopping, prepping, corking, cooking, clean-up, can all be made easier given some thought in advance. I usually cook 4-5 nights a week in abundance, making enough for leftovers and freezer meals. On busy days, it’s pure joy to pull food out of the freezer or serve leftovers. As my mom taught me, “Second verse, same as the first. Could be better, might be worse.” But it truly makes me giddy to know I’m feeding my family well (even if we have to quickly stuff our mouths to make it out the door). And the time and effort to get it on the table has already been done.
These Italian Meatballs are easy to make ahead of time. You can serve them up immediately – or freeze for later to pop in the crock pot. Better yet, this recipe makes enough to do both! I served them to my family earlier this week as the main dish, Dave had enough to pack for lunch, and I will use the remainder over the weekend for a meatball/caramelized onion/red pepper pizza (recipe to follow)!
Let me start by saying, I love meatballs. Beef, pork, chicken, mixed…I’m not picky. They’re the ultimate comfort food. I used to buy the pre-cooked frozen meatballs in a bag. You know, the ones with a texture similar to hot dogs? Sure, they were easy. But the ingredient list was a mile long and included partially hydrogenated oils and caramel color. What? So, I decided to make my own. After several attempts and bottles of Merlot, I think I’ve perfected the recipe.
|Gluten-Free Italian Meatballs|| |
- 1 lb. Mild Italian Sausage (local or organic)
- 1 lb. Ground Beef (local or organic)
- 3 Eggs (local or organic)
- 1½ C Grated Parmiagiano Reggiano
- 3 Cloves Minced Garlic
- 2 T Oregano
- 1 T Minced Onion
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 C Fresh Baby Spinach, lightly packed (after measuring, remove stems and chop)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Don't be afraid to get DIRTY - use your hands!
- Stir in spinach.
- Roll into 1½" - 2" balls. Makes approximately 36 meatballs.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
- Serve with your favorite sauce!
P.S. Substitutions are sometimes necessary. I get that. But please, please do not to use Kraft Parmesan…you know, the grated stuff that comes in that green container. Using real Parmesan that you put elbow grease into to grate yourself will give you much more flavor and satisfaction. I buy massive chunks of it at Costco. If you store hard cheeses in airtight containers, the cheese will keep for several months. Trust me, it’s worth the $5 – $10! Use it on salads, pizza, spaghetti, etc. Happy, clean eating!