Avoiding the Drive Through: Make Ahead Meatballs

From the feedback I’m getting it seems you guys like the practical posts about avoiding the drive through, making your own self care products, etc.  I’ll try and include more of those in the weeks to come, so if you have any ideas of specific topics you’d like to see, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email!  Today I’m going to tell you about one of my favorite ways to avoid the drive through: make ahead meatballs.  I had just started making a batch of these the other day when I thought “this would be a great blog post!”  So, I whipped out my camera and decided to take some pictures.  Forgive my dirty food processor, I’d already used it!

I love these because they have a lot of flavor, but making meatballs can be a bit labor intensive on a weeknight.  so one day I decided to make a big batch and freeze them.  It’s just my husband and I, so we never would eat a whole batch anyway, even over a few days.  I figured if I could buy a bag of frozen meatballs at the grocery store, why couldn’t I make my own and freeze them?  And that my friends, was a breakthrough!  I also appreciate that these meatballs are baked, because whenever I tried to make meatballs on the stovetop, they would inevitably fall apart in the skillet.  Baking them is just so much easier, and a lot less work!  So without further ado, here’s the recipe…

Yeah, my photography skills are lacking in the food department. I’m working on it!

Gluten Free Italian Meatballs

1/4 of a large onion, or one small onion, depending on your tastes

2 large cloves garlic

half a medium carrot, peeled and cut into chunks

1 lb grass fed beef

1/4 c Ketchup

1/2 Tablespoon molasses

1/2 T balsamic vinegar

Shake of Italian herbs: parsley, oregano, basil.  Dried is fine, use fresh if you have it.

1/3 cup gluten free bread crumbs

1/2 tsp seal salt

1 egg (use only if meat mixture is too dry)

Preheat oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine onion, garlic, and carrot into a food processor and process into a fine dice.  Combine with the rest of the ingredients and mix gently to combine.  Don’t mix too much or your meatballs will be very dense.

Roll meatballs into desired size.  I made mine slightly smaller than golfballs.  Place 1/2 inch apart on baking sheet, and bake for about 25 minutes.  Split one with a fork to ensure they’re done.  If you make larger meatballs, you may need to bake them longer.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on counter.  Place baking sheet directly into the freezer for a couple hours until the meatballs are frozen, then transfer them to a storage container.  Voila!  They are all individually frozen, so you can simply take out the amount you need for dinner, warm in the toaster oven or mix them in with your sauce on the stovetop, and dinner is served.

I was able to get 34 meatballs, which is enough for about 3-4 meals for us.  Next time I’ll probably make a double batch, and might use a pound of ground pork and a pound of ground beef.  If your meatballs look dry, add the egg, if they look too wet, add more breadcrumbs.  You can switch up the seasoning to your taste, and if you like things a bit spicy, could add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the mix.  Experiment!

What are your favorite weeknight meals?  Have you found any inventive ways to put real food on the table without spending a lot of time in the kitchen every night?  I’d love to hear about it!

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2 thoughts on “Avoiding the Drive Through: Make Ahead Meatballs

  1. Pingback: My blogging hiatus | owningwellness

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