You can use any type or any combination of ground meat that tickles your fancy. The fattier your meat, the more tender your meatballs will be. I chose to use turkey because I enjoy leaner meals. If you use turkey like I did in this recipe, your meatballs will cook a bit quicker. Keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t overcook.
When I followed the recipe in the Tasty video, I found that my meatballs were very wet. I recommend dialing down the whole milk amount by 1/4-cup (the original recipe called for 1/2 cup of liquid). You can always add more if your mixture seems too dry. However, be mindful not to overwork your mixture.
A very important part of making a good meatball is to treat your meat gently. Man, that sounds weird, but believe me, it makes a difference. If you cook like I cook, once you get in that bowl with your bare hands, you want to keep mixing until the end of time. Be mindful – you want your mixture combined but if you mix for too long, your meatballs will be tough.
So try to show some restraint, will ya?
We gobbled these up for National Meatball Day. What a wonderful, glorious (random) holiday. Don’t wait until any sort of national day to make these. They’re awesome and you should make these immediately! This recipe makes about a couple dozen meatballs and fed us for multiple nights.
Slow Cooker Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs and Spaghetti
1 lb Ground Turkey
1 lb Italian Sausage
8-ounces Fresh Mozzarella
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 cup Italian-Flavored Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan
2 large eggs
1/4 cup Whole Milk
1/2 cup Parsley
64-ounces Tomato Sauce
Cut Mozzarella into 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside.
Using your hands (this is a requirement!, mix all ingredients together except for the Mozzarella, Tomato Sauce, and Pasta.
Line the bottom of your slow cooker with a layer of tomato sauce.
Form meat mixture into 1 1/4-inch meatballs. Stuff each meatball with a cube of mozzarella, reform into a ball, then place in the slow cooker. After you have made a layer of meatballs in your slow cooker, top with tomato sauce and repeat until all meatballs are formed and tomato sauce is used up.
Cook on high for 2 hours. Check meatballs for doneness. Continue cooking for up to 30 more minutes until cooked.
I don’t often eat vegan, but when I do I’m usually very happy with that decision. My brain and my body feel good. But once in awhile I have to eat something that satisfies that craving for comfort food. I admit, I feel less guilty for eating such a comforting dish when it is vegan. Does that make me a terrible person? I could eat a pound of deep-fried tofu and probably feel okay with that.
Let’s start with the mozzarella cheese shreds. The flavor was surprisingly good and the “cheese” melts like normal cheese! I was able to create a successful cheese sauce with this. Highly recommended. I’ll buy this again. I’m especially excited to try to make a vegan pizza with these shreds. Gonna shred on some shreds, yo.
What am I talking about? Who knows.
On to the co-star of the show: The pepperoni. By itself, the flavor of this pepperoni is not my favorite. I realize this is fake meat, but I was hoping this would taste a little closer to pepperoni. But who eats pepperoni by itself? When you use this in combination with the Go Veggie! cheese, brown rice pasta, and sauce, it’s pretty darn good! Each bite of this dish had a great cheesy, mouth feel. Plus you got a nice bit of spice from the pepperoni.
This is something I will definitely make again and again.
1 cup grated vegan cheese (I used mozzarella but I like a blend of mozz and cheddar)
1/4 cup vegan pepperoni, chopped
Salt and pepper
Boil the macaroni according to the package instructions while you make the sauce.
Melt the butter in a medium pan over medium low heat. Add the flour and whisk, constantly stirring for 1-2 minutes. Your roux should resemble a thick paste. Add the milk in 1/2 cup increments, whisking well after each addition to form a thick but smooth sauce. Add the nutritional yeast, garlic, onion, mustard, paprika, tomato paste, and vegan cheese and whisk until everything is melted together and smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add more milk if the sauce becomes too thick.
Drain the pasta and return it to its pot. Add the cheese sauce to the pasta. Fold the sauce into the pasta until each piece is coated and then fold in the pepperoni. Serve hot.
Happy weekend to you all! I hope this post finds you well. If you haven’t noticed, I have been very busy here outside of blogland. My new job is keeping me out of trouble and the commute is time consuming. Because I spend most of my weekday away from home, I haven’t been cooking as much as I would like to. This has been a big adjustment for the two of us. We used to work together, commute together, and spend many waking hours together. Now, I leave before the Mister wakes up and return home as the sun sets. It’s been a challenge, but it is something we are working out. Most nights, he has taken it upon himself to cook our dinners so we can spend less time working and more time relaxing together. I can’t express how grateful I am to have such a wonderful partner who has been so supportive.
Anywho, that’s the news with me. Are you getting excited for 4th of July? Are you the type of person who really goes out each year? Typically we grill something up with friends or go hiking and watch the fireworks from the top of a mountain. I’m not sure what will do this year. Here’s hoping we can do a little of both!
To keep with the 4th of July BBQ theme, I thought I would post this beautiful grilled pizza. The dough recipe is from Weber’s Way To Grill and is one of the best dough recipes I have tried to date. You can always tell that something is going to taste good because it smells good …and this dough smells absolutely FANTASTICAL when it is cooking! The neighborhood smelled like a pizzeria the second this dough puffed up on the grill.
Mozzarella cheese (shredded or sliced and ripped into smaller pieces)
Any other veggies your heart desires really!
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the water, yeast and sugar. Stir briefly and let stand for 5 minutes or until the top surface has a thin, frothy layer. Add the flour, oil, salt, garlic powder and oregano. Fit the mixer with a dough hook and mix on low speed for about 1 minutes or until everything is combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue to mix until the dough is slightly sticky. smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Turn it over to coat all sides and tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size (1 1/2 to 2 hours).
In the mean time, prepare your sauce. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside at room temperature.
Once your dough is risen, cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Lightly brush eight, 9-inch pieces of parchment paper with olive oil. Using your fingers, flatted each pieces of dough on a sheet of parchment paper to create 8 rounds. Each round should be about 1/3-inch thick and 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Lightly brush the tops with oil. Let the round stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes.
Lower the temperature of the grill to medium heat. Brush the cooking grates clean. Working with 4 rounds at a time, place the dough on the cooking grate with the parchment paper facing up. Grill over direct heat, with lid closed as much as possible, until the dough is well marked and firm on the bottom, about 2 to 5 minutes, rotating as needed for even cooking. Peel off and discard the parchment paper. Transfer crusts to a work surface with the grilled sides facing up. Repeat with the 4 other rounds.
Spread the sauce, cheese (and toppings) on each crust. Return the pizzas to the grill and cook over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the cheese is melted and the bottom of the crust is crisp, about 2 to 5 minutes, rotating the pizzas occasionally for even cooking. Transfer to a cutting board cut and serve.
Grilled Cheese month continues! And with the recent bout of cold weather, comfort food really hits the spot. Grilled cheese is always a favorite in this household. Even the cat loves to nibble off of our sandwiches. She has good taste.
I love the contrast of textures in this sandwich. The inside of the sandwich is soft and chewy while the outside is crispy and buttery. Plus the addition of Parmesan onto the buttered bread puts this sandwich over the top. I will absolutely keep doing this to grilled cheese sandwiches in the future! Why haven’t I done this before?!
Butter one side of each slice of bread. Sprinkle the Parmesan on the buttered bread. Place buttered sides of two bread slices in a frying pan. Bring pan to medium heat. Arrange a slice of mozzarella cheese, turkey, avocado, and a second mozzarella slice of cheese on bread slices, dividing evenly.
Arrange other slices of bread on sandwiches, butter side up. Cover pan with a lid and cook over medium heat until the underside of the sandwich is crunchy-golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Lift sandwiches, flip, cover and cook until second side is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes more.
Being unemployed has left me with a lot of free time. At first it was great – like a stay at home vacation. I got to sleep in, chill out, do whatever I wanted to do. But that got old really fast, once I realized that the things I wanted to do with my free time cost money and I could only watch the movies I already owned for so long. Netflix has become my new cheap best friend.
I reunited myself with old Nickelodeon cartoons for a few weeks. That was nostalgic. I blew through a few documentaries, movies, and then moved onto tv series. Now I am hooked, heck, I am completely addicted to Breaking Bad. Have you watched this show? It’s about a chemistry teacher who begins cooking meth. This show has everything – great characters, memorable lines, awesome music, and it’s packed with drama, action and bits of comedic relief too. Anywho, I will be sad when I get to the end of this series, but I am excited to indulge in another, just as addicting show. I was thinking about watching Mad Men next. Any other suggestions out there?
Anywho, I hate to admit it, but I’ve been more of a couch potato than anything recently. Mister made some beautiful pesto this week so I thought it might be a good opportunity to try this Skinny Taste Chicken Pesto Bake. This dish is light, easy and so flavorful – perfect for those days when I just don’t feel like exercising. 🙂 I added mushrooms to my dish, but you obviously do not have to if you don’t like fungus. I also added more pesto than Gina, because it’s delicious.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment for easy clean up. Wash and dry chicken with a paper towel. Slice chicken breast horizontally to create 4 thin cutlets. You can skip this step if you are using chicken breast tenders. Season both sides of each cutlet with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center.
While the chicken is baking, heat a small pan over medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes, tossing occasionally. Set aside.
Remove the chicken from the oven and spread a tablespoon of pesto on each cutlet. Line each cutlet with the sauteed mushrooms, a layer of tomatoes, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake for an additional 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted. You could also place the chicken under a broiler on high for 1-3 minutes until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.