Tuesday, April 7, 2009

LuAnn's meatballs

No picture from me either, but I thought these were really tasty. This was my first time making meatballs. I've never been very interested in them because like Danielle, I'm not into ground meat...and I can't see what's in them. But I like the fact that these had a variety of fruits and veggies in the sauce and meat. I was thinking that the carrots, peppers and onions were going to go into the balls so I chopped them really fine. I actually chopped the carrots and onions and half of the green peppers in my mini food processor. If I realized they were going into the sauce I would have left them in bigger pieces. But the sauce was still really tasty.

I let the meatballs cook in the sauce for 25-30 minutes because my meat was defrosted just enough for me to stir it. Since I didn't have room in the pot to put in any rice I put my precooked sushi rice in a 9x13 dish, poured the meatballs and sauce on top and put it in the oven for about 10 minutes...uncovered so the sauce would thin. It turned out just right.

I'm wondering how this could be frozen. I think if I cooked the meatballs for 15 minutes in the sauce and then put it into a casserole dish with the rice. Then I would freeze it and when ready to eat I'd let it defrost for an hour and then put it in the oven for 20 minutes or so. Thoughts?

I'm also wondering if I could add some nutrients by using a small can of tomato sauce and a small can of tomato paste...I've heard tomato paste is the healthiest form of tomatoes...even more so than the tomato itself. Can anyone verify that? I might also consider adding some pureed spinach to the meatballs (this idea inspired by Jessica Seinfeld). More thoughts?

P.S. I have to note that I made this dinner and it was ready at 6:30 even though Jeff had class until 6. This was a major breakthrough for me. I chopped most of the veggies earlier in the day (this was Danielle's suggestion for me when I said how hard it was to make dinner with 2 kids awake and getting hungry) so it didn't take much to put it together at dinner time. Danielle...you should be so proud...this was the 2nd day in a row that we had a real balanced meal from scratch. Today we'll eat leftovers! Maybe I can do this.

*I thought I'd add a picture of my little helper since I have no picture of the food. I was so absorbed in scooping and dropping those meatballs into the sauce that I honestly had no idea he had emptied the entire drawer onto the floor and he was less than a foot away.


Danielle said...

That's great! I'm glad it worked out well for you!

You can totally do this. :)

Melanie W. said...

LuAnn, I'm glad I'm not alone in feeling it's almost impossible to get dinner started, nonetheless DONE with a baby and no husband home! When Josh is gone I pretty much give up on starting until after Owen is asleep. So kudos to you for getting it done!

I've never really frozen dinners (I probably should start doing that, I'm sure it would help me have dinners to eat at a decent time!) but I'm sure this could be frozen easily.

As for the tomato paste/tomato thing, I'm not sure.