Pineapple Meatball Kebabs with Apple Slaw

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I am usually on the prowl for easy delicious recipes that cater to busy families, which is a trend you’ll notice if you scroll through my posts. That said, this is not an outwardly weeknight “quickie” recipe. However, there are ways to make this dish more weeknight appropriate, which is something I recommend. What I did was make the meatballs and sauce (separately) ahead of time. This way when we were ready for dinner I just fired up the grill, sauced the pre-made meatballs, and enjoyed. If you want to do this just sauce what meatballs you know you will eat, and put the rest in the fridge.  I will say that the extra time it took to initially put this dinner together was well worth it. The tangy sweet sauce is the showstopper in this dish which paired really nice with the crunchy apple slaw. I HIGHLY recommend doubling the slaw recipe because it was so refreshing and we went through the first batch pretty quickly. This dish was inspired from two different recipe blogs. The meatballs were adapted from Savory Nothings which is a gorgeous blog with stunning photos and easy to follow recipes. The slaw was adapted from Damn Delicious which is also a beautiful recipe blog (my favorite part of her posts are that she adds the nutritional facts for each recipe). Give both blogs a look if you try and like this recipe their recipes are a tad different from this one and they have tons of other tasty posts.

TIME: approximately 1 hour 15 minutes with prep.com

SERVES: approximately 6

Ingredients for Meatballs :

  • 1.5 lb ground beef
  • 1 lg yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 scallions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds, (I toasted mine a bit before adding)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Ingredients for Sauce:

  • 20 oz can of crushed pineapple in 100% pineapple juice
  • 5 tbsp soy sauce (I used low sodium)
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp garlic powder

Ingredients for Apple Slaw:

  • 1 bag of slaw mix (I would recommend getting an extra red cabbage and carrot, chopping/slicing them up, and adding them to the mix. There is never enough red cabbage or carrot in store bought slaw).
  • 2 granny smith apples, julienned
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions for Meatballs and Sauce:

  1. If you are pairing the meatballs with the slaw recipe prepare the slaw first as it needs to be refrigerated for at least an hour before serving. That recipe can be found below
  2. Preheat your oven to 400 F, also if you are using bamboo/wooden skewers soak them in water for 30 minutes.
  3. Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Form small balls and line them up on a greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake the meatballs in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until no longer pink in the center (I always reserve one meatball as my “tester” to check for pinkness and when cooked to check for taste). Once cooked, set the meatballs aside to cool.
  5. While the meatballs are baking and cooling combine all of the sauce ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until it begins to lightly boil. Be sure to stir the sauce frequently as it will burn if not tended to. Once boiling turn heat down to a simmer continuing to stir until it is nice and thick. Once thick remove the saucepan from heat.
  6. Once meatballs are cooled string 3-4 meatballs on each skewer. Spoon or brush the sauce over the meatballs, coating them really well.
  7. Fire up your grill and cook the kebabs until nice scorch marks appear.
  8. Plate with your favorite sides (aka the slaw recipe below) and Enjoy!

Directions for Apple Slaw:

  1. In a large bowl combine the slaw mix and apples.
  2. In a separate bowl mix all the “wet” ingredients together until well combined.
  3. Pour the saucy mixture over the apples and slaw. Toss until the slaw is nice and coated.
  4. Cover and put in the fridge for at least one hour.
  5. When ready to serve toss the slaw and plate.
  6. Enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me.

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Firecracker Chicken Meatballs

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Give me a sticky sauce on anything and I’ll devour it. These meatballs were dripping in a wonderfully sticky and sweet sauce. I didn’t find these unbearably spicy but they do pack a delightful kick. The heat in these guys is more of an aftertaste then a knock you out kind of spicy. I paired it up with some crunchy veggies and rice. I do think it would taste great alongside some grilled veggies or even in a sandwich to switch it up for lunch. The process was very simple and straightforward making it a great weeknight recipe. There were plenty of left overs that kept really well. I will be making this one again and again! I found the original recipe at http://www.littlespicejar.com and have to tell anyone reading this how beautiful that blog is. They have so many yummy recipes over there and I definitely recommend that you give them a look.

Serves: 18-22 meatballs     Calories: 100 calories per meatball     Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

  • 1.5 lbs of ground chicken
  •  6 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2  tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
For the sauce
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite hot sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • red pepper flakes to taste

Directions:

  1. Adjust your oven rack to the middle and preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the ingredients of the firecracker sauce over medium high heat. Bring the sauce to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer for 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow it to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, garlic, salt, pepper, eggs, panko, paprika, and onion powder. Mix well but don’t over mix.
  4. Roll the mixture into 18-24 meatballs and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
  5. Remove the meatballs from the oven and brush them with a bit of the sauce. Place them back on the baking sheet and bake for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  6. Remove and top with the remaining sauce and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from www.littlespicejar.com

 

Mozzarella Filled Meatballs with Pesto

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Not only are these extremely easy to execute but they are also wildly delicious. This recipe has a lot of different flavors that range from bold to simple. They all work really well together. The pesto is very fresh and robust, whereas the gooey mozzarella adds an amazing creaminess. The chicken meatball “shell” ties it all together with crunchy garlic bits and a bread-y base. I wouldn’t recommend serving these with anything too heavy because they are really the star of the show. I served them with steamed vegetables and found them to be the perfect “supporting actors.” By some miracle, we did not eat all of these in one night and were able to get two dinners out of them. They reheat really nicely. This will be a repeat recipe and I can’t wait to get creative with what we serve alongside them.

Serves: 5     Calories: 385.4 per serving   Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh or store bought pesto, (My Fresh Pesto Recipe )
  • 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella or 1/4 of a roll of mozzarella cheese, to roll into small balls
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Mozzarella is a pretty melt-y cheese so if you are using shredded cheese mold the cheese into about 20 small/medium balls. If you’re using a block of mozzarella, cube about 1/4 of the block and roll into 20 small/medium ball shapes. Put these into the refrigerator while you mix up the meatball ingredients. This shouldn’t be too difficult as the warmth of your hands should make the cheese pliable enough.
  3. Mix together the ground chicken, panko, egg, garlic, salt, pepper, and 2-3 tbsp of the pesto.
  4. Form a small/medium sized meatball and press one mozzarella ball into the center. Roll the filled meatball in your hands to make sure the mozzarella is completely covered by the chicken mixture. If you don’t do this well enough the mozzarella will just ooze out in the oven. Repeat until meatball mixture is all used up.
  5. Bake for 13 minutes, or until the meatballs are fully cooked.
  6. You can either toss the meatballs all together with the pesto or you can spoon a bit over each meatball. I chose to spoon a bit over each because I love pesto that I didn’t want any to go to waste. I ended up with quite a bit left over (scrambled eggs anyone 😉 )
  7. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://www.sweetandsavorybyshinee.com

Spinach Meatballs with Sun-dried Tomato and Spinach Orzo

1970951_10205600543951031_8676735917190554793_nSun-dried tomatoes are to me like candy is to my 4-year-old. I can snack on these tangy sweet nuggets all day. That said, I get excited when I can add them to my recipes. Think jimmies on your ice cream… Yep, pretty much the same thing in my book. The orzo could really stand on its own as a meal but since we are trying to pack in the protein I threw in the meatballs for good measure. The meatballs were an absolute treat. They seemed to have much more substance than any other meatball I’ve made before. To explain how good they are my picky 4-year-old even ate 3 of them on his own. This recipe will make it into my normal rotation for sure. One thing I would like to note is that I used a rice cooker to make the orzo. It is extremely easy to make in the rice cooker but as not everyone has the appliance I will provide two sets of directions for the orzo.

Serves: 5     Calories in Meatballs: 294 per serving     Calories in Orzo: 102 per serving  

Time for Meatballs: 1hr 30 mins     Time for Orzo: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients for Meatballs:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 (10 oz) package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup italian breadcrumbs, I used whole wheat
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Ingredients for Orzo:

  • 1 cup orzo
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, more or less depending on your taste.
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 8 basil leaves, chopped

Directions for Meatballs:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a large bowl mix all ingredients together until combined
  3. Form into small/medium-sized meatballs and line them in a greased baking dish
  4. Bake for 45-50 minutes until cooked through.
  5. Serve with sun-dried tomato and spinach orzo.
  6. Enjoy!

Directions for Orzo in Rice Cooker:

  1. Place all ingredients in your rice cooker
  2. Secure the lid and press cook. This will cook for 10-15 minutes
  3.  When the cooker switches to warm, stir the orzo and let rest for 5 mins before serving.
  4. Serve with meatballs and enjoy!

Directions for Orzo Stove top: 

  1. Combine orzo and chicken broth in a small/medium saucepan. Bring to a boil
  2. Once boiling reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook covered for 15-20 minutes until orzo is tender.
  3. Fluff with a fork and add tomatoes, spinach, and basil.
  4. Cover once more and cook on low heat until spinach starts to wilt and tomatoes are warm through.
  5. Serve with meatballs and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Original meatball recipe adapted from http://www.food.com

*Original orzo recipe adapted from “Rice Cooker Creations with Debra Manning” (p.75)

Salisbury Meatballs

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I have not been motivated to try new recipes these past few weeks, but when I clicked through my “recipes to try” board on pintrest.com I quickly re-ignited that flame. This recipe originally comes from Ree at http://www.thepioneerlady.com , and it is absolutely delicious and very easy to pull together. I would recommend making this on a weeknight because the left overs are just as tasty if not more. I did cut the ingredients in half because there were only 2 of us enjoying this meal, so if you’re cooking for a crowd jet over to thepioneerlady.com and see the ingredients Ree has listed to serve 12.

Serves: 5   Calories: 535.4 per serving with egg noodles   Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1/8 cup spicy brown mustard
  • 1/8 cup ketchup
  • 1 crumbled beef bouillon cube
  • 1/2 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 whole medium onion, halved and sliced
  • 1-1/4 cups Beef Broth
  • 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with a bit of beef broth to make a paste
  • 1 package of egg noodles, cooked and drained
  • fresh parsley, minced

Directions:

  1. Combine the first eight ingredients in a large mixing bowl to make the meatballs. Roll into medium sized balls and place on a plate.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and melt the 2 tbsp of butter. When completely melted add meatballs to pan and gently roll them around to brown, and set on a clean plate. Do this in batches if you need to. I needed to do two batches as my pan wouldn’t accommodate all the meatballs at once.
  3. Once all meatballs are browned, add the sliced onions to the same skillet and cook until browned (approximately 4 minutes).
  4. Now would be a great time to start boiling water for your egg noodles.
  5. While onions are browning, combine the cornstarch and a bit of the beef broth. Stir well as to break up all the chunks of cornstarch. Set aside
  6. Once onions are done add the beef broth (without cornstarch), additional Worcestershire  sauce, ketchup and mustard. Stir this all together to scrape any bits off the bottom of the skillet and bring to a boil. Once boiling stir in the cornstarch mixture and add the meatballs. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and let cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  7. Serve meatballs over egg noodles sprinkled with fresh parsley and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Original recipe can be found at http://www.thepioneerwoman.com