Slow Cooker Meatballs
We did it, you guys. Valentine's Day has come and gone and we made it out alive! Maybe some of us faired a little better than others, but that is the nature of any love-centric, candy-coated, flower giving holiday. Someone is always bound to eat too much candy. Love is a battlefield. Etc. etc.
I got to spend my Valentine's Day with some of my favorite people I truly love. We laughed, worked out, ate, sat indoors because this weather is a disaster, and relaxed without while watching poor souls scribble last minute cards and purchase last minute bottles of wine.
(Pictured: Some of the crew enjoying a V-Day post-WOD breakfast)
I eventually walked home and prepared to make the most comfort food meal I could conjure, because sometimes comfort food really ties a perfect day together. Also, the method to making meatballs is really messy and fun, so cooking this with a Valentine is not a bad idea. I have been back and forth with cooking meatballs, from sticking them in the oven to grilling them on the stove. I just tried slow cooking them for the first time and this method is definitely the winner for me! Let me know what you think in your comments below!
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 pound ground turkey (or beef if you want your meat a little fattier and, let's be honest, more flavorful)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1/2 tsp garlic
- 1 tsp cajun seasoning (optional)
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 tsp oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 jar of tomato and basil sauce (note: read the labels! If you are participating in the Whole Life Challenge, or just wanting to be conscious of ingredients, be sure to not get a sauce that includes sugar. The simplest sauces are the best!)
- 1 medium to large spaghetti squash
- Put the pork and turkey (or beef) in a large bowl.
- Crack an egg and put it on top of the meat.
- Add cajun seasoning, red pepper flakes, and oregano.
- On a frying pan, brown the chopped onions and garlic. Add to the meat bowl while still warm.
- Use your (clean) hands to combine all ingredients together until they are fully blended.
- Form golf ball sized meatballs in your hands and roll. Placed rolled meatballs off to the side for later.
- Spray frying pan with coconut oil and turn on medium heat.
- Place meatballs on pan and sear the sides (about 1-2 minutes each side) or until golden brown.
- Pour 1/2 jar of tomato sauce in the crock pot and place the seared meatballs in the the pot. Pour the other 1/2 jar of tomato sauce on top of meatballs.
- Cook on low for 4.5-5 hours (SO EASY!)
- Right before the meatballs are done, stab the spaghetti squash with a knife all around the rind. Place in microwave for 12 minutes.
- Cut spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds (warning: let it cool for a little while because it will be extremely hot!)
- Scrape the inside of the squash with a fork until all meat is shredded like spaghetti noodles.
- Roll meatballs in the slow cooker to get them coated in the sauce. Then carefully remove meatballs from slow cooker and place over a bed of spaghetti squash.
- Stir sauce in the crock pot as the oil will have probably separated from the tomato base while cooking. Then ladle remaining sauce on top of the meatballs and squash.
- Eat and enjoy! (yields 24 meatballs)
This is one of the more protein and calorie rich dishes I've made in my slow cooker, but the results are amazing. The meat is very tender and pairs nicely with the spaghetti squash (side note: have you ever eaten spaghetti squash without any seasoning or sauce? It tastes like buttered noodles! I could eat the whole damn thing in one sitting.) Also, don't make the rookie mistake I made and season your meat properly before you cook it! Sure, you can keep your meatballs simple with salt, pepper, and onion, or jazz them up with cajun seasoning or cumin. The choice is yours!
23g fat/14g carbs/31g protein/384 calories (per serving of 6 servings, which comes out to about 4 meatballs per serving)
Note: I am not a nutritionist, and the above f/c/p breakdown is an estimate. Please consult a physician or dietician before embarking on a regimented diet