OK, so let's get down to bidness here peeps! Raise your hand if you made a resolution to eat healthier in 2017
Maybe you didn't make a "resolution", but you silently promised your little holiday treat stuffed body a break for a few months?
I know my jeans and I are not happy with each other, and don't even get me started on the bathroom scale. Ppfffttttt we are NOT on speaking terms .
My answer to those situations is to make some slight changes to my eating habits.
Notice I said slight changes?
Yes, just talking about eating healthier had Kevin's head spinning. He was pouting thinking that meant he couldn't have any of the foods that he enjoys. He had visions of an endless parade of salads, chicken, and fish, with our beloved cheese, pasta, and beef sidelined for a later date.
I am still enjoying my pasta, just not everyday. I bought a spiralizer and have been turning just about everything into "voodles". I still enjoy my dairy (I ain't given' up my cheeeeez), and I am still loving on my beef.
Some people think beef is not healthy for you. But that is far from the truth! There are so many lean cuts of beef that I can cook with. Did you know that in just 1 3-ounce serving of lean beef, there is almost half of your daily protein, and 10 essential nutrients, all for about 150 calories?
Do what?? #raisetheroof
AND beef provides more of the quality protein you need to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, and build muscle. Add that to some whole grains, produce, and mmmm mmmmm mmmmmm, the carnivore and I are happy happy people
Plus beef is soooooo ding dang versatile. Some of our favorite beef dishes are, Spiced Coffee Rubbed Steak, Deluxe Cheeseburger Kabobs, Beef Kofta with Tzatziki and Tomato Cucumber Relish, and Slow Cooker Beef Stew. But I have soooo many more recipe. From Asian, to Mexican, and Indian flavors, the list goes on and on!
Now, about this particular recipe, I decided I wanted to prove to Kevin that I could switch it up a bit, without losing any flavor. He loves his juicy meata balls, and his mashed taters, so I put them both together in one dish AND gave myself a break by making it a slow cooker recipe. Yes, you do have to roast the cauliflower at the end, but that is still really hands off time, then you chuck it all into a food processor, and DING dinner's done!
My kids showed up right as we were getting ready to eat (funny how that seems to happen), so I served them both up a plate. Nobody, and I me nooooooobody realized it wasn't mashed potatoes!
Way to go Mom!!
Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballs Over Roasted Cauliflower Mash
A healthier version of the traditional porcupine meatballs, using brown rice in place of regular white. Serve these tasty meatballs, over a bed of roasted cauliflower mash, for a delicious and nutritious meal.
- 1 pound Certified Angus Beef ® brand lean ground beef
- 3/4 cup brown rice
- 1/2 onion, grated
- 1 head + 2 cloves garlic, divided
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 5 teaspoon dried basil, divided
- 4 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, divided
- Kosher salt
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- 2 24-ounce containers of finely chopped Italian tomatoes (I used Pomi)* see Cook's notes
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup (or more) vegetable or chicken stock
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped and divided
- In a large bowl, combine the beef, rice, onion, 2 cloves minced garlic, egg, 1 teaspoon basil, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, salt, and pepper. with your hands into the ground beef.
- Form the meatballs by squishing the mixture together until a tightly condensed meatball is formed. Tight meatballs are a must, or you run the risk of them falling apart in the sauce. You should have 24 meatballs. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Pour the chopped tomatoes into the slow cooker, then whisk in the remaining basil and oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt and pepper.
- Carefully place the meatballs into the tomato sauce.
- Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or high for 4-5 hours (brown rice will be slightly al dente, that is the way it is supposed to be).
- Meanwhile, about 1 hour before the meatballs are done, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut the cauliflower into florets, and separate and peel each clove of garlic. Place them on a large rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss with your hands to combine, then spread them out into a single layer.
- Roast in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes (time depends on your oven, and the size of the florets) until the cauliflower begins to brown on the edges and is soft.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit. Then place the roasted cauliflower and garlic into the bowl of a food processor, along with the Parmesan cheese, warm vegetable stock, and 2 tablespoons chopped parsley. Process until smooth, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Serve the meatballs over the cauliflower mash, spoon the sauce over the top, and garnish with the remaining parsley.
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 20 mins.
Total time: 5 hrs. 20 mins.
Tags: slow cooker meals, slow cooker, beef, healthy, meatballs
*Cook's note - If you cannot find the chopped Italian tomatoes, you can use crushed tomatoes in their place.
Nutritional info via Calorie Count
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