Broccoli Rabe Crockpot Meatballs

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Happy Fall! I am posting this recipe so that I will not forget how much I loved this meal. I rely on Kitchenbelle.com as a place to find our favorite recipes. Whenever I am at a loss of what to cook for dinner, or if someone asks me to bring an appetizer to a party, or I need to make a dessert, I come to this site to find my favorites curated and easily accessible.

SO here we go. I recently made Skinny Taste Broccoli Rabe Crockpot meatballs and instantly fell in love. They are DELICIOUS. And so easy. I made one substitution–instead of the bread I used one cup of oatmeal because my husband is gluten free. I was wary of how it would work but then very pleasantly surprised by the result. The oatmeal gave the meatballs a nice firmness and great texture. And they reheated really well the days following. I served over quinoa and with a side salad. To my future self–do not forget about this recipe!!

Skinny Taste Crockpot Broccoli Rabe Meatballs:

  • 1 bunch  broccoli rabe, washed, stems trimmed off
  • 1 cup gluten free oatmeal
  • 3 tablespoons  milk
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves smashed garlic
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt
  • black pepper
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the broccoli rabe. Blanch for about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, drain well and set aside in a colander to cool. Finely chop 3/4 cup of the florets and leaves (3-3/4 ounces) and set the rest aside for another use
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine the oatmeal with milk, tossing to coat. Let stand, mixing occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the ground beef, chopped broccoli rabe, grated cheese, egg, fresh garlic, salt and pepper. Mix with clean hands, then gently form into 15 meatballs, about 1/4 cup each and transfer to a large baking sheet. Broil on the 2nd rack from the top until the top is golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. In a small skillet heat the oil over medium heat, add the garlic and cook until golden on both sides.
  5. Pour the crushed tomatoes into a slow cooker. Add salt and pepper, bay leaf and the garlic. Gently place the meatballs into the sauce, cover and cook low 4 to 6 hours or high 2 to 3 hours.

Source: Skinny Taste

 

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Unstuffed Cabbage

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This recipe is a weeknight standby in our house and has been for years. In fact, it was the first recipe I ever posted to this little blog seven years ago.

Check out the stats and you will see why it has survived the test of time:

  • One pot
  • Gluten free
  • Easy to make
  • Filling
  • Tasty
  • Reheats well
  • Not many ingredients

Most of Ellie Deaner’s recipes follow suit, which is why my copy of her cookbook is plastered with sticky notes. She is the weeknight dinner recipe queen in our house!

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If you are struggling getting home cooked meals on the table during the week, this is a good recipe to try. (Additionally, it is a  great one to introduce little ones to cabbage!)

Unstuffed Cabbage:

  • 1 lb. ground beef, turkey, chicken, or lamb
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup raw brown rice
  • 28 oz. jarred tomato sauce
  • 1 head of cabbage,shredded
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated parmesan cheese

Cook the ground meat and onion in a large pot stirring occasionally until meat is no longer pink and onions are soft. Add the rice, tomato sauce, cabbage and stock. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 20-25 minutes or until rice and cabbage are cooked. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.

Adapted from So Easy, So Delicious by Ellie Deaner.

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Roast Beef Dinner with Cauliflower Rice Mash

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While the skies are certainly brighter these days, winter does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. My kitchen is still churning out comfort food and I am trying to be OK with that. Dinners fit a few new requirements nowadays:

1) Tasty when reheated as leftovers

2) Gluten free

3) Toddler/young child approved

This was one of the meals that fit the bill–not to mention roast beef dinner has long been one of my favorite meals. The cauliflower mash is a “great find” as my mom would say. I am forever seeking vegetable sides that my little ones will gobble up and that my husband and I find satiating and delicious. This is a hearty side that pairs well with the beef–it is a similar consistency to mashed potatoes. Unlike the majority of the cauliflower mash recipes floating around the internet, this one contains rice. The rice thickens it yielding a sturdier and more filling puree.

There we have it: A perfect recipe for another cold night.

Roast Beef:

  • 2.5 lbs eye of round or top of round roast, fat trimmed off
  • cooking spray
  • 8 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Remove the roast from the fridge about one hour prior to cooking to reach room temperature.

Preheat oven to 500 F. Spray roasting pan with cooking spray.

Pierce the roast with a sharp knife creating holes about 1/2 inch deep and insert slivers of garlic in each hole. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic powder all over roast and place roast in pan.

Roast for 20 minutes at 500 F then reduce heat to 250 F. Roast for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes or until roast reaches your desired cooking temperature.

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Cauliflower Rice Mash:

  • 2 heads cauliflower, chopped
  • 48 oz. vegetable broth
  • 1.5 cups brown rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Combine all ingredients (except cheese) in a large pot over medium heat. When the liquid comes to a boil, cover with a tight fitting lid. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 20-30 minutes or until rice is cooked and cauliflower is tender. Mash with the back of a spoon until desired consistency is reached. Stir in cheese until melted.

Roast beef recipe adapted from Skinny Taste. Cauliflower adapted from Pinch of Yum.

Beef and Green Beans

Tonight I bring you another easy, fresh, week night, go-to dinner!  If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you may recall that I find it incredibly gratifying to prepare meals that have the flavors of takeout that I am drawn to, yet are healthy, fresh, and not loaded with MSG, unhealthy oils, and unknown ingredients.  My husband’s favorite Chinese food takeout is beef and broccoli. He orders it every single time. This recipe is very similar in taste to beef and broccoli yet the fresh garlic and ginger really bump up the flavor. Serve over brown rice and it is a delicious and filling week night dinner. We enjoyed every bite!

 Notes:

  • Flank steak is a reasonably priced piece of meat that cooks up quickly. Don’t forget to season both sides with salt and pepper prior to cooking.
  • Red pepper flakes add a hefty kick of spice. Add less or more depending on your preferences. Start with less–you can always add more!
  • Fresh garlic and fresh ginger are “superfoods.” I try to incorporate them into week night meals whenever possible.

If you like these types of meals you may also enjoy:

Beef and Green Beans:

  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • a few glugs of cooking oil (olive or vegetable are fine)
  • 1 pound fresh green beans rinsed, trimmed, and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 lb. flank steak, seasoned with salt and pepper and thinly sliced against the grain
  • 1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 4 scallions thinly sliced

{If you wish to serve over brown rice, prepare rice according to package directions and set aside.}

Whisk together first five ingredients. Set aside.

Heat a glug of oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Add green beans and cook until they are tender but still crisp.  Move beans to a bowl and set aside.

Heat two more glugs of oil in the empty skillet. Add steak slices and cook until brown.

Add beans back to pan and then add water chestnuts, garlic, and ginger. Toss to combine all ingredients. Add hoisin sauce mixture. Toss again to coat. Be sure sauce and vegetables are heated through. Serve over prepared brown rice. Garnish with scallion. Serve immediately.

 

Inspired by America’s Test Kitchen 30 minute Suppers, Summer 2011.

Beef Bourguignon

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 Yum, yum, and yum!  This dish is delicious!  The flavor is so much deeper and complex than I anticipated, and while this did take some time to make, it was absolutely worth it!  The applewood smoked bacon really set the tone.  What a perfect warm and cozy dish for a snowstorm.  How convenient—Boston is being obliterated with the powdery white stuff as we speak!  Light the fireplace, grab your sweetheart and a bottle of red wine, curl up and dig in! 

Beef Bourguignon:

  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 8 ounces applewood smoked bacon, diced
  • 2 1/2 pounds chuck beef or stew meat, cubed
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound frozen whole onions
  • 1-2  pounds fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • Preheat the oven to 250  F.

    Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven.  (I used my Le Creuset.) Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate.

    Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 -5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.

    Toss the carrots, and onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer.  Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork. *

    Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.

    *Note: The Le Creuset user guide indicates that the knob on the lid can withstand temperatures up to 190 F.  The oven temp here is 250 F, therefore, I unscrewed the knob from the lid and removed it.  Because that left a hole,  I covered the pan with parchment paper then foil before placing the lid back on.  This created a seal preventing heat from escaping the pan.

    Adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe found here on foodnetwork.com.