Recipe: Italian Meatba…er…Mini-Burgers

I tried this recipe tonight on a whim.  Well..sort of.  I took the basic recipe from this one but really just did my own thing when it came to the “meatballs.”

But first, let me say this.  I linked back to a post of mine to last August for a recipe I tried.  I was really struggling with a lot of things when I started to change my diet.  I had no time. I wasn’t eating enough. I was struggling with my food demons (shhh…I still am).  I’m really proud of the changes and the progress that I’ve made.  I’m happy that I’ve powered through my demons and managing my time better.  I did it and I’m still doing it.

With that being said…

Marinara Sauce Ingredients (recipe inspired by Giada De Laurentiis, but tweaked a bit)

1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium yellow onion-diced
4 cloves garlic-crushed, diced, chopped…however you like it
Bunch of basil
2 28 0z. cans of whole organic tomatoes with their juice
1 tablespoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Combine both cans of whole tomatoes with their juice and the bunch of basil in a food processor or blender-like this…

Pulse until smooth and set aside.  Place olive oil, onions and garlic in a saute pan and cook over medium heat until translucent and soft…about 10 minutes….

As tomato sauce, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, let the sauce simmer on low  for about an hour.

I find the longer you simmer, the better it tastes…if I am home I will just let it sit for a couple hours on low, stirring occasionally.  If you don’t have time, it’s still delicious after 30 minutes! It makes a lot.

via Mamma’s Meatballs and Marinara Sauce « Sleep. Love. Eat..

I didn’t have any fresh basil so I put in about 2 tbsp of dried basil.  I used stewed italian tomatoes instead of just plain canned whole.  I actually did let the sauce simmer about an hour and a half while I cooked the other stuff and cleaned my kitchen and did other things around the house.  What she says really is true…the longer I cooked it, the better it tasted.  Kinda like chili!

So…on to the “meatballs.”  If you want to see the original recipe, click the link above.  Otherwise…here’s what I actually used:

Meatball Ingredients

  • 2 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 onion – diced
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp italian seasoning
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce (above)
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

I took all the ingredients except for the meat and mixed them up really well.  Then, I added the meat and mixed until the mixture was consistent throughout.

Then I made meatballs out of the mixture and put them all on a plate.  The recipe she posted calls for baking them but I really wanted to cook them stove top (my oven caught on fire over the weekend…so…yea…story at the end).  Anyway, I like crispier meatballs so I prefer them cooked in a pan with some coconut oil. Well…the first batch of 5 that I tried didn’t turn out so well.  The mixture was a little gooier than I expected so the meatballs were sort of falling apart and did not cook through (without burning).  So, the next batch I only put 3 in the pan and I flattened them out into little mini-burgers…pancakes…whatever you want to call them.  While cooking them, it reminded me a lot of the Zucchini & Feta Fritters I made back in August.

I cooked them each for 3-5 minutes on each side. They were quite crispy but quite good!

While the meatballs and sauce were cooking I cut up some asparagus and sautéed it in a pan with some coconut oil, salt and pepper.

Here’s the final product…enjoy!

So…the story about my oven.  While making some Bacon-Wrapped Sweet Potato deliciousness, I cooked these on my pampered chef stone…which has no edges to catch the dripping runoff so as they cooked longer, the grease dripped down onto the oven and eventually caught fire.  Eeek!!  I caught it though and doused it out with flour (but not before my husband almost tried to douse it with the kitchen sink sprayer! aahhh!)


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