Crock Pot Wednesday! Chicken Meatballs

January 6, 2010 at 8:32 am 4 comments


Check out this vintage Crock Pot!

Check out this vintage Crock Pot!

It’s a New Year and time to make some resolutions. Since I recently went back to my full-time job in September , I feel like the last four months I have continuously been ‘resolving’ to get more organized.  It is not easy!  Go 2010!

Meal planning is one of the most important things on my weekly to-do list and it works for me.  Buying our meat and fresh fruit & veggies on the weekend and then restocking up on some fresh fruit & veggies mid-week is working.  Making meals simple (meat + whole grain or starchy veg + steamed veggies), and doing a little prep work the night before also helps.  Our family meal goals are:

Why Crock Pot Wednesday? I find that mid-week I just don’t feel like preparing a meal.  It is so nice to come home to a complete meal in the slow cooker.  I also have more energy to do the final prep work or shopping for Thursday & Friday.  It is worth the extra prep energy it takes on Tuesday night to come home to an easy meal

The slow cooker is easy! While some recipes direct you to braise the meat first, I rarely do this since I want to save time.  You can put your meal together in the evening in the crockpot, keep it in the fridge overnight then put it in the cooker in the morning, turn it on and ‘Voila!’ you will return home from work with a healthy meal ready to go.  Do you have any great slow-cooker recipes?  I would love to hear what has worked for you!

The veggies are ground into the meatball increasing your family veg content!

Chicken Meatballs

This recipe is good for babies 10 months and older if you follow the gluten-free option.   Otherwise it is wise to wait until your child is one-year before adding wheat to the diet.

These chicken meatballs do involve cooking ahead of time to ensure that they do not dissolve in the sauce, and they are delicious.  This recipe makes enough to feed a family of four with lots left-over.  The meatballs can be served over whole-grain pasta, brown rice, quinoa or with a crusty whole wheat roll.

Night Before: Prepare the meatballs.  Form them and place them on a baking sheet.  Cover the sheet with plastic wrap & refrigerate overnight.

Day Of: Put the meatballs (minus plastic wrap!) in a 400 deg. oven for 20 minutes.  While baking, start the sauce on high.  When the meatballs have baked, put in the crock pot with the sauce & simmer all day on low.

Meatballs

  • 12 PC Ancient Grain Crackers (or Brown Rice Crackers for gluten-free option)
  • 2 carrots, peeled & chopped
  • 1 small onion, peeled & cut into 6
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 1 egg

Tomato Sauce

  • 2 large cans of chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  • In a food processor process the crackers until they are a fine powder.  Remove from processor and set aside in a small bowl.
  • Add the carrots, onion and broccoli to the food processor and pulse until chopped fine.  Remove from processor and add to bowl with cracker crumbs
  • Add the chicken to the processor and pulse until mostly pureed.  Add half the cracker-veggie mix and pulse until combined.  Add remaining cracker-veggies, basil and egg and pulse again until the chicken, crackers and veggies are well-combined.
  • Using a large spoon, or your hands, make the meat mixture into meat balls.  Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.  The chicken balls can be close together, but not touching.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until morning
  • Note: do not cook the chicken and then refrigerate.  It is safer and healthier to put the freshly cooked meatballs directly into a warm slow cooker.

For the Sauce

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a slow cooker set at high heat.  Stir to ensure everything is well combined.
  • Add the cooked meatballs
  • Cook at high heat for 4 hours OR Cook for 8 hours on low heat.  Most slow cookers have a ‘warm’ setting once the slow cooker is finished, in case you do not get home as soon as you had hoped.
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Entry filed under: 10 months, Baby-Mama Meals, Chicken, Vegetables, wheat-free. Tags: , , , , .

Last Post of the Year! Meal Planning

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. penny kurtz  |  January 18, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Hi Lori-
    I will try this. Should I use a small can of tomato paste or a large one.
    Penny

    Reply
    • 2. lkmnut  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:33 pm

      A small one will do! I hope you like them!

      Reply
  • 3. Megan  |  April 25, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    I LOVE them!! So good and great flavor!!

    Reply
    • 4. lkmnut  |  April 26, 2010 at 6:52 pm

      Thanks Megan,

      I am glad that you like them!

      Reply

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