How to Freeze Meatballs

Follow this simple method to make your own freezer meatballs! You can take out as many as you like at a time. You can use your favorite recipe, or you can use this grain-free, egg-free Italian Meatball recipe. Yum!
Having frozen meatballs on hand is very convenient. You can easily take out just as many as you need and use them in a variety of recipes. However, I don’t know if I have yet seen meatballs made with the ingredients I’d like, in the store, let alone ones that would mesh well with our allergies/intolerances.

Thankfully, making your own frozen meatballs is very easy and simple to do! I used my recipe for grain-free, egg-Free, and dairy-free Italian Meatballs, and made up a massive batch for my freezer. You can use whatever recipe you’d like though! The method is the same regardless.

I lost several weeks to being under the weather recently, and as someone who is expecting to give birth in the next 2-4 weeks, I am playing catch up on both my rest and my chores! I had grand plans for freezer meals but have had to cut back on some of them because of lack of time. However, meatballs were on the “must do” list, and I was thankful to get them done this week.

It was actually some of you who put this idea into my head! Several of you have mentioned that my recipe for meatballs froze really well, and I was always planning on trying it “sometime”. I decided there was no time like the present! There was something so satisfying about putting that bag stuffed full of frozen meatballs into the freezer too. So thank you!

A few notes on the ingredients I used

We choose to use grassfed ground beef. I was thankful to be able to buy some locally for a decent price and we love the added health benefits to grassfed beef. I quadrupled the recipe, and I replaced one of the pounds of beef for chicken liver for even more nutrition. You can read about the nutritional benefits of liver here. You can also read more about nutrient dense foods in general (including liver) here.

How to make Freezer Meatballs

Make and shape meatballs according to the recipe you’ve chosen to use. I used my recipe for Italian Meatballs. I recommend making small meatballs (I make mine about the size of a pingpong ball or even smaller), not the large fist sized ones.

Bake in the oven (my recipe cooks at 400F for 12-18 minutes) until done. If you are using lean meat, use parchment paper or oil the pan lightly.
Remove from oven and let cool.

Place on a parchment covered bake sheet, making sure the meatballs aren’t touching. They will have shrunk in size when cooking, so I put two pans worth of baked meatballs onto one pan for freezing, and place in the freezer on a flat surface. This ensures that the meatballs won’t freeze sticking together. Freeze until hard.

Remove from freezer and pop into a freezer bag or desired container, and freeze! Use within three months.

How to reheat frozen meatballs

I’m told that a favorite way to enjoy frozen meatballs is to reheat them in a slow cooker in a favorite sauce(think sweet and sour or spaghetti sauce). It only takes 1-3 hours on high, and I like that this would help keep the meatballs moist while they reheat. They can also be dropped into a soup for meatball soup, reheated in a sauce on the stovetop, or reheated in the oven (350F for 15- 20, or until hot in the middle).

Follow this simple method to make your own freezer meatballs! You can take out as many as you like at a time. You can use your favorite recipe, or you can use this grain-free, egg-free Italian Meatball recipe. Yum!

Lemony Greek Beef and Rice Lettuce Wraps (or Rice Bowl)

Greek Lemon Beef and Rice Lettuce wraps (or rice bowl)

Rich in flavor, this buttered, lemony rice and beef, peppered with parsley, is an old family favorite. I love that it only takes me about 30 minutes to make, so it’s a great easy dinner. Serve with cucumbers and lettuce for lettuce wraps, or a Greek Salad. (like the one from my cookbook, Fresh!).

My mother in law showed me how to make this recipe, and we’ve been enjoying it since! It’s based on a filling for dolmas (Greek Stuffed Grape Leaves). Sometimes we just enjoy it as a type of rice bowl, but lately we’ve been topping romaine leaves with the mixture and loving it that way as well!

In this recipe, I like to use homemade chicken broth to cook the rice in, butter from pastured cows for the rice and grassfed beef. It makes it a nourishing meal following many of the principles from Dr. Price that can be made up quickly! You will notice that I use white rice in this recipe. Some who consider themselves paleo use white rice as a “safe starch”. Personally, I switched when I learned about the arsenic issues with rice in general, and the fact that white rice was lower in arsenic.

Much of the time, we’ve simply eye-balled the ratio of rice to beef to lemon to butter. But I finally got the ratios worked out for more consistent results. This is a little heavy on the rice, so you could cut down on the rice, as desired.
Greek Lemon Beef and Rice Lettuce Wraps! These only take 30 minutes to throw together and are made with nutrient dense ingredients. Plus, they are delicious, and the whole family can enjoy them.

Greek Lemon Beef and Rice Lettuce Wraps (or Rice Bowl)
 
 
If you'd like to make these into lettuce wraps, romaine leaves from the heart of the romaine work well (you often see the heart sold packaged in groups of three). Butterleaf lettuce or endive is also delicious!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of long grain white rice
  • 2 ½ cups of chicken broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon unrefined salt (leave out if broth already salted)
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 pound of ground beef (grassfed preferred)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced or put through a garlic press
  • 2-4 lemons
  • Half a bunch of fresh Italian parsley, rinsed and dried
Instructions
  1. Rinse the rice in a fine sieve until the water runs clear. Place in a medium sized pot with the chicken broth or water and the salt. Bring to a boil, stir to make sure the rice isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan, and turn down heat to low. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Take off of the heat, and add the butter to the pot. Let sit for five minutes, and then gently fluff up the rice and mix in the butter.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook the beef and garlic together over medium-high until the beef is cooked through and no longer pink. If there is any extra fat, drain from the pan (I push all of the beef to one side of the pan, and then tip the pan allowing the grease to pool to the other side. It can then be easily removed with a spoon). Gently salt the beef.
  3. Cut the parsley greens from the stems, and finely chop. In a large bowl, combine the rice, beef, and parsley, as well as the juice from 1 or 2 of the lemons. Taste test. Usually, I add more lemon and salt. You want a good balance between the salt and the tangy lemon juice, so experiment with it to taste. We enjoy ours quite lemony, so I serve extra lemon wedges on the side. Yum! If using Enjoy

 

Easy Crock-pot Chicken Teriyaki (For Delicious Rice Bowls!)

Crock-pot Chicken Teriyaki Blowls- The Nourishing Gourmet

By Katie Mae Stanley, Contributing Writer

Chicken is gently flavored with an easy and simple homemade teriyaki sauce and then cooked in a crock-pot. Serve with rice and steamed vegetables and you have a lovely meal for a busy night!

In our busy lives, it is very tempting to get food out or settle for processed foods to save on time. Those may be fine for the occasional treat, but our bodies need nourishing foods on a regular basis to thrive. Few things weaken the body more than poor food choices. But I understand those busy days where it’s hard to get food on the table. Believe me, I’ve had many of those days myself.

I want to share with you the two appliances that have been instrumental in getting nourishing food on the table in the busy seasons of life. My crock-pot (affiliate links, Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker is a great brand to use) and rice cooker (I love my Vitaclay Rice Cooker) are two of my best friends. Okay, maybe not my friends, but as far as appliances go they are right up there with my Blendtec and grain mill! Crock-pots and rice cookers allow you to prepare nourishing meals that you can fix and forget. Many of these appliances are now programmable to keep food hot for up to 12 hours after the food has finished cooking.

The options are endless when you are cooking in a crock-pot, but this teriyaki recipe is one of my favorites. Teriyaki is bursting with flavor with the perfect balance of sweet and savory. Kimi shared a tip for the easiest marinade ever, soy sauce (or tamari) and unrefined sugar of choice (such as coconut sugar). It can’t get any easier than that, right? For this dish, I followed that basic idea and added a bit of ginger since I love the pop of flavor it adds. If you don’t feel like adding ginger, it is totally optional.

Have you ever gotten teriyaki rice bowls? I remember loving them in high school, and they were so tasty! I haven’t had one in years but decided that is was time to have one again in the convenience of my home. My trusty crock-pot and rice cooker made this a very easy meal to throw together with almost no work. I chose to steam some broccoli for about 10 minutes to go with my rice bowl but you could use any vegetable you have one hand.

Here are a few more teriyaki dishes:

Crock-pot Teriyaki Bowls
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds chicken breast or thighs
  • ¾ cup soy sauce or tamari (use tamari for gluten free option)
  • ⅓ cup sucanat or coconut sugar (palm sugar)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 green onions, chopped (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)
Instructions
  1. Mix the soy sauce or tamari, sugar of choice, water and grated ginger in a cup or small bowl.
  2. Place the chicken in a crock-pot. Pour the sauce evenly over the chicken.
  3. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours.
  4. Slice the chicken once it is done cooking.
  5. Serve with white rice and steamed broccoli.
  6. If desired garnish with chopped green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

 

 

Cranberry Turkey Monte Cristo (a yummy way to use Thanksgiving leftovers)

Cranberry Turkey Monte Cristo (a yummy way to use Thanksgiving leftovers)

By April Swiger, Contributing Writer

This sandwich is a perfect way to use up your Thanksgiving day leftovers. The sweet flavor of French toast and cranberry sauce is coupled with savory melted cheese and leftover turkey slices. You can easily make this dairy free by omitting the cheese, and switching out the milk for coconut milk, and butter for coconut oil. It will still be a savory sweet treat for the days after your holiday feast!

I think that’s one of my favorite parts about Thanksgiving…experimenting with the leftovers. There is so much you can do with leftover turkey meat! This is especially important for those of us on tight budgets, working hard to feed our families the most nourishing food possible. Nothing goes to waste in our home, and that includes every last piece of our Thanksgiving meal.

Any bread will work for this sandwich, and if you’re on a gluten free diet, you can easily adapt this with your favorite gluten free bread. I chose to use a slow rising sourdough bread as I love the flavor, and the health benefits from the reduction of phytates. It’s more digestible than other breads, and a very nourishing option for this recipe. Kimi has written a great post about the benefits of sourdough bread vs. yeasted bread.

What makes this sandwich so delicious are all the ingredients coming together in one bite. I find that pressing the sandwich in the pan helps make that possible. If you use cheese, this makes it even easier as it works as the “glue” to hold everything together. I don’t have a panini weight, but adapted my own unique way to press sandwiches in my cast iron skillet. Enter, the “tea pot press” below! Fill a kettle up a little less than half way, place a piece of parchment paper between it and the sandwich, and you’ll have a nicely pressed sandwich every time. Yum!

Cranberry Turkey Monte Cristo (a yummy way to use Thanksgiving leftovers)

This sandwich can easily be adapted for what you have on hand after your Thanksgiving festivities. Be creative and make it work for you and your own personal diet. Enjoy!

Cranberry Turkey Monte Cristo (a yummy way to use Thanksgiving leftovers)
 
Author:
Serves: 4 sandwiches
 
Cranberry sauce, turkey, and nourishing sourdough bread all come together for a delicious post-Thanksgiving meal.
Ingredients
  • 8 Slices of sourdough bread
  • ½ Cup cranberry sauce (divided 1 tablespoon per slice of bread)
  • 8 oz of leftover turkey
  • 4 Eggs
  • ¾ Cup milk (use coconut milk for dairy-free)
  • Butter, or coconut oil, for the pan
  • Slices of cheddar or brie cheese
Instructions
  1. Lay out your bread slices and spread about a tablespoon of cranberry sauce on each slice.
  2. Assemble your sandwiches with leftover turkey, and any cheese you desire. Cheddar or brie are wonderful choices.
  3. In a container wide enough to fit your sandwich, use a fork to scramble the eggs and milk together. One at a time place the entire sandwich in the egg and milk mixture for a few seconds allowing it to soak up the contents a bit. Flip the entire sandwich and allow the other piece of bread to soak.
  4. Immediately place it in a hot skillet with butter. Flip when one side is golden brown and the cheese begins to melt. I find that it helps to weigh the sandwich down with a panini press, a brick wrapped in parchment paper, or a teapot half filled with water ;)