My crock-pot is my new best friend. We always seem to become reacquainted when the weather gets chilly again and football season is in full swing. On the days when I use my crock-pot for dinner, there is such a weight lifted off of me as I'm driving home from work, knowing that dinner is already ready! It's so wonderful, it always makes me wondering why I don't do ALL of my cooking in the crockpot! I like making big batches and freezing individual servings for easy lunches. Not only is the crock-pot super convenient for dinners, it's always a handy dandy tool for cooking for tailgates or events.
Today I'm going to share with you one of my all time favorite crock-pot recipes, "Island Inspired Meatballs". I'm headed to Hawaii this week (woohoo!) so I've had a bit of a tropical bug lately in the kitchen. While this has bright, island-inspired flavors, meatballs are such a comfort food that what is created is a delicious, easy meal (or tailgating side dish) for any time of the year.
Island Inspired Meatballs
1 bag (28 oz) frozen meatballs. (Turkey meatballs would be the healthiest option!)
1 large can of pineapples in 100% juice drained (save the juice)
2 cups chopped, assorted bell peppers (use frozen in a pinch)
1 small red onion chopped
FOR THE SAUCE....
About 1 cup pineapple juice (whatever you drain)
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp ginger
Salt and Pepper
1 tbsp starch (corn, tapioca or potato)
1. Dump the meatballs, drained pineapple, peppers and onion into the crockpot.
2. Mix all of the liquid ingredients and spices in a small bowl. Once they are incorporated, whisk in the starch.
3. Pour your liquid mix over the meatballs.
4. Cook on low for 5-7 hours. You could do less probably, as the frozen meatballs are pre-cooked. And I've never had a problem leaving them on low all day while I'm at work (9+ hrs).
5. Serve over brown rice, quinoa or rice noodles. Or with toothpicks out of the back of your tailgate!
Serves 10 (4-5 meatballs each) 176 calories, 13 grams carbs, 9 grams fat, 12 grams protein 3 grams fiber, 4 grams sugar
Not only are these meatballs one of my favorites, it's the one dish my coaching hubby asks for regularly! He has a few jars of brown rice and meatballs ready in the freezer for lunches next week while I'm out of town!
I always have a good reason for the ingredients I use in my recipes. Sometimes just because it tastes dang good!
Meatballs - a great source of protein, turkey version is leaner
Pineapples & juice - some fruit and gives natural sweetness and a tropical flair
Peppers & onions - for flavor, veggies and color! The more variety the better! You could even add hotter peppers if you want some kick!
Soy sauce - gives a tropical/Asian twist. Look for low sodium, and use a gluten free version if needed.
Ginger - great healing properties and one of my favorite spices!
Starch - to thicken the sauce. It helps if your liquid ingredients are all chilled before mixing.
what about you?
Have you ever used a crockpot for a tailgate dish?
Have you ever been to Hawaii? What's your favorite tropical food? I can't wait to eat fresh mangoes!
It's great to see you! I'm Alyssa and I blog about all the things I've found "essential" in my life as a fit mama and football coach's wife. You'll find all kinds of fun stuff here like workouts, oily info, football stories and more!
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