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The BEST Gluten-Free Meatballs & Homemade Marinara Sauce

Mouth watering Gluten-Free Meatballs!

Mouth watering Gluten-Free Meatballs in a Spicy Marinara Sauce!

My 2 little girls stand at the oven and wait, mouths watering, to get that first bite of these fresh off the press.  My husband pops them in his mouth like they are chocolate covered and I am usually full before we sit down to eat…THEY ARE GOOD!  I hope your family enjoys these as much as we do.  I should also mention that this is a great recipe to get the kids involved in.  Mix it together and let them finish it off, then have them help you form into balls!  Don’t forget to wash hands first though!!

The BEST Gluten-Free Meatballs

Ingredients:   Makes 32 (level ice cream scoop) meatballs

2.5 lbs Ground Beef

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 eggs

1 cup of good shredded or grated Parmesan cheese (I have used any cheese I have on hand and it was just as delicious!)

1 1/2 Tbsp parsley

1 tsp salt

3/4 tsp pepper

2 cups Gluten-Free bread crumbs (corn flakes or stale corn tortilla chips in a food processor work well)

1 1/4 cup luke-warm water

Each meatballs has approximately 4.5 grams of carbohydrates

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine beef, garlic, eggs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Use your hands and mix well.  Add bread crumbs and then water, mixing well after each.  Scoop level ice cream scoops of meat mixture into your hand and form into a ball.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Toss them into this savory Spicy Gluten-Free Marinara Sauce (My girls like a little spice, but modify for you or your kids)

Ingredients:   This makes approx 2 3/4 quarts.  I freeze 2 jars worth for a later time!

1 small to medium onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 28 oz can tomato sauce

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1/2 small can of tomato paste

1/2 Tbsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 tsp sugar

2 large bay leaves

1 Tbsp oregano

1 Tbsp red chili flakes (omit if you don’t want it spicy or dial down)

Parsley to garnish

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In a large sauce pan on med-high heat, add oil and saute the onions for a few minutes, stirring frequently.  Add garlic and continue to saute for another couple of minutes…the smell is AMAZING!

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Add ALL other ingredients and stir well.  Let it come to a small boil and reduce heat to a simmer.  The flavors will continue to intensify the longer it simmers…but it’s ready when you are 🙂

1/2 cup of sauce has approx 6 grams of carbs

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I’d love to hear your ideas and feedback!  Enjoy….

Jen

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Best-o Pesto Ever!

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In all seriousness, this has changed my level of “chef worthiness” in the eyes of friends and family.  My husband swears I could make millions off of just this Pesto recipe!  Of course I am still just a wanna-be cook…but this simple Pesto recipe could fool the best of them!  The simplicity and the quality of the ingredients is what makes it so fantastic.  Oddly enough, this recipe came to be after searching for several recipes online.  After realizing I didn’t have most of the ingredients the recipes called for, I decided to wing it.  After all, I had fresh basil, pine nuts and olive oil…what more could I need.  The answer, NOT a lot!!  This recipe doesn’t even have cheese!

Best-o Pesto Ever…

Ingredients:    Yields approx. 2 cups of Pesto

4 cups loosely packed Fresh Basil

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup almonds or walnuts

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups good Olive Oil

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

Pulse the garlic and nuts in a food processor for about 20 seconds until combined as in picture. image Add the basil, salt and pepper and most of olive oil.  Blend for about a minute.  Add additional olive oil until desired consistency.  Done!  image

This is absolutely delicious on fresh baked bread, pasta, fish, chicken, crackers…you name it. If you simply can’t fathom a pesto recipe without cheese, then by all means, add a 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese during the last step in food processor. To freeze (and yes, these make awesome holiday gifts in mason jars w/ a box of pasta!!), top with a tablespoon of olive oil.  Enjoy!

A FEW VARIATIONS:

  • Use only one kind of nut or mix several. If I don’t have pine nuts, I use almonds and it still taste fabulous!
  • Don’t have quite enough basil, add some other fresh greens like parsley or cilantro (as long as the majority is basil).
  • Get creative!  Add a small handful of sundried tomatoes to the mix, yum!
  • Add a 1/2 cup of your favorite cheese.

Please share your unique variations in the comments!

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