Porcupine Meatballs

As a child, my mother used to make these meatballs from time to time. They were a real treat – I’d almost forgotten about them, until I was struggling to get out of the dinner “slumps” a couple of years back and remembered this fun meal.

Porcupine meatballs are named such for the rice that is cooked into the meatballs – it sticks out like little quills after the meatballs are cooked.

I took my basic meatball recipe, added a bit of water to keep them moist, and switched the spices up a bit.

Here, I used medium ground beef – normally I would use lean or extra lean…even turkey burger.

Because of the boys, I kept the spices simple… a couple of them are picky… but I think if I have another go at it for just Hubby and I, I may try these babies curried.

I’ve got some fresh ground peppercorns, garlic powder, some brown rice and the ground beef, which I stirred together in a large bowl.

I also added some finely diced onion, parmesan cheese, and a pinch of salt.

I stirred in a bit of water, and mixed it well. Using a tablespoon, I formed 1.5″ meatballs and placed them in a baking dish. Then I covered them up with tomato soup mixture and baked!

Voila!

Porcupine Meatballs

1.5 lbs lean ground beef
2/3 cup brown rice (uncooked)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 small onion – finely diced
1/2 cup water
1 can tomato soup (I’ve tried a few, and Campbell’s always works the best for me)
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees C.
In a large bowl, mix together the first 8 ingredients. Shape the mixture using a tablespoon into 1.5 inch balls. Arrange in an ungreased baking pan.
Mix together the tomato soup and water and pour over the meatballs.
Bake, covered for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake another 15 minutes.

Serve on hot rice, or egg noodles.
These are kid-friendly, and completely adaptable for tastes.

This is another great recipe that freezes well for ready-made meals for busy families.

sorry for the lack of pictures… I have a lens that isn’t working properly and I need to get in to be serviced…

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more muffin tin madness

So last Monday I introduced you to the ham & eggies, which has become one of my favourite muffin tin recipes… it’s so easy!!
Let me explain a bit why I have this muffin tin obsession.
I love making food ahead and freezing it. Our lives are busy… ridiculously so… and the less prep time required for a meal, the better.
I make huge batches of spaghetti sauce, chili and thai chicken. That’s right. HUGE batches of thai chicken. It’s Hubby’s favourite meal, so I try and have it on hand for him.

What the hell does this have to do with a muffin tin?

Single serving sizes.
Muffin tins have this down PAT.

I use them to make mini meatloaves, which I thought was awesome. I mean, traditional meatloaf takes at least an hour to cook, right? Muffin size? Half hour tops. Then you can pop them in a freezer bag, or tupperware – whatever your preference – and voila! Next Thursday, as you are running between work and swimming lessons, you can throw a real meal in the microwave.

You love the idea, don’t you? Why didn’t you think of that sooner??!!
You can thank me later.

Won Ton Wrappers. They’re not just for won tons anymore.

Friends, I give you: Spinach Ricotta Mini-Lasagnas.

First: I mixed a tub of fat-reduced ricotta (it actually wasn’t fat-reduced, but it should have been) with a package of frozen chopped spinach – thawed and strained. I sprinkled some parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and mixed it up well.

I lined each muffin cup with a won ton wrapper. (You can find these in the frozen section of your local grocery store.)

Spoon a rounded teaspoon of spinach and ricotta mixture into each cup (I have a little bit much in these…)

Lay another won ton on top of that layer, then spoon the rest of the mixture into the cups.
Here comes my secret ingredient.

Goat Mozzarella.

I shredded goat mozzarella and topped each cup with it.

It was so good… and meat free!  You could use these as appetizers, or add a salad and have them as a meal!

Yummy, easy and simple to switch up ingredients to add whatever you like… go ahead… play with it!!

Spinach Ricotta Mini Lasagnas

24 won ton wrappers
1 tub reduced-fat Ricotta Cheese
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed & strained
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated Goat Mozzarella
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix package of ricotta cheese, spinach and parmesan cheese together. Add a dash of salt & pepper.
Spray 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Line each cup with a won ton wrapper.   Spoon a heaping teaspoon-ful of mixture into each cup. Top with a bit of mozzarella. Layer another won ton on top and top with the other half of the mixture and the rest of the goat mozzarella.

Bake on the middle rack for 15-17 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve!

This is a variation of the mini lasagne recipe I found HERE at http://www.kevinandamanda.com

Enjoy!

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