Italian Meatball Risotto

I don’t know how to make risotto.  I just tried it once, and it tasted good to me, so I go with it.  If I invited a food critic over for dinner, my risotto might be heavily critiqued-who knows….but again, it’s good enough for me!

Looking to clean out the pantry and fridge of a few items, and with a relentless craving for (my version of) risotto, I decided to really challenge myself and come up with my own, original risotto recipe.  Now, knowing that I don’t know how to make risotto, you might want to call this “Italian Meatball Rice,” but I’m going to continue pretending to be fancy, so the word Risotto will remain in the title 😉

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I wrote down a couple of items I had that I wanted/needed to get rid of: Rice, marinara, spinach, and ground beef.  Next I added the base for risotto: Arborio rice, broth, and wine (okay, maybe you don’t haaaave to have wine..).  And finally, I threw in some spices and cheeses to round everything out.

I made sure to make the recipe one that I could easily halve or double.  If you make it with the quantities I list here, it will serve about 8 people. 

Per serving:        Calories:  370
              Fat: 18.6         Carbs: 25.8           Protein: 24.4
Find this recipe on the MyFitnessPal  app under “Meatball Marinara Risotto.”

 

Italian Meatball Risotto:

Ingredients:

  • 1 T. butter
  • 2 cups Arborio Rice
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine  (you can trade this for water if you wish)
  • 2-4 cups water
  • 1, 10 oz. box of spinach, drained
  • 1 T. basil
  • 1 T. parsley
  • 2 t. oregano
  • 20 oz. of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese diced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Meatballs– you can purchase frozen meatballs, or follow the recipe below to make your own.

  • 1 lb. of ground beef
  • 1 egg white (3 T. of liquid egg white)
  • 1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • Pinch each of salt and pepper

 

Procedure:

For the meatballs, combine thawed beef with beaten egg white, breadcrumbs, and seasonings.  Fold everything together until well combined.  Form 1/2 inch- inch meatballs. and bake at 350 for 10 minutes on a foil-lined tray.

For the risotto, melt the butter over medium heat in a large and wide saucepan (I use a wok for risotto).  Once melted, add the Arborio rice and stir around for about 2 minutes until golden.  Add the wine (or water, if you please) and let it simmer down until almost no liquid.  Continue stirring.  Note: If you do use wine, it is fun because it makes a lot of noise and steam upon pouring it in so you’ll totally feel like a top chef 😉

When liquid is visibly reduced, add one cup of broth and simmer and stir until you almost see no extra liquid. This will take three-four minutes.  Repeat this process with the other three cups of broth.  If the rice looks plump and soft, stop there, if not, repeat the simmering process with a couple cups of water.  I think I used one cup of water when I made this.

When your last cup of liquid is nearly dissolved, add the marinara sauce, spinach, and seasonings.  Give that a couple minutes to heat up and then throw in the cheeses and the (now cooked) meatballs.  Turn off the heat, and stir so that everything is combined, and cheeses are just starting to melt.  Serve, and enjoy!

 

What other ingredients would you like to see in a risotto? Leave me some feedback below!

Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole

This post contains affiliate links to my favorite place ever: Amazon.com

 

Waking up to the smell of breakfast cooking makes for the sweetest of mornings.  And, with the help of the Crock Pot, this food fantasy can become real!

I have a couple of Crock Pot breakfast recipes on rotation, but this one stands out as a crowd-pleaser.  This can also double as a dinner recipe–leave everything in the crock pot all day while you’re at work, and come home to a warm, comforting meal.  Breakfast or dinner, it doesn’t really matter when you try it; just try it!

Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients

1/2 lb ground sausage, cooked

1/2 onion, minced

16 oz. frozen hash browns

1 c. shredded cheddar

6 eggs (or 18 T. egg whites)

1/2 c. light sour cream

1/2 c. skim milk

1/2 t. dry mustard

1/2 t. garlic powder

Preparation

Brown the sausage in a skillet and add onions in for a few minutes to soften.  (*Tip: I loathe the crunch of an onion! So, I always puree onions before adding them to a recipe.) When they become translucent, drain any grease that has accumulated and set the skillet aside.

In your crock pot, layer half of the hash browns, meat, and cheese.  Then repeat the layers.

In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, sour cream, eggs, and seasonings.  (*Tip: If you don’t have dry mustard, use Dijon.  Mustard in a cheese sauce really helps the flavors pop!) Pour the egg mixture over top of the contents of your crock pot and cook on Low for 5-8 hours.

 

Click on the pictures to access my must-haves for this recipe:

These Slow Cooker liners are perfect for a no-fuss clean up.  With an egg dish like this, the liners will really come in handy.

 

 

The Crock Pot on the right is very similar to the one I own.  The nice part about this model is that you can clamp the top on for easy travel.

 

 

This Crock Pot, pictured left, will be my next purchase whenever my current one decides to bite the dust.  It is programmable! Oooh so fancy!  I’ve seen it on sale for under $40, too!

 

 
These silicone utensils are everything.  I love them for Crock Pot recipes because they don’t scratch the pot.  

And, last but not least, a liquid measuring cup.  I actually just received my first one for Christmas this year and I don’t know how I ever cooked without it!  Game changer, for sure.  I have used it at least a dozen times and it hasn’t even been a month!

 

 

What are your favorite Crock Pot meals?  Leave ideas in the comments section below!