Tuesday, March 13, 2012

SNAP Dinner #2: Spaghetti with meatballs and sauce

Dinner for night number two...

Baked USDA meatballs, adapted to be edible from Recipes and Tips for Healthy, Thrifty Meals.This was one of our favorites from the USDA cookbook. The main problem with the cookbook version is that the directions call for baking the meatballs for only 15 minutes--45 minutes works much better and results in better colon health. We also substituted garlic for garlic powder.

1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 lbs. lean ground beef
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 medium onion minced or put through a food processor
2 garlic cloves pressed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 400oF. Use the vegetable oil to grease a deep baking pan. Beat eggs with milk, pour into a large bowl. Add the ground beef and other ingredients. Combine ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Form 1-1/2 to 2 inch meatballs by taking a large pinch of the meatball mixture and rolling in your hands. Place meatballs in pan. You should get about 30 meatballs. Place in oven and bake for about 45 minutes, turning the meatballs over about halfway through.

We had half the meatballs with pomodoro sauce, adapted from the May 2011 Bon App├ętit. The dish is even better if you have fresh herbs available, but we were trying to save money.

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 medium onion minced
4 garlic cloves minced
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil flakes
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
30-oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1 Tbs. dried parsley flakes 

Directions: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft (about 10 minutes). Add garlic and cook for another 2-4 minutes. Add the spices and cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes. Cook for at least 20 minutes for the mixture to blend.

We served half of the meatballs (15) with all of the sauce and with the cooked spaghetti.

This remains a family favorite, at least when the meatballs are cooked. In fact, we had it a week earlier with no leftovers when number-1-son was home on his college break.

By the way, the meatballs look less like turds in real life (they taste less like turds, or so I've read from The Help).