This is the week that will never end.

I swear, the short weeks are the worst. Especially since we’re snowy and for whatever reason, school hasn’t been canceled or even delayed. Yesterday all of Fort Carson was on a “phased arrival for non-mission essential” whatever but the kids still had to be at school bright and early. 

Lucky for me, I have one kid that goes to a school within walking distance. So he’ll either walk with his friends or I’ll walk with him. But then the other one’s preschool is a good drive away. So I called the secretary yesterday morning and said, “I’m not driving in this.”

And she said, “Excuse me?”

And I said, “My kid’s not coming to school.”

And she said, “Ummm…..” 

So. We skipped preschool yesterday. Rebels. 

At least I called, right?

A few weeks ago, when we made our family trip to IKEA, I tortured my husband (who is doing a strict Paleo diet) by pointing out every sign for their Swedish meatballs. Neither of us have ever tried the meatballs but the pictures were enough to make us both sad that we couldn’t have any.

And I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been thinking about them ever since. 

So I made these Paleo ones which really wasn’t that hard since meatballs are just balls of meat. So pretty much Paleo to begin with. There’s no bread crumbs or anything like that but they have a great texture regardless. And the sauce has coconut milk instead of sour cream or regular cream or whatever typically goes into Swedish meatballs. 

If I put these in front of you and left out the fact that they’re Paleo, you’d never know. You get no hint of the coconut milk. They really taste like traditional Swedish meatballs. And you could totally mash or rice some cauliflower so you have something to absorb all that delicious sauce. 

Click for the full recipe

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Meatballs are one of the few things all 3 of my kids will eat without complaint. And this recipe is proof that I can literally put anything in meatballs and they will eat them.

As I was shredded the zucchini for these, my 4 year old walked into the kitchen and said “Eww, I don’t like zucchini!”

Umm… guess who asked for more meatballs not once but twice!

If we’re being technical here, these aren’t really Thai meatballs. Honestly, I’m not even sure Thai meatballs are a thing. I think Thai-Inspired would be a better title but…

Yeah.

So these are pork meatballs with a little ground turkey which I love because I love love love the flavor of pork but not necessarily the fat/calories so I feel like I can eat more if I mix in some super lean ground turkey. The meatballs have lots of shredded zucchini and carrots mixed in with some curry powder, fresh ginger, garlic, all kinds of good stuff. And then you cover them with a peanut sauce before baking!

Except I don’t eat peanut butter because I do try to eat paleo when I’m not drinking wine and eating my weight in Qdoba 3-cheese nachos so I used almond butter in this “peanut” sauce. You could totally use peanut or even sunbutter if you prefer the taste of those!

Anyway, the sauce is SO good. I could drink it! Coconut milk, almond butter, and curry powder just make the yummiest combination.

These are super simple and I anticipate making these often in the coming months.

Click for the full recipe

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My kids have been obsessed with meatballs lately. I guess I should say more obsessed because meatballs have always been a favorite. But lately, they can’t get enough. I made spaghetti the other night and all the meatballs were gone well before the noodles were!

Since a couple of my boys are currently going through weird picky stages, I’ve decided we’re having meatballs for every meal!

No, not really but I figured I could make them more often and switch it up from the usual spaghetti.

My kids ate this entire recipe of Hawaiian Meatballs. In one sitting. And then asked me to make them again when I told them they were all gone.

I thought they were really good too and I was happy that the recipe didn’t call for ketchup because you guys know I hate (and by hate, I mean I secretly love) when recipes call for large amounts of ketchup in the sauce.

But this one is just pineapple juice and brown sugar! Feel free to make your own meatballs if you’re feeling more ambitious but the frozen ones worked just fine!

One year ago: Grapefruit Margaritas
Two years ago: 
Grown-Up Strawberry Slushies
Three years ago: French Dip
Five years ago: Anadama
Six years ago: Cinnamon Rolls

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs

Ingredients

3 pound package frozen meatballs
20 ounce can pineapple chunks, drained BUT save the juice!
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2/3 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, optional

Instructions

  1. Put meatballs and pineapple chunks in slow cooker.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together pineapple juice, brown sugar, cornstarch, white vinegar, soy sauce, and cayenne (if using). Pour over the meatballs.
  3. Cook on low for 3 - 4 hours.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/05/15/slow-cooker-hawaiian-meatballs/

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My kids love meatballs. I could literally put a bowl of meatballs – no sauce, no pasta, nothing – in front of them and they would tell me it was the best meal they ever had.

I’ve had these Turkey Teriyaki Meatballs bookmarked forever but kept putting it off because I wasn’t sure if they would dig the teriyaki sauce. I finally made these a few weeks ago and my kids gobbled them up. There were zero meatballs left when my husband came home from the gym. Whoops.

They really are delicious and pretty healthy. And I especially love that the recipe only calls for things that I always have in the house! I served them on brown rice and drizzled some of the sauce over the rice but you could just serve them on toothpicks as an appetizer if you wanted.

Three years ago: Salted Butter Break-Ups
Four years ago: Peanut Butter Granola Bars
Five years ago: Parmesan Pull-Aparts

Turkey Teriyaki Meatballs

Ingredients

For the meatballs:
1 1/4 lb. ground turkey
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce:
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy clean-up) and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Add all of the ingredients for the meatballs to a large bowl and use your hands to combine until evenly distributed – try not to overmix. Using about 2 tablespoons of the mixture (I just eyeballed it), form the meatballs by rolling the mixture into a ball in your hands. Arrange the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.
  3. To make the sauce: Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients in a small pan and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.
  4. When the meatballs have finished cooking, remove them from the oven and brush liberally with the sauce then return to the oven for 5 minutes. Serve with remaining sauce.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/03/18/turkey-teriyaki-meatballs/

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Lasagna is one of those meals that you really can’t beat. It seems like everyone loves it and it doesn’t require a whole lot of fancy ingredients or complicated steps.

Today I’m bringing you a twist on the classic. Ragú asked me to turn lasagna into a New Tra-Dish with a fun spin. Since I love lasagna so much, I wanted to make it easier and faster to prepare while keeping the taste pretty close to the original.

I’m sure you guys know that lasagna is kind of a labor of love. You have to make the sauce which can take hours depending on your recipe, cook the meat, boil the noodles, and then layer, layer, layer.

In my version, you use the Ragú Old World Style® Traditional Sauce – which, if you didn’t know, has 11 juicy tomatoes in each jar – and frozen meatballs to cut down the recipe prep by more than half! I love using Ragú in recipes like this because it has than authenic Italian taste that I love and really tastes like it’s been simmering on the stove all day.

Everyone in my house loved this recipe! I think all kids love meatballs so of course mine went nuts when they realized there were meatballs in the lasagna. The whole dish took me about 15 minutes prep thanks to Ragú, the meatballs, and the no-boil noodles. This makes it a perfect weeknight meal!

For more easy and delicious Ragú recipes, head over to their Facebook page and then stop by the Ragú Better and Better Sweepstakes for a chance to win great authentic Italian themed prize packs, including the grand prize of a trip to Italy for 4!

Easy Cheesy Meatball Lasagna

15 ounce container ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
12 ounce package frozen Italian-style meatballs, thawed and cut in half
2 24-ounce jars Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce
1 pound no-boil lasagna noodles
1 cup mozzarella cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

In a mixing bowl, beat together ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper until everything is combined. Set aside.

To assemble, spread about 1 cup of Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce onto bottom of a 9×13” casserole dish. Top with lasagna noodles in a single layer. Spread ⅓ of the ricotta mixture on the noodles. Spread 1/3 of the halved meatballs out on the noodles. Sprinkle with ⅓ of the mozzarella cheese. Top with ⅓ of the remaining sauce. Continue this pattern until you use all the ingredients. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over top.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until the noodles are cooked and the cheese is bubbly. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

 

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) 18 years and older.  Ends 5/6/14.  To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, alternate method of entry, and prize descriptions, visit www.RaguSweeps.com.  Void where prohibited.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ragú®. The opinions and text are all mine.

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