Y’know what the worst part about commuting is? It’s getting home from work at 7:30 pm on a cold, dark winter night.
I step off the bus into the cold air, and all I want to do is curl up in bed in my favorite (and super cozy, albeit hole-y) gap sweatshirt, sipping on a hot drink of some sort. But then I remember that my night starts when I get home at 7:30, so instead I eat some supper and get to work. And obviously, by work, I mean baking, writing and photographing.
One thing, however, is for sure. And that is that there’s no way on earth I’m gonna start cooking when I get home. Not on a freezing cold night. That’s where crock pots come into play. I prepare my meal the night before, plug it in before I leave for work in the morning, and come home to fresh hot comfort food. It’s the way the world was meant to be. It’s why I’m glad I live in the era of crock pots.
Let’s talk now about this specific recipe. I put it together one night, and stuck it in the crockpot the next morning. I was looking forward to a hot dinner when I got home at 7:30 that night. Except I didn’t get home at 7:30 that night. First, the bus didn’t show up at 6 as planned. Then when it finally showed up at 6:30, there was one bus instead of two, which meant there were people packed like sardines in the aisle. Luckily I got a seat because the ride never ended. Or so it seemed.
First the Lincoln Tunnel (a couple of blocks from my office) was backed up hours due to an accident. So the bus driver headed downtown to the holland tunnel, only to find out it was closed due to Sandy. So we headed back to…the Lincoln tunnel. Yep. At 8 pm, two hours after I left work, my bus got back to my office. We finally got through the tunnel at about 8:30, and I got home just before 9:30. Fourteen hours after I left in the morning.
If there was ever a time that I needed a good comforting meal, hot and delicious just as I walked in the door. It was that night. These meatballs were perfect. All you need is some brown rice or spaghetti and your perfect meal is complete.
Turns out? Traffic is the worst part of commuting.
Crock Pot Turkey Meatballs in Tomato-Spinach Sauce
*Edited to reduce salt amount.
Oil or spray oil
2 lb ground turkey
1 large onion, finely diced
1 lb chopped spinach (I use frozen, but fully defrosted)
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more if necessary, to taste*
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 cup water
Heat oil or spray oil in a large frying pan. Form the turkey into balls (it will be hard to work with, so don’t worry if they aren’t perfect balls). Fry in hot frying pan on all sides until they are browned. The middles will still be raw, but they will cook in the sauce, so that’s fine. Don’t overcrowd the pan, rather work in batches.
Remove the meatballs from the pan and place in the pot of your crockpot.
Add a bit more oil to the pan, and add the diced onions. Next, add the chopped spinach and sauté for a few minutes. Pour the vegetable mixture over the meatballs in the crock pot.
Pour the crushed tomatoes over into the crockpot. Add the spices and water. Stir the entire mixture gently, being careful not to break up the meatballs.
Cook the meatballs in the crock pot on low for at least six hours. Serve hot over rice or spaghetti.
*12/1/14 – reduced the salt per readers’ suggestions and comments. You can add more to your taste, as needed.
Note: browning the meatballs might seem like an extra step, but it gives the meatballs the most incredible texture, so don’t be tempted to skip it!
Thanks for stopping by everyone, and I hope you enjoy! Come back soon, I made DESSERT. (Again.) -Miriam