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Cranberry Citrus Meatballs (Slow Cooker) for #RachelPops

Baby shower for Rachel Cooks

My good friend Rachel of Rachel Cooks is having a baby boy in December so some of her online friends are throwing her a virtual baby shower today. Rachel and I “met” while promoting Emeril Lagasse’s Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders cookbook last year. She was also a founding member of Virtual Potluck, but no longer participates (sniff, sniff). Thanks to Brandy of Nutmeg Nanny and Brandi of Bran Appetit! for hosting Rachel’s shower and to Heather of Farmgirl Gourmet for designing the invitation above.

Rachel hasn’t had the easiest pregnancy, but I hope she’ll feel up to trying some of my sweet, citrusy meatballs. I figured everyone else would bring carb-based treats, so I thought I’d better stick with something in the protein family.

These meatballs are the perfect party food – throw them in the slow cooker and they’re ready when you are.

Make-ahead tips: Make the meatballs and brown them ahead of time. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. Mix up the sauce ahead as well and store in refrigerator. A few hours before your shower or party, put the meatballs and sauce in the crock pot.

Best of luck with the new addition to your family, Rachel! I can’t wait to see pictures.

Cranberry Citrus Meatballs (Slow Cooker)

Adapted from Diabetic Living
Cranberry Citrus Meatballs (Slow Cooker)
1/2 cup egg substitute
2 pounds ground pork
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup dried cranberries, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (14 ounce) can whole-berry cranberry sauce
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lime juice

In a large bowl, combine egg substitute, pork, rice, dried cranberries, salt and pepper. Shape into meatballs about 1-1/2 inches in diameter (you should end up with about 48).

In a large skillet, heat half of the olive oil over medium heat. Brown as many meatballs as will comfortably fit in your pan. You don’t need to cook them through, just brown on all sides. It should take about 5 minutes. Drain meatballs on paper towels. Continue until all meatballs have been browned, adding olive oil as necessary.

Transfer meatballs to a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, whisk together cranberry sauce, ketchup, orange juice and lime juice until combined. Pour mixture over meatballs in slow cooker (don’t stir). Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or on high for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Makes 24 servings
Per serving (2 meatballs): 154 calories, 9g fat (3g sat), 27mg cholesterol, 170mg sodium, 11g carb, 0g fiber, 9g sugar, 7g protein


Here are the dishes that some of Rachel’s friends are bringing to the baby shower. We’ll be using the hashtag #RachelPops on Twitter today when we celebrate – please join us!

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