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Fresh Herb Meatball and Rice in Tomato Sauce

This recipe shows off the power of what fresh herbs can do for a dish, especially when prepared in a slow cooker. The flavors have time to really seep into your soup leaving your palate one happy camper!

1 lb. hamburger
1 ½ cups of rice
2 ½ cups of water
2 – 15 oz. cans of tomato sauce
1 green pepper
½ of a white onion
1 cup celery
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 tbsp. fresh basil
1 tbsp. fresh dill
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste.
3 or 4 slices of bread, or 1 ½ cups bread crumbs

Add rice, tomato sauce, water, and herbs to your slow cooker. Chop veggies into small pieces, put about half of the chopped veggies in the slow cooker and leave the other half in a medium sized bowl. Add hamburger to the bowl and mix. Add salt and pepper, roll into medium sized balls. One pound of hamburger should yield approximately 10 meatballs. Spread the breadcrumbs onto a chopping board and roll the meatballs on the bread. Place a medium sized skillet on medium heat, add a little olive oil cooking spray (or whatever oil you prefer to cook with) and brown the meatballs. Remove from pan and stick into the slow cooker, turn the slow cooker onto low and cook for 4 to 5 hours. Make sure the meatballs are thoroughly cooked, meat needs to reach at least 160 degrees.

Directions for making breadcrumbs:

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Take four slices of white bread and stick on a baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes on one side turn over and bake 7 minutes on the other side. When they are done, crumble into pieces (you can use a blender, just break the bread into chunks and put them in there. Blend until it is into small tiny pieces and put it aside into a bowl or onto the chopping block.

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