Recipes

Instant Pot Ham Balls

This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I previously posted my Grandma’s recipe for Ham Balls with Sweet and Sour Sauce. Oh, I wish she was here so I could share this new preparation of her recipe! My Grandma would wait one hour for the traditional recipe to cook in the oven. But now, with the beauty of the Instant Pot, I am happy to share with you a new 10-minute cook time for ham balls!

food tracking momma instant pot ham balls

As with all of my recipes, the nutritional information for this dish is listed just below the recipe. A serving of 5 Instant Pot Ham Balls comes in at 359 calories and 14.7 grams of fat. If you are on a low-sodium diet, let me say “I’m sorry.” This is pretty high in sodium.

For more recipes from the Food Tracking Momma, please follow this blog by subscribing below. You will receive my free monthly newsletter to help you lose weight by counting and logging your calories (food tracking) and a free Recommended Calories Chart. Please like my Facebook page and Follow Me on Pinterest. For more support on calorie counting and food tracking, please join my Facebook group, Losing Weight with Food Tracking.

Subscribe to our Email list to receive our free monthly newsletter as well as a free Recommended Daily Calories chart.

Instant Pot Ham Balls- Steps (Recipe below steps)

One of the first challenges when making this recipe is finding ground ham. You have a couple of options. First, if you live near a grocery store that sells ground ham, then it will be easy. For me, it’s difficult to find ground ham. So the second option is to ask your grocery store to grind some ham for you. The final option is to use a food grinder or a food processor to chop the ham to mimic a ground ham. For this recipe, I had my meat department grind the ham for me. Also, I crushed up Ritz crackers (about 10 of them) in a sandwich bag.

food tracking momma instant pot ham balls ingredients

Combine the first five ingredients in a large mixing bowl. To shape them into meatballs, I used a large cookie scoop. This step took me about 20 minutes. Set the uncooked ham balls aside.

In the Instant Pot (or whatever electric pressure cooker you use), add the remaining four ingredients. Whisk together to combine. The mustard wasn’t fully mixed for me but it cooked up just fine. Don’t worry about it.

Add the uncooked meatballs (it’s OK if some don’t get down in the sauce).

food tracking momma instant pot ham balls in the pot

Close the lid and set the valve to seal. Pressure cook (manual) for 10 minutes. When finished, go ahead and do a quick release. Gently stir or re-position the ham balls so all of them get glazed.

Instant Pot Ham Balls

Instant pot ham balls with sweet and sour sauce
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Ham Balls, Instant Pot
Servings: 7
Calories: 360kcal
Author: Food Tracking Momma

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds smoked ham (ground)
  • 3/4 cup cracker crumbs
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup (10 3/4 oz)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  • Combine the first 5 ingredients and shape into ham balls. Set aside.
  • Add the remaining 4 ingredients into the Instant Pot and whisk to combine. 
  • Add the ham balls and secure the lid. Turn pressure valve to seal and set to pressure cook (manual) for 10 minutes. When finished, do a quick release and carefully stir to coat all of the ham balls in the glaze.
food tracking momma instant pot ham balls nutrition facts

I hope you enjoy this recipe. If you make it, please let me know by leaving me a comment and a rating!

Thanks, Andrea- The Food Tracking Momma

Related posts:
Ham Balls with Sweet and Sour Sauce
Instant Pot Chili con Carne
Slow Cooker Tangy Beef Stew

Lifestyle

Food Tracking to Gain Weight

This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I asked my sister Michelle to share her story of using food tracking to help her maintain and even gain weight as she lives with the disease of gastroparesis. As the Food Tracking Momma, I know that counting and logging your calories will help with many different issues including losing weight, maintaining your weight, and even gaining weight if you are an athlete or in the case of my sister, fighting a medical condition.

Before I turn this post over to Michelle, I want to encourage you to subscribe to this blog and let me help you live a healthier and more abundant life (John 10:10). I encourage each of you to join my Facebook group, Losing Weight with Food Tracking. You will find a great support system that will help you learn the habit of healthy and lasting weight loss. Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest and Like me on Facebook.

Subscribe to our Email list to receive our free monthly newsletter as well as a free Recommended Daily Calories chart.

Michelle’s story: my struggle with being underweight

This is the first time I have ever written a blog article, but Andrea really wanted me to share my story and how food tracking has helped me. I have a different perspective and a different reason for counting and logging my calories. I have struggled my whole life with weight issues. Not being overweight but the opposite, being severely underweight.

For years I struggled with being underweight which was primary because I would get sick after eating. I finally had a lengthy bout that left me extremely sick and unable to eat anything. I went to the doctor and found out I had an acute infection in my stomach. I went through weeks of antibiotics to clear up the infection. Yet even after the infection had cleared I still struggled with not being able to eat.

Diagnosed with gastroparesis

I went through a great deal of medical testing before I was finally diagnosed with a progressive disease called gastroparesis. To explain this in the simplest terms, it means that my body basically doesn’t digest food well, and it is getting worse as I get older. On the good side, the diagnosis was an answer to prayer and explained many of the symptoms I had been dealing with for a very long time. On the bad side, the reality was that if I wanted to not be sick all the time, I would have to go on a strict diet and avoid the foods that my body doesn’t digest well.

The foods I’m able to eat are very limited and when you are already severely underweight from being so sick, that’s not very encouraging. To put everything in perspective, I’m a 5’9” women and my goal weight is 135 pounds. After the serious bout and stomach infection, my weight dropped down to 109 pounds.

food tracking for weight gain

Food tracking to monitor and gain weight

Before being diagnosed with gastroparesis, I had used food tracking and was able to increase my weight to 120 pounds. I didn’t know about the disease and that I would need to change and monitor my diet. Even with food tracking, I could never get my weight much higher because I was still getting so sick from the foods I was eating.

After my diagnosis, I had a new understanding regarding this condition and with a combination of food tracking, a diet of easily digestible foods, and eating small frequent meals, I have my weight up to 122 pounds. I’m on my way to my goal weight of 130 pounds.

It’s so hard to get the calories you need when you are underweight because of a disease. Food tracking is a great way to be able to consume the number of calories needed to help you gain weight. I plan to continue to use food tracking to help me maintain especially as my disease progresses. I believe I will be able to slow the progression of my gastroparesis by continuing to track my food intake so that I can stay at a healthy weight. It’s so hard for me to share my story because I feel many people don’t understand that there is a struggle for people who like me are underweight.

My prayer is that this blog article will give a different perspective on how beneficial food tracking can be, not only for the people that need to lose weight but also for those that need to gain or maintain a healthy weight.

Lifestyle

Lose Weight For Free

This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

As a weight loss blogger, I am often on many different social media channels researching information and supporting the followers of this blog. Currently, as I spend time online, I am inundated with various weight loss programs advertising their programs to help people lose weight. Most of these programs are subtle variations of counting calories and logging your food in an electronic diary (food tracking). Food tracking doesn’t have to cost you money. You can lose weight for free by counting calories!

When I lost 70 pounds by counting calories, I did it for free. I joined a free website (apps weren’t yet available when I first started) and I logged my food and tracked my calories. I did a 30-minute daily fitness program on TV. I learned how to become a food tracker and nine months later I weighed 70 less pounds. Ok, I did buy a $20 food scale and lots of new clothes, but that was it!

Weight Loss Programs Are Bringing In LOTS of Money

Weight loss programs have become big business! At the time of writing this article, The popular Noom program’s lowest fee (if paid all upfront as an auto yearly recurring) is $199. Weight Watchers Digital and Studio (meetings) is $499 a year! These prices may change so I included the links so you can get the most up to date pricing. You can even go online and set bets and wages to lose weight. Listen, you don’t have to pay money to lose weight! I can show you how to lose weight for free.

The Food Tracking Momma

Allow me to briefly introduce myself. I’m Andrea and I’m the Food Tracking Momma. I have proven experience losing weight by counting calories and logging them into a food diary (food tracking). My weight loss is not a fluke. Counting calories generally works for most people (barring medical or metabolism issues) and the method is straight forward. Track and log all your calories and burn more calories than you consume. For more information, please read How I Lost 70 Pounds by Counting Calories.

Food tracking momma before and after weight loss
I did it. You can also and I will show you how to do it for free.

I understand that a lot of us will do almost anything to lose weight. Well, let me assure you, you can do this. I will help you. But a pricey weight loss program will not assure you success. Let me show you how I did it and how I can help you now on your weight loss journey. Below are some tangible ways that I can help you.

How I Can Help

The Food Tracking Momma blog– This blog is committed to helping others lose weight by counting calories and logging them. I provide you information that supports this method of weight loss. This is not a diet. This is a lifestyle change that is slow and lasting. You will learn what a serving is, how many calories are in different foods, and how to take accountability for the calories you consume. Subscribe to this blog! You’ll receive my monthly newsletter regarding this blog and a Recommended Daily Calorie chart. And it’s free.

Subscribe to our Email list to receive our free monthly newsletter as well as a free Recommended Daily Calories chart.

Recipes– I post recipes that are low calorie and fit into a food tracking lifestyle. With food tracking, you can eat whatever you want, but you need to know and log the servings and calories.

Follow Me on Social MediaFollow me on Pinterest and Like me on Facebook to keep abreast of interesting trends as I find them.

Coaching/Support– I want to help you. It’s why I started this blog. I won’t be charging you money to call myself your coach. I just want to show you a way to lose weight that works (and will also allow you to maintain that weight loss). So, the best way I can support you is for you to join the Losing Weight with Food Tracking Facebook group. All of us in the group are using this method to lose weight and we all want to help.

Food Tracking Primer

Let me give you a quick primer that will get you started with counting those calories. Here are the steps that will get you tracking:

  • Choose a food diary– The first thing you need is a mobile food diary. If you use FitBit, they have a very good database and I recommend you use their food diary. If you don’t (you don’t have to) you can use one of the many food diary apps that are free and available on the Internet. Just do a search for “food diary”. I have used FatSecret.com and FitBit. I’ve had friends also recommend MyFitnessPal.com and LoseIt.com.
  • Calculate your Recommended Daily Intake– Create an account (in your food diary app) and then use its calculator to figure out your RDI. I recommend you only try to lose 1-2 pounds a week so that the reduction in calories is doable.
  • Now track those calories! All food and drink calories should be entered and your goal is to eat as close to your RDI as possible without going over.

Those are the basics. If you start with that, you have the foundation of food tracking and you are ready to start losing weight by counting your calories.

Free Fitness

I recommend increased activity and exercise with this new lifestyle. But you don’t have to pay for expensive gym memberships or personal trainers. Take a walk or ride your bike!

There are many great YouTube fitness channels you should check out. Paste Magazine has a great article on the Top 10 YouTube fitness channels.

To summarize, you don’t have to pay to lose weight. I’ve given you the basics in this article to losing weight using the food tracking method (remembering that it’s free!). You can do this. I can help you. I look forward to updating my subscribers list and talking to you on the Facebook group. This blog is not about big business. I’m just a mom who lost weight and I want to help others do the same.

Happy Food Tracking! Thanks, Andrea
The Food Tracking Momma

Related Posts:
10 Ways for Maintaining Weight Loss
17 Healthy Habits to Successfully Lose Weight
Non-Scale Victories

Recipes

Ham Balls with Sweet and Sour Sauce

This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

ham balls with sweet and sour sauce

There are a few recipes that I always associate with the person who made them for me in the past. This Ham Balls with Sweet and Sour Sauce recipe was a specialty of my Grandma. She grew up in the farm country of Western Maryland which was heavily influenced by many of the traditions of the Pennsylvania Dutch. This recipe was a favorite to be enjoyed at our many family gatherings and I’m happy to share it with you. I am sure you will love it as much as we do.

As with all of my recipes, the nutritional information for this dish is listed just below the recipe. A serving of 5 Ham Balls with Sweet and Sour Sauce comes in at 359 calories and 14.7 grams of fat. If you are on a low-sodium diet, let me say “I’m sorry.” This is pretty high in sodium.

For more recipes from the Food Tracking Momma, please follow this blog by subscribing below. You will receive my free monthly newsletter to help you lose weight by counting and logging your calories (food tracking) and a free Recommended Calories Chart. You can also like my Facebook page, The Food Tracking Momma and Follow Me on Pinterest. For more support on calorie counting and food tracking, please join my Facebook group, Losing Weight with Food Tracking.

Subscribe to our Email list to receive our free monthly newsletter as well as a free Recommended Daily Calories chart.

ham balls with sweet and sour sauce

Ham Balls with Sweet and Sour Sauce- Steps
(Recipe below steps)

ham balls ground ham in a food processor

One of the first challenges when making this recipe is finding ground ham. You have a couple of options. First, if you live near a grocery store that sells ground ham, then it will be easy. For me, it’s difficult to find ground ham. So the second option is to ask your grocery store to grind some ham for you. Or a final option (which I show below), is to use a food grinder or a food processor to chop the ham to mimic a ground ham. The food processor works just fine although the overall texture is a little softer than if you bought ground ham. And, since I had the food processor out, I went ahead and finely chopped up some Ritz crackers (about 10 of them).

ham balls meatballs ingredients

Combine the first five ingredients in a large mixing bowl. To shape them into meatballs, I used a large cookie scoop.

Place them in a 9 x 13 casserole (spray with cooking spray) and insert into a 350 degree oven to allow them to cook halfway through.

ham balls sauce ingredients

While the ham balls are in the oven, take the remaining four ingredients and combine in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat until the ham balls have cooked for 30 minutes. Once the ham balls have cooked for 30 minutes, remove them from the oven. Note, there may be a lot of fat in the bottom of the dish at this stage.

ham balls sauce image

Pour the sauce over the ham balls and put it back in the oven for another 30 minutes. We usually serve the ham balls as is (serve up extra sauce on top) and with a vegetable on the side, but I also know people who prefer them served on white rice.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. If you make it, please let me know by leaving me a comment and a rating!

Thanks, Andrea- The Food Tracking Momma

Ham Balls with Sweet and Sour Sauce

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Ham Balls, Sweet and Sour Sauce
Servings: 7
Calories: 360kcal
Author: Food Tracking Momma

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds smoked ham (ground)
  • 3/4 cup cracker crumbs
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup (10 3/4 oz)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the first five ingredients. Shape into balls and place in a 9 x 13 casserole that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes.
  • While the ham balls are cooking, prepare the sauce by combining the remaining four ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat to boiling and then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • After the first 30 minutes, remove the ham balls from the oven and pour the sauce over the balls. Cook for 30 minutes longer.

Related Posts:
Pumpkin Sausage Lasagna
Instant Pot Chili Con Carne
Slow Cooker Tangy Beef Stew

Lifestyle

Non-Scale Victories

This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I am pleased to again introduce my friend Robin as a guest writer for the Food Tracking Momma blog. She is going to teach us today a new way to measure weight loss success. Non-scale victories (NSVs) are a way to focus our weight loss process onto more than weighing ourselves and having the scale dictate our response and mood.

Continue reading “Non-Scale Victories”
Lifestyle

10 Ways for Maintaining Weight Loss

This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I don’t want to discourage you, but I must be honest. Losing weight is great, but it’s only half of the battle. Equally important is the process of maintaining weight loss. When I lost 70 pounds, I was determined to not gain it back. Below are 10 ways I have used to successfully maintain my weight loss. I have included professional sources to support that these ways are applicable to most anyone for maintaining weight loss.

Continue reading “10 Ways for Maintaining Weight Loss”
Lifestyle

New Year’s Focus Word- Identity

This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I am pleased to introduce Robin who wrote this guest post. Robin is in full-time ministry as a Children’s Director, she is a wife and mom of twin 5 year olds, and is a good friend. Thanks, Andrea- The Food Tracking Momma

With this new year, I have heard many people recommend choosing one focus word as opposed to setting traditional new year’s resolutions. This is not a focus quote but a word that you will meditate on for the entire year. After some contemplation, I have determined my new year’s focus word is “identity”. Let me tell you why this word is applicable to both you and me.

Continue reading “New Year’s Focus Word- Identity”
Lifestyle

New You Challenge for the New Year

This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

The new year is such a great time to commit to new beginnings! Some people discourage making New Year’s resolutions, but I encourage you to consider a new way, a new habit, a new healthier lifestyle that will lead to a healthier, new you. For this New You challenge, I would like you to join me this New Year in learning ways to lose weight and become a healthier person.

Continue reading “New You Challenge for the New Year”
Recipes

Pumpkin Sausage Lasagna

Pumpkin Sausage Lasagna Recipe

Have you ever enjoyed a pumpkin ravioli at a fine dining restaurant? If you have, this Pumpkin Sausage Lasagna recipe is for you! It has the clear taste of pumpkin which is balanced with the sausage and the cheeses. It’s fairly easy to make and it is kid friendly (my toddler gobbled it up).

Continue reading “Pumpkin Sausage Lasagna”
Lifestyle

Fast Versus Slow Weight Loss

This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

When I made the decision to lose weight, I considered either a fast weight loss diet to lose weight quickly or a slow weight loss method to lose weight over time. For me, I knew I did not want to lose weight to only gain it back after a short period of time. I needed a weight management solution that would help me successfully lose weight and keep the weight off long term.

Continue reading “Fast Versus Slow Weight Loss”