Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Turkey & Vegetable Meatballs

My kids requested pasta and meatballs tonight. They don't really buy into the whole spaghetti squash noodle thing, so ever so often I indulge their whims and let them have some brown rice pasta (I personally don't eat it). 

I was gluten-free long before I went Paleo, so I have great experience in tweaking meatballs to leave out the grains. Tonight I wanted to try something different, though. I wanted to come up with a healthier meatball that would ensure my kids get their veggies, and I'm glad to report my experiment was a success!

Pureed vegetables made the perfect binder; no egg was required to hold the meatballs together and the vegetables added a nice flavor and moistness to the turkey. Since I was worried these babies might be too fragile to pan-fry, I baked them and then finished them off on the stovetop, simmering in sauce.

While my kids enjoyed a traditional meatball and pasta dinner, I used my meatballs to top something totally different. I roasted onion, pepper, zucchini, kale and two fresh chicken and spinach sausages. Mixing these altogether with my meatballs created heaven in a bowl!

Turkey & Vegetable Meatballs

1 lb. ground turkey
large handful of baby carrots (or two whole)
1 red or yellow pepper
handful of mushrooms
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tbs. Italian seasoning
salt and pepper (I was very generous with the seasoning)
Preheat oven to 350. 

Combine all vegetables, garlic and seasoning in food processor. Blend until everything is chopped fine.

Dump contents of food processor into a large bowl and add ground turkey. Combine well.

Form into meatballs and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 25 minutes. If you intend to finish these simmering in sauce on the stovetop, I suggested baking for only 20 minutes.

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