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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Kim's Meatballs from Heaven!

Back by popular demand - Kim's Meatball from Heaven! This is one of our most popular LivingAfterWLS recipes - enjoy it this week!

Original recipe by Kim Stover
Let me start out by saying that I try to use organic ingredients as much as possible. These meatballs are a meal in themselves. Enjoy!

1 lb ground skinless turkey breast
1 small chopped onion
2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
5 oz. frozen chopped spinach
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup low or no sugar whole grain cereal flakes
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 egg and 1 egg white
½ cup shredded mozzarella
salt and pepper to taste
Non-stick cooking spray

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place spinach in a strainer and run some cool water over the pile and let it hang out to finish thawing over a bowl or sink. Get a baking sheet and line it with foil, spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.

Spray a medium skillet with non-stick cooking spray and cook the onions, garlic and mushrooms with the 1 teaspoon of salt and the pepper. Once this cooks down and the liquid from the veggies evaporates, remove the mixture from the pan and spread it out on a plate to quickly cool. Set it aside for later.

In your food processor, place the cereal flakes, Italian seasonings, salt, pepper, and dry mustard and blend until it has turned into fine crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, place all of the ingredients in a plastic Ziploc bag and beat it with a rolling pin. Pour the crumb mixture into a large bowl. Beat the eggs slightly and add to the crumb mixture. Squeeze all of the water out of the spinach and add to the bowl along with the cooled veggies and mozzarella. Finally, add the turkey and mix with your hands…it’s the only way to get everything blended.

Form meatballs that are about 2 ½ oz each. If you have an ice cream scoop, it makes the perfect size ball. Spray it with non-stick cooking spray and you’ll get a nice release. Try and get your meatball as “tight” as possible. Place on your prepared cookie sheet. Spray the tops with non-stick cooking spray and bake for 22 minutes. If you choose to make your balls smaller or larger, adjust your cooking time and use a meat thermometer to ensure doneness. (The USDA recommends ground turkey be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F). Let the meatballs sit for a minute and then devour!

I’ll eat two meatballs with a side salad that is made of sliced tomato, freshly torn basil leaves, chopped red onion and a splash of balsamic vinegar. I’ve taken the leftovers and sliced them onto toast to make a meatball sandwich. A bit of spaghetti sauce spread on the bread is wonderful. I’ve also added the meatballs to prepared low carb spaghetti and marinara sauce. Another delicious way of using these are to smash them up and add them to scrambled eggs. A low carb tortilla wrapped around it with some salsa and you have yourself a breakfast burrito. The best part of this recipe is that it provides tons of protein in a tight little package.

You can also change it up a bit. Perhaps, lose the spinach and mushrooms and replace it with red and green bell peppers. Use a Mexican seasoning blend and jack cheese to create an entirely different flavor profile. Or, if you feel like going Oriental style, you could replace the spinach, mushrooms and onions with blanched mung bean sprouts, chopped green scallion and some grated fresh ginger. A splash of soy sauce instead of the Worcestershire and use an Asian spice blend. I don’t think that I’d use any cheese for this version! You could serve these with some steamed brown rice.


Kim S. said...

Kim here...just a tip, I love salt, so you might want to cut back or eliminate the salt. Use your best judgement and enjoy!

Kaye Bailey said...

Good note, Kim. Thanks for mentioning this. Here is a brief note on sodium taken from Sunday's Recipe of the Week Newsletter:

A word about sodium: Canned condensed soups are high in sodium which is one reason this is not an everyday recipe for weight control. High sodium intake causes water retention which means the scale will go higher. In addition, an overabundance of sodium is believed to contribute to heart disease. Take small steps to lower sodium intake such as using a salt-free seasoning blend. The daily value for sodium is 2,400 mg or less.