Friday, July 12, 2013

Let's Cook: Lowfat Turkey Meatballs

Who doesn't love a good meatball?  Nicely browned on the outside but tender and flavorful on the inside.  Meatballs are so versatile.  Add them to your marinara sauce for traditional spaghetti and meatballs or sandwiched inside a hoagie roll for a tasty meatball sub.  You can also throw them in the slow cooker along with your favorite barbecue sauce for a tasty appetizer and Swedish meatballs over noodles makes a comforting supper.  
These meatballs are a low fat version made with lean ground turkey and flavored with fresh herbs that adapt to any dish and are delicious eaten on their own.  Make a double batch and freeze cooked meatballs on a cookie sheet before packing them up in zip top freezer bags for long term storage. 

Turkey Meatballs

2lbs lean ground turkey
1 medium onion minced
4 cloves of garlic minced
2 celery stalks minced
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup egg substitute (Egg Beaters)
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Prep cookie sheets by spraying with nonstick cook spray.  On medium heat, spray a saute pan with olive oil cooking spray and saute the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent. Add in the celery, parsley and thyme and continue cooking until soft.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  In a large bowl add the ground turkey, egg substitute, bread crumbs and the cooled vegetable mixture.  Season with salt and pepper and the cayenne pepper if a little heat is desired.  Mix all ingredients with your hands, tossing instead of squeezing which keeps the meat from toughening up.  Take golf ball sized portions of the mixture and roll into meatballs.  Place formed meatballs on a cookie sheet and continue until the mixture is finished.  Bake meatballs for about 30 minutes or until they are browned.  Serve warm or allow to cool before freezing.  

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