Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Turkey Meatballs Over Greens

So by now you guys know that I have some OMFG moments with some of the recipes I try. Remember the pumpkin cinnamon rolls? Or how about the bacon and tomato hash? This is one of those recipes where you know it will be good, but will still be awesomely surprised by it's flavor. I've said it before, and I will say it again, and repeat it until the cows come home, I don't believe in diets. I much prefer finding ways to lighten up recipes or finding healthy, hearty recipes that do not sacrifice flavor. Besides eating healthfully, I am also 20 days in to 30 straight days of Pilates workouts. Coincidentally, that is one of my 101 goals. Boo-YEAH! This recipe is a wonderful combination of light yet hearty, and so insanely delicious, you won't believe it's good for you. For the greens I went with a combination of kale, spinach, and broccoli. I have never made meatballs before, so that was a fun experiment. These are really good meatballs. I may add just a touch more salt next time. I went with a jarred roasted garlic tomato sauce. I think that may have been what put this recipe over the edge. How can you go wrong with sweet garlic? Also, in my grand tradition of loving spicy foods, I added some red pepper flakes to the sauce once it was simmering. Holy YUM!! I loved this so much, I did a Facebook update about it and I have been bad about updating my status lately (minus yesterday in my excitement with the inauguration). So, really...back away and go make these meatballs now. Easy, delicious, and healthy. Could you ask for anything more?

Turkey Meatballs Over Greens
(Adapted from The Kitchn)

3/4 lb ground turkey (93% lean)
2 tablespoons grated onion (a little bit less than 1/2 a small onion)
1 egg
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound greens (I used broccoli, kale, and spinach), washed, de-veined, and roughly chopped

Combine the turkey, onion, egg, breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, and parsley in a large bowl. Mix with your hands until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed. Roll portions of the mixture into 1 1/4-inch balls and place on a cookie sheet. You should have between 15 and 18 meatballs.

Heat olive oil on moderately high heat in a large skillet. Place the meatballs in the skillet and allow to sit until browned on one side, about 3 to 4 minutes. Using tongs, gently rotate the meatballs so that they brown on the other side, and continue cooking them for about 12 minutes total, rotating them carefully every few minutes so that all sides are brown.*

Reduce the heat to medium, add the tomato sauce, and red pepper flakes. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Cover the pan. Simmer the meatballs and sauce for another 10 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through.

Meanwhile, heat a small amount of olive oil in a separate large skillet. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the broccoli and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and kale and a splash of water. Cover immediately and cook until the greens have wilted, about 5-10 minutes.

Put greens on the plate and top with meatballs and sauce.

*If your pan isn't large enough to brown all of the meatballs without them touching, cook them in batches and place them back on the cookie sheet once they've been browned. Then add them all to the pan before pouring in the tomato sauce and simmering.

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Erica said...

I recently made meatballs over broccoli and LOVED it. Odd combo- but very tasty. I love making meatballs homemade, I've never purchased them frozen/premade! Yours look just gorgeous

Diana said...

Looks sooo good! What kind/brand of tomato sauce did you use?

Esi said...

Diana, not sure of the brand, but it's a roasted garlic sauce that I found at TJ's in WeHo :)

Reeni♥ said...

They do look great!! I love how you put them over greens. You go girl with the pilates-woo-hoo!!

Dawn said...

pilates huh? how are you liking that? I hear it's wicked good for building an insanely firm core.
I make a lot of meatballs and NEED to start using a healthier meat, like turkey. They really do look so good.

Heather said...

wow - congrats on the 20 days of pilates! color me impressed! these sound great!

ttfn300 said...

to have some on my plate!! ;-) looks awesome! good job with the pilates!

The Duo Dishes said...

Wow. Is it bad that we want to put these on a roll and make some sort of ridiculous hoagie-like thing? But greens are good too!

The Food Librarian said...

20 days of pilates! Wow! I'd be lucky to get through 20 minutes! Love these over greens - great idea!

recipes2share said...

Looks great and the greens are so healthy. I agree with your view of diets but I have to get myself on the straight and narrow now and its so difficult!

Sara said...

This looks amazing. I've made meatballs before and loved them but I am sure that recipe wasn't half as healthy...I am going to give this a try.

Congrats on sticking with pilates. I like both yoga and pilates a lot.

Fearless Kitchen said...

There's something so amazingly comforting about meatballs. It's wonderful to see them used in a healthier application that spaghetti.

Carolyn Jung said...

This looks like the perfect comfort food. Yum!
And good for you on pilates. I've been doing it for a couple years now, and love it. I can't say I have Janet Jackson-abs yet, but I definitely have a flat tummy now. Yahoo!

Esi said...

Thanks guys! Carolyn, I have a loooong way to go before even flat abs, but they are definitely "flatter" than 20 days ago :)

Foodycat said...

Those are fantastic! They look good, I can tell they taste good and so many lovely veggies! Yum.

Maggie said...

I love using greens in place of noodles like this. Great going on your fitness goals!