Without a kitchen, my culinary start to the new year has been a challenge, especially as this year I am making a conscious effort to make my family’s meals even healthier than last year. No matter how healthy you are, the holidays will most certainly wreak some form of havoc on the body. So as I continue to mooch off my friends to cook and bake, we’ve been making a concerted effort to be healthier with foods such as a no- bloat vegetable soup, a carrot ginger soup and turkey meatballs. I’ve found that substituting ground turkey for ground beef in various foods such as meatballs, taco filling and meatloaf is an easy way to eat better without compromising flavor.
In fact, I think my turkey meatballs are even better than beef, as the mild flavor of the turkey provides the perfect backdrop for fresh herbs and some sautéed garlic and onions. When paired with my farmers’ market tomato sauce from the summer and served atop garlicky spaghetti squash, these meatballs are a scrumptious and healthy dinner for the new year. Plus, I can make them in large batches in my friend’s kitchen and pull them from my freezer as needed.
Makes about 30 medium meatballs
3 pounds ground turkey, light meat
1 onion, diced finely
6 garlic cloves, minced finely
1 tablespoon onion powder
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
freshly ground pepper
1 cup seasoned Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons, fresh oregano, chopped finely
1/4 cup parsley, chopped finely
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare two baking dishes by drizzling about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in each pan, just to coat the bottom to avoid sticking.
In a small skillet, sauté onions and garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil for about five minutes. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, eggs, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, salt, pepper, garlic and onions. It’s best if you’re not too squeamish to use your hands since the mixture will come together best. Once the mixture is well combined, wet your hands with water or olive oil and form meat into medium sized balls. Place in prepared pans 1/2 inch apart and bake uncovered in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes. You can shake the pan half way through if you’d like to get an even browning.