Turkey, Quinoa and Basil Meatballs

Sep 29th

Meatballs are making a comeback if you didn’t know. Apparently there are food trucks that just make all kind of meat balls. “Meat” and “balls” together is almost as bad as “meat” and “loaf” together, but like this proscuitto-wrapped loaf, meat balls can get a healthy, tasty makeover, too.

As soon as we stop putting food in preconceived categories, cooking and eating gets a whole lot easier. For instance, you could make these meatballs and serve them along side a salad or a bunch of grilled veggies – meatballs don’t necessarily have to be eaten with pasta and red sauce. Meatballs are just the “protein” part of a dinner – you can pair them with whatever suits your fancy. Now, after saying all this, we ate these meatballs with whole wheat rotini and red sauce because I was trying to use up the jarred sauce in my fridge before it grew mold. I am nothing if not industrious.

Overall these were super easy to shape and cook – no sticking to the pan or falling apart. I recommend making them with ground turkey but if you want to go even leaner and use ground turkey breast (no fat to be found – but also less moisture), just know they will be a bit tighter and tougher. Remember to shape/roll gently because just like burgers, if you tightly roll up the meatball it will toughen the texture. If you’re not going to finish these in sauce, shape them small enough that they will cook through on the skillet. Lastly these were toddler approved – she actually said “yummm”. I think husband missed the beef but guess what, if you’re making dinner for someone else they can suck it up, am I right?

Turkey, Quinoa, and Basil Meatballs

Serves 4

1 lb. ground turkey

1/2 c. cooked quinoa

1/2 c. grated parmesan

1/4 c. chopped fresh basil

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1 egg

1 tbsp. olive oil

1. Combine all ingredients and shape gently into balls (about 1 1/2 inches across)

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2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add olive oil – swirl to coat.

3. Add meatballs and try not to crowd the pan. Meat will release when browned; turn balls to brown on each side. Either transfer to sauce until ready to eat or serve immediately.

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