Friday, September 17, 2010
Meatballs - Homecooking Happiness
Meatballs – The Healthy Way
A small round package of ground beef mixed with traditions of families. Eat alone as is or combined with tomato sauce to be ladled over fresh pasta, meatballs satisfy my meat cravings. How many families prepare these little bursts of flavor filled with the secrets of grandmas of many cultures? Here is a new twist on an old world favorite.
My recipe combines healthy add-ins to get more veggies into a meal creating a very moist ground beef mixture. Highly seasoned with lots of spices, these meatballs are not boring. Baking the newly-created version of my meatballs cuts down on calories as well. Serve as an appetizer or in a sauce over pasta. Watch your friends and family be surprised from this hearty creation.
· Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
· With parchment paper, line a rimmed baking sheet.
· Have ready one pound of fresh ground beef (or defrost some from freezer.)
· Gather fresh vegetables, wash and chop into small pieces to mix into ground beef mixture.
· Organize add-ins for creating your meatballs: seasonings, spices & condiments of choice.
· Large mixing bowl.
· Oven mitts or pot holders.
· Wooden spoon for mixing; or mix with clean hands.
· Tongs or spatula for transferring cooked meatballs to a serving dish.
Ingredients: (choose any from list below or include your personal choices.)
One pound of fresh ground beef.
Ketchup, tomato paste, Worcestshire Sauce: all to personal taste.
Chopped fresh onion.
Chopped fresh peppers: use different colors.
Chopped baby spinach: optional.
Chopped fresh zucchini/summer squash.
Grated cheese: optional.
Salt and ground black pepper
Dried oregano, basil, tarragon.
Dried cumin (more intense flavor); red pepper flakes (for heat): optional.
Seasoned bread crumbs or Panko flakes (do not include for Gluten-free meal.)
Enough to allow mixture to form a meatball.
Mix all the above ingredients in a large bowl. If not using bread crumbs, this mixture will be wetter but should still form a meatball. The size of the meatballs is up to you. For meals, a golf ball size is good. For an appetizer, make a smaller meatball.
Arrange the meatballs on the lined, rimmed baking sheet and put it into the preheated oven.
Bake until browned. (about 30+ minutes depending on your oven.) Your nose will tell you when they are done. Your kitchen will be filled with a delicious, inviting aroma of home cooking.
Serve with dipping sauces of choice.
A side salad completes a very healthy meal.
Serve bread or rolls on your table as an option.