Roasted Red Pepper & Caramelized Onion Baked Turkey Meatballs

Sunday, February 17, 2013

From our skinny table to yours...

Is there anything better than a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs for Sunday dinner?  We don't know about you but it's certainly one of our favorites!  We love comfort food but know that the typical bowl of spaghetti and meatballs rings in around 1,000 calories per bowl and we are just not comfortable with that! To skinny this meal down we started off by using lean ground turkey instead of ground beef.  The trick when using 93% lean ground turkey is to pack it with fresh flavors. We love peppers and onions... who doesn't really?  We thought we would put a little spin on two of our favorite flavors and mix in roasted red peppers and caramelized onions.. YUM!  We didn't stop there, we also added in lots of fresh garlic, basil, and a touch of freshly grated nutty parmesan cheese!




What a pretty and delicious flavor combination... wouldn't you agree?  The next step in our skinny meatballs is to bake them of course.  We bake them in the oven to a nice golden brown and let them finish cooking in our veggie packed homemade sauce (which if you haven't tried yet is delicious and now is the time) to keep them juicy and delicious.

The third and final step in our healthy version of spaghetti and meatballs is to cut out the spaghetti!  Tonight we are using spaghetti squash, which is one of our favorite skinny substitutions.  Feel free to use whole wheat pasta if you are craving actual spaghetti, just be sure to eat only one serving as calories can really add up.  On the plus side if you choose to go low-carb with our version you can have a nice big bowl.  Isn't it more fun when you have a nice BIG bowl of food in front of you anyway?



Hope you enjoy this comforting and healthy dish!  Happy Sunday everyone :)

Our sauce
Ingredients
2 large cans crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
1 small can tomato sauce (8 oz - no salt added)
1 small can tomato paste (6 oz)
1 large carrot
1/2 small sweet potato
1/2 small yellow onion
4-5 garlic cloves
1 tbsp oregano
1 handful fresh basil
1/4 cup parm cheese
1 tbsp ricotta cheese
Pinch of salt

Let's get cooking!
1.  Get sauce going before you begin the meatballs
2.  Place raw carrot, onion, garlic and sweet potato in the food processor if you have one, if not chop ingredients finely.  Blend well then add to pot with 2 tbsp olive oil.  Saute until softened (approx 5 minutes)
3.  Add all 4 cans of tomato sauce to pot and mix well
4.  Add oregano, chopped fresh basil and salt
5.  Mix in both parm and ricotta and simmer for at least an hour!  The longer you let cook, the better it will taste!

Roasted red pepper and caramelized onion baked turkey meatballs
Ingredients
Olive oil
1 lb lean ground turkey (93% lean)
2 red peppers
2 yellow onions
5 garlic cloves
1 egg white
1 handful fresh basil
1 tbsp oregano
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
3 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 large spaghetti squash/whole wheat pasta 

Let's get cooking!
1.  Heat oven to broil.  Place peppers on baking tray and top with olive oil.  Roast peppers in oven for 20 minutes turning half way through.  Drop oven temp down to 400 to preheat for meatballs
2.  Peel peppers and chop into small chunks
3.  Chop onions into thin slivers and add to saute pan with one tbsp olive oil.  Saute until golden brown.  Mince garlic cloves and add to pan and saute for approx one minute with onions
4.  Chop all veggies into small pieces and add to a mixing bowl
5.  Chop fresh basil and add both basil and oregano
6.  Add egg white, turkey meat, parm cheese, and panko bread crumbs to bowl
7.  Roll meat in palm of your hands and form into small balls.  This should make approx 15-20 balls
8.  Place meatballs on non-stick baking tray.  Spray with non-stick spray if need be.  Cook meatballs for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through
9.  Place meatballs in sauce to finish cooking.  20 minutes on low should do the trick
10.  To make spaghetti squash - cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  Add one half to a microwave safe dish and add 1/2 inch of water.  Cook on high for 15 minutes repeating with the second half when finished.  Use a fork and scrape the squash out into 'pasta' strands

Makes 4-6 healthy portions! Enjoy :)




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