Tag Archives: meatballs

Spaghetti and (Healthier) Meatballs

Β Spaghetti and Meatballs

Who doesn’t love spaghetti and meatballs? It’s delicious, kid-friendly and it’s the ultimate comfort food. It’s definitely a favourite at our house. The recipe I usually make is one that I got from my mom, who got it from her friend, who got it from her grandmother many, many, many years ago. It’s one of the best spaghetti and meatball dishes I’ve ever had, so I’ve never really played around with the recipe. Why mess with a great thing, right? Last week, however, I felt like playing around with it just a little. I wanted to see if I could make a healthier, yet equally delicious meatball to throw in the sauce. Usually I use a combination of ground pork and ground beef, but to lighten it up, I chose to use ground turkey. I also added some chopped spinach to sneak some extra veggies into the kids. The experiment was a success. The kids ate the meatballs, spinach and all, and my husband actually said he preferred this verion to the original. So here it is, my updated, slightly healthier version of spaghetti and meatballs. I hope you’ll enjoy it, too!

Meatballs:

1 Lbs ground turkey

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 Cup grated parmesan cheese

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Cup fresh spinach, finely chopped

1/4 Cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley

1/4 Cup bread crumbs

salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients. Mix well and form into 1″ meatballs. Set aside.

Sauce:

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 lbs Italian sausage

1 Cup onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 Cup red wine

2 tbsp brown sugar

28 oz crushed tomatoes

1 tsp oregano

1 tbsp basil

3 bay leaves

2 tbsp fresh italian flat leaf parsley

salt and pepper to taste

1 box of your favourite spaghetti

Cut the Italian sausage into 1″ pieces. Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the sausage, onions and garlic and saute until the sausage is browned. Add the red wine. Then stir in the brown sugar, tomatoes, oregano, basil and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer. Add the meatballs to the sauce and continue simmering over low heat for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through.

Prepare spaghetti according to the package. Serve the meatballs and sauce over the spaghetti and top with fresh parsley. Serves 6.

 

 

 

 

 

Greek Meatball Pitas with Mint Yogurt Sauce

I was reading an article the other day that said “Studies show that kids who eat the same meals as their parents are healthier”. It makes sense. Generally, when we prepare typical “kid-friendly” foods we sacrifice nutrition (chicken strips, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese), unless you’re making everything from scratch, which can be really time-consuming. I’m lucky in that my oldest child has always been a very open minded eater. He’ll try almost anything at least once, although he has a very specific list of three things he doesn’t like; tomatoes (unless in sauce or pizza), avocado and raisins. This is really unfortunate for his younger sister, who happens to be a wee bit pickier. Because my son is such a great eater, I’ve never really gotten in the habit of making “kid-friendly” meals. If I am making something that I feel might be a tough sell to the kids, I usually just make them the “broken down” version. A great example is Thai chicken curry. It’s super easy to set aside some cooked chicken, red peppers and rice for the kids without any effort. There are exceptions to this, of course. If we’re having friends or family over, I’ll make something super easy that all the kids will enjoy. After all, when it comes to food we all have a guilty pleasure or two (Or too many to count, in my case).

One of the more “kid-friendly” meals we do have fairly often is stuffed pitas (or wraps). I set out several different bowls of stuffing ideas and let them pick what they like. The only rule is that they have to choose at least three veggies. Β We usually have chicken or chickpeas for some protein and I’ll make tzatziki (super easy). I think the kids like that they get to be in control a bit, it makes it sort of like Subway and my kids love Subway. This week, I decided that I wanted to try something a bit different, Greek meatballs. It worked out really well, except for my daughter, the youngest. With a bit of convincing, though (I stuck a toothpick in her meatballs and told her they were just like lollipops) I was able to get her to try a bite. She ultimately (with some bribery, I’m only human) ate two full meatballs. I’m calling it a great success!

Greek Meatballs

 

Meatballs:

1 Lbs ground beef

1 Lbs ground pork

1 egg

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp oregano

2 tsp cinnamon

1 lemon, zest only, juice reserved

salt and pepper to season

 

Sauce:

1 Cup plain greek yogurt

1 tbsp lemon juice (from above)

1/3 C mint leaves, chopped finely

 

Extras:

Pita bread

assorted veggies; I used lettuce, cucumbers, olives, tomatoes, bell peppers

feta cheese

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.

First make the sauce. Combine the yogurt, lemon juice and mint. Mix well and set in the fridge until ready to serve.

In a small bowl, mix together the oregano, cinnamon, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Lightly beat the egg until the yolk and white are combined. In a large mixing bowl combine the beef, pork, egg, garlic and oregano mixture. Using your hands, mix it all together until well combined. Roll the mixture Β into 1″ balls. Bake for 20 minutes.

Once the meatballs are cooked fill or top your pita with veggies, a few meatballs, sauce and some feta. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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