When I say “meatball,” what comes to mind (aside from a visual image of a meatball)? I have fond memories of eating meatballs as a child. My mom would make all sorts, from grape jelly to brown gravy to marinara sauce to ketchup. I realized after a few years of living on my own that I never made meatballs! My husband loves them, and I enjoy them as well, so why have I never made them before?
Perhaps I thought they were time consuming or tricky to make. Maybe I went through a no-meatball funk. Whatever the reason, I’ve changed my mind.
I began with this basic turkey meatball. It’s classic! Ground turkey makes up the base (you could substitute this with beef or chicken). Toss in a bunch of flavorful herbs and an egg to bind it all together. That’s it. No seriously, that takes a total of 2 minutes (because unscrewing and re-screwing all of those herb jars takes time.).
Next, work a bit of the mixture into the shape of a mini meatball. You can use a spoon or a melon ball scoop, but hands are just the fastest and easiest method. Note: remove any rings before you stick your hands into this raw meat mixture. You can make the meatballs any size you’d like, but be sure to keep a consistent size across the entire batch. Note: the smaller the meatball, the faster it cooks.
After these lovely meatballs, I ventured into adding spinach to my turkey meatballs. While it was good, I wanted to sneak in even more veggies and nutrients, so I branched out and made these amazing turkey, lentil, spinach, parmesan meatballs. (You can find that recipe here.) Those were such a hit that I made an extra batch to store in the freezer for a quick meal. As a parent, I’m sure you appreciate all of the hidden vegetables that you kids consume but they can’t taste!
Start with these base recipe, then add in more ingredients, such as spinach or carrots or parmesan cheese. Be a scientist in your own kitchen, and invite your kids into the process too!
- 1 eggplant, diced
- 2 to matoes, diced
- ½ pound of ground beef
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- cooking cream, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Place ground beef in a pan with a dash of salt and pepper. Heat until the beef is no longer red. Set aside.
- In a separate pan, cook the eggplant, tomatoes, olive oil, and garlic until eggplant is fully cooked.
- Place the ingredients in a greased casserole dish layer by layer in this order: eggplant mixture, ground beef, then cheese on top.
- If you would like it to be more creamy, then you can add 4 tablespoons of cooking cream.
- Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 194 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 39mg Sodium: 134mg Carbohydrates: 9g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 3g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 11g