Saturday, August 14, 2010

Meatball Madness

I've been trying to incorporate more veggies into my meals. I've posted my mac n cheese with cauliflower or broccoli. I like to add beans to my meat sauces. I even load up my egg white omelets with fresh veggies.

Last week Jon and I enjoyed "imitation spaghetti aka veggie spaghetti". You may be scratching your head on this one, let me explain:

Split a spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Place in a shallow glass dish. Add about 1/2 cup of water and steam in the microwave until tender. Separate the strands into a bowl. Lightly season with salt and pepper. In individual bowls, top each serving with browned ground turkey or ground beef and your favorite red sauce. Super easy, very yummy. Even my hubby enjoys this meal.

I love gyros. For those of you have never had a gyro, you are missing out big time! A gyro is a Greek sandwich made up of a heavily seasoned, rotisseried meat (usually lamb), lettuce, tomato, onion, and a cucumber-yogurt sauce called tzatziki sauce, all tucked into a grilled pita bread. I only indulge in them twice a year. Once at our local Tall Timber Days festival. And then again a few weeks later at the county fair. But, last week that all changed.

I was reading through my blog roll and came across this recipe:

Yep, I had to try it. The only catch? I don't dig zucchini. Pretty much at all. The baby zucchini are OK, and I have an amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe that uses shredded zucchini, but most of the time I won't even acknowledge it exists.

I thought on this recipe from the moment I read it. The inspiration was right there, I just couldn't quite piece together what I wanted. Then it hit me. Leftover spaghetti squash. So I gave it a whirl today. The result?

Make a double batch.

They turned out so great! I made a single batch and scaled my meatballs down to the size of marbles. Half of the meatballs were set aside and will be used in my Mom's Italian wedding soup recipe tomorrow. Two birds, one stone :)

I served our home-made "gyros" on fresh sourdough baguette that I had pulled some of the middle out of. I did this to make room for the meat so it wouldn't roll away.

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friend. Cheers!

Gyro Inspired Meatballs
Makes 90 marble sized
12 calories per

20 oz lean turkey, I used 93/7
2 TBS grated onion
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 TBS shredded Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup cooked spaghetti squash, chopped about the size of the Parmesan
2 egg whites
1/8 cup dry breadcrumbs
1-2 TBS fresh mint, chopped
3 TBS fresh parsley, chopped
1 TBS fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper

In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients. Mix until just pulled together and evenly distributed. If you overwork the meat, the meatballs with be tough.

Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Using a 1/2 tsp measure or the small size on a melon baller, form meat into marble sized balls.

Spray a skillet with cooking spray. Add meatballs. Cook over medium heat, turning frequently until no longer pink, about 8-10 minutes. You will need to do this in batches to prevent burning or overcrowding.

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