Friday, April 30, 2010

Toddler Meal: Meatballs using green puree

Another meal idea using the green puree. Spagetti with meatballs, or meatball sandwiches. These meatballs are so very tasty tasty. Mmmm...Try them out.

• 6 to 8 tablespoons Green Puree
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 cup wheat germ, unsweetened
• 1 large egg, beaten
• 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
• 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, for browning meatballs

In a large bowl, combine the Green Puree and tomato paste, mixing well (with the back of a fork) until the green color turns brownish. Mix in salt, wheat germ, and egg, and finally add the ground meat and mix with hands until well combined. Using damp hands, pinch off about 2 teaspoons of meat and gently shape mixture into mini meatballs.

(Below are 2 ways to cook the meatballs, depending on how much time you have. You will definitely get out of the kitchen quicker with the oven-baked method, and the result is nearly as good as the pan frying.)

Brown-in-pan method:
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large (10 inch or 12 inch) nonstick skillet over moderately high heat, until hot but not smoking.

2. Add meatballs in four batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Allow to brown on all sides for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally with the help of 2 teaspoons.

3. Reduce heat to low and cook through for another 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and add more oil as needed for the next batch.

4. Serve with toothpicks as " cocktail" meatballs, dropped in almost any soup, or smothered in pasta sauce over spaghetti.

Oven-baked method: (I did this one)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a large cookie sheet with 2 tablespoons of oil, gently place meatballs on sheet, and bake for 10 minutes. Using a spatula to loosen, turn the meatballs over to brown on the other side, then return to oven for another 10 minutes.

2. Serve with toothpicks as " cocktail" meatballs, dropped in almost any soup, or smothered in Easy Homemade Pasta Sauce over spaghetti.

My family just used our spaghetti noodles and spaghetti sauce we already had on hand, to save on time, but Missy Chase Lapine has an excellent recipe for "Saucy" Meat Sauce in her book, and it is truly chock full of good stuff for you. If you are interested in that recipe, and several of her other recipes as well, you can find it here on Google Books.

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