Ok, I get making meatballs isn't a new idea by any means, but it's not something I really ever made before.
So I looked up a quick recipe, put together everything and made meatballs.
Sadly, they were SO dry. The taste was good, but the texture was not great, which can often happen when you try to use a lean protein product.
I LOVE mushrooms. They have a meaty flavor and can be used as a way to add some volume to your meat while also adding some great moisture. You'll end up with more meatballs that are about 1/3 mushroom.
I've used mushrooms as a way of adding moisture to ground turkey/chicken before and figured I'd try it out in this.
Oh em gee, they were amazing! When putting together the recipe, I didn't really measure anything so I knew I'd have to make them again but actually measure everything so I can share it with all you wonderful readers!
I tried again, the taste was off.
It probably took over 10 tries to come up with the correct formula for these meatballs but alas, FINALLY, I got it!
I also cook them in my creamy mushroom sauce, which enhances the flavor of the mushrooms and adds a different spin to your normal meatball recipe.
I'm so excited for this stage of my career and hopefully now will have the time to continue blogging more and more!
As 2016 approaches, I would love to hear more about what you guys want to see from the blog.
Do you want more vegetarian/vegan ideas?
Do you want more nutrition information in the posts?
How about ideas to make for the entire meal? Let me know what you love!
Leave me a comment, or you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org...
Now that the logistics have been covered, I think it's time to get cooking!
Servings: About 5
Serving Size: 4 meatballs
1 pound ground turkey,99% lean
2 - 8oz containers white button mushrooms*
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup + 1tbsp panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
*we'll be using 1 and 1/2 of these containers for the meatballs, saving the other half for the sauce*
Creamy Mushroom Sauce
1/2 tbsp olive oil
8oz container baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
Half of 8oz container white button mushrooms (leftover from meatball recipe), sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp dry white wine (optional)
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese (plus extra for garnish)
1 cup kale, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 box of whole grain spaghetti
Instructions - Meatballs
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place 1 and 1/2 containers of whole button mushrooms into food processor with garlic. Chop/process until mushrooms become the consistency of a paste.
3. Heat a pan on medium heat and add mushrooms. It will only take about 4-5 minutes and it is cooked when the mushroom paste goes from a reddish-brown color to a darker brown color. Place into a strainer, with a bowl underneath to catch any moisture. Place into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to allow mushrooms to cool.
4. In a mixing bowl, add remaining ingredients plus the cooled down mushroom paste.
5. Mix everything together gently until all ingredients are combined. Roll meatballs into the size of a ping pong ball, which should make about 20 meatballs. Place on baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.
Instructions - Creamy Mushroom Sauce
1. Boil water for pasta and cook according to package directions.
2. Heat large sauce pan on medium-high heat with 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Slice remaining white button mushrooms left over from meatball recipe. Add these with portobello mushrooms into pan and saute until fully cooked.
3. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in white wine, allow to reduce and remove mushrooms from pan. Set aside.
4. Heat butter and flour in the same pan. Whisk together and allow to cook about 1 minute. Once the flour smells nutty and begins to lightly brown, slowly add in vegetable broth while continuously whisking.
5. Add in milk, parmesan cheese, and cooked mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Bring up to a boil.
6. Once meatballs are done in the oven, add to the sauce and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, covered. Stir every few minutes.
7. Before serving, add in kale and allow to cook until wilted.
7. Toss pasta with the sauce and garnish with parmesan cheese.
You will be AMAZED that you can get some a nice, moist texture from these meatballs using a lean ground meat without having to fry them. You can also use ground chicken, ground pork, even ground lean beef.
Serve this with a side salad of some fresh ingredients to balance the creaminess of this pasta dish and you have one perfect meal!
You can also make the meatballs for a meatball sub, or even as an appetizer. It's lean, healthy and you won't miss the fat!
However you do it, make it how you love it!
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
Can't wait to see what 2016 has in store.
Lots of LOVE,