I haven’t met a kid yet who doesn’t love meatballs. They make perfect delivery vehicles for spinach and other greens, and while you’re at it, no one will notice a little added ground flax seed. Omit the breadcrumbs if you want them to be wheat-free, or substitute ground oats. Ground bison is a far leaner alternative to beef, with even less fat than ground turkey or chicken; look in the frozen food section, or ask your butcher.
Uncooked meatballs can be frozen in a single layer on a cookie sheet and then transferred to a freezer bag for up to 6 months. Cook them from frozen.
1 1/2 lb (675 grams) lean ground beef, turkey or bison
1 pkg chopped frozen spinach, thawed
1 slice whole wheat bread, whizzed to crumbs (optional)
1/4 cup (65 mL) grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 tbsp (15 mL) ground flax seed (optional)
salt and pepper
1. Put all the ingredients into a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix it all together by hand without overworking the mixture, which could produce tough meatballs.
2. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
3. Roll the meat mixture into walnut-sized balls and place them on a rimmed baking sheet.
4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through. Alternatively, cook the meatballs in a heavy skillet drizzled with canola or olive oil and set over medium-high heat.
To make spaghetti and meatballs:
Brown the meatballs and then pour tomato sauce overtop; turn the heat down, cover and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through. Frozen meatballs can be cooked in the same way, straight from frozen. Serve with any type of cooked pasta. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen meatballs.
Published March 2010