Meatball Mania

25 01 2012

Healthy Meatballs – I saw them making this recipe on CityLine Tv this morning.  I like to try to make something different for dinner.  I like the idea of combining lean ground beef and turkey.  You still have the meaty flavor but it’s healthier – using the turkey as well.

Recipe adapted from: My Mom’s Mini Meatloaf circa 1960 out of ” Healthy Starts Here ”

This recipe is versatile. Make it as is, or divide the mixture in half and create Mexican-style or Italian-style meatballs! Pack in a thermos for hot meatballs or in a cooler bag for chilled ones.

1 ½ cups (375 mL) soft bread crumbs made with 100% whole grain whole-wheat bread (approx 1 ½ – 2 slices)
2 large shallots, peeled and chopped in half
6 cloves garlic, peeled, whole
½ tsp (2 mL) dried sage leaves
½ tsp (2 mL) paprika
¼ tsp (1 mL) cracked black pepper
½ cup (125 mL) ketchup, organic if possible
One 5.5 fl oz (156 mL) can tomato paste
1 lb (500 g) extra lean ground beef
1 lb (500 g) extra lean ground turkey (some packages of ground turkey come in 450 g – it’s okay to use this one!)

Mexican Meatballs (to make half of the meat Mexican-style – if you want to make the entire recipe Mexican-style, double the spices)
To ½ meat recipe add: ½ tsp (2 mL) each of ground cumin, coriander, and oregano

Italian Meatballs: (to make half of the meat Italian-style – if you want to make the entire recipe Italian-style, double the spices)
To ½ meat recipe add: 1 tbsp (15 mL) Italian seasonings

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease two 24-mini-muffin tins with canola oil spray or oil. Set aside.
2. Break the bread up into chunks and place in a food processor or blender. Pulse until you have soft bread crumbs. Add shallots and garlic and pulse until minced.
3. Add paprika, sage, pepper, ketchup, and tomato paste, pulse until well mixed.
4. In a large bowl mix together ground beef and turkey with the bread crumb/spice mixture and stir all of this together really well using a large spoon or your hands. (Just another great reason to wash your hands before and after any cooking.)
5. Either make into meatballs as is, or divide mixture in half.
6. To make the Mexican Meatballs add the spices (see above), mix well, and then scoop meatballs into prepared pan. Makes 20-22.
7. To make the Italian Meatballs add spice (see above), mix well, and then scoop meatballs into prepared pan. Makes 20-22.
8. Place both pans in oven and cook for 40-50 minutes or until cooked through. (Health Canada advises to cook until a meat thermometer reads 160°F (71°C) at the centre each mini meatball.)
9. Remove from oven and let set for 10 minutes. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze in threes.

One serving = 3 meatballs.
One serving contains: 260 Calories, 9.6 g Total Fat, 3.3 g Sat Fat, 0.2 g Trans Fat, 165 mg Sodium, 13.3 g Carbs, 2 g Fiber, 5.2 g Sugar, 19 g Protein

Today is about a week until we are into February.   I think I will be glad to turn the calendar over.  We need some more sunshine!!

Have you checked out “Julie’s Cooking” – my website lately?  I’m located at   I’ve made a few changes – I have added for my Canadian friends and family.  Even if you are on most of the shopping pages – there is a spot at the top where you can select which country you are in.  We want you to be able to shop very easily.  If you haven’t “liked” me on “Julie’s Cooking” on Facebook please head over now.   I really appreciate all the support I can get.  Feel free to leave me a comment.  I really appreciate your input.  Have a good night or day  – depending on what part of the world you are in.


Love Squid – Makes me miss Portugal!

22 11 2011

Marinated Grilled Squid with Sambal Vinaigrette
by Chef Rob Feenie

20 tubes squid, cleaned and rinsed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 lemon, segments only
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped thyme and parsley
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp cracked black pepper
2 to 3 tbsp Sambal Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Frisée to garnish

Cut a few slashes in the squid with the tip of a sharp knife. Combine olive oil, garlic, lemon segments and juice, fresh herbs, salt and pepper in a bowl. Pour over squid and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat grill to high heat. Cook the squid 20 to 30 seconds on each side. Place squid in the middle of a bowl or plate. Top with frisée and drizzle with vinaigrette. Serves 4.

Sambal Vinaigrette
1 tbsp sambal (chili relish)
¼ tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp rice vinegar
¼ cup olive oil

In a small bowl whisk together sambal, garlic, lemon juice and rice vinegar. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes about ⅔ cup.

We do miss Lulas in Portugal.  You can have them in a salad, room temperature, barbequed or sauteed in a frying pan.  They are good for an appetizer or you can eat them as an entree.  In Canada we fry them up with batter and call them calamari and it is a popular starter on menus.  After having Lulas naturally I don’t care much for calamari as much.  In our local Greek restaurant we asked for squid and it was done nicely -very natural but not everyone in Canada is used to that.  I , on the other hand and of course my Portuguese husband was mpressed!

If you want to go to Portugal for a vacation we would be happy to let you know of some of my husband’s recommends.  I have been twice now and am looking forward to our next trip.  Scenery, food, wine, beaches – you can’t miss!  If you have family there too – you are lucky!