Healthy Turkey Meatballs + Veggie Tomoato Sauce

New year, new things! I'm on a roll with cooking new recipes and using ingredients that I've never even thought of buying i.e. eggplant, bok choy, lentils, chickpeas, etc. Big props to Buzz Feed's clean eating guide! I tested out some of their recipes and I can honestly say they are all delicious. I also discovered that chickpeas are sort of meh to me.  The recipe that shocked me the most was the baked turkey meatballs and homemade tomato sauce.  There's a secret ingredient that keeps the meatballs in the "clean eating" category ...  it's rolled oats! The oats replace the bread crumbs; its crazy talk, but it works.

TOMATO SAUCE via Buzz Feed Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 of a yellow onion 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1 medium carrot, peeled & chopped 3 garlic cloves, chopped 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar 1 15-oz can of diced tomatoes 6 basil leaves, chopped kosher salt,  freshly ground pepper & cayenne pepper for heat (optional)

Procedure:

  • Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onion, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened 3 - 4 minutes.
  • Add carrot and garlic and cook until carrot is soft, about 7 minutes.
  • Increase the heat to high, then add the balsamic vinegar. Stir the vegetables around the pan and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about a minute.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and basil and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Season with freshly ground pepper and cayenne (if you are using that). Cover, and simmer 30 minutes.
  • Remove lid and let the sauce cool for 10 minutes.

When the mixture has cooled slightly, transfer to a blender and puree until there are no large chunks. Tomato sauce will keep for up to 5 days, refrigerated in an airtight container. 

Turkey Meatballs - Makes 9 balls depending on your roll size

Ingredients: 1/2 cup rolled oats 2 eggs 1 package of lean ground turkey 4 basil leaves, chopped 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt freshly ground pepper

Procedure:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • While the tomato sauce is simmering, pulse oats in a food processor until they look like bread crumbs.
  • Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until the mixture is combined and uniform throughout (I used my hands).
  • Roll the mixture into balls and space them out on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through (there should be no pink inside, and a thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165°F).
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Place your turkey balls in a bowl and pour the sauce on top.

Bon Appétit!