lunchbox life: turkey zucchini meatballs with tomato sauce

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Happy Sunday, everyone!  I can’t believe the weekend is already over, but here we are again, tupperware in hand.  Teachers everywhere are counting down the school days until summer (15 officially, with 2 extra work days, but who’s counting?), and while I’m sad that I’ll only have two more lunchbox life posts for a while, I am super excited about waking up with the sun soon!

That said, I am really proud of this week’s concoction.  These ground turkey meatballs are filled with yummy onion and zucchini and topped with a luscious tomato sauce with herbs picked right from our garden.  I love these because they are full of flavor and taste like you’re splurging, but in reality, each meatball is about 85 calories.  Ground turkey the perfect balance of robust flavor without the heartburn of fatty beef.  I’m not against beef; I love it as a treat here and there.  As a staple, though, I’m so accustomed to ground turkey for spaghetti, tacos, and burgers that the beef versions are too heavy for me at lunch.

Mangoes were on sale at Publix, so they’re my side for the week–who doesn’t love mangoes?

Here we go!  Let’s all have an energetic week and hope that Friday gets here quickly!

Turkey Zucchini Meatballs

1 1/4 lb ground turkey

3/4 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 medium onion, grated

4garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup grated zucchini (about 1 small zucchini)

1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

pinch of red pepper flakes

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. ground oregano

1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper

1 egg, beaten

2 cups tomato sauce (recipe to follow)

grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Thoroughly coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, grated onion, garlic, zucchini, parsley, dried chile flakes, soy sauce, oregano, ground pepper and egg. Mix well to combine. Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon portion of the turkey mixture, form meatballs by rolling between the palms of your hands. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly.

Bake until the meatballs are firm to the touch and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Transfer the meatballs to the tomato sauce and gently stir to coat the meatballs.

Tomato Sauce

1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes

pinch of red pepper flakes

1 Tbsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. Kosher salt

2 Tbsp. herbs (I used sage, oregano, thyme, basil), finely chopped

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan.  Simmer for at least 20 minutes.

WWinfo: three meatballs with sauce 6pp

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