Meatballs with Garden Greens
Community meeting training session, 11/14/12 – served over spaghetti with tomato sauce
Meatballs are an easy place to put some healthy, vitamin-rich greens into your diet. You can use frozen greens of any kind (spinach, kale, chard, beet greens, etc), from your garden or the grocery store. Serve these meatballs with your favorite pasta sauce and spaghetti. You could also make this recipe into a meatloaf – follow cooking instructions for Italian-Style Meatloaf.
- 10 oz stale bread
- 1/2 cup milk (it can be more sour than you’d want to drink)
- 2 lbs ground beef (OR use 1 lb each ground beef and pork)
- 8 oz frozen greens (spinach, kale, etc), thawed and chopped
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- OR substitute 1 ½ tablespoons Italian seasoning for all the herbs if fresh herbs are unavailable
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Using your hands, rip the stale bread into flaky crumbs. It’s okay if they’re uneven sizes. In a large bowl, pour the milk over the bread and allow the bread to get completely soaked.
Add all remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly to combine (using your hands works best).
Roll mixture into balls. You can bake or pan-fry the meatballs.
OVEN METHOD: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet. Place meatballs on sheet and bake until cooked through with an internal temperature of 160, about 25 minutes.
STOVETOP METHOD: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pan. Add meatballs and cook, turning when they become browned on the bottom, until completely browned and cooked through.
**All ingredients in bold can be grown in your own garden or purchased at a farmers market.**
VARIATION: Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs
Community meeting dinner, 1/23/12
In a baking dish, combine meatballs, 1 lb cooked spaghetti (or other pasta), and 4-6 cups (or 1 jar) tomato sauce. Toss to coat everything evenly with sauce. Top with 1/2 cup of your favorite shredded cheese – mozzarella, parmesan, or other. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbly. Serves 8.