Although I only cook for my husband and myself at home, I have to be creative in order to sneak in the veggies and fiber into our diets however I can. I recently started saving the pulp from my juicer every morning to add to anything from salad dressing to sauces to cakes and most recently, meatballs.
Today I saved the kale, carrot and turmeric remnants to blend into some ground turkey meat for spaghetti and meatballs. I started thinking about this last summer when we participated in the James Beard Build a Better Burger Project. The purpose of this project was to blend vegetables into burgers in order to reduce the calories and promote the consumption of more vegetables into our diets for personal health and for environmental sustainability.
Not only did we blend veggies into burgers but also used the same concept for meatballs, Bolognese, taco fillings and more but today the veggies went into the meatballs. The Kale and carrots gave the meatballs great texture and fiber and the turmeric added some additional nutrition and flavor. But you can use any veggie that you juice with except for cucumber which I use for dressings, raita or in cocktails. Serve with your favorite sauce and pasta and a light bodied North Fork red like the Pinot Noir from Castello di Borghese.
Yields about 20 small meatballs
1 cup of grated veggies (carrots, turmeric, kale and celery-from juicer or freshly grated)
2 cups of ground turkey meat or ground meat of choice
2 tablespoons of minute oats (for binding)
2 tablespoons of water
2 cloves of garlic, mashed and minced
2 shallot, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Chili powder or other seasoning of choice
2 cups of Tomato sauce, homemade or high quality, already seasoned)
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and combine.
Roll into balls and pan sauté until golden brown.
Add to sauce and simmer for another 10 minutes and serve on whole wheat pasta of choice or on sub bread for a hero with a little melted mozzarella!