Funny story… When I was 2 1/2, I asked Santa for “meatballs and a babydoll” for Christmas. Santa delivered with my favorite meatballs from a local Italian deli. When “Santa” went into the deli on Christmas Eve and explained his (her) need for the meatballs they thought it was so cute they gave them to us for free. I may be one of the only kids who have gotten meatballs in their stocking. I literally grew up on these meatballs. We ate at the deli often and always had a huge bag in our freezer for at home meals as well. Im not so sure how healthy they were, and I’m not so sure I want to know. Denial is a good place to be sometimes!
Well in order to get my red meat in this week, I made nothing other than italian meatballs. I try to eat red meat once a week for iron while breastfeeding. I try hard to get lots in from vegetarian sources as well but that’s not enough to help my lower than desired iron levels. I often make these with ground chicken or turkey as well.
Italian Meatballs: makes 20 meatballs
1 pound ground beef (or chicken or turkey)
1/4 cup bread crumbs (I use Ezekiel sprouted bread)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, chopped (or 1 tsp of pre-minced garlic)
1/2 tsp oregano
olive oil cooking spray
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix together. I only made a half batch when I took these pictures so I just mixed everything in the baggie my meat was in.
Shape into balls. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Cook meatballs, turning frequently until all sides are browned. Turn to low and cook for another 10 minutes or until center is no longer pink.
Don’t overcook. We don’t want a dry meatball. That’s one reason I like meatballs with red meat because they can be a little less cooked and its not dangerous like uncooked poultry.
Serve them up with your favorite pasta dish.
My dinner was elbow macaroni and steamed Kale mixed with a garlic yogurt sauce, topped with 5 Italian meatballs. You could also make the meatballs ahead and freeze them to use for quick weeknight meals.
Now that I think about it, I should have asked the Easter Bunny to make me these meatballs and leave them in my Easter basket. It worked for me once!