Turkey Meatballs & Summer Squash

Standard

If you need to make sure your tear ducts are still working, this video will surely do the job. Anyone who knows me well, knows that this video pulls extra hard on my heartstrings. Grab a hanky!

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20728828,00.html

I did the Countdown Workout for the second time today, and my results were the EXACT same. I’m not upset with this, just really surprised. I thought there would be at least a small difference. In due time, I suppose! 😉

DSC02992

Last time D’s family visited, his dad made meatballs and summer squash, all wrapped up in one delicious casserole type dish. It was very, very good and I have been wanting to recreate it. I watched him make his version, and then applied a few “lighter” options to my version.

DSC02924

Start by prepping your veggies. I diced 2 yellow squash, 1 zucchini, 1 medium sweet onion (reserve 1/2 cup for later), and 2 cups sliced mushrooms (not pictured).

DSC02866 DSC02868

Now heat about 2 TBSP olive oil to a heavy pan and saute the veggies over high heat. Once you achieve a good sear, add a splash of red wine. Once the cooked off, turn heat down to medium and saute for only a minute or two. Set aside.

DSC02890 DSC02894

DSC02897 DSC02899

Meanwhile, take reserved 1/2 cup onion, 2 TBSP chopped chives, 1 TBSP fresh oregano, and 1 tsp each of garlic powder, salt, dried basil and Italian seasoning and add to a bowl. Feel free to alter the herbs to your taste!

DSC02875 DSC02871

DSC02870 DSC02883

To the herbs and spices, add 1.25 lbs of ground meat. My father-in-law used beef and sausage, and it was great. I used Italian ground turkey to save a little fat and calories. It worked fine. 🙂 Then add 1 egg, 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, 1/3 cup Parmesan, about 1 TBSP olive oil, 1/4 cup milk (not pictured) and pepper to taste. Mix together lightly.

DSC02884 DSC02885

DSC02886  DSC02889

DSC02888 DSC02887

The next part is pretty important to the meatballs coming out correctly. Form the mixture into balls about 2 inches in size, being very careful not to press too firmly. You want them to be as loose as possible. Personally, I would rather have a tender result at the cost of one or two falling apart. 🙂 They don’t have to be perfect. Over medium high heat, add just enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of a skillet. Once heated, add the meatballs, moving around so that they are browned on all sides.

DSC02896

DSC02898

Once they have browned, remove them from the skillet and let rest while you finish the next steps.

DSC02900

Take one jar of your favorite marinara sauce. You could definitely make your own, as my father in law did. . . or you can buy it. Add about 1 cup of roughly chopped fresh spinach. For extra richness, add a couple tablespoons of heave whippin’ cream or half and half to the sauce. Give it all a whirl.

DSC02902 DSC02903 DSC02904

All that is left is the assembling! I used a 9×9 baking dish, sprayed it liberally, and placed the meatballs on the bottom.

DSC02906

DSC02907

Spread the sauteed veggies across the top of the meatballs, and then evenly distribute the sauce over the top of that.

DSC02909 DSC02910

Top the whole thing with Parmesan and a sprinkling of breadcrumbs. You’re all done!

DSC02913

You can either bake this puppy right away, or foil it up and freeze or refrigerate it until needed. We opted for the immediate baking option.

DSC02915

Bake at 400°F for about 45 minutes, or until mixture is bubbly and the meatballs are cooked through.

DSC02921

Eat it as a meal by itself, or serve with spaghetti or toasted garlic bread. Enjoy! 🙂

DSC02924

Turkey Meatballs & Summer Squash

2 yellow squash, chopped

1 zucchini, chopped

1 medium sweet onion, diced

2 cups sliced mushrooms

2 TBSP olive oil

2 TBSP chive. chopped

1 TBSP fresh oregano, chopped

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp dried basil

1.25 lb Italian ground turkey

1 egg 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1/3 cup Parmesean

1/4 cup milk

1 TBSP olive oil

pepper to taste

1 jar marinara sauce

1 cup fresh baby spinach, chopped

2 TBSP whipping cream or half and half

1. Heat olive oil in a heavy pan over high heat. Add yellow squash, zucchini, onion, and mushrooms. Once seared, add a splash of wine and cook off. Reduce heat and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, take the next 12 ingredients (chives through pepper) and add them to a large mixing bowl. Mix together lightly. Form into 2 inch balls, as loose as possible. Now, add enough vegetable oil to just cover the bottom of a skillet over meduim high heat. Once heated, add the meatballs and brown on all sides. Once browned remove from pan and let rest.

3. In a separate medium sized bowl, add the marinara sauce, spinach and cream. Mix together.

4. To assemble, spray a 9×9 inch baking dish with non stick and add meatballs. Next, add the sauteed veggies and cover it all with the sauce mixture. Top with Parmesan and bake for 45 minutes, or until bubbly and the meatballs are cooked through. Remove from the oven and let rest, covered, for about 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s