When people think of the winter holidays, ham and turkey usually come to mind. But when I think of them, all I crave is hearty Italian food. Growing up, my mom didn't have a typical all-American feast for Christmas, but instead gathered around a table full of Grandpa's lasagna, eggplant parmigiana, etc. But as my mom grew up, moved out and became a more Americanized wife and mother, the Italian food slowly went away for Christmas and the ham and turkey came in its place. But feeling closer than ever to my family and roots this year, I'm determined to bring back our Italian traditions this December and I've started with Meatballs. Typically made of ground beef, white bread and breadcrumbs, I've decided to switch things up a bit (for health and allergy reasons) by using turkey, gluten free bread and gluten free breadcrumbs, instead. The traditions are still there but the guilt is gone. Plated on your choice of marinara or topped on your favorite pasta, these meatballs are the perfect comforting munch for this chilly time of year.
What you'll need: serves about 4
1 slice gluten free bread (I used Udi's White GF bread) cut in 1/2 inch cubes
2 - 3 tbsp low fat milk
1lb ground white turkey
1/2 yellow onion (finely chopped)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup gluten free Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
In a small bowl, combine the milk and cubed bread and let the bread completely soak up the milk and break up (about 5 minutes). Add a bit more if needed. In a medium size bowl combine the turkey, onion, garlic, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, soaked bread, oregano, basil and pepper until all is incorporated. But don't over mix! You don't want tough meatballs.
Roll the meat into 1 1/2 inch size balls. In a large fry pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Brown each side (for about 2 mins: total of 8 - 10 mins). Finish cooking them in the oven for another 10 mins at 350 degrees. Plate over a bed of marinara sauce and eat hot!