Get Ripped Tip: Turkey & Spinach Meat Balls Recipe

As I come up with recipes to share with you all, I’m actually looking for recipes to make during the week for my own family . These have to be ‘kid friendly’ but also pack enough punch for for adults to enjoy. I also love to recommend my favorite recipes to my clients, so I always make sure the nutritional content of each meal is up to par!

Being the Italian that I am, I was on the search for a healthy meat ball recipe. I can remember my Grandma making the best meatballs, of course loaded with sodium, carbs from the bread crumbs & using regular beef w/ 20% fat or more.  That won’t fly anymore, so here’s a twist on my Grandmas recipe, made with lean turkey and spinach.

Turkey Balls Ingredients

• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 large onion, finely chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
• 1 teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
• ¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
• ½ teaspoon dried oregano
• 16 oz frozen chopped spinach (defrosted, drained, and squeezed to remove excess water)
• 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (Tip: Sodium Free)
• ⅓ cup chicken broth
• 2½ lbs lean ground turkey
• ¾ cup bread crumbs (Tip: Use as little as possible, it only keeps the meat held together so add as needed)
• 2 large eggs

Turkey Balls Ingredients

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a large baking sheet by spraying with cooking spray.
2. In a frying pan on medium heat, heat olive oil until hot. Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano. Sauté until onion is tender (about 5-6 minutes total time).
3. Add spinach to pan and combine with onion mixture. Add Worcestershire and chicken broth and mix well to combine. Cook until most of the liquid has cooked out (evaporated). Depending on how well the spinach was rung out, you may have a bit more liquid in pan & that’s okay. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
4. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, bread crumbs, and egg. Add cooled onion/spinach mixture to the meat.
5. With your hands, create meatballs that are about 1 – 1½ inches in diameter and place them on the baking sheet. Leave a little bit of space between each meatball. When you are done shaping your meatballs, you will probably have about 40-42 meatballs from this recipe. Don’t need that many? Freeze them after baking or cut this recipe in half (but I say freeze them and then you’ve done the work only once and have a future meal).
6. Bake until your meatballs are cooked through with an internal temperature of 160 degrees F, approx. 20 minutes. Serve with a spinach salad & balsamic dressing or a veggie.


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Jerilyn’s #GetRippedTip #1: Fresh vs Frozen vs Canned Vegetables

Which is the most nutritious: CANNED, FROZEN, or FRESH VEGETABLES?

You’re probably thinking fresh veggies are always the way to go, right? Well, that answer may vary. Let’s take a look at some of the vegetable options you have for healthy eating!

Your best choice is to purchase Organic, Non-GMO, pesticide-free produce. These veggies go from the farm to your table without losing much nutritional content. Eating produce that is natural and as close to its original state is the way to go. However, depending on your location, you may not have access to fresh vegetables. In Indiana, for instance, winter is not a prime time for great local produce. The key is to buy what you need and consume or cook them as quickly as possible. As time passes, and those veggies sit in your fridge, they may lose some of their nutritional value. If you’re worried about not being about to consume your vegetables in time, there are definitely smart alternatives for you!

Frozen organic vegetables are great alternatives to fresh ones, especially during the tough Indiana winter. Usually, these veggies are flash frozen in the prime of their harvest. That means they are frozen at the very peak of their nutrition! As long as you prepare them by naturally thawing the veggies or lightly steaming, they will be almost as great as the fresh-picked version.

Canned vegetables are the least nutritious of these three options. Just like the frozen version, these veggies are also canned at the peak of their freshness, but there is a downfall. A lot of these products lose the majority of their original nutrition power during the canning process. Canned veggies often have tons of sodium and salt added to aid in preservation. The same chemicals that help them stay “fresh” are what’s killing their nutritional content.

The worst thing about vegetables in a can is the probable occurrence of chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, in the canning process. BPA is a chemical in which you should avoid at all costs. BPA has been linked to several health complications, such as prostate cancer, diabetes and insulin resistance. If you must eat vegetables from a can, try to find an Organic brand that does not add salt or preservatives to the product.

Finally, how you cook – or don’t cook – your vegetables also plays a part in their nutrient content. Most vegetables can be eaten raw, and eating them raw has tremendous benefits. Another great way to prepare your produce is to lightly steam them. Beware, if you overcook your veggies, they can lose most or all of their nutritional value. Try to avoid cooking them at high heats for a long period of time or boiling them in large amounts of water for a long period of time.

Happy eating,