instant gramming

June 23, 2010

Meatballs & Kale

This is a recipe that became a favorite of mine after the first bite the first time we had made it. It's adapted from a recipe called "Mini Meatballs with Kale and Orecchiette" from Frances Largeman-Roth's Feed the Belly: The Pregnant Mom's Healthy Eating Guide. Recently we had plenty of kale to harvest but just a fraction of the amount of parsley needed. I'll post the original recipe and include notes about what we do differently...

1 c. finely chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 tablespoons plain, low-fat Greek-style yogurt [omitted for convenience]
1 pound ground bison or lamb [substitute ground turkey]
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c. chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground allspice [omitted since we don't have it]
3/4 tsp Worchesershire sauce [I'm sure we put in more than this]
1-1/2 tbsp olive oil
10 oz package of dried orecchiette [substitute whole grain pasta, like rigatoni]
1-1/4 c. chicken broth
1 bunch kale (5 cups), chopped
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tbsp grated Parmesan, for serving
1. Combine the first 11 ingredients in a large bowl; stir with spatula [or clean hands] until well combined
2. Place large pot of water on stove to boil; preheat oven to 350-degrees-Eff
3. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Spoon out meat mixture and shape into meatballs by rolling mixture between your hands. Set meatballs on the lined baking sheet
4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Working in batches, add meatballs in an even layer, and cook on each side for 5 minutes, or until evenly browned. Transfer cooked meatballs to baking dish and place in preheated over for 10 minutes to finish cooking
5. Cook the orecchiette [or pasta]; drain
6. Using the same skillet (don't clean it!), add 1/4 c chicken broth and use a spatula to scrape up the browned bits from the pan. Add the chopped kale, cover, and heat over med-high for about 8 minutes or until wilted. Sprinkle the kale with pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp of remaining salt, and add remaining cup of chicken broth. Bring to simmer for 5 minutes
6. Combine the meatballs, kale, and any remaining liquid in a large bowl with the orecchiette [or pasta]. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve hot.
Note: we usually only prepare half this recipe when cooking for only the two of us. Kale is crazy good for you and this recipe will make your mind explode because it is so perfect. Please try it once. It's such an easy recipe and will change your life, I'm sure of it.

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