Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Turkey and Lentil Meatballs

Nothing says cold-weather cooking like "balls n sauce"!

I like to bake these until the they start to form almost a crispy crust on the outside, then finish them in a large pan with sauce.

Very low-calorie, they work out to be about 1 point each on Weight Watchers. It seems like a lot of work just for meatballs, but if you cook the mushrooms while the lentils simmer and assemble the rest of the ingredients while the they cool, then it doesn't take that long.

3 whole bay leaves
1 whole clove garlic, gently smashed
1 1/2 dry lentils, rinsed and picked through
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1 cup mushrooms, finely diced
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 eggs
1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 pound ground turkey, extra-lean

Add the lentils and spices to a medium-sized saucepan and add water until they cover the lentils by an inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove garlic clove and bay leaves, let cool, then mash with a potato masher.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a smaller saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, sweat for several minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add mushrooms and sautee over medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until very soft. Let cool.

In a large bowl, assemble your meatballs! Combine lentils, mushrooms and all remaining ingredients and mix well with gloved hands. Form into approximately 30 meatballs. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

These freeze really well, too, just let them cool at room temperature for at least an hour before sealing in an air-tight baggie.