Turkey Meatballs

I’m proud to report that I have been killing it with the running! After 7 days of a horrendous cold and not exercising, I got right back on the train last week and have been running 2.5-2.6 miles per run. I’m slightly interested in doing this hilarious-sounding 5K at the end of the month…I’m gonna just keep chuggin’ along, increasing my distance at a pace that feels right, and we’ll see if I am up to 3 miles by then!

I was planning on running today, but I think I might have to give my legs a rest:

bruises

I feel like a broken record this season, but MAN can some dudes (and chicas) throw hard in our dodgeball league! Check out the bruising and redness on the left. Sidenote: I promise I’m not naked in this picture. Haha.

Last night was playoffs and we were seeded #3 out of 8 …our first game was against a bunch of our friends (it’s actually the team I played on the season I broke my hand) and they gave us a good fight, but we eventually beat them 4-2. Next, we played a team that upset the #2 seed…they did not upset us, as we beat them 6-0 :-P. However, in the championship game we faced a team with one of the best players (and hardest throwers) in the league. We lost the first 3 games, then won the next 3 to tie it up with no time left!

GAAAAHHH my heart was racing. It was intense, guys. {yes, I am aware I am calling a children’s game intense.}

So we played a tiebreaker game and it ended up being me and one other guy versus 5 of them. If you’re the last player in, you can try shooting the ball into the basketball hoop and if you make it, your whole team gets to come back in. So I stepped out and let CJ try for a shot, but he was unsuccessful. So 2nd place it was for us last night! It was an incredibly exciting game though, and I am so glad we came back to tie it!

Fireball shots for everyone!

Anyway, meatballs.

How’s that for a segue?

Since I’ve been running more, I’ve also been packing in the protein. On Wednesday, I made these meatballs with lunch the next day in mind…I knew I’d have to have a good protein-packed lunch to tide me over till dodgeball!

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These turkey meatballs have been my favorite thing to make the last six months. I usually brown them in a skillet, cook them in tomato sauce, and dump them over spaghetti squash, but squash is quickly going out of season…I decided to make the meatballs without it and see if they were any good on their own.

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Good? They’re grrreat! Yes, I just went there.

These meatballs aren’t typical. They aren’t loaded with breadcrumbs (gasp!). Selon moi, all you need for a great meatball is to load it up with fresh herbs. Plus, tis almost the season for me to start sneaking zucchini into everything…why not into meatballs as well? Plus, with extra lean ground turkey, these came out to just 46 calories a pop, with 2.4g fat, .6g fiber, and 4.7g protein…in each one!

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I actually regretted using extra lean ground turkey to make the meatballs this time, however. Use regular or normal lean ground turkey, and rejoice in how juicy and flavorful your meatballs are. They’ll still taste good with extra lean, but they will be dry. Just add sauce!

I feel like there’s a Schweddy Balls joke in here somewhere…

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Turkey Meatballs
makes ~17 meatballs
Inspired by A Cozy Kitchen’s Turkey Zucchini Meatballs

1 package ground turkey (1.25 lbs)
1/2 small onion, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini
1 egg
1 handful fresh herbs, chopped (about 1/4 cup once chopped)
spices, if desired (since I was using cilantro, I added a bit of chile powder and cayenne)
salt & pepper
cooking spray

Start by grating your zucchini. Put it in a strainer or colander, sprinkle with salt and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F and spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Prepare the rest of your ingredients: chop the onion and garlic, as well as your herbs. Once everything is ready to assemble, squeeze out all excess liquid from the zucchini in a clean towel or sturdy paper towel. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl…use your hands! Shape the mixture into equal sized balls – mine were about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

Place meatballs in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, turning once. The meatballs are cooked when the inside is no longer pink, and when the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees.

Notes: See Adrianna’s recipe above for instructions on how to pan fry these. I used cilantro this time, but these are best with basil and/or rosemary.