Courtesy of Jennifer Iserloh

Next time you make meatballs, beef up the nutrition by adding kale. This hearty dinner is perfect for Sunday night dinner with the family or to enjoy as lunch throughout the week. If you want a pasta-free base for your meal, shred zucchini and toss in a little olive oil or serve the meatballs over a bed of greens.

Serves 8

2 cups packed kale leaves, thinly sliced
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs or gluten free breadcrumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 egg
1/4 basil leaves,chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup canned tomato paste
2 26 ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 pound whole grain pasta, quinoa pasta, or gluten free pasta

In a large bowl, combine the kale, breadcrumbs, cheese, egg, basil, and garlic salt with 1/2 cup of water until the breadcrumbs are moistened. Add the meat, mix well and form into 2-inch diameter meatballs. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat and brown the half meatballs turning occasionally 4 to 5 minutes until brown.

Repeat with remaining oil and meatballs. Turn the heat down to medium low, add the tomato paste. Without stirring, allow the tomato paste to brown 1 to 2 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, cover, and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve over pasta if using.

Nutritional Stats Per Serving (2 large meatballs with sauce): 386 calories, 30 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 19 g fat (7 g saturated), 106 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 649 mg sodium, 2 g sugar.

Nutritional Stats Per Serving (2 large meatballs, 1/2 cup cooked pasta): 584 calories, 39 g protein, 66 g carbohydrates, 20 g fat (7 g saturated), 105 mg cholesterol, 7 g fiber,677 mg sodium 8 g sugar.

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