Recipes

Entrees: Meat

Baked Beef Meatballs (With Spinach) and Tomato Sauce

I pair these meatballs with a homemade tomato sauce, but you can serve them with a sauce of your choosing.

Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled or diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 can (6 ounces) low-sodium tomato paste + 3-6 ounces more if necessary to thicken
  • 1/2 cup light or nonalcoholic beer or wine or broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or white pepper

MeatBalls:

  • 1 1/2 pounds super-lean ground beef (around 6% fat)
  • 1 1/2 cups (10-ounce box) frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1/2 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large beaten egg (omega-3, if available) or 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup seasoned or plain dry bread crumbs

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. To make the sauce: add the oil to a large nonstick saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add the tomatoes; tomato paste; beer, wine or broth; Italian seasoning; garlic powder; parsley; salt, if desired; and pepper. Use a potato masher to crush the tomatoes while the mixture heats up. When the mixture comes to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes.
  3. To make the meatballs: In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, spinach, Parmesan cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and 1/4-cup of the bread crumbs. Using your hands or a standing mixer, mix all ingredients together until nicely blended.
  4. Place remaining 1/2-cup bread crumbs in a small bowl. Shape meatballs using a cookie scoop to measure exactly 1/8-cup. Roll each in the bread crumbs and lightly coat with canola-oil cooking spray. Place each in a mini muffin cup (or on a nonstick jelly-roll pan). Bake for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked throughout and nicely brown on the outside. Serve with the pizza sauce as either an appetizer or entree.

Yield:
5 main dish servings and 4 cups of sauce

Nutritional Information:
Per serving: 337 calories, 26 g protein, 31 g carbohydrate, 12 g fat, 3.7 g saturated fat, 33 mg cholesterol, 5.3 g fiber, 990 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 32 percent.

© 2008 Elaine Magee


Last Editorial Review: 4/7/2008




STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!