I'm not typically a 'hide it so they won't know it's there' kind of mom. I want my kids to want to eat real food. To try different flavors and not be afraid of new foods. I know there are truly picky kids, kids with sensory issues, so there are some legitimate exceptions. But for the most part, I like my kids to know what they're eating and enjoy all types of food. These meatballs are a happy medium between hiding veggies (you pack a LOT of veggies in one little meatball) and letting them enjoy the rainbow effect the plethora of veggies packed into these fun bite-sized balls creates. And really, any way to get them to eat more veggies, right?
So it's not a surprise that these are one of my most popular recipes from the Core Recipes book from my Clean Lean Mama course. I've had mamas make this over and over again, messaging me how much their kids love these meatballs, whether over spaghetti or in soup, as you'll see below. And since today is the LAST day to grab Clean Lean Mama for it's original price of $21, I thought I'd share it with you all. Lucky for us mamas, on top of being delicious and kid-friendly, they're really easy to make, and versatile, like in my version of Italian Wedding Soup (I make them nice and big and hearty instead of tiny little bites because let's be real, #aintnomamagottimeforthat). I leave out the orzo pasta (of course, you could always add some in) in favor of more veggies, instead for a warming three-season soup that's as delicious on a rainy day in the spring as it is on a snowy day in the winter.
Loaded Turkey Meatballs Makes 16-20 meatballs 1 lb. ground turkey (beef, bison or lamb also work well) 2 cloves garlic; minced 1/4 cup green onions, sliced very thin 1/4 cup red bell pepper; diced very small 1 1/2 cups leafy greens; chopped finely 1 egg 1 cup almond meal (or panko breadcrumbs) 1 tbsp Italian seasoning 1/2 tsp sea salt 1. Preheat oven to 375. 2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. 3. Grease a nonstick baking sheet well and form mixture into 16-20 balls, depending on size desired. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
Italian Meatball Soup 1 batch loaded turkey meatballs 1 tbsp olive or avocado oil 2 small carrots, peeled and chopped 2 stalks celery, peeled and chopped 1 onion, peeled and chopped 1 clove garlic Juice of half a lemon 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth 4 cups dark leafy greens of choice, chopped sea salt to taste optional: 2 tbsp parmesan cheese + 1 egg, whisked together add-ins: small pasta or rice; spaghetti squash 1. Heat olive oil in soup pot to medium. Add carrots, celery and onion and cook until onions are celery are translucent and carrots are starting to soften. 2. Add garlic and stir to just cook, and add lemon juice and chicken broth. 3. Bring broth to a rolling simmer, add meatballs and cook for 8-10 minutes. 4. Stir in dark leafy greens and let simmer for another couple of minutes. Season to taste.
5. If using parmesan/egg mixture, bring to a low simmer and slowly whisk in mixture while stirring to add some creaminess and texture to broth. Serve hot.