Auntie Lo Cooks: Turkey Meatballs

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[infobox subtitle="Turkey, Kale, and Quinoa Meatballs" bg="purple" color="white" opacity="on" space="30" link="no link"]Auntie Lo Cooks![/infobox] So check it: my 10 month old nephew Dylan loves grown-up food.  What can I say?  He is a refined little baby with an advanced palette.  As a recent culinary school grad, I delight in trying out new recipes on him that are both baby and adult friendly.  I mean, who doesn't love a delicious turkey meatball?

The trick with turkey is cooking and flavoring properly, or else you end up with dry, crumbly meat that doesn't taste like much at all.  Turkey should be cooked on a low heat to retain moisture, with lots of seasoning and additional elements to create an enticing meal that is packed full of nutrients.  Meatballs are a great way to accomplish this - you can add almost any vegetable or grain to them and the result is flavor-packed goodness in a neat little package, perfect as a main or side for both babies and grown-ups.

Dylan loves these turkey, kale, and quinoa meatballs and I made enough for him to eat for a couple days!  Definitely give these a try :)

 

Turkey, Kale, and Quinoa Meatballs

 

meatballs

[tabgroup layout="horizontal"] [tab title="Ingredients"]1 lb. ground turkey

3 eggs

1/2 cup crushed garlic croutons or breadcrumbs

1 c. finely chopped kale

1/2 onion, diced

3/4 c. cooked quinoa

2 cloves garlic, finely diced

2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped

1 teaspoon thyme, finely chopped

1/2 c. parmesan cheese, grated

2 tablespoons tomato paste (or ketchup)

1 teaspoon black pepper

3 teaspoons kosher salt

Butter for cooking

Canola Oil for cooking

[/tab] [tab title="Procedure"]1. Start by chopping everything that needs to be processed separately and set aside in bowls: the onions, kale, garlic, basil, and thyme.  Also crush your breadcrumbs, and grate your cheese.  Getting all the elements prepared before beginning to cook is called setting up your "mise en place" - meaning "everything in it's place.  Doing this will make everything easier!

2. Melt a little butter in a small sauté pan and fry up the quinoa for a couple minutes until crunchy.

3. Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl, including the eggs, and work everything together using your hands.

4. Shape all the meatballs before beginning to cook them.  You want them to be the same shape and size so that they cook evenly.

5. Heat canola oil in a med/high pan.  Drop the meatballs in gently - listen for the sizzle of the oil to know the temperature is right.  Brown all the meatballs on one side and flip them, lowering the heat just a bit so the meatballs don't burn.  Flip a third time, lower the heat even more and drop a little butter in the pan.

6. Once all the sides are golden brown, lower the heat to low to finish cooking.  Finishing the meatballs on low heat will result in moist, delicious turkey!  Slice through one meatball to check for doneness - no pink is very important here, especially for baby.

7. Enjoy![/tab] [tab title="Notes"]Serves: 4-5 adults for dinner along with additional sides (about 20 small meatballs)

Difficulty Level: Easy

Time: 45 minutes[/tab] [/tabgroup]