This was originally posted from my other blog.
On my way to the last Harry Potter movie ever I grabbed a meatball sandwich from Subway. They’re pretty good and only five dollars for a footlong. However, the meatballs tasted kinda funny. I kept eating most of the sandwich b/c well I was hungry and paid for it and that’s just the type of person I am. BUT. I thought to myself, I can make this. I can make this better.
So I made meatballs. Healthy meatballs. The recipe takes about two hours total, but you make a lot. I froze what I didn’t use this week. I’ve had two meatball sandwiches for lunch this week and I’m pretty sure I can have two meatball sandwiches at work for the next two months. (Update: I’ve eaten 2-5 meatball sandwiches a month since mid-July! Such a nice backup to have for work when I’m busy and don’t have much time.)
Here is the recipe w/my modifications included in pink:
- 1/2 cup bulgur, (see Ingredient Note)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 8 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
- 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper After reading one review I decided to put a little more kick in the meatballs. I at least doubled the amount and they came out with a nice little kick of flavor. If you really want spicy I would say add 1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons
- 2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes I stopped by the clearance racks at my grocery store– which consists of dented cans and found 1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes half off. I also found two 7.5 oz cans half off, one that was fire roasted tomatoes and garlic, the other tomatoes with onions and green peppers. They added just a lil more flavor. I also used less garlic b/c I can had garlic in it.
4 cups diced plum tomatoes, (about 1 1/2 pounds)After reading one review that said it was too saucy and knowing that I wanted these for sandwiches and not pasta I completely cut out this part of the recipe.
- 2 cups cubed whole-wheat country bread I used regular sized bread crumbs and the consistency turned out great.
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- 1 pound 93%-lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Place bulgur in a medium bowl and cover generously with hot water. Let soak for 30 minutes. Drain in a fine sieve, pressing to remove excess liquid.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. (I used a large sauce pan.) Add garlic, oregano and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, about 1 minute. Stir in canned tomatoes
and plum tomatoes;increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. Partially cover and let simmer while you prepare meatballs. Place bread in a medium bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak for a few minutes. Drain and squeeze out moisture.
- Whisk egg and egg white in a large bowl. Add the bulgur, the bread, beef, Parmesan, cinnamon, pepper and salt. Gently combine with a potato masher and/or your hands. Form into 20 oval meatballs about 2 inches long.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; blot with paper towels. Brown the remaining meatballs.
- Mash the simmering tomato sauce with a potato masher to break down any large chunks of tomato. Add the meatballs to the sauce. Simmer over low heat, partially covered, for 50 minutes.
- Taste the sauce and add sugar, if it seems tart, and additional pepper to taste. Serve the meatballs with the sauce.
Tips & Notes:
- Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Ingredient note: Bulgur is made by parboiling, drying and coarsely grinding or cracking wheat berries. It simply needs a quick soak in hot water for most uses. Look for it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets, or near other grains.
I bought some nice sandwich rolls to complement my meatballs. I keep them separated at work until I’m ready to eat. Then I microwave the meatballs and put the roll into the toaster oven. Viola!!
Per serving: 283 calories; 11 g fat ( 4 g sat , 4 g mono ); 73 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrates; 23 g protein; 5 g fiber; 687 mg sodium; 271 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (60% daily value), Vitamin A (30% dv).