Ratatouille and Baked Turkey Spinach Meatballs

I’ve been busy with this course that I am taking online. So, many apologies for failing to post anything on here. If you follow my Instagram (@nxbeautii) you will find more photos and maybe even snippets of some recipes.

Being overseas, the only option as far as school (in the field of my choice) has to be done online. Even then, it’s just basic certification courses. I’m currently taking advantage of a “military spousal grant” that covers $4,000 worth of classes towards a certificate or an Associate’s degree. Hey, why not? Pretty much a free course right there, baby. I was able to find a school that accepts the grant and offers something I’m interested in. Escoffier Online International Culinary Academy is out of Texas but offers online courses towards a certification towards “Culinary Fundamentals” and “Pastry Arts”. Each are three month course and teaches you, just that, the fundamentals of culinary and pastry arts. It gives you the tools you need to become a better cook/chef. I figured it would help me become better and learn more of what works well with each other. I am a month in and I am SLACKING, lol. Online education is very difficult to me as I am a hands on student. Let’s pray these next few weeks are better for me.

Any who, you guys seen that Disney Pixar movie, “Ratatouille” where the rat is pretty much a gourmet chef and cooks for the kid that is supposed to be the bus boy? It happens to be one of my favorite movies. A talking rat and [French] cooking? Ha! I’m SOLD! I love it!!

ratatouille

This is so me in the kitchen sometimes.

Tonight, I decided to make a slightly different version of Ratatouille. And meatballs. Yes. I love meatballs.

 

Ingredients:

For meatsballs:

  • 1 pound extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup fresh chopped spinach
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup diced white onions
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt & pepper to taste

For Ratatouille:

  • 1 large zucchini, chopped into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 cups white button mushrooms, chopped into equal chunks
  • 2 large bell pepper, chopped into 1 inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup diced white onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 12 oz can of stewed tomatoes (I used Del Monte)
  • 1/2 cup of tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup of low sodium chicken stock (I used a homemade version)

IMG_4291

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In medium mixing bowl, combine ingredients for meatballs. Mix well, with hands.
  2. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper (nothing sticks to it!). Roll meatballs to about golf ball size.
  3. Bake for about 30-40 minutes depending on the size of your meatballs. Internal temperature should reach 160 degrees.
  4. While meatballs are baking, heat medium sized pot medium-high heat. Sauté onions and garlic until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add in zucchini, mushrooms, and peppers. Toss in for about another 5 minutes. Does not have to be cooked through at this point.
  6. Drain out the juices from the can of stewed tomatoes. You will only be using the tomato chunks. You can substitute for whole fresh tomatoes, but I’m not a huge fan of the veggie, so I cheat and use cans, hehe. Add stewed tomatoes, the tomato puree, and chicken stock to pot. Mix well.
  7. Add seasonings and salt and pepper to your liking.
  8. Lower heat to low, cover and allow to simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
  9. Stir and remove lid. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Sauce should thicken, slightly. I like sauce a little runny. If you don’t you can add more tomato puree.
  10. Once meatballs are done, plate and top with ratatouille. Top with a little parmesan and serve warm.

Three meatballs and about a cup of ratatouille is enough for one serving (for me at least). All less than 300 calories!! Awesome right??

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