Fowl Balls

By Angela Denstad Stigeler

Like a lot of people, I’ve had a lot of balls in the air lately. Finding time to make mealtime a priority can be a challenge–especially when you toss in the challenges of balancing taste and nutrition. When what you want–warm, flavor-packed comfort food–goes up against what you know your family needs–more veggies and lean protein–there’s usually a clear winner and, either way, you lose out.

So tighten up the odds and try out these turkey meatballs. They’re a great match-up of savory flavor and healthy fare. You’ll be surprised how many veggies you can pack in there, which your family will enthusiastically dunk into a simple soy dipping sauce. Whether you gobble them up on game day, put them over a salad of Asian greens in your lunchbox, or serve them atop plain brown rice for dinner, these are a great go-to idea for anytime eating. If you make them up in advance, you can reheat them straight from the freezer.

This week, you may as well use these meatballs to kick off the lunar Year of the Rooster, provide a saving grace crêpe filling for a Candlemas meal, and flesh out your Superbowl spread. Because they’re so lean, you’ll have less chance of seeing your shadow as you rush to keep up with your schedule. So don’t drop the ball on making these fowl meatballs. Once you do, they’re mealtime fair game!

Asian Turkey Meatballs with

Soy Ginger Dipping Sauce

Meatballs

1 pound ground turkey

1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped

3 carrots, grated

4 ounces button mushrooms, finely chopped

½ onion, finely diced

½ cup cilantro, minced

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 egg

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon Asian chili garlic paste, or equivalent hot sauce with minced garlic

¼ cup breadcrumbs

Dipping Sauce

¼ cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

2 teaspoons brown sugar

¼ teaspoon sesame oil

1 scallion, thinly sliced on the bias

a pinch of sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly oil or line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Combine all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl until thoroughly mixed. Scoop the mixture out by tablespoons and roll into small meatballs, about 1-inch diameter. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked through and golden brown.

Meanwhile, combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Serve the meatballs hot with the dipping sauce. They can be prepared in advance, frozen and reheated.

Recipe adapted from http://www.mountaincravings.com