Italian Turkey Meatballs (& what I look for when buying meat!)

Meat can be so confusing. We walk down the meat aisle looking at packages with hundreds of different claims on them. After 5 minutes of comparing two that you think may be slightly good quality, you just hit up the freezer aisle for the pre-made stuff.

I've been there. Pre-made frozen meatballs were my THING in college. I then adopted a more meat-free diet after college, and so I never realized how easy they are to make! These have minimal ingredients (no fancy shmancy additions), and taste delicious. Plus, they're dairy and bread crumb free.

Okay so what to look for in meat. Katie Cavuto, who I'm currently interning for, always says this is where she would put her organic dollars first. Yes, everything organic is best, but there are more things that can be added to meat that can get shady. Vegetables aren't given hormones and antibiotics, but animals can be.

Buying quality meats are definitely more expensive than its counterparts. Premium gas is more expensive, helps our cars run better, but tends to prolong the car's life. That's how I like to look at it. I'd rather put out the money for quality meat, spend less on other packaged things, and hopefully save me money on my health in the future!

Things I look for when buying meat:

1. Organic: This pertains to the meat itself, but also what it's fed. Buying organic means you're going to be getting meat without pesticides, but the food the animal has been fed is organic as well. When you think about it, what they eat, we eat.

2. Free-Range: not only are the living conditions better for the animals, but free-range means the animals are moving around and are typically healthier than when cooped up in a lot. They tend to get sick less because they're not crammed next to each other, and they're just in a more natural state.

3. If beef or dairy, grass-fed: think about if we ate corn, grain, and skittles (yes, animals are sometimes fed defected candy) all day long. We would be pretty nutrient deprived. Well, that's what grain fed meat or milk is. They both have less omega 3 fatty acids (anti-inflammatory) and less nutrients in general. Cow's were meant to eat grass.

4. No hormones or antibiotics: 80% of the antibiotics purchased go to animals. That's pretty crazy. I don't want to eat meat that's been sick, on antibiotics, cooped up, or fed skittles, so I try to look for meat without these things!

Okay enough of the ranting, here's the recipe. Hope you enjoy!!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 pounds organic, free-range ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • Sprinkle onion powder
  • *2 tsp. nutritional yeast (can sub in a little cheese)
    *optional

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 375 F
  • Place meat, egg, spices, and nutritional yeast if you choose in a medium bowl
  • Mix thoroughly with your hands
  • Spoon about 1.5 tbsp. meat and roll into balls
  • Place on a cookie sheet (can spray if you want, mine stuck a little)
  • Mine made about 15 meatballs
  • Cook for about 23 minutes (or until fully cooked), flipping/moving around half way
  • Heat up tomato sauce on low and add in meatballs
  • Serve on top of pasta, zoodles, salads, etc!