Guest Author - Cynthia Kilmartin
Turkey is a great lean meat. It is so popular today, here are some reasons why. Turkey is low in fat and low in cholesterol, and a fantastic source of protein. It has immune boosting properties due to its high levels of selenium and B vitamins. These are great for energy levels, thyroid & immune function and antioxidants.
One fact you may not know about turkey is that it contains tryptothan, which is an amino acid. Tryptothan produces serotonin, which is a mood moderator and helps promote sleep. So not only is turkey good for our kids, but it is good for mums as it might help our kids be in a good mood and sleep well!! That has to be a good thing.
One draw back of turkey is it can tend to be dry. This ground turkey recipe is fantastically moist and full of hidden vegetables. I use the same mix for either meatballs or turkey burgers for a healthier alternative to the store bought options. They take about only 10 minutes to prepare.
I use frozen spinach in this recipe. I buy it cut finely and it comes in portioned balls about 1 inch in diameter, I defrost these in the microwave. You can use fresh spinach, but cut it quite finely and squeeze out some of the water.
1 pound of ground turkey meat
1 carrot grated
half a medium zucchini grated
half an onion grated
2 portions of frozen spinach defrosted
a good pinch of ground cumin (optional)
Jar of good quality tomato sauce or approximately 3 cups of homemade tomato sauce.
Grate the onion, carrot and zucchini on the fine grater. You can use the grater option on your food processor. Add the ground turkey, spinach, egg and parsley and spice. Mix together well, your hands are the easiest and fastest way to do this.
Meatballs – shape into balls and place in a shallow baking dish, and bake for approximately 25mins in a medium oven. After 15 minutes cover with your choice of tomato sauce and finish baking.
Burgers – shape into patties and grill or shallow fry for approximately 8 minutes on each side. Serve on buns with your choice of accompaniment.
When shaping your meat balls or burger patties, use wet hands. Ground turkey is a little stickier than ground red meat, so using wet hands and re-wetting them a couple of times through the process will make it quicker and easier to clean your hands after.