Thursday, September 4, 2008

Meatballs with Marinara Sauce

The meatball recipe was adapted from one a friend of mine gave me and the marinara sauce is adapted from a couple of different recipes I've come across over the years. This recipe is full of healthy protein, good for you fats from the flax and the meat, and vitamins from the tomatoes and meat.


Meatball ingredients
  • 3-4 lbs of ground beef anywhere from 75-85% lean is fine (don't fear the fat)
  • 1/2 large yellow onion chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons minced/chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon basil
Marinara ingredients
  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (no sugar added)
  • 2 - 6 oz cans of tomato paste (no sugar added)
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce (no sugar added)
  • 2 tablespoons minced/chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil (at least)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 packet sucralose (or 1/2 teaspoon of granular sucralose) (Splenda)
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicier)

  1. Combine the onions, garlic, egg from the meatball ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until the mixture is fairly smooth.
  2. In a large bowl, combine ground flax seed, meatball spices, onion/egg mixture, and ground beef. Mix by hand until the spices, flax, and spices are mixed throughout the beef.
  3. I make about 50 meatballs out of this each a little more than an inch in diameter. I think they are about 1/8 cup per meatball, but I don't worry too much about it.
  4. Bake at 350 F for about 25 minutes then turn the meatballs so that they cook evenly and cook another 25 minutes. While the meatballs bake, make your sauce.
  5. Add the meatballs to the pot of sauce and cook on low for 30 minutes. Meatballs should reach an internal temperature of 165 F before you eat them.
  1. Heat olive oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat briefly.
  2. With the saucepan over medium eat, add onion and garlic from the marinara ingredients.
  3. Once the onion begins to soften, add the two cans of tomato paste and stir to combine with oil, onion, and garlic.
  4. Add can of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Stir to combine.
  5. Add marinara spices and sucralose. Stir to combine.
  6. Reduce heat to low-medium heat and cover.
  7. Once the meatballs are done baking, add them to the saucepan and cook for about 30 more minutes. (same instructions as the end of the meatball directions)
  1. Canned tomato products are easy to find without added sugar. Avoid cans that say that they have basil and other things added to them. I usually buy the store brand, it's cheapest and it usually doesn't have added sugar.
  2. As long as you keep the sauce on low, you can simmer the meatballs as long as you'd like and the flavor of the sauce and the meatballs will just get better.
  3. You can find ground flax seed in the natural foods section of your local grocer or health food store. If you can't find it just ask. I purchase Spectrum brand at Hannaford. Flax is a good source of Omega 3 fatty acid and fiber. In this recipe it takes the place of breadcrumbs for a little filler, but you won't even notice it.
  4. Feel free to experiment and if you come up with some other ideas for how to improve this recipe, or you have some questions, feel free to post a comment or drop me an email
  5. My family loves these rolled up in low-carb wraps with provolone cheese. The low-carb wraps I like are Mission whole wheat tortillas found in the refrigerated section of your grocer. I find them at Hannaford and Shaw's supermarkets. La Tortilla makes a decent low-carb tortilla and so does Joseph's. They're also great without the wraps and covered with melted cheese.

PS. Don't fear the fat!

1 comment:

NSAngel said...

Alex: great recipe using common ing found in any low carb pantry. simple. sounds delish. am making tonight. do you have the nutritional info on this esp the carb count?