Sunday, October 25, 2009

Recipe: Fall Pumpkin and Bacon Chicken Meatballs

Fall is in full swing, so I'm experimenting with a lot of autumn-inspired flavors right now. I decided to make meatballs primarily from ground chicken breast, turkey bacon, and pumpkin. I don't have the ability to make sausages right now (I tried!), so this is another meatball recipe. These are reminiscent of sausage, with lots of sage and sort of a warm, wintry feeling. Despite my use of sweet ingredients in the pumpkin, these are very savory. They are delicious and very pretty - sorry, if I had a camera, I'd post a photo!

Ingredients (for meatballs):
  • 1 pound ground chicken breast - I used Perdue Fit & Easy
  • 6 slices Jennie-O extra lean turkey bacon, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup diced scallions
  • 5 cloves garlic, very finely diced but not minced
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1.5 tbsp. rubbed sage
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. celery seeds
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup Publix EggStirs or other egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp. sugar-free vanilla syrup OR vanilla extract plus 3 packets Truvia
Ingredients (for broth):
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1.5 tbsp. Liquid Smoke
  • 1.5 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger (you can used dried ground ginger if you don't have fresh ginger on hand)
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  1. Combine the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar-free vanilla syup. Set aside.
  2. Combine the ingredients for the broth. Set aside.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl. Stir until well-mixed but not over-handled.
  4. Use a spoon to drop the pumpkin mixture on top of the chicken/bacon mixture in dollops. Gently fold the pumpkin into the meatballs, but do not combine it completely.
  5. Measure out 1 oz. meatballs (I used my trusty Bed, Bath & Beyond food scale) and drop them into a casserole dish, just to hold them. The mixture should be quite light and sticky. I use my hands to roll balls. Keep the mixture from sticking to your hands by wetting your hands frequently.
  6. After you have measured out all of the meatballs, sear them on both sides in a hot saute pan. This will ensure that they hold together. To avoid sticking, use a fairly liberal amount of nonstick spray and use a spoon to scoop the meatballs off the pan instead of tongs or a spatula.
  7. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Place the seared meatballs in a clean casserole dish. Try to spread them out as much as possible and try to make sure there is only one layer of meatballs.
  9. Cover the meatballs with the broth. They do not need to be completely submersed in broth.
  10. Cook the meatballs in the 350-degree oven for about 20-30 minutes or until they seem done.
Nutritional Information:
This recipe makes about 30 1-oz. meatballs. Each meatball contains 25 calories and 4g protein. A 3-oz. WLS serving is 75 calories and 12g protein.

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