Monday, July 27, 2009

WW friendly meatballs & meatball lasagna

I make a big batch of the meatballs(recipes yields 48) and then save some for the lasagna. If you dont think the meatballs are seasoned enough after they are done, just throw some extra dried basil, garlic, S&P on top and bake for a few more minutes.

Mediterranean meatballs

1 jar roasted red peppers
whole wheat bread crumbs 1.5 cups
2 eggs
1/3 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup fresh basil
2 pounds 95% lean ground beef
Salt Pepper cumin Parsley garlic

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, combine 3/4 of a 12-ounce jar of roasted red peppers, drained and finely chopped; 1-1/2 cups soft whole wheat bread crumbs (about 2 slices); 1/2 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product (thawed) or 2 eggs, lightly beaten; 1/3 cup tomato sauce; 1/2 cup snipped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil, crushed; 1/4 cup snipped fresh flat-leaf parsley; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper; 1/4 teaspoon cumin; 1 tablespoon garlic. Add 2 pounds 95 percent lean ground beef; mix well.

Shape meat mixture into 48 meatballs.
Place meatballs in a foil-lined 15x10x1-inch baking pan.
Bake about 30 minutes or until done (160 degrees F).
Reserved cooked meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
I served the meatballs with some buttered white rice(brown for me) and a tomato wine sauce-

2 teaspoons Olive oil
1 cup Onion; finely chopped
2 Cloves garlic; minced
¼ teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Fennel; ground
1 teaspoon Dried oregano1 teaspoon Dried basil
⅓ cup Red wine
3 cups Canned tomatoes; undrained (28 oz)-I used tomato sauce instead of whole canned tomatoes
Salt and pepper; to taste
In a saucepan, warm the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic, sprinkle with the salt, cover, and saute on very low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onions are beginning to soften. Add fennel, oregano, and basil and cook for another minute. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil. Whirl the tomatoes in a blender until just pureed and add to the pan. Cover the sauce and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.


2 medium green sweet peppers, stemmed, seeded, and quartered
6 dried regular or whole wheat lasagna noodles
1-1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese (6 ounces)
1/2 of a 15-ounce container (3/4 cup) light ricotta cheese
1/4 cup soft goat cheese (chèvre) or finely shredded Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
1-1/2 cups purchased light or low-fat tomato basil pasta sauce
1/2 recipe cooked Mediterranean Meatballs (24)
Shredded fresh basil or small fresh basil or oregano leaves (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Place sweet pepper quarters, cut sides down, on prepared baking sheet. Roast, uncovered, about 20 minutes or until pepper quarters are charred. Wrap in the foil; let stand for 20 minutes. Using a small sharp knife, peel skins from pepper quarters. Set aside.

Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.2.
Meanwhile, cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles; rinse with cold water. Drain well; set aside.
For filling, in a small bowl, stir together 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, the ricotta cheese, and the goat cheese or Parmesan cheese; set aside.
To assemble, spread 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce in the bottom of a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Layer two of the cooked noodles in the dish. Arrange meatballs in a single layer on top of noodles in dish. Add two more of the cooked noodles. Top with the ricotta cheese mixture, spreading evenly. Arrange sweet pepper pieces over ricotta mixture. Top with the remaining cooked noodles. Spread the remaining pasta sauce over noodles.
Bake, covered, for 50 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes more or until heated through. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. If desired, garnish with fresh herbs. Makes 8 servings, each serving is 6 points.

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