Posted by: aauntiem | June 10, 2010

(Light) Salty, Cheesy, Meatballs

I figured I better lay off the baking recipes for today because I just might send someone into a diabetic coma from the amount of sweet foods I have been sending out into the universe.  I nervous bake, ok?  Instead, I thought I would bring you some salty and cheesy meat to balance out the universe.

With me if it is not one thing, it is another.

So, remember how I told you that Sunday I made…well I baked and cooked up about as much as I did on Tuesday? One of the things I made was meatballs.

I am not going to sugar coat this for you (I told you today would be all about salty cheesy meat): I don’t like spaghetti. There, I said it. Now you know the full truth about me. Well that, and my secret love for cowboy cheesy jewelry like the silver bear feather earrings I am wearing today. But, now you really know everything there is to know.

Despite my spaghetti affliction, we make it in my house almost every week. It is cheap, low point dinner, it is easy…you can see how week after week spaghetti makes its way onto the menu and my plate. If, for some reason, we have to push a menu I loudly proclaim we shall delete spaghetti from the menu—because it is noodles so it saves with nothing to freeze, I explain.

Picasso nods, and smirk-smiles and chokes a laugh most of the time. I know that he knows that I know and we know (knowknowknow) that I would volunteer to catch, kill, and roast Wilbur if that meant I could push spaghetti into next week.

Sometimes, after several weeks of sneakily pushing the spaghetti into next week he puts his foot down, laughs out loud instead of swallowing it, and declares that we will eat the spaghetti (dang-it).

He tries very hard to make this process as painless as possible. He tries to win me over with reduce fat garlic toast and mushrooms in my sauce.

Then, one day in February I was minding my own business, reading my daily dose of PW, when she featured this recipe.  This looked so tasty that (knowing my word neurosis) I had to make some for myself. I zipped over to WW and tweaked and pulled and played until the points per serving didn’t make me want to give up forever or throw the computer. That evening, I drove to the grocery store and bought all the ingredients necessary to make those meatballs.

Meat, parsley, and cheese in tow I headed into my house. Picasso was lounging on the couch watching something on ESPN. I pronounced “I wantith and therefore shall maketh spaghetti and meatballs.”

And, do you know what he did?

Nothing, he continue to watch PTI. He might have muttered something like “good, I am starving,” I am not sure.

In my mind: I shouted “What? I just said that I am willingly making something I refuse to admit but I know you know that we know I hate and you say good?” I am pretty sure I might have growled or thrown all the ingredients on the floor and pouted in my room. I am pretty sure I screamed “No one even cares what I do but we make entire dietary restrictions based on your love of beef my friend!” There were a lot of arms swinging here and belly roll out and into the hips. If it were the 80s I would have snapped my fingers in an air Z, but it is was twenty-ten and I am more dignified now.

In actual real time while I was having this mind tantrum I shrugged and did a Daria. Then, I walked into the kitchen and made my first batch of these amazing meatballs.

I still hate spaghetti, but when meatballs are involved I will take my chances. Since Picasso doesn’t eat them (I know, right, with the meat and cheese you would think that would be right up his alley. He mumbles something about mixing it together…blahblah…) and the recipe makes one million, I freeze them.

Since you will only be eating a few at a time, you can make this recipe once and freeze the meatballs in individual serving sizes to thaw when needed.

You can see PW make them with step by step pictures here.

Lightened-up Meatballs   Serves 15

2 weight points (for 2 meatballs)

1 Tbsp fat-free skim milk

1/2 cup(s) Progresso® Bread crumbs Panko crispy bread crumbs – plain

1 Tbsp McCormick Parsley flakes or ¼ cup fresh parsley

1 Tbsp sea salt

1 item(s) egg

1 pound(s) 95% lean/5% fat raw ground beef

4 Tbsp shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (try out stuff here, the ones in my pictures are actually make with reduced fat jalapeno cheddar..yum)

3 clove(s) garlic clove(s)

1/4 cup(s) olive oil

So, add the meat to a large bowl. Then, add in crushed garlic, one egg, seas salt, parsley, milk, cheese, and bread crumbs. Then, get in there with your hands and mash it all up. Then, spray a baking sheet with PAM make 30 meat balls, about 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls. Follow PW’s advice and put them in the freezer for about 10 minutes so they don’t break apart and becomes a gooey meaty mess.

Then, in a large skillet heat your EVOO to high. You want the meat to fry but the oil should not pop and fiz at you. It burns! Place about 5-8 meatballs ini the heated oil at a time. Turn after about 45 seconds. The goal here is to brown the meatballs, not cook them all the way through.

Drain the meatballs (and all that extra EVOO) on a plate that you line with paper towels. Then, remove them quickly to a holding station because they get soggy if you let them sit in their own filth oil.

Add the meatballs (only the ones needed for the servings of spaghetti you mare making) to the sauce and let them cook, covered for about 30 minutes.

Freeze the other guys.

Now, if you want to avoid the oil used here you can sub the EVOO for ¼ cup chicken broth and ¼ cup white wine, though they won’t be as brown on the outside. Also, you can skip the pan-frying all together and bake meatballs in a glass dish at 425 degrees for 12 minutes, turning after 6 minutes. Still add these to the sauce. Either way, it does not change the points value. Believe me, I tried.

Happy salty, cheesy, meaty goodness day.




  1. It sounds really yummy. I love spaghetti and meatball. I definitely gonna try this version.

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