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Green Meatballs

These meatballs get their fun color from a hefty dose of minced spinach or kale worked into the meat. Serve with red sauce and pasta, veggie noodles, or on top of a bed of sautéed greens for a super healthy and kiddo-friendly dinner.

 1/2 cup milk
 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
 1 small onion
 1 large clove garlic
 2-3 large handfuls of spinach (or kale)
 1 egg
 1 tsp salt
 1/2 tsp black pepper
 1/3-1/2 cup grated hard salty cheese (parmesan, Asiago, Hull's Trace or Flat Rock)
 1 lb ground pork, brought to room temp
 1 quart tomato sauce
 Fresh pasta or more greens for serving

Turn your oven to 400.


Let the milk and the breadcrumbs soak together in a small bowl.


In a food processor, very finely mince the onion and the garlic and set aside, and then process the spinach and set aside. You should have roughly 1 cup of finely minced spinach, a little more or less.


In one large bowl, whisk your egg and add the grated cheese, salt, pepper and minced spinach. Mix till combined.


Add your pork, onions and garlic to the bowl, and begin to mush with your hands. Add in the breadcrumb and milk mixture and work just a few minutes by squeezing the meat through your hands and fingers rather than pressing and kneading like bread dough.


Form into golf-ball sized meatballs and set on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes in the oven (toss once to avoid one side getting too flat), and finish in a skillet with some sauce for another 5 minutes, testing to make sure the internal temp is above 165. Serve with the sauce over fresh pasta or more cooked spinach or kale.


Store cooked meatballs in the fridge for a week, with or without sauce, but add extra when reheating (the fridge will dehydrate them.)


To make ahead and freeze uncooked: once formed, set in a single layer on a cookie sheet and cover with a thin layer of plastic wrap. Freeze till solid, about 2 hours. Pop into a labeled freezer bag and remove all air (or use a food saver.) Label with cooking instructions (thaw overnight in fridge before baking/simmering for 20-30 minutes) and use within 1-2 months.