Turkey Pesto Meatballs (Baby-Friendly!)

I’m not dead, I promise. Just took a really long time off blogging after realizing last fall that my site was hacked and was directing my readers to a porn site. At the time, I found this simultaneously extremely funny and extremely annoying. When Facebook wouldn’t let me put a link to the blog in my “About” section because I was being flagged for inappropriate behavior, I knew it was probably time to take a break.

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Turkey Pesto Meatballs

It took a few months of changing my host and hiring a third party to salvage all of my images from the old site, but I am happy to say we are back and running! And since my last post in September of 2018 (!), we’ve had some major life events, probably the biggest being our beautiful baby girl born last December.

You’ll probably find it ironic that my first post back from this long maternity leave is one of the few non-vegetarian recipes on the whole site. Since becoming a mom, I’ve tried to be a little more flexible with not only how I’m eating, but also what I’m offering to my child. I firmly believe that Elena should be introduced to all types of food- meat, meat substitutes, dairy, gluten, fruits, vegetables, sugar, and yes, even processed foods in their place. In my mind, no food should be labeled as “bad for you” or on the X-list. While there are definitely certain foods that make us feel better or worse when we eat them, I want my kids to eventually figure out how to make those decisions on their own. One day I will share my own journey with food and restricted eating, and how my struggles have led me to a place where I can be free to connect with other people over ALL types of food! Luckily for you, that day is not today.

Am I still mostly-vegetarian? Yes. Do I make more meals that the whole family can eat? You bet. Do I indulge in cookies my Mother-in-law brings over or steal some of Elena’s turkey rollups before putting them on her high-chair tray? Absolutely.

Which brings me to this recipe I developed with the baby in mind. I wanted something with protein, healthy fats, and veggies since her current favorites (muffins, tortillas, and blueberries) don’t include either. I also wanted something I could freeze and then pop in the microwave for a quick reheat. I used a recipe for basic meatballs from Baked Bree with a few additions. Hope you enjoy!

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Turkey Pesto Meatballs

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground turkey breast

1/2 onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup shredded carrots

1 1/2 cups bread crumbs

1/2 teaspoon salt (go light or omit if feeding to a baby)

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1/2 cup pesto (store-bought or homemade)

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 egg whites


Directions:

Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil. Cook onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes until soft.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and combine well.

Roll into small balls and place on a foil-lined cookie sheet sprayed with a little cooking spray.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Makes 3 dozen meatballs.

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