Greek Turkey Meatballs with Skinny Tzatziki

One of my favorite food bloggers, Gina from Skinnytaste just got back from a Mediterranean cruise where she ate a lot Greek food.  We get to reap the benefits of her travels because she was inspired to create a handful of Greek inspired recipes since her return.  As soon as these meatballs showed up on her blog, I was salivating.  I don’t know about you but I love tzatziki sauce and Greek inspired spice combinations.

These babies have the added bonus of being filled with hidden veggies.  Because of the zucchini, these meatballs stay nice and moist.  I didn’t have any bread so I just used a little more breadcrumbs.  On the night that I decided to make these, I didn’t have any pita bread to stuff them in either and probably wouldn’t have anyway because it would just be too filling.  I served them with a heaping pile of broccoli for the hubs and sliced tomatoes for myself.  This made a huge batch of meatballs.  We each had 2 and there were plenty left for lunches!

The tzatzki sauce was a little thick but, I didn’t mind that at all.  It tasted fabulous.  Cool and garlicky and filled with fresh dill!  Yum!  I suspect the texture of the sauce differs depending on which Greek Yogurt you use, how long you let it drain, and how well you drain your cucumber.  I used Dannon Oikos Triple Zero Greek Yogurt and strained it overnight.  I also drained my cucumber within an inch of it’s life.  I think this added to the thickness of my sauce.  I didn’t think of it as a negative at all.  It was absolutely delicious.

You can grill these or saute them in a pan on the stovetop.  I baked mine in the oven.  It was just easiest I felt.

IMG_2915

Ingredients:

  • 1.25 lbs 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup grated zucchini, liquid squeezed out well
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 red onion, grated (I used my mini food processor)
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped (less if using dry)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh spearmint, chopped
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper
  • about 1 tsp worth of olive oil cooking spray

Directions:

Wet bread with water, squeezing excess out. Tear into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Combine with turkey, egg, zucchini, breadcrumbs, garlic, onion, mint, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper.

Using a 1/4 cup measure, form each meatball 1/4 cup in size. For best results, refrigerate before cooking to help hold their shape.

In a pan: spray olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan and cook over very low heat (or you can make 350F 20-25 minutes)

On the grill: clean grill well before cooking and spray grate with oil. Cook on low until cooked through. Makes about 17 meatballs.

Skinny Tzatziki

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz fat-free Greek yogurt (I used Fage)
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and seeded (1 cup grated and drained)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper

Directions:

Strain the yogurt using a metal strainer or a coffee filter for a few hours to remove as much liquid as possible. Set aside.

Scoop seeds out of the cucumber with a small spoon. Place cucumber in a mini food processor or grate with a box grater.

Drain the liquid from the  cucumber in a metal strainer or a clean kitchen towel and sprinkle with a little salt (this helps release the liquid). You may want to use the back of a spoon to help squeeze out any excess liquid.

Combine strained cucumber, garlic, yogurt, salt, pepper, lemon juice, dill, chives and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

Makes about 2 cups. Store in refrigerator for about a week.

 

 

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