Extra lean ground turkey (99/1) was two 20-oz packages for $7.99 at Safeway today. I don’t especially like ground turkey–it has that funny poultry smell. It’s bland. And it can get dry so quickly.

But I am trying to find new forms of lean protein that the whole family will eat–meaning teenage son and husband, since the little one only seems to eat about five things (peanut butter sandwiches, cereal, soup, bananas, and pizza).

But meatballs in marinara sauce with a nice polenta with garlicky greens seemed quite wonderful. And it was, teenage Jake had two helpings two nights in a row, and I’m still craving more.

Turkey Meatballs in Marinara with Polenta
Polenta is a comfort food treat that takes on the robust flavors of the healthy turkey meatballs & marinara sauce. You won’t miss the fat with this delicious dish!

Meatballs based on “Every Day is a Meatball Day” from
Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno

Serves: 10


2  lbs. extra lean ground turkey (99/1)
1/2 cup very finely chopped onion–a food processor is great for this
2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup oat bran
2 T. fresh parsley,very  finely chopped
2 T. fresh basil, finely chopped
1 T. dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, place egg and oat bran.  Add remaining ingredients except for turkey meat and mix well.  Add turkey meat and mix gently, do not overwork mixture.  Wrap a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, spray with non-stick spray. Shape meatballs to approximately 1.5 inches and place on sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes; transfer to simmering sauce and finish cooking to 165 degrees in sauce.

Quick Marinara Sauce


1 T. olive oil
1/2 finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped carrot
2 stalks finely chopped celery
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 16-oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine
2 T. chopped fresh basil
Crushed red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper to taste

Spray saute pan with cooking spray; heat to medium, add olive oil. Cook for 30 seconds, add onion, carrot & celery. Cook until fragrant, add garlic, cook another 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and wine. Lower heat to medium low; simmer for at least 15 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and salt & pepper to taste. Sprinkle with basil.
If you prefer to purchase pre-cooked polenta in a “log”, slice it and heat in the oven on the cookie sheet while meatballs finish in the sauce.

Or, cook your own:

1 cup yellow corn meal (the type that states that it’s for polenta is what I get)
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 T olive oil

Add all ingredients to a saucepan. Heat at medium, stirring frequently, until the mixture shows a slight thickening. Lower the heat to low, continue to stir frequently, until the mixture is quite thick. It will “set up” as it cools.

Serve the meatballs ontop of the polenta with lots of sauce. Accompany with quick-cooking “Cooking With Powergreens!” 3-minute stove-top greens, with sliced garlic.