Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mom's turkey oatmeal meatballs, made with love

My mom and I have lived near each other since September 2010. And somewhere around the beginning of that time, she began doing something so filled with love it nearly makes me tear up.

My boy is highly allergic to eggs, so a lot of store bought convenience foods are off limits, things like meatballs, salmon patties, veggie burgers, rolls, waffles and pancakes. 

We make a lot of things from scratch. His allergy, undiscovered until age 4 and which caused vomiting and nausea, has ingrained in him a deep caution and distrust of food all mixed up. If he hasn't eaten it before or if he can't see very clearly what's in it, it concerns him. 

This means at times my husband and I eat something different than him - either because it has egg or he does not like it - and I'm okay with that. But it is nice to have a quick healthy alternative he can eat on those nights. 

Enter my Mom. 

For years, she has made certain there is a continuous supply of egg-free homemade meatballs and  homemade pancakes in our freezer. The combination is one of Brady's favorite meals and it takes seconds to heat up. 

Her meatball recipe is so tasty and healthy, I had to share it. Here goes:

Mom's Turkey Oatmeal Meatballs

(or what she calls "Brady's Meatballs," along with her notes)

20 oz Honeysuckle ground turkey (other brands may come in 1 lb. packages)
1/4 tsp garlic salt  (I gather all spices in a small plastic cup)
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp rosemary (crushed rosemary is better but hard to find. I found it in Dillons by the spices but it cost $4.98 by McCormick. Steph's note: I know she has pulsed rosemary in a bean grinder too.)
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 to 1 cup of "whole grain old fashioned oats"

Put turkey meat in a bowl and pour the spices over it. Add applesauce and oatmeal and mix. (Note, Mom says she sometimes adds extra oatmeal since it is so healthy, just depends on consistency preference.) 

Line 8 x 8 pan with foil and spray bottom with oil. Place meatballs in pan and spray with oil as well. Bake 20 minutes and then turn over - using a spoon may help to do the job. Bake 20 more minutes.

Mom's notes:  Now I look at them and put them back in for another 10 minutes. I am funny about turkey so I look at them and see they are slightly browned so I take one and cut it in half and sample to see if it passes my inspection. It usually is done. When cooled I put them in an already dated/labeled baggie and then freeze them till Stephanie can pick them up. 

Just need to pop out of the freezer and pop them into the microwave and heat them up. I got the original recipe for the meatballs off of a box of Krispy Krackers as they had a recipe for meatball soup which I make but I make beef meatballs. When I cooked sometimes for Steph and Brady I adjusted it to turkey and so it went from there. 
They turn out beautiful and really tasty.
A bag like this is always in my freezer.
Uhoh, running low! Mom, I need more!

49 comments:

  1. Oh, those look yummy! Turkey and oatmeal - great combination!

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  2. I never would have thought of adding oatmeal to a meatball recipe. In fact, if you hadn't included pictures of how good they look, I probably would have gagged and moved on, but they look really great. ;) LOL What a great way to add fiber to a meat source! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. I know, it's so unique and makes it extra healthy, moreso than bread crumbs. LOL, well I'm glad I had the pic!

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  3. I loved this post! How sweet that your mom does that for you! I'm doing a "food elimination diet" to determine whether or not I have any food sensitivities that may be flaring up my RA. Have you ever done one of those? Eggs are one of the food items I'm temporarily eliminating. I'm on day 3 now and still at it, but I am running out of meal ideas. This meatball recipe doesn't contain anything that I could be sensitive to! Thank you for sharing! I am going to get stuff to make these soon!

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    1. Hi Jane! If you post about the food elimination diet, I'd be interested to hear it. I wonder sometimes if what I eat affects my health situation, I'm sure it does. But the elimination thing seems SO hard to do. Let me tell you, you can substitute egg in any dish. I've done it with everything from meatloaf to cheese grits to pumpkin pie. You just have to research what alternative works best online.

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    2. Hi Jane, we deal with egg, dairy, and gluten allergies in our family, plus a few other sensitivities, so I know how hard it can be to eliminate certain foods! For us, it has helped to look beyond traditional American meals. Mexican, Greek, and Japanese food have a lot of dishes and full meals that work well for us. Good luck!

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    3. Thanks for sharing that with Jane, I will make sure she gets this message in case she doesn't have comment notification on

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  4. Leave it to Moms to figure out what is good tasting and good for you!!

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  5. I haven't had meatballs in years. That's great she can make them egg free. We make and egg free meatloaf, and it holds together well enough, but I don't think we could pack it into balls like that. Totally posting this to my Egg Free Pinterest board!

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    1. We enjoy meatballs, but I can't for the life of me make a good one, so I'm so glad she makes them! Thanks for the pin! I'll bet the oatmeal helps it set up better. I make meatloaf with applesauce and it does pretty well. I also put cheese in the middle, YUM!

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  6. Do you add sauce to those at times....like spaghetti sauce??

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    1. I haven't, but I'll bet you could simmer a pot of sauce with these in it and they'd be great!

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  7. these look so yummy and much healthier then most store bought ones

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  8. We love turkey meatballs but I have always bought the frozen ones from the grocery store. Can't wait to use your recipe and make our own!

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  9. Oatmeal and meatballs! Very interesting. I have a feeling that my family is going to love this :) Thanks for sharing the recipe :) Vinma

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  10. I love turkey meatballs so much healthier than beef. I would have never thought to add oatmeal to make them even healthier though, Im going to have to add this to my menu one night.

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  11. looks yummy and definitely worth trying. thank you for sharing

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  12. Awwww, that is so sweet and thoughtful of your mother!!! These look delicious!! :)

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    1. I know it, it really is such a sweet act. She does it every couple of weeks.

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  13. I love meatballs and this sound wonderful! I bet there are easier on your waistline than other meatball recipes. I have to try these! Pinning it!

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    1. Thanks for the pin! Yes, much much healthier than some you could get. And I have sampled them, LOL, they taste great!

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  14. Very interesting and perfect for someone with allergies. How nice of your mom to create his own special recipe. :)

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    1. Thank you, it's really touching and something my boy will always remember.

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  15. Those look really good--and much healthier and better for you than the frozen ones too! I pinned them!

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    1. Thanks for the pin, Tammy! Yes, they are so healthy it's ridiculous. And bonus they taste good too, ha!

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  16. Nice! I like that the apple sauce is used rather than a bunch of eggs!

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  17. Oh I love meatballs! That's a recipe I never tried before (my mom does it always for me when I go visit her, as I'm useless) , but the pictures make it mouthwatering.

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    1. LOL, how cool your mom makes them too! I am NOT a good meatball maker.

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  18. First of all, coolest mom ever! Second, I wouldhave never thought to ssubstitute apple sauce for egg. That's genius. I suppose any puree would work.

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    1. LOL, I totally agree on the coolest mom part :) She's the best. I use applesauce as my go-to egg substitute, but there are some things it just won't work for. It's great for baking as well as meatloaf too. Mashed banana and pumpkin puree are also good, like with your cookies!

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  19. These look interesting! Always looking for new recipes! What a great thing your mom did :)

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  20. this looks extremely interesting Steph! I will certainly be trying it for my kids too! :)

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  21. oh these look sooo yummy and perfect ------ perfect because my son too is allergic to eggs! my mom does make some beef meatballs that don't have eggs when she visits and there are usually some in the freezer, but she lives hours away so we don't have them that often. And he loves making them with grandma because he can roll them and not worry about touching egg. He'll love this!

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    1. Goodness, Rory, I had no idea you had a kid with an egg allergy too. It can sure be tough. So cool your mom does this too! I love also that he makes them with her. Brady hasn't done that yet. Yeah, Brady can't touch egg either. He breaks out all over!

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  22. Oh I am so pinning this and trying these! My husband is allergic to eggs too which means that meatballs (which were a staple in my Italian upbringing) have been off limits. I am eager to try these out. Thanks so much for sharing.

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    1. Thanks for the pin, Victoria! Wow, I don't usually hear about egg allergies all that often. Has your husband always been allergic? If you try them, let me know how they turn out!

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  23. Those sound really good, Steph. Going to pin them! Thanks for sharing at the hop. :)

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  24. I never thought to put applesauce in meatballs as a binder, very interesting!! Thanks for linking up to Good Tips Tuesday this week! Your recipe has been pinned to our GTTuesday board. Hope to see you again next week!

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    1. It's such a lifesaver when you have an egg allergy! Thanks for the pin, Heather.

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  25. I am going to try these this weekend! I would have never thought about using applesauce!

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    1. If you try them, let me know how they turn out! It is such a great substitute for egg!

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  26. What temperature do you bake at?

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