5-spice Turkey Apricot Meatballs Over Udon Noodles
Comfort food spaghetti and meatballs take on an Asian spin in this easy dish. Oven-bake the lean, protein-rich turkey meatballs studded with potassium-rich dried apricots while thick wheat Japanese udon noodles cook on the stovetop. Both the meatballs and the simple sweet noodle glaze contain Chinese five-spice powder. This mixture of ground cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise and pepper is filled with antioxidants to ward off cancer and boost immunity. If you can’t find fresh apricots, just use canned apricot halves that are packed in light syrup.
Makes 4 servings (about 1 1/2 cups cooked noodles with four meatballs)
1 package (10 ounces) Japanese udon noodles
6 fresh apricots cut into wedges (or one 15-ounce can light syrup apricot halves, rinsed and drained)
For the meatballs
3/4 pound ground lean turkey
1/2 cup very finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricots
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
1 large egg
2 teaspoons light lower-sodium soy sauce
For the sweet glaze
1/2 cup apricot preserves
3 tablespoons stir-fry sauce
2 tablespoons sweet and sour sauce
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1. Heat oven to 375 F.
2. Coat a 10-inch by 15-inch rimmed sheet pan with cooking spray.
3. Combine all meatball ingredients in large bowl and mix well.
4. Form 16 meatballs, roughly 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter (about 1.25 ounces each), and place in sheet pan.
5. Bake for 15 minutes or until meatballs are cooked thoroughly and the digital thermometer reads 165 F.
6. While meatballs cook, prepare udon noodles on stovetop according to package directions.
7. Also while meatballs cook, stir glaze ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
8. Toss cooked udon noodles in glaze mixture and serve with cooked meatballs.
Nutrition information (per serving)
39 g protein
117 g carbohydrates
6 g fat
1.5 g saturated fat
122 mg cholesterol
1100 mg sodium
658 mg potassium
82 mg calcium
6.6 mg iron
1747 IU vitamin A
10 mg vitamin C
6 g fiber
Kim Galeaz is a registered dietitian, the owner of Galeaz Food & Nutrition Communications in Indianapolis, and a frequent contributor to Live Right Live Well. As a culinary-nutrition consultant and spokeswoman, Galeaz is passionate about blending great taste with good health in all of her culinary creations.