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Meatballs with Lots of Calcium

You wouldn’t normally think Spaghetti and Meatballs would be a particularly good source of calcium but this Spaghetti and Meatball recipe gives you 263 mg. of calcium per serving. Add 1 Tbsp. of grated Parmesan Cheese to the top for an additional 43 mg. of calcium. Serve a salad with 1 cup fresh kale for another 100 mg. calcium and you have a meal with 406 mg of calcium. If you can’t find the bison or prefer beef substitute lean grass fed ground beef. Enjoy!

Bison Ricotta Meatballs & Spaghetti

Makes 4 servings
Preheat oven to 400° F.

10 ounces grape tomatoes
½ tsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper – leave out or reduce if you don’t like a little heat in your sauce
1/8 tsp. cinnamon, ground
1 pound ground bison meat or lean grass fed ground beef
½ cup low fat ricotta cheese
¼ cup parmesan cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1/8 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp black pepper

25 ounce prepared tomato pasta sauce – I use Cucina Antica tomato basil pasta sauce because it tastes great and has 240 mg. sodium per ½ cup serving which is significantly below most store bought tomato sauces. I also like Beekman 1802 “Mortgage Lifter” Pasta sauce that is even lower in sodium (170 mg. in 1/2 cup). Rao's Vodka Sauce is very good and 260 mg sodium per 1/2 cup. Monte Bene Spicy Marinara is 240 mg. per 1/2 cup. If you can't find these sauces look for one close to 250 mg. sodium or less per ½ cup serving. You can also make your own homemade sauce from fresh tomatoes. The sodium level of this dish is still on the high side so you can imagine how high it would be if using a higher sodium tomato pasta sauce.

4 ounces whole grain spaghetti pasta

Coat grape tomatoes with olive oil, cayenne pepper and cinnamon. Evenly distribute on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 15 to 20 minutes or until tomatoes have all popped open. Set aside to later add to the tomato sauce.

In medium bowl, mix bison, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, eggs, garlic, parsley, salt, nutmeg and black pepper. Do not over mix. Form into meatballs (this is easier if you chill the meat first). I like to divide into 16 meatballs but you can make them whatever size you want but will need to adjust cooking time to avoid over or under cooking depending on size. Place meatballs on parchment or foil lined baking pan. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until just done.

While meatballs are cooking, heat tomato sauce in medium saucepan over low heat. Add roasted grape tomatoes to tomato sauce. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain well. Serve meatballs and sauce over pasta.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 443 calories, 38 g. protein, 25 g. fiber, 18 g. fat, 263 mg. calcium, 689 mg. sodium.

posted on 8/18/2020