Protein Packed Chicken Parmesan Florentine Meatballs

Partnering with SI03 and their Syntrax Protein Powders I’ve been posting Protein Packed recipes built specifically around their amazing protein powders. I’ve been a HUGE advocate for them as I personally have been using them for years.  For the longest time I’ve been making protein packed ‘treats’ (cookies, brownies, cakes, granola bars, muffins, etc…) using the powders in them.  Well this time I wanted to go a completely different way and instead of having a ‘treat’, I wanted savory.  I wanted “real food” albeit an appetizer, a snack or even a main meal.

What I’ve come up is PERFECT for an appetizer, main meal, on a buffet table during the game or for upcoming graduation parties and summer picnics.  These meatballs were absolutely FANTASTIC!  They are packed with protein from the chicken, cheese and egg (or egg whites) on it’s own. But with the addition of Nectar™ Medical – Whey Protein Isolate, it POWER BOOSTS THE PROTEIN in these delicious meatballs!

I’m taking Protein Powder beyond the shake!

Whether you hit the gym during your lunch or right after work, you can pack these with you and eat on the go.  Just heat ’em up for 30 seconds to a minute and you have a FANTASTIC meal!

Just look how yummy these meatballs look!

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I mean seriously.. meatballs that are GOOD FOR YOU!!!  Genius, I KNOW!  Marrying into an Italian family, having an amazing meatball is law.  While I love traditional meatballs (trust me, my Italian meatballs are SUPREME) but I also love a variety.  One thing that is essential as well in my house is Chicken Parmesan.  Normally you egg wash-flour dredge-breadcrumb dip then pan fry.  I’ll still do that from time to time but having all that extra carbs is not conducive to my thighs *wink*.  With this recipe I wanted to replicate that awesome flavor of traditional chicken parmesan into a healthier style. Of course I can always bake the traditional chicken parmesan *hint hint!  Keep an eye out on the site for that soon but Shhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!* but that’s later on.

Now to add even more good-for-you-stuff in these, I added spinach which is packed with antioxidants.

When working with these meatballs there is something VERY important to know.

  1. You don’t roll these in your hands like traditional meatballs.  Why? Ground chicken, without ‘fillers’ (bread) in them is rather sticky.  HOWEVER if you lightly wet your hands before you scoop some of the mixture up and almost toss them from hand to hand in a twisting motion to form the ball.  I re-wet may hands after every 3-4 meatballs.

I baked these 100% in the oven (meaning I didn’t pan-sear them first) though if you prefer that meatball caramelization feel free to.  I have directions on how to do that below.

As you can see, these babies cooked up nice and brown.  Now I’ll admit, I ate a nekkid one and WOW they were so good!  So full of flavor. The spinach was a fantastic addition!  These were so tender and moist.

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I had some Marinara Sauce warming so I put some on top of each meatball, followed by some fresh mozzarella cheese and then broiled for a few minutes to melt the cheese.  People the SMELL that emanated from my oven when I took these out was incredible!  The cheese was all bubbly, the sauce was steaming and you could hear that ‘sizzle’!

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Just look how scrumptious these look!  Now you could easily serve these as appetizers, on top of some wheat pasta, in lettuce cups (I had that actually for lunch – TO DIE FOR!!!), as a slider an so forth!

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These were so juicy that after you finished the first one, your stomach BEGGED you for another.

Now I couldn’t eat a third one as these are really filling BUT what I loved the most is that they, while truly decadent, they were GUILTLESS!

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So after I made these, and ate 2, Mr. Fantabulous came out into the kitchen sniffing – which means the aroma hit him.  I got the puzzled look as he looked at them, then at me and said “Hey, those are your normal meatballs, are they?  And can I have one?”

As he was eating it I was watching intensely.  One ‘ting I’ve learned from this Italian man is that they take meatballs pretty seriously.  Trust me, it took me a few years to master mine. As he put the fork down and took a drink he said “Hmmm, let me try another one. I’m not sure honey.”  Now normally when he says that it means he’s on the fence.  He’s my biggest critic so I trust him, obviously.  As he inhaled the 2nd… and 3rd one I caught on!  That man was soooooooooo playing me!  He LOVED them and my tricking me into thinking he was on the fence he got to stuff his beautiful face!  LOL

He then said “Hey it’s weird.  They taste like chicken parmesan but it’s not.  What is it?”  I said “Um, Chicken Parmesan Meatballs”.  I then told him that I put protein powder in it and he was in heaven!  He said “Whoa wait!  You mean these are healthy AND after we work out tonight I can eat these???”  LOL  He’s so pretty 🙂  Love that man!

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Plus check out these great nutritional benefits!

The Syntrax Nectar Medical Unflavored Protein Powder:
♥ Mixes instantly and completely with a spoon
♥ Has Promina™ Whey Isolate
♥ 100% Natural Ingredients
♥ Mixes with Foods or Beverages
♥ 10 grams of protein per serving
♥ Lactose and Gluten Free
♥ Aspartame Free

Nectar Medical is a 100% natural protein formula designed to exceed even the most stringent and demanding requirements of the medical community. It is designed around Promina, a pharmaceutical-grade whey protein isolate that is known for its utmost purity, unwavering consistency and pleasant taste. Whey protein isolate is considered by most experts to be the single highest quality source of protein for human nutrition. Its bioavailability is without compare and its amino acids are utilized more efficiently than any other source of protein.*

Because Nectar Medical has a bland taste and is instantly soluble and dispersible, it can be mixed unnoticeable and easily into nearly any beverage or food item, such as milk, tea, juice, flavored water, cereal, soup pudding or mashed potatoes. Likewise, Nectar Medical is an ideal product to be used in tube-feeding applications due to its ease of use and health-promoting benefits.

Nectar Medical is specifically formulated to be used as a medical food for renal (dialysis) patients. Meeting the distinctive needs of these individuals, Nectar Medical provides a superior protein source with low levels of potassium and phosphorous.*

Nectar Medical is specifically formulated to be used as a medical food for bariatric surgery patients. Meeting the distinctive needs of these individuals, Nectar Medical provides a easily digestible, superior protein source with low levels of fat, sugar and total carbohydrates.

Now if you don’t mind, I’m off to make dinner and these are calling my name in a BIG way!

Protein Packed Chicken Parmesan Florentine Meatballs
Find more fantabulous recipes, tips and tricks at www.thekitchenwhisperer.net. Also, join our TKW Family on Facebook
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 3/4 cup ground rolled oats (like breadcrumb texture) *I ground mine to a coarse mixture. Do not grind to a flour. To make gluten free, use gluten free oats
  • 1/4 cup Syntrax Medical Unflavored Protein Powder
  • 2 Tbl sweet yellow onions, minced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil (dried) or 1 tsp fresh, chopped
  • 1 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1 large whole egg (or 3 Tbl egg whites)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach leaves, pulsed in the food processor (should render almost 3/4-1 cup)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • 3/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (you don't want the powdery stuff. You want it either grated or even pulsed to little chunks. You want texture.)
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups Marinara Sauce, divided
  • 10-20 fresh mozzarella slices (it depends on how big your slices are. They should be 1”wide by 1-2” long)
  • Olive Oil for misting
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F, setting rack to upper third part of oven.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  3. In a large bowl, add the chicken, oats, protein powder, onion, oregano, steak seasoning, egg, Worcestershire, salt, black pepper, parmesan and 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup marinara sauce.
  4. Shape into 2” round meatballs (can make 1” for appetizers). I find it’s best to lightly wet my hands to shape these and you don’t really ‘roll’ them but rather toss them from hand to hand in a twisting motion to form the ball. The mixture is wet and very tender.
  5. Spray the foil pan with cooking spray.*note: you can pan-sear these first in a sprayed non-stick skillet for ~3 minutes per side to get that browned sealed exterior.
  6. Place the meatballs about 1” apart (they don’t really spread) on the pan.
  7. Spray/mist each meatball with extra virgin olive oil. It’ll help them ‘brown’ and get that great pan-seared exterior.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temp is 160 (yes I know they aren’t up to temp yet). *Note: if you pan seared them then only bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove the pan from the oven and turn on your broiler.
  10. Top each meatball with 1 Tbl of sauce.
  11. Top with a slice of cheese and place back in the oven.
  12. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden.
  13. Heat remaining sauce in a small saucepan and serve on the side.
Notes
If you make these as appetizers, make the meatballs 1" round. You can make these as sliders for parties. I personally love these in lettuce cups and then use the lettuce as the 'bun'.

 

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