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    Hi! My name is Leah and I like food! Welcome to my blog about mostly healthy eats! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at leftoversforlunchATgmailDOTcom.

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Habanero Turkey Meatballs with Kale Basil Polenta


Because I didn’t get enough meatballs last week

But seriously, this recipe looked too good to pass up. Sues always has good ones. Turns out that it tasted just as good as it looked!

I made a few tweaks, mostly out of laziness. This was my first time making polenta from scratch as opposed to pulling it out of a pre-formed tube so I focused on doing the polenta correctly so the meatballs were a little more haphazardly formed.


Habanero Turkey Meatballs

  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 habaneros, minced
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1/4 C bread crumbs (I used gluten-free breadcrumbs)
  • 1/3 C milk (I used unsweetened almond)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat over to 400*.

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and form 12-14 meatballs. Place on a lined and greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through.


Kale Basil Polenta

Sues originally had the basil in with the meatballs but I thought it would be more flavorful mixed in with the polenta. It turned out excellent!

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch kale (I used a blend of chard and kale, any greens will work!)
  • 1/4 cup basil
  • 4 1/2 C water
  • 2 C milk (unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 1/2 C polenta
  • 3 T butter
  • 4 T shredded parmesan + 1 T for garnish

Heat a large saucepan over medium. Once hot, add oil and sauté onion for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Stir in garlic and greens. Sauté until greens are wilted.

Transfer greens to a food processor, add basil, and process until smooth. Set aside.

In the same pot, heat water and milk to a rolling boil. Stir in polenta and reduce heat to medium. Whisk continually until polenta is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Stir in pureed greens, butter and parmesan.

Serves 4.


9 Responses

  1. I recently made polenta from scratch (but still used the lazy way and microwaved it) and it turned out great. So much better than the logs.

  2. I love polenta! What a great idea to add basil to it. Habanero’s in meatballs – those have to be delicious!

  3. Talk about specy spicy meatballs!!!! Two habarneros? My stomach is telling me I would need to cut it to one! I’m a whimp, but aside from that – I do love the meatball recipe but want to jump up and make the polenta right now! It all looks wonderful! Great pics!

  4. I love the idea of adding kale to the polenta! I am going to give that a try. I am always on the lookout for ways to incorporate it because it is such a healthy vegetable.

  5. That looks amazing!! I love the idea. I have never seen kale with polenta….looks great!

  6. That looks like an awesome recipe! And I love the way you served it- almost like polenta soup. 🙂

  7. Mmm meatballs! I can’t remember the last time I made turkey meatballs. I would have never thought to add habanero peppers to them, but I love anything spicy.
    I’ve also never had polenta…it might be time for me to try it, but I’m just not sure about the texture.

  8. i’ve never made polenta from scratch before either, but it looks super delicious! maybe one day i’ll have to graduate from TJ’s pre cooked, pre bagged version… 🙂

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