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Heart Healthy Meatballs

Heart Healthy Meatballs

Who knew that meatballs could be made without eggs?

Just substitute a little unflavored gelatin and you get a heart-healthier meatball! Plus, stick the cabbage in the food processor and chop away. You will never even know the cabbage is there!

Additionally, help make your heart happier by not fearing the sad times that inevitably come. And even though sad songs may be … well, sad, they are sometimes the most tender and sweet ones! So take a listen to the “When Your Lover has Gone” sung by the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald.

Heart Healthy Meatballs


  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 3 cups wheat bread crumbs
  • ½ cup fresh or bottled salsa
  • 1¼ cups skim milk
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 small sweet potato (orange flesh)
  • 2-3 cups cabbage
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, fresh shredded
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 pounds ground sirloin


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. In a small bowl, put unflavored gelatin and water. Set aside to bloom.
  3. In a large bowl, put bread crumbs.
  4. Pour salsa and milk over bread crumbs.
  5. In the food processor, mince the zucchini. Pour over bread crumbs.
  6. Peel then cut sweet potato into small chunks. Mince in the food processor. Pour over bread crumbs.
  7. Cut the cabbage into small chunks and mince in the food processor. Pour over bread crumbs.
  8. To the bowl, add Parmesan cheese, black pepper, Italian seasoning herbs, basil, and salt. Stir.
  9. Add gelatin. Stir.
  10. Add ground sirloin. Mix well with your hands.
  11. Line a sided baking sheet with parchment paper. (Juices will drip off flat baking sheet.)
  12. Shape meatballs 3 inches across and 1 inch high. Set on parchment paper about an inch apart.
  13. Bake for 50-55 minutes.
  14. Cool slightly.
  15. Freeze leftovers for future meals. Slice into ½-inch thick slices and pan fry over medium heat.

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About Jillaine: As a professional jazz singer who also studies law, savoring daily nosh with family refreshes me. You are invited to my table to try great food, hear tasty music, and join in upbeat conversation!

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