greek turkey meatballs

Surreal sight #477 in Tesco today. Well, no, just outside of Tesco, some biffa standing next to her bags with an inhaler in one hand and a cigarette in the other – she’d take a couple of drags on her cigarette and then a quick puff on the inhaler. Now THAT’S commitment. Even when you can physically feel yourself choking, you carry on – oxygen is for pussies, after all. It’s like opening an AA meeting with a swift half and a celebratory chaser. Takes all sorts. Anyway, there’s a rant coming, so batten down the hatches.

I’m going to write about tweaks today. Before I start, know that this isn’t exactly the official Slimming World position, but rather my own. Obviously.

To me, the ‘no tweaks’ rule is something Slimming World have put into place to stop you blending eighteen bananas into a smoothie for breakfast, or using two tubs of Smash and some Splenda to fashion a small motor car to take you to McDonalds. The logic is over-consuming is easy – you can drink a smoothie in moments but it would take an age to eat the fruit that goes into one, and you’d likely stop before you’d even had a third. You’d need to press a whole lot of apples to make a glass of fresh juice, but one apple would normally curb your hunger.

But people take it to ridiculous levels, and my carrot cake overnight oats from a week or so ago caused a bit of a stir because I said it was syn free despite it having a mashed banana in it. If you follow the Slimming World rule about fruit to its absolute base level, then yes, it should be synned. But, if you apply logic and reason, there’s no difference to me mashing the banana using my fancy-pants potato ricer than there is mashing it between my teeth. Using a masher isn’t going to coat the banana in Nutella, it isn’t going to ‘add sugars’ or ‘release the fibre content’ any different. Sugar doesn’t float about in the air like a midge, waiting to strike the very second you cut into a piece of fruit. Some try and say that you’d use up energy chewing your banana which you don’t do if you mash it in a bowl – perhaps, but I’m not a fucking snake, I don’t dislocate my jaw and swallow the bowl and its contents without chewing, for goodness sake. I have a banana every morning on top of my porridge, the only difference here is that it’s inside my porridge as opposed to sitting on top. It’s still going to be chewed, digested and turned into a gentleman’s egg a few hours later – and I’m not going to fucking syn it!

What irks me more is that there’s always a curious sanctimony applied with the rule, with some people delighting in pointing out ‘BUT THAT SHOULD BE SYNNED’ like they’ve got Margaret MB standing behind them, pointing a pistol at the back of their shaking heads. A rule is a rule, but common sense also needs to apply. I mean, you’re not exactly supposed to stop in the middle of a road, but you do if an ambulance needs to be past – you don’t sit there blocking it, sucking air through your teeth and going WELL THE HIGHWAY CODE SAYS OTHERWISE as some poor bugger has his chest pumped in the back. I’ve been told before that it could confuse new starters, well, perhaps so – but my nephew still craps his pants because he hasn’t got the hang on his potty quite yet, should I start wearing adult nappies so he doesn’t get a complex? Haway!

And finally, what really riles me about being told off about my tweaking is that the very same people will sit there and tut and huff about a cake made from chickpeas but will then make a brownie using a bollockload of artificial sweetener until their countertops look like the inside of Kerry Katona’s fucking nostril. At least I cook proper, healthy, nutritious food instead of manky, artificially-sweetened pap – even if I do have the temerity to use a mashed up banana. FORGIVE ME.

BAH. After that, I could murder a cigarette, but I don’t smoke, and I don’t know where my old salbutamol inhaler is. Anyway, after all that, here’s tonight’s recipe which is actually bloody delicious!

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to make greek turkey meatballs you will need:

300g of chopped frozen spinach (defrosted), 500 of turkey mince (very low in fat), 3 cloves of garlic chopped so finely, an egg, tsp of oregano, salt, pepper, 90g of crumbled feta (45g is your HEA, but this serves four) and you might, dependent on the quality of your mince, need some breadcrumbs – if so, chuck in 25g of dried breadcrumbs (4 syns – so 1 syn each) but we didn’t need them. For the sauce, a pot of passata, garlic, onion. Spaghetti, any.

to make greek turkey meatballs you should:

nothing more to it for the meatballs than combining everything together for the balls into one bowl, mixing and squeezing and really blending it with your hands and shaping it into 24 balls. Stick them onto a non-stick tray and pop them in the oven for twenty or so minutes on 180 until nicely browned. Meanwhile, cook your spaghetti. Make a simple tomato sauce by mixing passata, sauteed onions and garlic. Combine sauce with cooked spaghetti, put meatballs on top.

extra-easy: yup. plenty of spinach and tomatoes in this to make it a go-go-go. You could jazz up the sauce by adding peppers if you were so inclined but this’ll do nicely. The balls are tasty and cheesy, and it’s not often I say that.

Cheers now,

J