Trying to find recipes that are easy, healthy and taste like comfort food is hard. I love to cook, but dinner comes at the worst time of the day.  At 6pm the house is crazy and some sort of s*%t is hitting the fan and it is hard to start cooking. It is so much easier to just order take out, but ironically sitting down to a homemade dinner calms the beasts down.  

One trick/tip I can give you, if your house is anything like mine, is to take 5 minutes on Sunday or Monday morning and look at your calendar.  Figure out what days dinner at home is possible and then think of that many meals.  It makes life so much easier if you know on Tuesday that you are going to be making Turkey Meatballs with Marinara.  And on Tuesday at 4pm when your precious child tells you that they need a book for class tomorrow and you have to run to Barnes and Noble you are not stressed about dinner because you know what you are going to make.  And if you can’t get cooking until 7pm then give the kids a snack and pour yourself a glass of wine or something stronger and eat at 7:45pm.  At least you are all sitting down together and eating something healthy, kinda, sorta, maybe. 
I developed this version of turkey meatballs because I am trying to cut down on red meat and many, many days I do not have an 1 1/2 to make dinner.  This is a quick meal.  
Another trick/tip is keep your kitchen clean while you are cooking.  Stay organized!  Get all the ingredients out before you start cooking and keep a trash can near you. This will make cooking dinner SO much easier and faster.  If you are organized then you will be able to start the marinara sauce and while it is bubbling on the stove you can start your meatballs and both will be done at the same time.  And your kitchen won’t look like a bomb went off.  Husbands and kids are much more willing to help clean up after if it seems manageable. 
Those are my tips for the day! You’re welcome, Martha Stewart:)
Here is the tomato paste I found in my grocery store.  It is normally in the pasta sauce aisle.


Turkey Meatballs with Marinara

Makes 20-24 meatballs

1/4 cup Parmesan
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 lb. ground turkey

Preheat oven to 350°

Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Or if you have a cookie rack then place that in the sheet pan and spray with oil.

In a large bowl combine all ingredients.  Mix well, but do not over mix.  Using an ice cream scoop (makes it so much easier) scoop out 24 meatballs and place on prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.

Marinara Sauce:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2-28oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if you like a bit more heat)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
3-4 large basil leaves, minced 

In a large pot heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add olive oil, garlic and tomato paste.  Sauté for just a minute-do not burn the garlic. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  Allow to simmer on the stove for 20 minutes.  Adjust seasoning, meaning, depending on the acidity of the tomatoes you might need to add more sugar or salt.  

To serve: if you are trying to cut out carbs then serve just the meatballs with the sauce.  It is fabulous on its own with a side salad.  Or serve over pasta of your choice with a side salad. 


1-Tomato paste comes in cans or tubes.  I prefer the tubes because you can store the left over in the refrigerator.
2- I use a garlic press to mince my garlic.  I have tried and tried to mince with a knife and I always end up with garlic all over my hands and it sticks to the knife, ugh.  So just use a garlic press.