Talking Turkey About Healthier Meatballs

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - January 11, 2012
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Happy birthday to Naomi Losch, who also celebrates her first year of retirement after 40 years of teaching in the University of Hawaii system.

Born and raised in Kahuku, Naomi started the Hawaiian Language programs at Windward Community College and Leeward Community College, and is a former chairwoman of the Hawaiian and Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures Department at UH-Manoa. Naomi also was on the board of the Native Hawaiian Culture and Arts Program at Bishop Museum, served on the Hawaii Board on Geographic Names, and co-chaired a national conference here in Hawaii.

Naomi is an avid traveler and has been to Japan, New Zealand, Okinawa, Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti, Europe and the Mainland.

Her passion is collecting and making dollhouse miniatures, and she is regional state representative for the National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts, and a member of the Miniature Guild of Hawaii.

This column is dedicated to Naomi.

When purchasing, look for firm, unblemished zucchini with a glossy skin. If the zucchini has spots, avoid it, as it has been exposed to cold. To store, place in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator, where it should keep for about a week. Do not wash until just before use.

Zucchini may also be frozen; cut into slices and blanch for two minutes. Once frozen, it will keep for about three months. Zucchini is an excellent source of potassium and vitamin A, and contains vitamin C, folic acid, antithetic acid and copper.


* 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (for the least fat, use turkey breast)
* 1/2 cup dry Italian bread crumbs (may add more if consistency is not thick enough to make meatballs that hold together)
* 1/2 cup finely shredded nonfat Parmesan cheese
* 1/4 cup finely chopped Maui onion
* 1/2 cup finely shredded zucchini
* 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
* salt and pepper, to taste
* 2 large egg whites
* 2 garlic cloves, minced finely
* olive oil or cooking spray

Coat bottom of frying pan with olive oil or cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in a bowl; stir well, wash your hands and mix until well-combined. Make meatballs, using about 1/4 cup for each meatball, and place on plate.

Heat oil in pan and brown meatballs on each side. Turn down heat to medium, and cook until meatball is no longer pink in the middle.

Makes four to six servings.

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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