Try this heart-healthy take on good old-fashioned Italian meatballs next time you’re in the mood for Italian.  Your heart will thank you because it’s made with less fat, fewer cholesterol and fewer calories.  You’ll get an extra helping of Calcium too, thanks to its main ingredient—tofu.

Tofu is soy bean curd, made primarily by adding calcium sulfate and water to a soy bean mash. Tofu virtually has no taste, but it readily absorbs the taste of the herbs and spices added in the dish. Tofu is a rich source of calcium and an inexpensive source of protein. It also contains high concentrations of isoflavones, compounds that function as antioxidants and possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Isoflavones have been associated with reduced risk of developing age and lifestyle-related diseases, including osteoporosis, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis and heart disease.

Ingredients
Meatballs

  • 1 pound firm tofu
  • ½ cup crushed corn squares cereal
  • ½ cup crushed rice squares cereal
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons onion flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • Pepper

Sauce

  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
  • Dash of garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Drain the tofu and mash with a fork.
  3. In a large bowl, combine mashed tofu, onion flakes, oregano, parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper, cereals and egg. Mix well and mash ingredients with a fork.
  4. Form mixture into 24 balls. Make sure to make compact balls by squeezing tightly.
  5. Place meatballs in a lightly oiled shallow baking pan.
  6. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl, then spoon over meatballs.
  7. Pop in the oven and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.

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