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Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
- 1 lb 95% lean ground beef
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano, divided
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped, divided
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1/2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips (4 oz)
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips (4 oz)
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips (3 oz)
- 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup fresh tomatoes, seeded, chopped and squeezed to release juices, seeds and juices discarded
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 14 oz whole-wheat baguette (18-inch long; widest baguette you can find)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, combine beef, oats, egg white, tomato paste, thyme, 1/2 tsp oregano, black pepper and 1 clove garlic. Line a sheet pan with nonstick foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Form beef mixture into 1-inch balls, making about 50. Place balls on pan, not allowing them to touch. On another sheet pan, toss zucchini, bell pepper and onion with oil. Put both pans in oven and set timer for 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, stir together tomatoes, basil, remaining 1/2 tsp oregano and remaining 1 clove garlic. When timer goes off, remove meatballs from oven and pour tomato mixture over them. Use a metal spatula to turn meatballs to coat with tomato mixture. Place back in oven for another 10 minutes, again setting timer. When timer goes off again, remove meatballs and set aside. Stir vegetables, return to oven and roast for another 10 minutes.
- Slice baguette into 4 sections, then slice each section in half horizontally so it opens like a book. Spread open each section and tear out a bit of bread from the middle to make room for the meatballs. Toast bread in toaster or under a hot broiler for 1 minute to crisp.
- To assemble sandwiches, open up each piece of toasted bread, pile on a quarter of meatball mixture and top with a quarter of roasted vegetables. Close sandwich and serve with a fork for any stray meatballs and sauce.
Nutrients per sandwich: Calories: 452, Total Fat: 10 g, Sat. Fat: 3 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Carbs: 59 g, Fiber: 8 g, Sugars: 5 g, Protein: 25 g, Sodium: 552 mg, Cholesterol: 60 mg
Nutritional Bonus: Lean beef is a great source of protein and iron, and if you can go with the grass-fed variety, you’ll reap even more health benefits: Grass-fed beef contains two to four times the omega-3s found in conventional beef.