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New year, new meatballs with cauliflower mash

“New year, new me.” That’s the motto for most on January 1. Many start new diets or even try healthy cooking. Gym memberships are broken in. Parents commit to cooking dinner at home rather than eating out. That way they can save money.

About three or four weeks into the new year, however, those resolutions are broken. Let’s face it; we all want to be a person we are not, but it’s not easy. People start going out for dinner. And those gym memberships get tossed aside.

Growing up, I always ate some type of dish that my mother would whip up using whatever we had leftover in our pantry. Always something to look forward to at dinner time, particularly the excitement of not knowing what was for dinner every night. There were some nights that weren't the best dinner-wise. Other nights, I couldn't get enough of whatever she made.

Dinner isn't about whether or not the food is good enough for you or bad for you. It’s about the people you get to share the time with. Telling funny stories and sharing the highlights from your day. The nice thing about dinner is coming together. Even though you may have had enough of the family time during the holidays, it’s still important to share a meal together as a family.

For this recipe, I am sharing a leaner spin on traditional comfort food (in the spirit of the new year) and am also nodding to the holidays that have just passed by topping it with a cranberry sage sauce.



1 pound ground turkey

1 cup bread crumbs

4 tbsp 8oz of canned cranberry sauce

2 stems of sage leaves chopped

1 tbsp butter (set aside)

1 sage leaf, chopped (set aside)


Rest of can of cranberry sauce

1/2 cup water

5 stems of sage leaves chopped

2 dashes of cinnamon

1 tbsp butter


Cauliflower mash:

2 heads of cauliflower

1/2 cup milk

1 tbsp butter


  1. Place a pot of water on the stove.
  2. Cut the cauliflower heads into pieces.
  3. Add to water and boil until the pieces are soft to the touch.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl, add the ground turkey, cranberry sauce, bread crumbs, and sage.
  5. Mix together to form about 10-12 small meatballs. Set into a pan and brown and cook. Be careful not to burn them; set the heat to medium.
  6. Add the rest of the cranberry sauce to a half cup of water.
  7. Whisk on a low heat adding the butter. Add 5 sage leaves to the sauce and two dashes of cinnamon.
  8. If the sauce is a little watery, mix 1 tsp of corn starch with 2 tsp of water.
  9. Once the meatballs are almost done, add the 1 sage leaf and 1 Tbsp of butter to the pan to coat the meatballs. When the cauliflower is soft to the touch, drain the water from the pot and mash along with the butter and milk. Then serve.

Michelle Tubertini is a student in Rowan College at Burlington County’s Culinary Arts program on the Mount Holly Campus. rcbc.edu/culinary