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Food & Dining // Heart-y Chef
Diana Helfand

Staying Fit While Having A (Meat) Ball

Troy Henry’s Healthy Holiday Meatballs are made with nutritious Swiss chard. Photo from Troy Henry

Troy Henry’s Healthy Holiday Meatballs are made with nutritious Swiss chard. Photo from Troy Henry

While we’re still in the midst of the busy holiday season, it’s not too early to start thinking about trying to eat healthy and stay fit in the new year!

Troy Henry, general manager of the Honolulu Club, is passionate about fitness and well-being, and led the Hawaii-based management team through the club’s multimillion-dollar renovation. He is in charge of ensuring the best possible member experience, with state-of-the-art equipment and some of the most qualified instructors in Hawaii.

Troy moved to Hawaii to attend the Hawaii Pacific University nursing program, working part time as a trainer at the Honolulu Club. It was his passion and infectious spirit that made him the perfect choice to be its general manager.

Troy finds time to share his own fitness tips with everyone Wednesday mornings on KHON’s Wake Up 2Day. One of his nutritional recommendations is to eat some protein, whether it’s healthy nuts, lean meat or leafy vegetables, with every meal. This will keep you satisfied longer, curb hunger and give you energy to reach your fitness goals.

Here Troy shares a healthy, protein-packed recipe for meatballs that are great for holiday appetizers when made in bite-size portions, and the red and green colors are perfect for Christmas!

Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable in the same family as beets and spinach. It is an excellent source of vitamins K, A and C, as well as a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron and dietary fiber. If you are prone to kidney stones, it does contain oxalates, which decrease the body’s ability to absorb calcium and can lead to kidney stones. Boiling breaks down some of these oxalates.

Merry Christmas to all!

HEALTHY HOLIDAY MEATBALLS

* 1/2 pound lean groundbeef
* 2 cloves minced garlic
* 1/4 red onion, chopped
* 2 Wasa brand crackers, crumbled well
* 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
* 1 bunch rainbow chard, rinsed well, leaves sliced 1-inch wide; stems sliced 1/2-inch wide
* sea salt and pepper, to taste
* 1 (14-ounce) can tomato puree

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Boil the chard for 3 minutes, drain and squeeze out excess water. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the tomato puree. Roll the mixture into individual balls, approximately 2 tablespoons for each ball.

In a small baking dish, tightly pack meatballs next to each other and pour the tomato puree over the meat-balls. Bake for 30 minutes.

Makes 12 large meatballs or 24 bite-size appetizer portions.

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