Monday, November 26, 2012

Paleo Florentine Meatballs

This recipe is my latest adaptation of Rachael Ray's Florentine Meatballs. Yes, I realize I reworked a Rachael Ray dish yesterday too... let's just say I'm trying to roll out some of our family's favorites, and the woman does kid-friendly pretty well.

In truth, though, these meatballs are quite different from the original. Other than the turkey and spinach I took quite a few liberties (more than I did earlier this year, when I shared my first adaptation). They are both dairy and gluten-free, which makes them a bit soft. Don't expect perfectly round meatballs, but once they bake they hold together just fine.

The sauce shown is not 100% paleo, as I adapted the Rachael Ray cheese sauce using Daiya dairy-free cheese. I am including my recipe, but if you want a sauce that is totally paleo-compliant, you could try my nacho cheese sauce, tweaking with the seasoning to make it more Italian than Tex-Mex.

I enjoyed tonight's meatballs and sauce over zucchini noodles. You could skip the noodle substitute, or go with cauliflower rice or spaghetti squash.

 Florentine Meatballs

one whole garlic bulb
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1.5 lbs. ground turkey
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups non-dairy milk, divided
3 tbs. ground flax
Coarse salt and black pepper
1 tbs. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 tbs. butter
1 minced shallot
2 tbs. gluten-free flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
1.5 cups Daiya shredded mozzarella
salt & pepper
fresh ground nutmeg, to taste
Preheat oven to 400. Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, then cut off the top to expose the individual cloves. Drizzle with olive oil, then wrap loosely with foil. Put in the oven for 35-40 minutes, and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, combine spinach, turkey, egg, 1/4 cup milk, flax, salt, pepper and 1 tbs. olive oil in a large bowl. When garlic has cooled enough, squeeze out the soft cloves and add to bowl. Combine well.
Shape into balls and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Keep in mind these meatballs will be a bit soft and will likely not wind up perfectly round. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
While meatballs are baking, heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add butter and allow to melt. Add shallots to pan and cook for 2 minutes, then stir in flour. 
Cook for one minute more, then add in remaining cup of milk and chicken broth. Stir with a whisk, allowing to come to a boil. Stir in cheese and whisk until melted. 
Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Serve meatballs over zucchini noodles, with sauce spooned over the top.

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