Saturday, April 27, 2013

Paleo Turkey & Vegetable Meatballs

My kids love meatballs! It doesn't matter how large I make them, or what ground meat I use. It's all good...

While I've experimented with various fillers in order to keep things grain-free, this method is my favorite. Rather than try to replicate breadcrumbs with almond meal, flax or something similar in texture, I rely on vegetables as a binder. It's a great way to make the meal healthier and more complete, and really helps hold the meat together.

You can definitely vary what vegetables you use. I find mushrooms have the perfect consistency, and I wouldn't dare make a meatball without plenty of onion and garlic! The rest is up to you.

If you do dairy in your household, you can add some freshly grated Parmesan to the meat mixture. I like to bake mine and then simmer them on the stove top in sauce.
Turkey & Vegetable Meatballs

1 lb. ground turkey (or beef)
large handful of baby carrots (or two whole)
1 red or yellow pepper
handful of mushrooms
1/2 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tbs. Italian seasoning
salt and pepper (I was very generous with the seasoning)
Preheat oven to 350. 

Combine all vegetables, garlic and seasoning in food processor. Blend until everything is chopped fine.

Dump contents of food processor into a large bowl and add ground turkey. Combine well.

Form into meatballs and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 25 minutes. If you intend to finish these simmering in sauce on the stove top (which I often do), I suggested baking for only 20 minutes.

I ate my meatballs with a hodge podge of items (I kind of threw some spinach and other odds and ends in a bowl for a salad of sorts, topped with the meatballs). I have to admit my presentation wasn't the most photogenic, so I'm showing a bowl I made for the "caveman." Please just note the meatball itself and don't be offended by the brown rice fusilli or little bit of Parmesan cheese! I just really wanted a good shot of the meat...

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