Monday, February 3, 2014

Our Favorite Grain-Free Meatballs

You can make these meatballs with all beef, but we had grass-fed chili Saturday and then twice for leftovers to finish it off. Frankly I needed a break from the beef.

I'm kind of scarred from years of bland turkey meatballs; my mom went through a phase when I was in high school of cooking as low in fat (and thus flavor) as possible. By combining ground pork with turkey, however, it really gives these a nice flavor. I bought pork tenderloin and ground it myself in my food processor.

I've made a ton of different grain-free meatballs, using various binders and spices. Hands down my kids like these best. They do include grated Parmesan to add both flavor and texture. If you are purely paleo and want to skip it, I'd suggest including some pureed zucchini or mushrooms to add bulk to your meat mixture.

When I make these on a weekday I always bake them in the morning, then pop them in the crock pot with sauce in the later afternoon. It's perfect for days like my usual Monday, when I have to pick the kids up at school and take my son to a half hour Crossfit class. Today we had a snow day, though, so I actually never left the house but still made the meatballs the same way! It was a little silly, perhaps, but I do love how the crock pot heats everything evenly.

I enjoyed my meatballs over zucchini noodles and confess to using jarred organic sauce, but you can obviously serve them up any which way your heart desires.

Our Favorite Grain-Free Meatballs

1 lb. ground turkey
1 lb. ground pork
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2/3 cup almond meal or flour
1 large minced shallot
1 tbs. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 eggs
olive oil
1 jar organic marinara (24 oz.)
1/4 cup water or coconut milk (to make a creamy sauce)

Preheat oven to 350. Combine meat, cheese, almond meal, shallot, seasoning and eggs in a large bowl. Use hands to mix well.

Roll into meatballs (I make 10 large ones) and placed on a baking sheet covered with foil or a Silpat. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 40 minutes.

An hour before serving, add meatballs to a crockpot along with sauce and water or coconut milk. If using jarred sauce, feel free to add some extra seasoning to kick it up a bit.

Cover crock pot and cook on low for 1 hour.

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