Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Paleo Turkey & Spinach Meatballs in "Cheese" Sauce


My kids used to love a Rachael Ray recipe for florentine meatballs, which were served smothered in cheese sauce. Over the years I've adapted the dish more and more, until finally I've made it enough times I can throw it together without a recipe and they declare it my best version yet.

I usually prefer beef to turkey meatballs, but something about the turkey paired with the spinach really works. I do still use a little Parmesan cheese in the meat to both bind it and add flavor, but the "cheese" sauce I use to finish it off is completely dairy-free.

I serve my meatballs and sauce over zucchini noodles, but they'd taste nice with cauliflower rice as well.

Paleo Turkey & Spinach Meatballs in "Cheese" Sauce

1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 10 oz. bag of frozen spinach, defrosted and wrung dry
2 minced shallots
4 minced cloves of garlic
1 egg
1/4 cup organic chicken broth or coconut milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup almond meal
salt & pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
pinch of ground nutmeg
olive oil, for drizzling

Preheat oven to 400.

Place ground turkey in a large bowl. Add spinach, shallots, garlic, egg, broth or milk, cheese, almond meal and seasoning. Mix until combined.

Form into large balls and place on a foil or Silpat-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes or until brown.

Dairy-Free "Cheese" Sauce

1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup butter or olive oil
2 cups cold water
1 tsp. salt
garlic powder & black pepper, to taste
2 tbs. cup arrowroot or tapioca starch
1/2 cup nutritional yeast

Put water in a large sauce pot. Place over medium heat and add in salt, starch and nutritional yeast. Stir with a whisk to combine.

Continue whisking as the sauce thickens and comes to a low boil. Reduce heat and cook for one minute.

Stir in butter or olive oil and mustard. Cook one minute more then remove from heat. Season to taste with black pepper and garlic powder.

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