So, this inspiration came from stumbling across a cooking show and this lady was making an INCREDIBLE looking Italian meal. I was fixated on the meatballs. She was using 3 different kinds of cheeses, breadcrumbs, etc. I decided this would be my new task, the “healthy” meatball.
I started researching “Paleo Meatball” recipes and ended up combining a few to make what I ultimately settled with. There were SO many options, from Asian meatballs to spicy jalapeno chicken meatballs, cilantro lime chorizo meatballs, and pesto meatballs etc., etc., etc. I had my heart set on some old fashioned Italian meatballs and marinara sauce but you can bet all of those other ones are still options for a later date.
Ingredients for the Meatballs:
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
½ Cup Almond Flour
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoon dried basil
1 ½ teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional… but I love spicy, so it was a GREAT choice for me)
2 large eggs, beaten
Here are all of the dry ingredients for the Meatballs (plus some Organic sauce from a jar to save some time)
Here’s my DELICIOUS grass-fed ground beef
I didn’t have any plain, ground pork at home so I de-thawed some organic sweet Italian sausage that I had in the freezer to ad-lib.
Leroy wanted to help but all he was doing was covering up my ingredient ideas. Being on the counter where I am cooking is a “no-no” and he knows it but I had to snap this picture before he was “relocated” to a new spot to watch me cook. He’s so cute… and bad… and he knows it.
Here are my dry ingredients with my ground beef.
(You might count 3 eggs in this bowl and not 2 like I mentioned above. Way to go! You get the “I-Spy” Award of the day. 🙂
I got to cracking without thinking and ended up removing one egg before everything was mixed together.)
I emptied the sausage casings and included the meat mixture in with my other ingredients.
I am a big fan of “hands-on” mixing but not with my bare hands…
Form the meat into balls of a size that make you happy. If you want tiny balls for an appetizer, go for it. If you want larger balls (why is this post suddenly reminding me of an old Saturday Night Live Skit involving Alec Baldwin?) to serve as the protein for a main dish, then form away until your heart is content.
I made mine about “yay-big.” I couldn’t really describe, “yay-big” so here is a picture.
I sprayed the baking sheet with a non-stick spray for easier removal once they are cooked.
Here’s another picture with a flash so you can see how beautifully colorful these things were. (And they smelled SO good)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
Bake for 40 minutes
Fresh from the oven… MMMMmmmm!!!
Ok, warning… we turned this into a bit of a “cheat meal” ….
…. with some Gluten-free, wheat-free Brown Rice Pasta.
I slowly cooked the marinara sauce on the stove on low heat for about an hour with some fresh chopped basil and about 4 more cloves of minced garlic. I also had some Organic Mozzarella cheese in my freezer so I melted some on top and made one HECK of a cheat meal. We also added some fresh chopped parsley.
Note: This type of meal is not the ‘norm’ or optimal by any means, but does help minimize the damage while still allowing you to indulge. Ideally, we like to advise others to remain grain and dairy free, at least most of the time.