I love all meatballs. For some reason, anything that can be made into a ball just tastes good to me. I remember when my kids were young, I would get them to eat foods by making them bitesize and sticking a toothpick into each one so they could easily grab whatever it was. And, that’s my favorite way to eat these meatball… I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. So, when I saw a great recipe from Nom Nom Paleo for a meatball I hadn’t yet experimented with, I just had to try it. So, thank you Michelle… these dumpling meatballs are awesome!
For those of you who know me, you know that for the month of October, I changed up my diet and I ate plant-based. I learned so much, and I enjoyed so much of that experience. Staying away from animal proteins forced me to be so much more creative with my plant-based meals, and now I love those meals even more.
But, now it’s November. And, while I do intend top stay probably about 80% plant-based, I was looking to cook up a very different type of meal. These dumpling meatballs are made with a combination of shrimp and pork. So, haha, my first non plant-based meal had both seafood and meat in it. You’d think it might be a shock to my system, but you’d be wrong… these were awesome.
Oh, and the reason they are called dumpling meatballs, is because they taste like the inside of the steamed dumplings you get at Chinese restaurants. Yum.
And, they are grain free and dairy free. And have so many healing ingredients. Win-win for me.
For another great healthy meatball recipe, try my Paleo Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs.
Here are some of the great healing ingredients in these dumpling meatballs:
I love mushrooms. In Chinese medicine, mushrooms ARE medicine. They are herbs. They are one of the most healing foods around. In China, mushrooms have been used for many years as part of a natural cancer treatment. They are one of the best immune-boosting foods around. I used dried shiitakes in this recipe. Shiitakes are probably the variety of mushroom that I use most. I love the way they taste and they help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. These shrooms also promote healing and have been found to fight tumors. In Asia, shiitake mushrooms are often fed to a patient who has just had surgery to help the healing process.
Pork strengthens the digestive system, helps with constipation, and can moisten a dry cough and other dryness in the body. It’s also good to strengthen your qi and give you energy.
Many of my friends used to stay away from shrimp because they were afraid that eating them raised cholesterol levels. Now, research shows that shrimp actually can lower triglycerides because they are rich in Omega-3s. And, they are high in protein and low in calories, so really, they are a pretty good thing. In Chinese medicine, shrimp are actually recommended as a food to promote longevity because they nourish the kidneys, and in Chinese medicine, the kidneys are the key to life. Shrimp are great to boost libido, lessen some lower back pain and weakness, and they can help new moms with lactation.
Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.
Cilantro is also known as Chinese Parsley. It is good for the common cold, indigestion, and energy flow in the body. An old Chinese remedy for the common cold and even for measles was to drink cilantro and mint tea. Cilantro is one of those herbs you either love or hate; I’m a lover…
- ¼ oz dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated in water for about 30 mins, then stems discarded and caps finely chopped
- ½ lb cleaned raw shrimp, finely chopped
- 1 lb ground pork
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1-1/2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 Tbs coconut aminos (or substitute liquid aminos or soy sauce)
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- ¼ tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp lemon grass paste (I used a lemongrass paste with chili sauce, so option here to mix in some spicy hot sauce or chili peppers)
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, and smush it all up with your hands.
- Form the mixture into largish balls (I made 15 balls).
- Place the balls onto the lined baking tray and bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
- Eat with pasta or on top of salad, or my favorite way -- on top of a big bowl of steamed fresh greens.