Paleo Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs
Eating a little bit of beef can help ease that holiday bloated feeling you may be suffering with…
I love meatballs. When Meatball Mondays became an actual thing that people were doing, I thought here is something I can get on board with — no questions asked.
Meatballs are so adjective-worthy: Delish. Fun. Simple. Comforting. Changeable. Delectable. Delightful. Enticing. Multi-generational. Multi-tasking. Yummy.
So, awhile ago I started making balls of all kinds. There were vegan balls, Italian balls, Asian balls, mini balls, gigantic balls… well, you get the picture.
It turns out that paleo meatballs were my biggest challenge. Oh, they were easy to make, but they required more thought than a regular ball. No grains meant I had a lot of crumbling balls. Then I overcompensated and ended up with some overly moist balls.
Then, once I figured out the perfect recipe (which this recipe for paleo cheese-stuffed meatballs is), they just photographed so…. uhmmmmmmmm …. not nice…
So it was back to the drawing board. And here is the final result.
I will tell you that these paleo cheese-stuffed meatballs still taste better than they look in the pics — they are flavorful and gooey and just so meatball-y. Oh, and did I mention that there is prosciutto in them? Because, well, how could that be bad?
I am not a dairy eater, so I went for vegan cheese for the stuffing in these balls. Truth be told, I’m not so much of a meat eater either, but in the winter, sometimes the body wants what it needs and I guess I’m needing beef! So, even though some people think it’s odd that these balls are made of beef and vegan cheese, I’m telling you, it’s the way to go! There are so many awesome vegan cheeses available today, that not only are the meatballs themselves amazingly delicious, but the cheesy filling is a great added surprise in the center of these grass-fed meatballs that even self-proclaimed vegan-cheese-haters will love the gooey centers.
For a slightly different take on paleo meatballs, make sure you try my recipe for turkey meatballs.
If you never thought meatballs could be healing, think again…:
Beef is good for a lot of ailments. It’s good for edema/swelling in the body, it helps many people with their weak back and knees and, believe it or not, it’s good for that bloated, distended feeling we sometimes get in our stomachs. In the olden days, beef was stewed for hours so that the liquid could be sipped to combat chronic diarrhea. I use grass-fed beef whenever possible.
Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and tonsillitis.
Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; they actually can rid the body of bacteria. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!
Parsley has been shown to reduce tumors in the lungs and to neutralize the effects of carcinogens, including cigarette smoke. It is high in vitamins A and C, and is good for your heart. This herb is also a natural breath freshener. So, if you have a chance to use more than a few sprigs as a garnish, go for it.
Tapioca is a starch that comes from the cassava plant. It’s not really a flour in the traditional sense; it’s grain and gluten free. It’s good for your circulation and your digestion. Oftentimes I will make recipes (like this one) with tapioca flour — it works as a great substitute in a lot of recipes that would otherwise include breadcrumbs.
- 1 lb ground beef (preferably grass-fed)
- sea salt and black pepper
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into thirds
- 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into quarters
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 Tbs ketchup (I use a paleo one)
- 2 oz finely diced pancetta
- ¼ cup tapioca flour
- 5 oz vegan mozzarella (or cheese of choice), cut into ½-inch cubes
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Season the beef with salt and pepper.
- Place the carrots and onion into a food processor and pulse until very finely chopped.
- In a large bowl, combine the beef, carrot/onion mixture, and all of the rest of the ingredients, except the cheese.
- Mush it all up good with your hands.
- Form the mixture into balls that are a bit larger than golf balls.
- Place the balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Pick up each ball individually and press a cube of cheese into the center of each ball, and then squeeze the meat back around the cheese so that the cheese is completely covered with meat.
- Place the balls back onto the cookie sheet.
- Bake in the oven for 14 minutes, or until the balls are beginning to brown on the bottom.
- Flip the balls over and back an additional 10 minutes, or until they are cooked through.
- Enjoy with your favorite sauce, on top of a salad, or as an awesome snack right off the tray!
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