Paleo Turkey Meatballs
Did you know that turkey can boost your energy…
I’m of the belief that any meatball is a good meatball. It’s kind of like any pizza is a good pizza. There’s just something about food in the form of a bite-size round ball that makes it taste awesome. But, not every ball is a healthy ball. And if you are a paleo eater, it’s sometimes hard to find a meatball with great taste and great texture. Enter… these paleo turkey meatballs.
Im my house, meatballs are not reserved just for a plate of pasta. Although, I do love my grain-free pasta… But, my absolute fav way to eat them is atop a huge bowl of steaming veggies. My current obsession is a bowl of garlicky broccoli rabe topped with meatballs. I think I just drooled a little bit onto my computer as I’m typing.
Usually I like my balls with my homemade tomato sauce. But, since these are turkey balls, I thought I’d just go with the Thanksgiving theme and I made a pot of paleo gravy. This was awesome. (I will be posting that recipe soon.) Meatballs are so versatile… what’s not to like? You’ve gotta love a food that multi-tasks well.
These paleo turkey meatballs are amazing! Really! I mean it! They have the texture of old-fashioned delicious meatballs. And, the taste is terrific. When I was testing this recipe I made it several different ways and this one’s the winner. It has pancetta in it to up the taste even more. OMG, when I tell you that these are better than breadcrumb-laden beef meatballs, you just have to believe me…
Also, try my recipe for Vietnamese Meatballs.
These meatballs have some great nutritional benefits:
Turkey is a healthy meat. Make sure you buy organic turkey for the highest nutritional benefits. Recent research has shown turkey helps lower the risk of pancreatic cancer; however I did read some research that suggests that if you eat the skin along with the meat, some of this value is reduced, so don’t eat too much skin — this recipe uses ground turkey so it has no skin involved… Turkey also has a great protein-to-fat ratio, so it keeps you feeling full with less potential for weight gain. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B and selenium. And, in Chinese medicine, turkey is thought of as a qi-booster, so it can be good for low energy levels.
Pork (this recipe uses pancetta) 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.
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!
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
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 turkey
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 med onion, quartered
- 1 carrot, cut into thirds
- 2 Tbs minced fresh parsley
- 2 oz finely diced pancetta
- 1 Tbs tomato paste
- ¼ cup tapioca flour
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Season the turkey with salt and pepper and place it in a large bowl.
- Put the onion and the carrot into a food processor and pulse until really finely minced/grated (alternatively you can do this by hand).
- Add the carrot mixture to the turkey in the bowl.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl.
- Mush it all up with your hands until combined.
- Form the mixture into balls the size of golf balls.
- Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake 15 minutes, then flip the balls over.
- Bake an additional 7 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Remove from oven and enjoy!