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Sesame Pork Meatballs

Sesame Pork Meatballs are the perfect appetizer, hors d’oeuvre, main course, or snack… delicious and healing!
sesame pork meatballs

If it’s getting close to dinner time and I still have no idea what to make or what I’m in the mood for, my go-to is oftentimes some kind of meatball. I always keep a variety of organic ground meats in my freezer just for times like this. This recipe for sesame pork meatballs was born on one of these nights.

I go through phases with foods and cooking. Sometimes I will make the same type of ethnic food for weeks at a time, just because that’s what I’m feelin’ at the time. I learned long ago that when I cook what I’m in the mood for and what my body is craving, the food comes out awesome. If I make something that I really have no interest in… ummmm…. it can come out really bad. And yes, I too have some epic kitchen failures.

Asian food is one cuisine that I have a love-hate relationship with. I can go for months without touching it and then… bam… I have to have it. A lot.

Last week, when I was hot and tired and didn’t feel like cooking but I also didn’t feel like going out, I opened my freezer and peeked in. I did what most of us do: I stood there and stared. I moved some things around as if by doing so something new would appear. Needless to say, it didn’t.

I really do keep several packages of ground meat in the freezer. I’ve got ground lamb, bison, beef, pork, and chicken in there right now as I write this post. When I know the flavors I’m in the mood for, ground meat can become my canvas for those flavors. That’s what happened here. These sesame pork meatballs have a slight Asian taste and that’s exactly what I wanted. And the sesame seed coating makes them a little crunchy… yum… just perfect.

I didn’t use any grains in these meatballs. Instead, I used chickpea crumbs. This is an awesome invention — they are sold in bags in lots of markets now and I just love to substitute them for breadcrumbs. (See the recipe below, for  details on the chickpea crumbs I used.)

These are not messy balls. They can be eaten with your fingers. And that is my favorite way to eat everything. The sesame seed coating helps keep the moisture and juices inside the meatballs… kind of like M&Ms. Well, not exactly, but I think you get the picture. Pick one up, dip it in your favorite Asian dipping sauce, and pop it in your mouth. Perfection.

If you’re a meatball fan like I am, you should also try my recipe for Paleo Buffalo Chicken Meatballs With Ranch.

sesame pork meatballs

I love to customize recipes for specific health concerns. Let me customize a meatball recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. So CLICK HERE to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

sesame pork meatballs

Here are some of the great healing ingredients in this recipe for sesame pork meatballs:

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.

Sesame seeds (the black ones) are a Chinese herb (Hei Zhi Ma). Black foods, in Chinese medicine, are knows as longevity foods. This herb is good for so many things, including headaches, constipation, dizziness, and even helping with lactation. White sesame seeds also have many great nutritional benefits. They are also an anti-aging food. If you have backaches, hair thats graying way too fast, ringing in the ears, weak knees, blurry vision or general weakness, go for the sesame seeds; just sprinkle them on everything. Long ago in China, sesame seeds were ground into honey to form a paste and was taken as a medicine to counter old-age and weakness. You can use black sesame seeds, white sesame seeds, or a combination of both for this recipe.

Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular. I used chickpea crumbs instead of breadcrumbs in these meatballs.

sesame pork meatballs

If you make these Sesame Pork Meatballs, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

Sesame Pork Meatballs
Author: 
Recipe type: meatballs, appetizer, hors d'oeuvre, finger food, main course
Cuisine: Asian, grain-free, dairy-free, gluten-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12-15 balls
 
These meatballs have a slight Asian taste and they are crispy on the outside and so moist on the inside... delicious and healing!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp tandoori spice (or use your favorite Asian spice)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried minced onion flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup chickpea crumbs (or substitute your favorite crumbs)
  • ½ cup raw sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a rimmed baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. Combine all ingredients, except sesame seeds, in a large bowl.
  4. Mush it up with your hands until it's combined.
  5. Form the mixture into golf-ball size balls.
  6. Pour the sesame seeds onto a plate.
  7. Roll the balls in the seeds so they are coated on all sides.
  8. Arrange the balls on the tray so that they are not touching each other.
  9. Bake for 10 mins, then flip them over and bake for another 10 mins or until they are cooked through.
  10. Serve alone or with your favorite Asian dipping sauce.
  11. Enjoy!

sesame pork meatballs

Dumpling Meatballs

dumpling meatballs

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.

dumpling meatballsdumpling 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…

dumpling meatballs

Dumpling Meatballs
Author: 
Recipe type: meatballs, Asian, Chinese, paleo, whole30
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Nom Nom Paleo
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
These meatballs taste like the insides of Chinese dumplings! And there's a bunch of healing ingredients in them!
Ingredients
  • 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)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, and smush it all up with your hands.
  4. Form the mixture into largish balls (I made 15 balls).
  5. Place the balls onto the lined baking tray and bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  6. Eat with pasta or on top of salad, or my favorite way -- on top of a big bowl of steamed fresh greens.
  7. Enjoy!

dumpling meatballs

Paleo Eggplant Meatballs

Here’s a meatball that can reduce inflammation… really!
paleo eggplant meatballs

Food in “ball” form is just fun. But, then again, I think finger food and appetizers just taste better than big portions of food. It just tastes does. It’s like food on a stick — when my kids were young, I’d cut up whatever I was serving for dinner and stack ( the bites on toothpicks; it worked like a charm. Meatballs are awesome (and don’t require any sticks). These paleo eggplant meatballs have no meat in them. They taste like little bites of eggplant parmesan. But, this recipe contains no grains and no cheese. And no, they don’t taste like air or like cardboard (as I have been asked by some doubter-friends).

I served these meatless balls for dinner the other night on top of my favorite grain-free fettuccine and my favorite marinara sauce.

The next day, I ate some for lunch on top of a salad with a vegan Caesar dressing — this was so good!

And, truth be told, the rest of the batch was eaten straight from the container in the fridge, without even heating them up. And yup, I liked them this way too.

The original recipe for these paleo eggplant meatballs is from a great blog called Every Last Bite.  I’m addicted.

Next up, I’ll be making these balls into burgers. Hmmmm, I think topped with some caramelized onions and vegan cheese… OK, now I’m hungry. Again.

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now (okay… always…), so let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. I’ve got a meatball recipe with your name on it…  So CLICK HEREto be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

If you are looking for another great paleo eggplant recipe, try my Paleo Eggplant Parmesan.

paleo eggplant meatballspaleo eggplant meatballs

Here are just a few reasons to make these paleo eggplant meatballs:

In eastern medicine, eggplant is added to the diet when there is pain in the body because it’s great for relieving pain and reducing swelling. It’s especially good to eat eggplant when you are experiencing some nasty digestive issues. It relieves stomach pain, helps with dysentery, diarrhea, and painful urinary conditions. Eggplant has also been used topically to treat frostbite and canker sores… talk about a multi-tasking vegetable…

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. In the winter, I eat lots and lots of onions… I guess I should feel sorry for the people close to me! During cold and flu season, I recommend onions to everyone, and in lots of ways and forms; they actually can rid the body of bacteria.

In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation. This recipe uses almond flour to hold the balls together.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects. In these meatballs, I used dried basil, but please feel free to add some fresh basil too.

paleo eggplant meatballs

If you make this Paleo Eggplant Meatballs recipe, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Paleo Eggplant Meatballs
Author: 
Recipe type: meatballs, vegetarian, grain-free, paleo, Italian
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Every Last Bite
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
These are meatless meatballs that won't make you miss the meat. Wow, that's a mouthful... and these are deliciously healthy mouthfuls!
Ingredients
  • 1 medium/large eggplant, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 5 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup almond flour (I buy mine by the case, here)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ cup vegan Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg white, beaten with a fork
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. Place the eggplant, onion, and garlic on the baking tray and toss with the oil and a bit of salt and pepper.
  4. Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until you start to see some charred edges.
  5. Remove from oven and now reduce the oven temp to 375°F.
  6. Scrape the roasted veggies into a food processor. Pulse 10 times -- you want there to still be some chunks in the mixture.
  7. Transfer the veggie mixture to a large bowl and stir in the almond flour, basil, Parmesan and egg white. Combine well.
  8. Roll into golf ball - size balls. (I found it easier to do this with wet hands).
  9. Arrange the balls on the baking tray (use the same piece of parchment paper).
  10. Bake for about 50 minutes, without turning the balls over. You will know they are done when they release from the parchment paper without sticking. Make sure you let the balls cool before you try to release them completely; this will help them release more easily without sticking.
  11. Enjoy your balls with your favorite pasta, sauce, salad, sandwich...

paleo eggplant meatballs

Paleo Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs

Eating a little bit of beef can help ease that holiday bloated feeling you may be suffering with…
paleo cheese-stuffed meatballs

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.

paleo cheese-stuffed meatballspaleo cheese stuffed 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.

paleo cheese-stuffed meatballs

Paleo Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs
Author: 
Recipe type: meatballs, Italian, main course, appetizer
Cuisine: paleo, whole30, comfort food
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
Meatballs stuffed with cheese! And they are healthy!!! Nuf said...
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Season the beef with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the carrots and onion into a food processor and pulse until very finely chopped.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the beef, carrot/onion mixture, and all of the rest of the ingredients, except the cheese.
  5. Mush it all up good with your hands.
  6. Form the mixture into balls that are a bit larger than golf balls.
  7. Place the balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  8. 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.
  9. Place the balls back onto the cookie sheet.
  10. Bake in the oven for 14 minutes, or until the balls are beginning to brown on the bottom.
  11. Flip the balls over and back an additional 10 minutes, or until they are cooked through.
  12. Enjoy with your favorite sauce, on top of a salad, or as an awesome snack right off the tray!

paleo cheese-stuffed meatballs

Paleo Turkey Meatballs

Did you know that turkey can boost your energy…
paleo turkey meatballs

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.

paleo turkey meatballspaleo turkey 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
tonsillitis.

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.

paleo turkey meatballs

Paleo Turkey Meatballs
Author: 
Recipe type: meatballs, turkey, pork, main course, Italian
Cuisine: paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
These meatballs are better than any breadcrumb-laden balls you've had. They are healthy, taste amazing, and are easy! Try eating them on top of a bowl of steaming broccoli rabe instead of pasta... yum!
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Season the turkey with salt and pepper and place it in a large bowl.
  3. Put the onion and the carrot into a food processor and pulse until really finely minced/grated (alternatively you can do this by hand).
  4. Add the carrot mixture to the turkey in the bowl.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl.
  6. Mush it all up with your hands until combined.
  7. Form the mixture into balls the size of golf balls.
  8. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  9. Bake 15 minutes, then flip the balls over.
  10. Bake an additional 7 minutes, or until cooked through.
  11. Remove from oven and enjoy!

paleo turkey meatballs

Vietnamese Meatball Bowls

These Vietnamese Meatball Bowls are deliciously Asian flavored… they will make you smile!

Vietnamese meatball bowls

Almost all meatballs are awesome. But these meatballs are extra awesome. They are made with pork and infused with some traditional Vietnamese flavors. They are bit-sized, juicy, mouth watering, amazingly flavorful meatballs. (I do realize how over the top that sounds, but I’m sticking with it…)

Almost all food tastes better when it’s turned into a “bowl”. If you haven’t yet jumped on the bowl bandwagon, don’t wait even another minute. A “bowl” is a complete meal served in… a bowl! It’s extra special because you get so many great flavors together in one place. And they are so easy to customize to reflect your own particular tastes.

One of my favorite food bloggers, Lindsay at Pinch Of Yum, posted her awesome recipe for Banh Mi Bowls With Lemongrass Meatballs. I found that recipe so inspiring that I created this recipe for Vietnamese Meatball Bowls.

This bowl has it all. It’s got deliciously moist pork meatballs. The meatballs are on top of spiced cauliflower rice. And crispy pea pods. And a few different kinds of peppers. And fresh aromatic herbs. It’s got so much flavor. And it’s grain-free and dairy-free. It’s paleo and Whole30 friendly. And, it’s easy to make. And it tastes great as leftovers the next day. Is that enough? I’m getting hungry again just writing this.

If you are looking for another great meatball recipe, try my Lamb Meatballs With Herbs And Kale recipe.

Vietnamese meatball bowlsVietnamese meatball bowls

Here are some of the great ingredients in this Vietnamese Meatball Bowls:

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.

Lemongrass is great for lots of digestive issues; it can help with stomach pains and vomiting. It’s also good to include lemongrass in your diet when you have a cold and it’s been known to help people with arthritic joint pain.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

I use cauliflower for breads, crusts, rice… everything. It can be used in so many forms… and, it’s really good for you. In Chinese medicine we use it to aid in digestion and help with constipation. It contains a healthy amount of Vitamin B, Vitamin K and Omega-3 fatty acids and can help fight cancer and cardiovascular disease. Cauliflower also helps the body with detoxification. So, as far as I’m concerned, the more the merrier.

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…

Mint is a Chinese herb called Bo He. It’s one of the best things to fight a cold, sore throat, or fever and it’s good for some abdominal pains too.

Vietnamese meatball bowls

Vietnamese Meatball Bowls
Author: 
Recipe type: bowl, meatballs, cauliflower rice
Cuisine: Recipe adapted from: Pinch Of Yum
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Moist and flavorful pork meatballs sit atop spiced cauliflower rice and are surrounded by crisp snow peas and peppers.
Ingredients
  • For meatballs:
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 Tbs lemongrass paste (or you can buy a jar of sliced lemongrass and mince it up really fine)
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 Tbs sriracha
  • 1 Tbs liquid aminos (or substitute soy sauce or fish sauce)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • For rice:
  • 2 cups cauliflower rice (buy it already riced or place one head of cauliflower florets in your food processor and pulse it just until it's like rice)
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • ½ cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • For the bowls:
  • fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped (I like about 2 Tbs for each bowl)
  • fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped (I like about 1 Tbs for each bowl)
  • pappadew peppers, sliced (as many as you like)
  • fresh pea pods or snap peas (as much as you like), briefly sauteed or steamed (they should still be crisp)
  • 1 hot red pepper, sliced (or more if you like things spicy)
  • 2 limes, zested and cut into wedges
  • 1 jar of pickled vegetables (I used pickled ginger carrots, but there are so many awesome varieties available).
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Mush it all together with your hands and form into small balls. Place the balls on the tray, so that they are not touching each other.
  4. Place the tray in the oven and bake 10 minutes. Turn the meatballs over and bake an additional 5 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.
  5. Place the cauliflower rice in a pot with the turmeric, salt and pepper, and broth. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the rice is just softened a bit.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, divide the cauliflower rice among the bowls. Top with meatballs and surround with the remaining ingredients.
  7. Enjoy!

Vietnamese meatball bowls

Lamb Meatballs With Herbs And Kale

These lamb meatballs with herbs and kale are incredibly delicious and satisfying!

lamb meatballs (finished in pan)-9346

Who doesn’t love a good meatball? I mean, you can’t be unhappy while eating a meatball, right? I’ve kind of become a little obsessed with them… I’ve been making them out of beef, chicken, pork, veggies… and they’ve all been good. But these lamb meatballs… these are great. They are grain-free and paleo, they are healthy, and they have a slight Greek feel to them. And the tomato sauce is so aromatic and amazing (don’t tell my husband that I hid olives in the sauce…)

A few weeks ago I went to The Meatball Shop. It’s a restaurant that pretty much serves meatball everything. I ordered “The Kitchen Sink”.  I got to choose they type of meat or veg I wanted my meatballs to be made from and which type of sauce I wanted. I got three big balls served on top of vegetables and salad, smothered in sauce. Can I tell you, I was in heaven.  Anyway, that kind of inspired me to create some meatball dishes that didn’t need to be on top of pasta or in a sandwich. These delicious Greek meatballs are filled with kale and scallions and hemp seeds and almond flour. I know, it sounds a little weird, but trust me and try them. You will not be disappointed.

lamb meatballs (raw on tray)-9323

So, let’s get to why these are so good for you:

In Chinese medicine, lamb is known to be the most warming meat. We recommend it for a lot of ailments caused by cold conditions. It’s great for some arthritic conditions, weakness, and back pain. Lamb also helps with insufficient lactation and impotence. By combining the lamb with all of the warming spices in this dish, you get a great winter-warming meal.

Kale is everywhere these days. I kind of got a little tired of just eating it in salads, so I now use it inside of different dishes, like here inside these meatballs. It is extremely nutritious, and because it to so popular you can find it already washed and prepared in lots of markets. I bought this kale already shredded and washed. If you are using a whole bunch of kale, make sure you clean the leaves thoroughly and remove the center thick stems if they bother you (me… I don’t really mind them if the kale is cooked). This dark leafy green is a great source of fiber and calcium. It’s also rich in many minerals, including magnesium, iron and potassium. One serving contains 200% of the daily requirements of Vitamin C and 180% of Vitamin A.

Scallions, if you know me, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion (Cong Bai) is considered an herb. With autumn coming, I implore you to always keep scallions on hand in your refrigerator so that you can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second you feel 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. And, they give these meatballs a great flavor.

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

I used some almond meal in these meatballs. In Asian medicine, we eat nuts because they are good for the brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation.

I add Chinese herbs to everything I can. This time I added Chen Pi (dried tangerine peel) to the sauce. Tangerines are good for nausea, chest tightness, excess mucus, and some stomach pains. Dried tangerine peels are a Chinese herb (Chen Pi). At any given time, if you look on my kitchen counter, you will see a bowl filled with sun-dried tangerine peels. I make tea out of them, and I grind them up for some recipes. For this recipe, I simply dropped the whole dried rind into the sauce and let it work its magic.

lamb meatballs (ball on fork closeup)-9401

I sprinkled some pomegranate seeds on top of the meatballs before I served them. Pomegranate seeds nourish the blood. In Chinese medicine, we know that many illnesses and conditions are caused by the body making poor quality blood. Pomegranate seeds are great at helping the body make good quality blood. They are also good to combat diarrhea, anemia and incontinence…. And they look like little jewels…
Pomegranate seeds on parchement closeup-

 

Lamb Meatballs With Herbs And Kale
Author: 
Recipe type: meatballs
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15 meatballs
 
These lamb meatballs are grain-free and paleo friendly. They are filled with kale, scallions, hemp seeds and more amazing ingredients! And the tomato sauce is slightly Greek tasting... so good!
Ingredients
  • For meatballs:
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • ¼ cup finely minced kale
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 12 grinds of black pepper (or to taste)
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbs hemp seeds
  • 2 Tbs almond meal
  • For sauce:
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbs coconut sugar
  • 10 oil-cured, pitted black olives, chopped
  • Optional Chinese herb: Chen Pi (dried tangerine rind)
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl. Get in there with your hands and mush up just until mixed together.
  3. Form the meat mixture into balls (I made mine like big golf balls and I got 15 balls out of it)
  4. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake the balls for 10 minutes, then carefully flip them over and bak an additional 8 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven.
  7. For the sauce:
  8. Combine all sauce ingredients in a medium pot. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
  9. Lay some of the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish or ovenproof skillet. Arrange the meatballs on top of the sauce.
  10. Bake in the oven until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and drizzle the pomegranate molasses on top and sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds.
  12. Enjoy!