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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

Lentil Vegetable Soup

This lentil vegetable soup is so healing and so comforting!

lentil vegetable soup

I make soup all of the time. I mean All. Of. The. Time. Unfortunately, I’m not quite as organized as I’d like to be, so oftentimes I make a great pot of soup for dinner, we eat it, we love it, and then there is not enough left for me to photograph. This means that some of my best creations never make it to the blog.

I have made a version of this soup at least 3 times already. Each one has been delicious. And, I’m proud to say, that finally, I cooked it during the day, while it was still light enough for me to take some decent pictures.  Yay… here it is!

I love a good lentil soup.

I love a great vegetable soup.

This is a great lentil vegetable soup!

And this version is filled with sliced up collard greens. OMG… it’s so good! And don’t even get me started on the health benefits of collards (really, just look below and I’ll list them for you…).

I also love to freeze some of my soup leftovers so that on a night that I don’t feel like cooking (yes, it does happen…) I can just defrost some and have a great dinner.

This time that didn’t work so well. I’ve been trying not to use plastic anymore; I much prefer glass. I see people freezing things all of the time in glass mason jars. I’ve had it work a few times, but like this time, sometimes the jars crack. Such a waste! It all looked good… I took the filled lentil vegetable soup jar out of the freezer, set it on the counter, and within 10 minutes, an entire side of the jar fell off! I mean, it really just slid away from the rest of the jar!

For those of you who have had success freezing foods in mason jars, will you pleeeeeeeeeeeaaaasssse share your secret with me????????

Anyway, none of this should take away from the deliciousness of this soup. It’s hearty and healthy and warming and yummy…

Just look at the pictures below. The first one shows the beauty of the tomatoes I had and the sliced up collards. The second pic is of my all-time-favorite Chinese herb, Huang Qi (Astragalus). You don’t have to add Chinese herbs to your soup, but I just had to show you these raw Huang Qi sticks. They are like magic; they build qi/give you energy… you can really feel it working while you are eating. Yes, I know, my family makes fun of my excitement for herbs too, but they also are happy to reap the rewards when they eat the soup, so think about trying out some herbs the next time you make a pot of soup…

If you want a soup that’s really really good, but not a lentil-veg soup, try my Hot And Sour Soup recipe.

lentil vegetable souplentil vegetable souplentil vegetable soup

There are lots of great things in this soup:

Lentils help lower cholesterol, manage blood sugar levels, are high in vitamin B and protein, and have hardly any fat. They are a good source of long-term energy and are very high in fiber. These tiny legumes also help with digestion and they are the perfect protein to eat in the summer because they actually clear the body of excess heat; long ago, cold lentil soup was prescribed for patients with heatstroke or fever.

Collard greens are great for you. They help build strong bones, lessen constipation, help reduce stress and act as a detoxifying food. They have almost no calories but do have a lot of fiber. They contain vitamins A, C, and K and are filled with minerals like calcium and manganese. One of the best things about collards is that they are great at preventing the buildup of bad cholesterol.

Celery actually helps stop bleeding — so if you or anyone you know has just had surgery, start adding celery to your dishes! Celery is also great to help lower blood pressure and it’s been known to help with insomnia.

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….

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.

lentil vegetable soup

5.0 from 1 reviews
Lentil Vegetable Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This soup is the perfect combination of lentil soup and vegetable soup. And it is so healing and delicious!
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ large red onion, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 bunch collard green leaves, sliced into ribbons
  • 1 lb heirloom tomatoes, diced
  • 1 qt vegetable broth (here's one I use)
  • 3 (or more) spicy piquillo peppers, sliced (I used the marinated ones at my local olive bar) (you can buy these)
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 raw pieces of Huang Qi (Astragalus) (optional)
  • microgreens, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and saute until the veggies start to soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and and cook, stirring, for 3-minutes.
  4. Add sliced collard leaves and stir for about 2-minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes and stir until combined.
  6. Pour in the broth.
  7. Add the peppers and lentils.
  8. Add raw Chinese herbs if using.
  9. Stir in parsley.
  10. Bring to a boil.
  11. Reduce heat to a simmer.
  12. Cover and let cook about 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender, but not mushy.
  13. Ladle into bowls and garnish with micro greens if desired.
  14. Enjoy

 

lentil vegetable soup