These meatballs ARE FANTASTIC!!!
(May as well jump right into things...)
Last month I "went paleo" for several weeks. Oh boy. It confirmed many things to me, not the least of which being that my belly does not like gluten but my mouth sure does. I'm having a hard time breaking up with bread. And crackers. And cheese.
During my "hunt" for paleo foods, I came across the award-winning website of Michelle Tam (Nom Nom Paleo). Her recipe for Asian meatballs inspired mine. If you're in need of some great paleo food ideas, please visit her site -- it's wonderful.
These meatballs have a high carrot-to-meat ratio; the carrots stay very crunchy during the short baking time, so if texture bothers you, either skip them or reduce the amount. In my opinion, the carrots are the star of this recipe, along with the zing of the fresh ginger and the garlic. I love the crunch.
To stay away from soy but to retain that lovely soy-sauce flavor, I used coconut aminos. BUT if you don't mind using soy sauce, it's a great substitute. I'd say if you do use soy sauce try a lower-sodium version, being mindful that when you use 1/4 cup at a time, these little meatballs can get very salty very quickly.
These meatballs are the perfect "emergency protein" to keep on hand. I often mix them into salads. Or when I'm feeling hungry at 4 pm and the Chocolate Monster is calling my name, I eat one or two cold straight out of the fridge. Shuts that noisy thing up every time.
Asian Turkey Meatballs (Paleo)
Makes 52 teaspoon-sized meatballs
1 pound ground turkey (substitute beef or bison)
3 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 green onions, chopped
1 heaping teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
6-8 fresh mushrooms, finely minced (I used button mushrooms)
1/4 cup (lower-sodium) soy sauce (I used coconut aminos)
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil (or olive oil)
Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl. Mix with your hands (or with a wooden spoon, although your hands will mix much more thouroughly). The key here is not to over-work/over-mix the meat. Just get all the ingredients incorporated and call it good.
Use a teaspoon to scoop the meat mixture into the palm of your hand and roll it into a ball. Place meatball on baking sheet and repeat. (Leave about 1 inch or so between the meatballs).
Bake meatballs for 15-20 minutes, or until the meat is no longer pink in the center (you'll have to cut into one to check).