This recipe spotlight contest entry is brought to you by Megan Harris! Megan works in software sales and lives in Huntington Beach with her 4 year-old son Nigel. She is always looking for fun and creative ways to teach her son about healthy eating habits and living well! *Remember to comment on this post to help Megan win a $50 gift card to Primal Pastures! Take it away, Megan!
I’ve been a customer of Primal Pastures for some months now and have been eating primal/paleo for almost three years…mostly ;). I’m a huge fan of NomNom Paleo, PaleOMG and Civilized Caveman but I’ve never made any of their meatball recipes since I’ve been making mine so long and never get bored of them. (I also realized how hard it is to take a good food picture!! How do they do that?!?!)
My son, Nigel, is 4 years old and an amazing eater for which I’m eternally grateful. He’s had a ‘foodie’ palate since he began eating solids so I try to foster that as much as I can. I work full time and love to cook but sometimes it’s hard to do everything so sneaking veggies in everywhere I can and making quick, healthy meals are my priorities. I’ve always loved meatballs (who doesn’t???) but never really understood the milk/bread or breadcrumb thing. Eggs work perfectly well as a binder and use the right meat to make them moist and delicious! This is super easy and it passes the Nigel test every time.
Makes approximately 24 meatballs.
- 1 lb Primal Pastures ground beef
- 1 small zuchinni
- 1 medium carrot
- ½ lb mushrooms
- ½ small onion
- 1 Primal Pastures egg
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ cup homemade or jarred marinara sauce plus more for serving (I like Victoria’s I find at Costco or Rao’s. All natural, short list of ingredients and NO added sugar.)
- 1 T Fat of choice for sautéing veggies (I tend to use olive oil or ghee for these. Coconut oil just doesn’t seem to taste right*)
- 1 T Fat of choice for sautéing meatballs for crusty exterior (I tend to use olive oil or ghee for these. Coconut oil just doesn’t seem to taste right*)
- 1 large bowl
- Food processor or grater
- Rimmed cookie sheet
- Nonstick liner or parchment
- 1 ½ “ diameter cookie scoop
- Sauté pan
- Preheat oven to 350 and line cookie sheet with liner or parchment.
- Finely chop mushrooms and shred zucchini, carrot and onion (I use a food processor). Transfer to sauté pan on medium with fat of choice for about 10 minutes until veggies are soft and moisture has evaporated. Stir regularly. Meanwhile, whisk egg through tomato sauce on the ingredients list in a large bowl then add ground beef and mix well. Let veggies cool slightly and incorporate into ground beef mixture (your hands work best!)
- Line the cookie sheet and grab that scoop! Use scoop to portion meat mixture and roll into balls with your hands. I fit about 24 on my half sheet pan. Cook for about 20 minutes until cooked through. I use the oven initially because it gets them all cooked evenly at the same time. Let the meatballs cool and freeze for future use. Once you are ready to eat defrost the amount you need. I like a crusty exterior so I sauté them for a few minutes in 1T of fat. Add sauce and server alone or with your favorite veggie! We are partial to spaghetti squash.
I typically use organic locally grown veggies but use what’s best for you. Also, this recipe is scalable and adjustable… I make 3 lbs of meatballs at a time so I have more. Are you pressed for time? Chop up half a bag of Trader Joe’s organic broccoli slaw and proceed straight to sautéing the veggies. Like more of an Asian flavor? Omit the tomato sauce, add green onion, dried ginger and a drop or two sesame oil. (*Coconut oil works here.) Not into meatballs? Stick in a pan and make a meatloaf. Most importantly, experiment and adjust for your taste!