Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Grain-Free Meatballs/Meatloaf

When we went off of grains and starches, I missed meatloaf and meatballs.  I played with recipes until we created this one, which we LOVE!  If you need to make it dairy-free, omit the cheese.

2 lbs ground beef, turkey or pork (we usually use beef, but pork has been cheap lately...we like to blend two types of meat when we can)
1 egg
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup shredded cheese (hard cheeses like Romano or Parmesan work best, I've subbed cheddar with good results)
1/2 cup shredded zucchini or summer squash
1/4 cup shredded/diced onion

Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl or large ziploc bag.  Mix until combined.  I like to use my Bosch mixer with the dough hook to do the work for me.  If you are using a ziploc bag, just leave a little air in the bag, seal the top, and knead/massage the bag until everything is mixed.

Now you can form into a meatloaf or meatballs.  If a 2-lb meatloaf is too big for your family, you can make it in mini-loaf pans.  They cook faster, and are great portion control. ;) You can bake the meatloaf immediately, or freeze the uncooked mixture for cooking later.  When baking unfrozen, cook at 325F for 30-45 minutes, or until cooked through.  If cooking from frozen, it doesn't work well in the oven.  So thaw 24 hrs in the fridge before using.  We freeze ours and then cook it in the crockpot.  The top doesn't brown like in the oven, but it is juicy and delicious!  If cooking from frozen, simply remove meatloaf from the freezer, place unwrapped meatloaf in crock pot and cook on low for about 8 hours, or until cooked through.

If you are making meatballs, use a cookie scoop to scoop the mixture onto a cookie sheet or into mini-muffin tins. Space meatballs so they are not touching.  Bake at 400F for 10-18 minutes, depending on the size of your meatballs.  We make little ones for the kids and use the big scoop for the adults. Cook until no longer pink in the middle. Enjoy immediately, or cool on wire rack and then freeze for later use. I like to freeze them on a cutting board, then put them in a ziploc bag for storage in the freezer.  This keeps them from sticking together in a big lump in the freezer. To reheat, simply place meatballs on a plate and warm in the microwave.

We love to serve with steamed veggies or salad, and natural yeast bread.  Potato wedges are a good side, as well.  Happy eating!