I’m planning a wedding right now.
Which means I’m also planing what I want to look like in my wedding dress and more importantly, what I want to look like on the honeymoon…
This is why I’ve joined a Crossfit gym and begun learning about a whole new world of fitness and the Paleo diet. Now I’ve never been one for fad-diets but I had heard so many great things about what your body can do when you push yourself with this.
So I did a 6 week PALEO challenge along side some pretty intense workouts- and I won’t lie to you, it is very difficult to cut out all gluten, grains & dairy eating pretty much nothing but protein and vegetables, but holly cow- it works!
This was one of my favorite recipes that came out of my 6 week challenge, and they were so good I might consider making meatballs like this from now on.
The trick to making a good meatball (I learned from many of my Italian family friends) is to get the right ratio of meat+breadcrumbs+ parmesan cheese. Well cheese & breadcrumbs are definitely NOT on the PALEO diet, so I improvised.
I found that zucchini and onion worked perfectly to lighten up the dense meat texture, and by using plenty of italian spices and herbs you still get all the flavor!
1 1/4 Ground Pork
1 1/4 Ground Beef
1 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup grated onion
2-3 garlic cloves minced
2 large eggs
1 tbs Italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 smashed garlic cloves
Handful of torn basil
Grate the zucchini and onion finely in to a bowl. Add a pinch of salt and let it sit for a minute while you prep the rest. This helps to release some of the water which you’ll need to discard from the vegetables. (otherwise you’ll have a sopping wet mess)
In a large pot warm the smashed garlic cloves in a touch of olive oil to begin releasing the flavor. Then add the can of tomatoes and handful of basil. Keep this simmering at a low-medium heat.
Place the rest of the meatball ingredients in to a large bowl- meat, garlic, eggs, salt and seasoning. Squeeze out the water from the zucchini and onion shreds and add them to the bowl. Get in there with your hands and mix well to combine evenly, then roll in to medium sized balls. This will be a really wet and sticky mixture.
In a large skillet set to medium heat with about a 1/4 inch of olive oil begin to brown your meatballs. Working in batches brown the meatballs on all sides but don’t cook them all the way through. Transfer the browned balls to the pot of tomato sauce. (Durring this step you might want to go ahead and cook a few off all the way through. You can say it’s because you want to check for seasoning, but really it’s just because they’re delicious and you want a little snack while you’re letting the rest simmer).
Once all the meatballs are in your tomato sauce give it a good stir and turn the heat down to low and put a lid on for about 20 minutes, checking on it every few, giving it a stir to make sure nothing is burning on the bottom.
After you’ve let them simmer, pull one out to check for pink-ness in the center. If it’s cooked then serve immediately, garnish with basil if you’d like- or serve with pasta (if you’re not on the paleo diet).