I tell Max that in high school I won’t be able to make enough meatballs- he and his friends will eat them all. But for now, he’s not biting. So until then, I freeze the leftovers. Eric takes them for lunch. I defrost some here and there for an easy dinner. They don’t usually last too long. I’ll have to double the recipe when my kids get a bigger appetite and are more adventurous.
To mix these meatballs, the best tools are your hands. Get them messy and mix all these ingredients with your fingers. The mixture will be mushy and slightly wet, which is fine.
I am a bit funny when it comes to freezing food. Items often go into my freezer and they stay there forever. At least this used to be the case. I would freeze soups and they would remain in my freezer vortex until it had so much freezer burn I had to throw it out. Or at least that used to be the case before I realized I need to package my freezer items better and label everything. Now I freeze my soup broths in these 1/3 cup silicon molds and keep them in plastic ziplock bags in the freezer. It makes my life so much easier. I don’t have to defrost a huge mason jar of broth when I only need 1 cup. Brilliant!
While broth doesn’t actually have anything to do with this grain free meatball recipe, I find that if I freeze things in smaller quantities than I am more likely to use them. So I will freeze the meatballs in glass tupperware in layers using parchment paper in between so they don’t all stick together. It’s those little tips that can make life easier. And we all want that, don’t we?
Okay, back to the recipe…
Instead of using breadcrumbs. which are often found in meatball recipes, I used a combination of almond flour and freshly ground flaxseeds. The Flax will add good fiber and help the meatballs stick together. It works great and you can’t even taste it. The basil adds such a fresh flavor but if you don’t have any, parsley works well too. It’s nice to have the green in the meatballs. You could also try using spinach.
The spaghetti squash bakes in the oven as I prepare the meatballs and the marinara sauce is on the stove. By the time the meatballs are ready to pop in the oven, I take the spaghetti squash out and let if cool on the counter.
Have you ever had spaghetti squash noodles? Once you add the marinara sauce on top, they really aren’t much different than spaghetti- except being a little more flavorful. Give it a go. I made these in my cooking class and the kids dug it. It was pretty cool.
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and pepper
- Ghee or Coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion, small dice
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
- 1/2-1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 pound organic ground pork
- 1 pound organic ground beef
- 3 organic eggs
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1/4 cup chopped basil, or parsley
- 1/2 cup freshly ground flaxseeds
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
- 2 28oz can of organic crushed tomatoes
- 1 can water (use one of the tomato cans)
- 1 tsp sea salt
For he Spaghetti Squash:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Cut the squash in half legnthwise and scrape out the seeds (you can save them and toast them as you do with pumpkin seeds)
3. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil on each piece. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
4. On a lined baking sheet, place the squash flesh side down and bake for 30-45 minutes, until softened and cooked through.
5. Cool squash. Before you are ready to serve, using a fork in a top to bottom motion, go back and forth to create noodles.
For the Meatballs:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. In a large saute pan (I use a large cast iron pan) heat the ghee or oil. Saute the onions until they become soft but do not change color. Add the salt, oregano, garlic and red pepper flakes and saute another minute or two. set onion mixture aside in a bowl.
3. In a large bowl, add the pork, beef, eggs, cheese, basil, flaxmeal and almond flour and mix together well. Add the onion mixture and combine (I think your clean hands are the best tool for the job). Liberally salt the mixture. Make a small hamburger and cook it on the saute pan. Taste and see if mixture needs more salt or seasonings.
4. Roll mixture into golf sized balls. Add 1 tbsp coconut oil or ghee to the saucepan and cook meatballs in batches. Saute for 3-4 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Move to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake meatballs for 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
For the Marinara:
1. In a large saucepan over medium high heat, add 2 tbsp olive oill. Add the onions, season generously with salt and stir to coat with oil. Cook the onions for 6 to 7 minutes stirring frequently. The onions should become very soft and aromatic but have no color. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes stirring frequently.
2. Add the tomatoes to the pot and rinse out the empty tomato can with water and add that water to the pot (about 2 cups). Season generously with salt and taste! Tomatoes take a lot of salt. Season in baby steps and taste every step of the way. Cook the sauce for 30-60 minutes, or longer if you have time, stirring occasionally and tasting frequently.
This sauce can also be cooled and stored in the refrigerator for a few days and freezes really well. Try freezing it in smaller batches.
If you do not eat nuts, substitute oat flour for the almond flour.