Madcap Meatballs

Of late my sweetheart is working long, crazy hours and trying to eat healthy to boot, so I tend to spend most Sunday afternoons listening to NPR and cooking up something that we can take to work with us.  It has to be something that I can eat at my desk and something my sweetie can gulp down in quick two-bite mini-meals wedged in among a relentless onslaught of back to back meetings with, at most, 10 minutes in between.  With a schedule like that, you can only eat so many energy bars before you get grumpy.

Lately I’ve been experimenting with meatball recipes and am particularly liking this one.  It’s flavorful, easy to make  (takes maybe 30 minutes all in), and even easier to eat in a hurry.   Also, since we live in the land of Paleo and gluten-free eating, it meets both those criteria.  The mushrooms and onions provide the lightness one usually gets from breadcrumbs.

1 lb. 80/20 ground beef or bison

1/2 lb. mild italian pork sausage (optional)

8 oz mushrooms grated

1 medium onion grated (makes about 1/2 cup of grated onion)

3 T. Penzeys Turkish Spice

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup grated parmesan or crumbled feta (as is your preference)

salt and pepper to taste  (I use about 1 t. salt and 2 t. pepper.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees farenheit/180 degress celsius

Grate the mushrooms and onions and sweat them briefly in a pan with some salt, pepper and olive oil until most of the moisture has been cooked out and set them aside to cool for about five minutes.  While you wait, put the beef, sausage, cheese, spices and egg in a bowl, then add the slightly cooled mushroom and onion mixture.  With a fork or your clean hands, mix the ingredients together until well-blended. (If you’re not sure if you put in enough salt, Take a very small quantity of the raw mixture and touch it to the end of your tongue.  If you taste salt, it’s probably enough.)

When everything is well mixed, use a mini ice cream scoop or a few tablespoons to portion out the meatballs and place them about 1/2 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake them in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  Enjoy!


Usually we simply eat these as is but occasionally we’ll simmer them in either a pasta sauce or a tikka masala sauce.  I also like them floating in a bowl of lentil soup (shorbat) or tucked in a pita pocket with a liberal slatering of tzaziki.


About aecsarah

I've been working in marketing for architects, interior designers, engineers and contractors since 1997. Before that I did stints as a university professor and a radio documentary producer. In my spare time I'm a foodie and craft-ie.
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