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Gluten-free Salmon burger – Salmon Croquettes

salmon burger

This is the first salmon burger recipe that I have felt confident posting. Canned Wild Alaskan salmon is a staple in our house. It is relatively inexpensive, especially when bought in bulk at wholesale stores like Costco. We get 6, 6oz cans for about $13. That’s 36 ounces, 2.25 pounds, equalling less than $6 a pound for wild salmon.  It is already cooked and it is easy to incorporate in quick meals like my salmon salad recipe, a quick pasta or mac and cheese, or even my fried rice dish. But we get sick of all those options so every once in a while I have to make salmon burgers, or salmon croquettes as Adam likes to call them.

Health Benefits of Wild Salmon

I like including Wild Alaskan salmon in my monthly diet. Often, the frozen fillets at the store are disappointing and the smoked salmon packages are severely overpriced here in Hawaii. Wild Salmon has so many amazing health benefits. Salmon is high in omega-3s and Vitamin D,  Vitamin B12 and B3, and B6.  It is high in selenium, a great source of protein, and a good source of potassium. Wild Alaskan Salmon is also low in mercury and it has less exposure to bisphenals and heavy metals. Moreover, the pink rosy pigment in salmon is  an phyto-chemical or  carotenoid, called astaxanthin. Studies in animals show that Astaxanthin acts as a antioxidant and reduces inflammation and tissue damage.

Is the Burger a Croquette?

This recipe isn’t for a plain, gooey, salmon burger. Instead this salmon creation is breaded and shallow fried in healthy oils. My recipe also is not traditional for either the salmon burger category or the salmon croquette category. Potato is one of the main ingredients in croquette recipes across cultures. Chefs mix mashed potatoes with poultry, meat or fish, adding onions, herbs, and milk or eggs, etc. Then they bread and deep fry the croquettes or patties.

salmon croquettes katies tropical kitchen

My salmon croquette recipe skips the potato (although you could try adding potato and cut out adding the breadcrumbs into the mixture). Instead of potato, this croquette recipe uses egg and just a little breadcrumbs inside the mixture.  Then they are coated in breadcrumbs before giving them a solid shallow fry in olive oil or coconut oil.

Like many of my recipes this one is simple, easily made with several ingredients that you are likely to have on tap. The salmon burgers are flexible, you can leave out the carrots, add red pepper, chop fresh herbs etc. Oh, of course they are also gluten-free if you use gluten-free soy sauce and gluten-free breadcrumbs.

salmon burger recipe katies tropical kitchen

Recipe for Gluten-free Salmon Burger

yield: about 8 burgers about 3 inches diameter by ½ inch thick

special equipment: maybe a blender for making your breadcrumbs

Ingredients:

  • olive oil or refined coconut oil for sauté and pan-fry
  • 2 cans of salmon (Wild Alaskan, boneless and skinless is preferred), drained
  • 2 stalks celery chopped fine
  • ½ large carrot (or 1 small carrot) chopped fine
  • 1 small onion chopped fine
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped garlic (2-4 cloves)
  • ¼ cup parsley chopped fine
  • 2 eggs beaten lightly
  • 1 large pinch of salt (½ teaspoon or so)
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free tamari or soy sauce
  • ½ cup gluten-free bread crumbs for the mixture and another 1 cup or so for breading the outside of the burger. (I save the end or slices of our gluten-free bread, add a little bit of uncooked quick oats and blend on high until fine).

Steps:

  1. Pour enough olive oil to cover the pan and sauté chopped onion, celery and carrot and garlic for 5-10 minutes until carrots are soft. Add the chopped parsley for the last 2 minutes.
  2. In the meantime add canned salmon, salt, pepper, soy sauce, and bread crumbs and mix well
  3. When the sautéed vegetables are done, add them to the salmon mixture and check for taste (salt, pepper, soy etc).
  4. Then add the egg and ½ cup of breadcrumbs
  5. In a separate bowl place ½ cup or more breadcrumb mixture
  6. Form salmon patties and fry lightly on each side until golden brown about 4-5 minutes on each side.
  7. Serve warm or cold with whatever side dish you feel is appropriate

 

Resources:

HealthWatch: Pink Chemical In Salmon, Flamingos May Be Powerful Supplement

https://www.marksdailyapple.com/are-your-canned-foods-safe-to-eat-a-bpa-free-buying-guide/

 

 

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Taro Millet Veggie Burger

Taro or Kalo is a Hawaiian/Polynesian staple root crop. It can also be found in many places of the world. It is usually a light-medium purple in color, and has a starchy and uniquely earthy flavor. The corms (root balls), stems and leaves can all be eaten. All of these plant parts need to be cooked for a long period of time to prevent serious irritation: the leaves and stems need to be cooked for at least 45 minutes in pressure cooker, cooking the taro root or corm in a pot takes 3-4 x as long (see note  1 & 2).

Many traditional dishes made are with kalo. In Hawaiian culture the most popular are poi (a fermented mashed taro root) and kulolo (a dessert made of mostly taro and coconut milk). However, recently in tropical locales, restaurants and home cooks are developing their version of the taro burger. Maui Taro Burgers is the first large scale commercial source to make it into whole food and health food stores throughout the state of Hawaii. So I am on the mission to perfect my own taro burger recipe.

taro_banana_food_forest_feb_2017 Kalo planted in our food forest
large purple taro corm in groundPurple Taro corm in the ground

washed large taro corm

This recipe is still under construction. I’ve made it 2x now with similar delicious results. Please provide comments and helpful tips : )

Taro millet garden vegetable burger recipe

yield: 15-20 veggie patties

ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked and mashed taro
  • 1 cup dry millet, cooked
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (e.x. spelt) for mixing in dough and another 1+ cup for dusting burgers (about 3 cups total, can make this gluten free if you use a comparable gluten free flour).
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 onion, 2 stalks celery, 2 small carrots diced fine, 1/2 cup diced red pepper, 4 medium garlic cloves
  • handful chopped parsley and basil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons non-gmo soy sauce or tamari
  • Several tablespoons of refined coconut oil

steps for cooking and preparing the taro/kalo

  1. Wash and peel kalo/taro, cut into large pieces (the size of palm is fine, 1-2 inch thick) and place in pressure cooker with water 1 inch covering the kalo.roughly chopped and peeled taro
  2. Bring to pressure (about 10 minutes on high), reduce heat to simmer  (low-medium) and cook about 45 minutes until soft
  3. let cool 2o minutes and then release pressure, once cool enough to handle drain water and mash either by hand, or by blender (I use an immersion blender for easy clean up and low waste).

steps for preparing veggie burger batter

  1. In the meantime, sauté onion, celery, carrots, red pepper in olive oil until soft. Once cooked add herbs and wilt. remove from heat
  2. In a bowl combine eggs,  1 cup flour, mashed taro, and sautéed veggies, add salt and pepper, and 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce (we use non-gmo, organic tamari).
  3. Fold in millet. At this point the batter will be loose. You can add in a little more flour if it is very very loose, but don’t over do it because you will dust them in a lot of flour in the next step. taro millet batter
  4. Pour about 1/2 cup of dusting flour onto plate. Plop a large spoonful of batter into pile of flour and cover it, then gently pick it up and toss in your hands to create a patty. Place immediately and carefully into hot pan with good amount of refined coconut oil. taro burger in flourtaro burger dusted in pan
  5. Add more flour to the dusting plate as necessary, and continue to add the patties to the pan.  Fry on medium (or medium to low heat) for about 5 minutes on each side. The outside will develop a nice, golden brown crust. After frying they may still be a little mushy inside. If you prefer them more firm you can transfer your batch to the oven. Bake on 300-350 degrees F for 30 or so minutes.taro millet burgers pan fry
  6. Cool and stack in-between wax paper for best storage results. You can freeze for a few months.

 

Notes:
  1. In general, the taro refers to the widely variable species named, Colocasia esculenta (i.e. edible in latin), which are grown primarily for its roots or corms, and then its leaves. Taro is related to ornamental plants like  Xanthosoma and Caladium, and is often mistaken for elephant ear. elephant ear has a similar leaf and root shape but the root grow more above ground and is skinner and the shape of the “heart” in the leaf is more disjointed. Elephant ear may have been considered a famine food as it needs to  be boiled for many hours before it is safe to eat.
  2. The irritant in uncooked taro is the result of calcium oxalate, tiny crystals of a natural pesticide.  This info is from http://everythingisscience.blogspot.com/2007/01/why-does-taro-make-your-throat-itch.html and http://www.molokaihealthguide.com/healthtalk/display.htm?id=34
  3. This is a picture of purple taro root keikis, or starts that can be used to replant the same variety of taro : ) purple_taro_keiki
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Coconut red pepper and squash soup

Smooth and savory, this recipe has the slightest sweetness from the rep pepper, carrot and squash and a tiny bit of texture from the fresh coconut. This coconut red pepper squash soup is packed with beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin C, along with healthy fats from coconut and fiber from all the veggies.

This recipe features fresh coconut flesh, not the creamy coconut milk or the sweetened coconut flakes. Fresh coconut flesh. Coconuts come from the cocos nucifera palm and grow very well in tropical low-mid elevations. One tree can produce as up to 150 nuts per year. One medium size nut and its water can provide an average sized person with almost all of the daily required vitamins, minerals, and calories. Coconuts are truly a super food.

Coconuts have a lot of good fat, some carbohydrate, proteins and fiber. One 100g piece of mature coconut meat has: 354 Calories, 9 grams of fiber, 33.5 grams of total fat, 3.3 grams of protein and 15 grams of carbohydrates.  For example,  coconuts contain copper, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc, potassium. Furthermore, coconuts are also rich in B-vitamins: folates, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine. Additionally,  coconut contains Lauric acid, which increases good-HDL cholesterol and protect the arteries by preventing blood vessel blockages.

On our farm we already have 6 coconut palms fruiting and we are getting ready to plant 35 more dwarf coconut trees. Stayed tuned for many many future fresh coconut recipes.

Coconut red pepper squash soup recipe

Servings: 6, 8 ounce cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 small winter squash (about 2 cups cooked flesh)
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 large red pepper or several small ones
  • 1/2 onion
  • flesh of 1 young coconut (about 1/4 in thick) or 1/2 coconut
  • 6 cups of water
  • salt and pepper

Steps:

  1. Cook squash and remove about 2 cups of flesh
  2. Then, add squash and roughly chopped veggies (save coconut for last)
  3. Boil the soup until all veggies are tender, 20-30 minutes
  4. Let cool, add salt and pepper
  5. Once the soup is a bit cooler, add coconut and use immersion blender or regular blender.

1 serving is 8 oz, or 1 cup.

red-pepper-coconut-squash-soup

 

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Indian spiced eggplant (Baingan Bharta) with chickpeas and raisins

We are blessed right now to have eggplants coming out of our ears!!! (or just choke on our plants). So…I invoked this recipe from my repertoire. This recipe is a slight twist on the many variations of Indian dish Baingan Bharta.

All Baingan Bharta recipes have many ingredients in common: eggplant, onions,  tomatoes, ginger, pepper and garlic. Many add garam masala, coriander, turmeric, etc.  I learned to make this during my very first vegan phase in my early early 20’s. To make it heartier (more protein) I started adding chickpeas, and to counterbalance the heat in it, I favored adding a few plump raisins at the end. So in reality it is a bit far from any Baingan Bharta you would order at an authentic Indian restaurant, but in my opinion mo betta!

 

Recipe for Indian spiced eggplant (Baingan Bharta) with chickpeas and raisins

 

Servings: 4+ (~1 cup each)

eggplant

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 medium size eggplants

katies tropical kitchen

  • 1-2 medium-large tomatoes (chopped fine)
  • 1 large onions (chopped fine)
  • 1 Hawaiian chili pepper (chopped fine)
  • 5 garlic cloves chopped fine
  • 2 inch (½ in diameter or so)piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 inch(¼ inch diameter or so) piece of turmeric grated
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 1 and ½ cup (or to liking) cooked chickpeas

ingredients for baingan bharta

 

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lay eggplant on baking sheet, pierce eggplant to help let out steam.
  2. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes and then turn over. Bake another 15 minutes or so until a knife enters easily skin starts to separate from the flesh of the eggplant
  3. Once cooled peel eggplant and roughly chop and mush
  4. Heat oil in large sauté pan (med-high heat) and add onions until they start to become soft, stirring very often
  5. Add ginger, garlic, and turmeric and stir constantly for less than 1 minute
  6. Add tomatoes, cumin, and garam masala and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for a time until tomatoes incorporate themselves into onions mixture.
  7. Add eggplant and mush a bit with your spatula or mixing spoon, allow to heat up and cook another 5 minutes or so on medium heat.
  8. For the last 5 minutes add chickpeas and raisins.
  9. Enjoy warm with rice, alone, over greens, or with naan, etc.

2016-05-13 17.36.49.jpg2016-05-13 17.40.00.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Quick Salmon and Avocado Salad

This salmon and avocado salad is extremely convenient, simple and inexpensive. It is so good for you it’s hard to believe it takes 2 minutes to make.  We use canned Wild Alaskan Salmon we got from Costco and local avocados. You could also try this with  high quality canned tuna (but obviously only eat it occasionally because of mercury and other toxins). For this recipe you can serve the salmon salad over a bed a lettuce, top with Manchego cheese or make a sandwich. If you want you can also add diced celery, and use products like Veganiase to make it taste more like your traditional tuna salad.

Both wild salmon and avocados are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which are vital to our health. Most of the common knowledge about omega 3’s stops there, and that’s ok. We don’t all need to be nutritionists to eat better. In our increasingly “Westernized” diets, we have an imbalance of omega 3s (the good kine) and omega 6 (the kine we need to limit). Omega 6 acids are in many things that are good for us (in moderation) but also in many things we should avoid, especially the conventional and GMO versions (soybean oil, cottonseed oil, vegetable oil, corn oil, meat and dairy products, imitation cheeses, imitation eggs and egg mixes).

salmon and avocado salad

Recipe for Salmon and Avocado Salad

Servings: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 can wild salmon
  • 1 small-medium avocado
  • 1-2 dashes organic, or non-GMO, soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari)
  • A few turns of fresh ground black pepper

Steps:

  1. drain salmon
  2. mash salmon and whole avocado in bowl
  3. add pepper and soy sauce to taste (careful not to add to much soy)

 

 

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Black Bean Quinoa and Millet Veggie Burger

This black bean burger has millet, quinoa, veggies and fresh herbs. They are gluten-free and have a simple but unique flavor and texture, plus they stick together and crisp up well when pan fried in olive oil. Additionally, the recipe has an excellent balance of beans, starches and garden veggies.

Black Bean Quinoa and Millet Veggie Burger Recipe

yield: about 12 vegetable bean burgers, 4 inch diameter and ½ inch thick
special equipment: food processor for mashing beans is optional, non-stick pan makes using less oil possible.

ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked or 1 can black beans
  • ½ cup dry quinoa, cooked
  • ½ cup dry millet, cooked
  • 2 cups water for quinoa and millet
  • 2 carrots chopped fine
  • 2 celery stalks chopped fine
  • ½ medium onion
  • ¼ cup chopped red or yellow bell pepper
  • handful (¼ cup chopped) of fresh herbs (parsley, basil, oregano, etc.)
  • 3 cloves (or less) garlic
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  •  2-4 tablespoons soy sauce (non-gmo, organic, and/or tamari)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • ¼ cup – ½ cup oat flour (or other substitute)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil for cooking veggies
  • plus 1-2 tablespoons olive oil per batch of veggie burgers to fry in non-stick pan

Steps:

 

  1. Start cooking the millet and the quinoa. In the meantime sauté veggies in olive oil (onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and fresh herbs) for 5-10 minutes until tender.
  2. Pulse black beans in food processor, or mash by hand until the batter resembles a mush with some visible whole black beans. Add veggies and salt and mix a little more. If using a food processor transfer the mix to a bowl, then fold in quinoa and millet. Next, add egg and fold in oat flour. Finish with sauce soy.
  3. Form patties with your hands to desired diameter and thickness. In a non-stick pan, add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil per 34 patties and bring to med-high. When oil is hot, shallow-fry 3-4 at a time, making sure to turn them frequently every 2-4 minutes or so to prevent burning and to get an even crisp on the outside.
  4. They will be done in less than 10 minutes, crisp, hot, but not burnt. You need to cook them through because they have egg.  I’ll confess, I haven’t tried to bake these yet. If I did I would spray them or lightly brush them with olive oil to make sure they stay together a little bit and crisp up. I would bake on 400 for 20 minutes on each side until done.
  5. Serve over lettuce, topped with cheese or with gluten-free bread. Add your favorite sauce, ketchup etc. and enjoy.

2015-10-30 20.28.56

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Moroccan Mahi Mahi and Quinoa

This Moroccan Mahi Mahi recipe is a tribute to my love for Moroccan flavored food. Several years ago I traveled to Morocco twice, and both times I seriously considered staying there because the food was so exotic, warming, spicy, sweet, but still in some ways so simple. I was lucky enough to have a few private cooking lessons with a chef in Azrou a small town South of Fes. This Mahimahi recipe below is my own creation inspired by my time there. It is relatively quick way to make an exotic dinner.

About Mahimahi

Mahimahi (Mahi-mahi, Mahi Mahi) is the Hawaiian name for Coryphaena hippurus, and has become the name for this fish throughout the US. It is also known as dorado or dolphin fish and it is found in tropical and temperate waters in the Atlantic, Indian, Pacific Oceans and the Mediterranean; thus, they also swim in Moroccan waters. They are usually 8-25 pounds.

It is obvious that Mahi Mahi is best eaten fresh, frozen filets are nothing in comparison. This fish is somewhat seasonal as mahimahi catches in Hawaii peak during the months of March-May and September-November. It has thin skin and pink flesh that changes to white when cooked.  The texture is firm, and it has mild and sweet flavor.

More information about Mahimahi and other Hawaiian fish can be found at Hawaii-seafood.org http://hawaii-seafood.org/uploads/species%20pdfs/9-Hawaii%20Mahimahi.pdf  & on the http://www.iucnredlist.org

 

Moroccan Mahi Mahi Recipe

Servings: 2

Ingredients for the fish

  • 3/4 to 1 pound Mahi
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 piece inch ginger chopped fine or grated
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cardamon
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 medium tomato chopped roughly
  • 1/4 cup organic white flour

Ingredients for Moroccan quinoa

  • 1 cup of quinoa (or half quinoa, half rice or millet, or couscous if you want to be traditional)
  • The juice of ½ of a fresh orange
  • 2 cups water or broth
  •  Small handful of raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 1/2 onion chopped

Steps for the fish:

  1. Prepare spices mixing them together (except ginger).
  2. Wash the fish and pat it dry, cut out liver and make sure there are no bones. Then, cut  the filets into large cube size pieces.
  3. Place flour (put a few dashes of salt in the flour) on a plate and cover pieces of fish in flour.
  4. Now, toast the spices and fresh ginger in a non-stick pan for a few minutes until aromatic.
  5. Add the chopped onion and 1 tablespoon olive oil and sauté on low until translucent.
  6. If making the quinoa, start this now and let the onions cook on low (sort of like you are caramelizing them).
  7. Steps for the quinoa, bring water to boil, place all ingredients in a pot and bring to boil again. Turn to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and leave top on until ready to serve.
  8. When you are ready to start the fish, turn up the heat to medium-high and add another tablespoon of oil and the chopped tomato.
  9. Next, place the fish in the pan and fry/sauté on medium or medium high until done (about 7-10 minutes).
  10. In the end, the result should be fish that is somewhat firm and completely cooked inside but still moist. There will be a saucy, Moroccan spiced tomato mixture that surrounds each piece.
  11. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Serve garnished with chopped fresh mint.

Moroccan mahi mahi recipe

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Easy ginger tempeh recipe with sesame oil

For a long time I thought tempeh was another health food trend, a way to sell surplus soy to the health hipsters. Furthermore, years ago I discovered that soy gave me abdominal pain, etc. It took about a year of my man insisting that it was unfermented and GMO soy causing the problem. He finally convinced me that, fermented organic soy, like tempeh, is healthful and delicious.

Tempeh is fermented with spores of a fungus Rhizopus oligosporus, a type of a healthy white mold that is usually high in Vitamin B and several amino acids. The Rhizopus oligosporus reduces gas and inflammation caused by soy.  Tempeh has a medium-mild nutty flavor that soaks up the seasonings of the sauces it is cooked with. This ginger tempeh recipe is quick and delicious. Easily prepared and served with rice and a vegetable. Try sides of steamed bok choy, sautéed kale, lettuce wraps, or a cucumber salad.

Ginger Tempeh Recipe

Servings: 2

Special equipment: non-stick frying pan, blender is helpful

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon + olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ¼ of medium onion chopped roughly
  • 1-2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons honey
  • ¼ cup or less filtered water
  • 1 package 8 oz organic tempeh

Steps:

  • Blend together: garlic, ginger, onion, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and enough water (about ¼ cup) to easily blend the ingredients (if you want you can use about half of this to marinate the tempeh before cooking.
  • Slice tempeh into thin pieces about ¼ inch thick
  • Heat a little olive oil (teaspoon or less) in a non-stick frying pan add tempeh in single layer in the pan with enough room to turn them (do 2 batches if you have a small pan).
  • Add sauce from the blender
  • Turn heat to medium or medium-high and lightly “fry” each side for 3-5 minutes
  • When they are starting to brown, add a “sprinkle” or tablespoon of soy sauce to the pan and a teaspoon of honey and stir until evenly distributed.
  • Cook another 1-2 minutes until they started to brown (the soy sauce and honey with caramelize and burn if left too long).
  • Serve with rice, lettuce wraps or bok choy.

ginger tempeh recipe

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Paleo Baked Meatballs with Fresh Herbs

On top of spaghetti, All covered with cheese, I lost my poor meatball, When somebody sneezed. I love this little rhyme, it makes me smile every time I make meatballs. The below baked meatballs recipe was created when I went on a brief paleo diet. It features coconut flour or almond flour instead of wheat flour to thicken the meatballs.

Another special part of this recipe is that they are baked.  I started making my meatballs baked instead of pan-fried because it requires much less attention than constantly turning them in a pan. This means you will plenty of time to prep a nice big salad to accompany your meal 🙂

Also, key to this recipe is the use of a lot of herbs. I think using fresh is the best way to go. I highly recommend growing a few of your herbs own for the amazing difference in flavor and nutrients that these so many recipes benefit from. If you don’t have fresh herbs you can use dried herbs, just scale back to 1-2 teaspoons total depending on the herbs you use and their strength.

I also recommend using grass fed beef.  Look for 100% grass-fed beef that has no unnecessary added antibiotics and hormones.

You can try serving these meatballs with my chunky basil and garlic tomato sauce and manchego cheese. My favorite accompaniment is spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash with pale meatballs and homemade sauce is the perfect dinner to treat your family and friends to. It is gluten-free and includes so many beautiful veggies, nutrients and proteins. Check out my basic cooking instructions for  spaghetti squash. 

Recipe for Paleo Baked Meatballs with Fresh Herbs

Yield: About 15 meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound grass fed beef (or bison!)
  • 1/4 cup onion diced or minced
  • 1 small garlic clove chopped, minced or pressed to preference
  • 1-2 large handfuls of fresh herbs chopped (basil, rosemary, parsley, oregano, etc.)
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/2 cup organic gluten-free almond flour  or coconut flour for paleo diet (or you can substitute other gluten-free flours or try a flour blend being careful that none of them dominate the flavor too much). Alternatively, you could just use regular white flour.
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or a little more to taste
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. In medium bowl, beat egg, add onion, garlic and herbs.
  3. Add ground beef and mix well.
  4. Add flour and mix well (a few heaping tablespoons at a time so that you can mix it evenly).
  5. Form into 1 to 1 and ½ inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets or shallow pans and place in oven.
  6. Turn every 10 minutes for 25-40 minutes until cooked to your tastes (e.x. medium-well).
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Chunky basil garlic tomato sauce

Stop buying jars of tomato sauce that hardly have enough sauce to go around the table. This recipe for a healthy basil garlic tomato sauce is economic and simple.  Try serving this with recipes like my spaghetti squash and fresh herb meatballs. 

Recipe for chunky basil garlic tomato sauce

Yield: 8 generous servings of sauce

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 cans organic diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
  • 8-12+ cloves of garlic minced or pressed
  • 1-2 onions chopped
  • Handful of fresh herbs (oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, parsley) chopped
  • Lots of fresh basil (anywhere from 4-8 cups loosely packed leaves)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sugar, maple syrup or honey (optional – this keep cut the acidity)

Steps:

  1. Heat olive oil in pan and reduce to medium-high
  2. Saute onions stirring often until translucent (5 minutes)
  3. Add garlic stirring frequently (2 minutes)
  4. Then, add wine if using and wait until the wine has reduced and there is no liquid left
  5. Add tomatoes and herbs (not basil) and bring to a boil
  6. Simmer on medium-low for at least 45 minutes (can simmer real low for up to 2 hours).
  7. If there is too much liquid and you want a thicker sauce remove some of the liquid with a ladle.
  8. Add chopped basil and turn off the heat.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste
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