Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Turkey Basil Artichoke Meatballs

My hubby preordered a book for me that arrived today, Make Ahead Paleo by Tammy Credicott.  I'm so excited to get into this book.  I've been doing once-a-month cooking for almost 8 years but I haven't been doing it very well for the last few months.  Partly because the kids and I haven't eaten too well while Seth was deployed, and partly because with learning about Paleo with my hubby home, I have no idea how to make those meals and freeze them.

Tonight's dinner was a super simple meal that could easily be adapted into a freezer meal.  My hubby found this one over at PaleOMG and I made it for him.  I changed it ever so slightly, because he neglected to tell me the "fresh" part when we were buying basil at the store so we purchased a new container of dried basil. Believe me, it made a difference.  I think I would have liked the meal better with fresh - more on that down in my verdict.

Start this meal off by prepping your artichoke hearts and onion.  Chop them up nicely and put into a skillet that has 1 teaspoon of fat warmed up over medium heat.  I used bacon fat.  Bacon fat is Paleo friendly (think of it as using all parts of the animal) and we've started keeping a little jar of bacon fat to use in meals.  

Cook the artichoke hearts and onions just till the onions are translucent then let them cool slightly.  In a mixing bowl mix your ground turkey, artichoke and onion mix, and all the rest of your ingredients.  Mix it all up really well then shape into meatballs.  I'm not one for getting meatballs all up in my fingers so my love for The Pampered Chef comes to the rescue again.  I recently got all of their scoops so I used the Medium Scoop to form the meatballs and put them onto the pan.  

The meatballs needed to be slightly reshaped after being put onto my pan, but one or two fingers getting icky was better than my whole hand.  15 minutes in the oven and they were done.  I cooked up some broccoli and some marinara sauce to serve with it.

Verdict:  As I said earlier, I used dried basil instead of fresh.  The dried basil had a stronger flavor and I think I could have toned it down a bit.  I liked them, but would like to try this meal again with fresh basil.  The boy was less than thrilled with this meal, however, the girl went back for thirds.  Hubby liked the meal and finished off all the remaining meatballs.  This meal will go into the mix again, but with fresh basil, or a little less dried basil.

Turkey Basil Artichoke Meatballs
Prep time: 10 mins    Cook time: 20 mins   Total time: 30 mins
1 lb ground turkey
1 (14 ounce) can of artichoke hearts, diced
¼ yellow onion, finely dice
4-5 TBSP fresh basil, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp fat of choice (I used bacon fat)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place skillet over medium heat, add fat of choice, then add diced onions and artichoke hearts.
3. Move artichoke hearts and onions around in the pan and cook until onions are translucent.  Remove from heat and let cool.
4. Once cooled, in a large bowl, mix together ground turkey, artichoke hearts and onions, and the rest of ingredients. Mix well.
5. Make 18-20 same sized meatballs.  I used the medium Pampered Chef scoop then slightly reshaped when on the pan.
6. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. *I didn’t do this, I just put it on a stoneware pan and they baked fine.*
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
8. Eat up with veggies.  I served with marinara sauce.  Use meat sauce, dipping sauce, anything that is Paleo friendly, or don’t tell me if it’s not.

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