Lately, I’ve been following an eating plan based on the Trim Healthy Mama Plan, which I will explain in detail in a later post. For now, just know that I’ve been creating recipes that will work within the parameters of that plan and my version of Paleo and I wanted to go ahead and start sharing some of these recipes with you.
I believe Trim Healthy Mama came out in force around 2015, but based on all the recipes and chat about it that I see on Pinterest, Facebook, etc. it is still going strong. The basic idea is that you eat meals that are “energizing” or “satiating.” Energizing meals contain more carbs and satiating meals contain more fats. Both type of meals are anchored by protein, but one is low fat and the other is low carb.
Not surprisingly, it is way easier to eat lots of satiating meals so I’ve been working really hard to create some energizing meals. I find that I feel better when I have a balance of both. Because I’m trying to keep my carb intake to 100 grams per day or less, I usually aim for two satiating meals and one energizing meal per day.
Enough of that preamble, what you need to know now is that this is a really tasty recipe. I found lots of “turkey meatball” meals on THM meal plans, but all seemed to use packaged meatballs. I wanted to control the ingredients, so I set out to make my own. These were a hit with the whole family on the first try. Score! This doesn’t happen often, so I will enjoy feeling like a rock star for the moment. Score #2 is that this meal can be made in 30-45 minutes.
To keep this as low fat as possible, I used some gluten free oatmeal, ground to a fine flour, for the binder in my meatballs. If you don’t care about Trim Healthy Mama and just want a tasty meal and want to keep it totally paleo, you can sub an equal amount of almond flour. I did not try this with cassava, but I’m sure you could cut the amount by half and use cassava to make it autoimmune paleo. But there are still egg whites in the recipe, so if you want to go AIP, you’ll need to replace those. One trick I’ve learned from the THM ladies is to use okra for it’s “slime” which has some binding properties and, according to them, is very healing to the gut. It does have a mild flavor, but if it can be hidden in baked goods, it can be hidden in these meatballs. If you go the okra route, just blend it up before adding to your meat mixture. I found frozen okra pods at my local grocery store for $1/bag so it’s pretty convenient and inexpensive to try. Full disclosure, I didn’t try these AIP substitutions, but I think they would work. Meatballs are pretty forgiving.
If you want a quick, tasty, but lighter meal, give this one a try. I served my meatballs with white rice cooked in broth (you could substitute cauliflower rice) and simply steamed green beans. Really satisfying. And apparently energizing as well.
People ask me all the time which tools I use most often and which specialty ingredients they need in their paleo kitchen. Here’s what I used for this recipe:
I used the mini chopper to grind my oatmeal into a fine flour and also to chop the spinach very finely.
I used the medium sized scoop to make my meatballs and keep my hands clean!
If you’d like to make this in the Instant Pot, see my directions below in the Notes.
I use this coconut oil spray from Thrive Market, but it does contain soy lecithin. There is one at my local Whole Foods that is just oil, but frankly, I don’t think it sprays out very well.
Coconut Aminos is the typical Paleo soy sauce alternative, but it really adds great flavor to any sauce or soup, not just Asian dishes. If you don’t have aminos, you could use soy sauce or worcestershire sauce if those ingredients don’t bother you.
This is my preferred brand of almond flour.
To add a little sweetness to my sauce and keep it low sugar, I added a few drops of liquid stevia.