Our Paleo Family

Turkey Meatballs (Paleo, AIP and Trim Healthy Mama E options)

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.


Turkey Meatballs (Paleo and Trim Healthy Mama E options)
Print Recipe
Quick, easy, low fat and with paleo options. Give this one a try!
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Turkey Meatballs (Paleo and Trim Healthy Mama E options)
Print Recipe
Quick, easy, low fat and with paleo options. Give this one a try!
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Meatballs
Sauce
Additional Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Place oatmeal in a food processor or blender and grind into a fine flour.
  2. Add all dry meatball ingredients to a mixing bowl: oatmeal, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Now add the liquid ingredients to the same bowl: egg whites, dijon mustard and chopped spinach. Either grind the spinach in your food processor or blender or chop finely by hand. Mix all of this well.
  4. Now add the turkey and gently blend it all together. The less you handle the mixture at this point, the more tender your meatballs will be.
  5. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add cooking spray and/or oil and swirl to coat bottom of pan. To keep this recipe within Trim Healthy Mama E meal guidelines, use as little oil as possible. Turn oven on to 350 degrees and get out a small baking sheet or pie pan and set aside.
  6. Using your scoop or a spoon, form meat mixture into balls approximately 2 tablespoons in size. Gently place in skillet, spaced so they are not touching each other. Turn 2-3 times to brown on each side. Once browned, move to baking sheet and place in oven to continue cooking through.
  7. Make remaining mixture into meatballs and brown. I had to do this in two batches. Once browned, add these to the pan in the oven while you work on the sauce.
  8. Keeping skillet on medium high heat, add broth to pan, stir with a rubber spatula or whisk. Mix arrowroot and cold water until arrowroot is dissolved. Stir this into your broth. Add remaining sauce ingredients and whisk to combine.
  9. Remove meatballs from oven and add to sauce. Simmer until you're ready to eat.
Recipe Notes

Instant Pot instructions: Prepare the meatballs as instructed above. I prefer to brown these in a skillet because they will stick to the Instant Pot unless you use a lot of oil. I know this sort of defeats the purpose of doing everything in one pot, but it still turned out faster. I turned the heat on my skillet to just below high and browned the outside of the meatballs very quickly, just turning each one once.

I added all the meatballs to the Instant Pot and prepared the sauce in the skillet, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Now add the sauce to the Instant Pot. Set for high pressure for 15 minutes. Voila. Dinner is ready.

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