Post-vacation and mid-summer, I love to spend a few weeks being grain-free. It helps me get back on track, significantly reduce bloat from wine and ice cream, heal my gut from the higher likelihood of gluten cross-contamination from eating out more, and—probably my favorite benefit—clears my brain fog (which is my #1 symptom of Celiac Disease.) Grain-free does not necessarily mean keto or Whole30 though, but some of my recipes naturally end up being friendly for those following that lifestyle.
While we were on vacation, my 4 year-old surprised us by ordering spaghetti and meatballs at an Italian restaurant (over his usual staple of pizza and chicken fingers!) I rarely make that, so it inspired me to come up with my own recipe once we got home.
Meatballs require a binder to keep it in a ball form by egg and, traditionally, bread crumbs. The few times I’ve made meatballs (or meatloaf) in the past, I use ground oats. But this time I wanted to find another option that was not only grain-free, but brought more nutritional benefits—like fiber!—to the mix as well. Enter ground flaxseed meal!
Ground flaxseed meal is chock full of omega-3s, fiber, and lignans. It has the consistency of a flour and has a slight nutty taste.
Preheat oven to 350
- 1 lb ground beef/pork/veal mix (sometimes called “meatloaf mix”)
- 2T ground flaxseed meal
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 3/4 cup tomato sauce (sugar free; like Rao Tomato & Basil Sauce)
- 2T extra virgin olive oil
- Spices to taste: oregano, sea salt & pepper
- 1 large cast iron skillet (or another skillet that is oven-safe)
- 1 medium-sized bowl
- Ice Cream Scoop (optional)
- Pair of tongs (or something else to flip the meatballs)
- Heat skillet on medium, and add 1T EVOO, onion and garlic until onion is translucent.
- In medium sized bowl, add meat, flaxseed, egg and spices. Stir well.
- Add sauteed onion and garlic to meat mixture, and add 1/4 cup of tomato sauce.
- Add 1T EVOO and remaining tomato sauce to skillet.
- Make da meatballs! I use an ice cream scoop, so my meatballs are about 2.5-3T big. Evenly space around the pan. This recipe yields 20 meatballs for me.
- Let cook on stove top for 3 minutes. With the tongs, flip each meatball and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Place is pre-heated oven for 15 minutes.
- Enjoy! Good on their own or over zoodles or cauliflower rice!
According to LoseIt, each meatball is: 59 calories/4g fat/0.9g carb/4.5g protein