Thanksgiving turkey meatballs (gluten free!)

17 Nov

Thanks be to hubby who scarfed down this meal last night and exclaimed that the world must be informed via Daily Fix. Brilliant move, stroking the ego of the woman who feeds you while reducing the anxious “how in the hell will I ever come up with another post?!” nagging. I immediately resorted to a less anxious but perhaps equally annoying “my first food piece, how exciting!” cheer and hand clap. In another life I’d have totally been Julia Child or a food photographer so this fulfills a number of pipe dreams, and hopefully your craving for some healthy holiday grub.

This meal was inspired by my quest for a Thanksving-ish dinner that wouldn’t spoil the glory of the actual feast (which happens to be the same day my giveaway ends – enter here!). They’re also safe for those of us who are gluten free, soy free, and/or corn free. And they still taste good. I hope you find the process relatively painless and that you also enjoy the ensuing Thanksgiving party in your mouth as much as my family did.

So without further ado here’s my best guess at the recipes. Since I was making it up as I go and not planning on regurgitating the ingredient list I’ve done my best at approximating the proportions. For this I blame my dad, who cooks with a shake of this and eh, maybe a pinch of that plus a slight smattering of whatever else happens to be in the fridge. Thanks dad. And to the rest of you, good luck, I have a feeling you might need it.

Thanksgiving Apple-Spinach-Turkey Meatballs

(makes about 32 meatballs in about 32 minutes)

2.5 – 3 lbs. ground turkey

2 eggs, beaten

1 whole onion, small dice

4 cloves garlic, diced

1 small-medium apple, small dice

1/2 – 1 c. spinach finely chopped

1/8 c. chopped parsley

olive oil, salt, fresh ground pepper

– Saute onion, garlic, & apple in 2T olive oil for about 5 mins. over med-low heat.

– Add spinach and saute until wilted.

– In large bowl mix ground turkey, eggs and parsley with hands. Add sauteed mixture and combine. Season generously with salt and pepper.

– Using your hands, form into 1.5 – 2″ balls and set aside on a baking sheet or plate.

– Brown in batches of 12 in 2T olive oil over medium heat, turning frequently (this helps keep the meatballs round-ish in shape).

– After browned, add 1/4 c. water and immediately cover with a lid. Cook, turning often, for 5 minutes more or until middle is no longer pink (this keeps the meatballs moist and also creates a light sauce with the juices).

– Transfer cooked meatballs into warming dish and continue with additional batches.

Mashed Red and Sweet Potatoes

6 small-medium red potatoes

2 – 3 medium sweet potatoes

7.5 oz. creme fraiche

1/4 – 1/2 cup milk

salt and fresh ground pepper

– Wash and cut red and sweet potatoes into 1″ cubes (keep skins on).

– Boil until tender, about 15 minutes.

– Drain and transfer to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix at medium speed about 30 seconds (or roughly mash by hand if you prefer), then add creme fraiche, milk, salt and pepper. Continue to mix until blended. The potato skin provides texture (and fiber!), but if you like your mashed potatoes totally smooth be sure peel them before boiling.

– Serve with an extra dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream.

Garlic Brussels Sprouts

1 bag Trader Joe’s Brussels Sprouts (microwaveable)

Garlic Olive Oil

Salt and fresh ground pepper

This is the first time I cheated making a “home cooked” meal, and it is so fast, easy, and totally worth it! I’ll never go back to blanching again…

– Microwave brussels sprouts in bag 3 mins.

– Heat 1 – 2 T garlic olive oil in wok or saute pan.

– Add cooked brussels sprouts, salt, and pepper, and saute for 3 minutes, or until browned a little.

– And that’s IT!

(not pictured)

Trader Joe’s Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Egg Nog and Bailey’s (the cook’s companion!)

Trader Joe’s Crescent Rolls (because although I’ve chosen to go gluten free, the men in my house need a carb here and there)

~ The above proportions will feed about 8 very hungry adults, or provide awesome lunch leftovers for a day. I recommend the latter. Enjoy! ~

10 Responses to “Thanksgiving turkey meatballs (gluten free!)”

  1. Kevin November 17, 2011 at 7:06 am #

    What a pro, and let be the first to say this meal was delicious!

  2. Rysa November 17, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    Looks like we’re gonna have a”ball” this Thanksgiving. Thanks for the inspiration Anj!

    • Anjale November 17, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

      Not sure these balls can measure up to your Italian roots, Rys! Let me know what you think 😉

  3. rick armand November 17, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    beautiful creations anj…:)

    i’m thinking a good life is like a good blues jam….
    a little structure, fearless improvising, and a few moments of pure, unexpected beauty…
    keep it up…
    love you

  4. Trina November 19, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    Mmmmmm….! Looks amazing! Looking forward to trying my luck at it sister! Living in Gratitude!

  5. Winkee November 20, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    I’m sharing this with my niece who has food allergies. Thanks, Julia – er, Anj!

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