Whole 30 Turkey Meatballs

For approximately the last two weeks I’ve been attempting to follow the Whole 30 diet to drop a couple of pounds, clean up my diet for the summer, and prepare for the Savage Race, an 8 mile run with obstacles that my coworkers talked me into and I am not nearly prepared for. For those of you not familiar with Whole 30, you basically can’t have anything I would normally reach for to keep me happy, i.e. dairy, sugar, CHEESE, and BREAD.

Why would anyone want to do this you say?? Aren’t you hungry all the time? It’s a great way to see what types of food irritate your body and you have to make sure you snack constantly to keep up your energy and fuel your metabolism. However it’s not without its challenges. Case in point: we’re not going to talk about the fresh baked Philly pretzel slathered in Philadelphia cream cheese that I broke down and ate 9 days in and washed down with a Devil’s Backbone Vienna Lager. Sorry not sorry.

With that being said, the next morning it was back to being compliant, at least for a few meals. I truly was seeing a difference in my energy level and waistline and while I don’t think sticking to an absolute Whole 30 diet is for me, I am open to adopting a modified version with occasional treats.

Before starting a stretch of 3 night shifts in a row preceeding what is sure to be a food-centric trip to New Orleans this weekend, I opted to hit the pavement for a 4 mile run and cook up some (mostly) Whole 30 friendly turkey meatballs to take with me to work so that I don’t hit the vending machine or the fast food options in the cafeteria. I found a great recipe on Pinterest that took me no time at all.

You will need:

  1. 1 Egg, beaten
  2. 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  3. 1 Small/Medium Onion, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  4. 3 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
  5. ¼ Cup Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
  6. 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  7. Salt & Pepper
  8. ¼ Cup Almond Flour
  9. 1 Tablespoon Coconut Flour
  10. 1 Pound Ground Turkey
  11. EVOO
  12. Tomato sauce

Preheat your oven to 400. Combine the first 9 ingredients and mix well, then add in your turkey. As a side note, make sure you read your labels on the tomato paste. It’s very difficult to avoid sugar unless you’re ordering something special online that probably costs an arm and a leg and you have to wait for. I chose a brand whose only ingredient listed was tomatoes. Most tend to list tomatoes and citric acid.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then heat a large skillet over medium-high heat coated in EVOO. Form the meat mixture into balls and sear in the hot oil for approximately 30 seconds on each side and until a brown crust develops. Then place them on the parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes.

Serve hot with your favorite tomato sauce! To be completely Whole 30 compliant you probably need to make your own pasta sauce to serve with the meatballs which can be very time-consuming. I’m here to tell you that if you do not have time to make your own sauce it’s okay to pick one from the store, just try to grab one that has as little sugar as possible. We can’t be perfect all the time 🙂

The meatballs weren’t too dry as turkey can often get and had quite a bit of flavor. If you’re worried about the almond and coconut flour you can’t really taste it so no worries there. The recipe also made 15 meatballs and has lasted me 3 nights at work thus far, which is pretty awesome when all I feel like doing is coming home and passing out after a shift. These will definitely get made again.

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