Feeling a bit emotional tonight as I write this, so if you’re just interested in the recipe feel free to scroll down. You won’t hurt my feelings. You know the phrase, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Normally I dislike quippy stuff like this, but this one seems to be true. The Universe is doing its best to kill me, but I don’t think it realized I was such a tough bitch. I may be in the middle of a game of Whack-a-Mole (playing the part of the mole), but dammit, the Universe Will. Not. Win.
I sometimes have difficulty finding balance between trusting or relying on others too much and being so independent that I don’t let anyone in. Obviously neither extreme is healthy. At work we’ve gotten involved in some personality testing. I’m definitely an introvert (depending on my mood I’ll score between 95-100% introverted), and my personality color is green. Green personalities rely on logic and do not make decisions based on emotion. We need things to make sense. We don’t care for small talk because it’s not logical and doesn’t fill a need (to us). It’s also hard for us to trust. If we let you in to our circle, you’re in for good and we’ll do just about anything for you. Watch out, though – hell hath no fury like a green personality scorned. If we let you in – respect it, because very few make the cut.
Cooking is my therapy – most of the time. When my mind is overloaded, though, it can be a bit cumbersome (remember the introverted part?). Tonight I was just cooking for me and my son. I wasn’t feeling creative, and the only idea he really had was something with ground beef. I’d had a hankering for meatballs for a while. Since there’s not a lot of chopping or time-consuming prep involved it wasn’t going to leave me alone with my thoughts for too long. Perfect! I put on some Kelly Clarkson and got to work. BTW, I lost a lot of respect for her when she refused to allow her songs to be used on American Idol. Um, hello chicka, how do you think you got where you are? Regardless, the songs of hers I have downloaded really speak to me and the mood I was in, so it was a good fit.
I have tried some other meatball recipes and couldn’t really remember what went in to them, other than they were heavy, slightly dry and fairly bland. I decided to borrow from my mom’s meatloaf recipe to pull the meatballs together, so I was kind of guessing at the amounts. I was thrilled with how they turned out and the light barbecue glaze was perfect.
Disclaimer: this blog is largely paleo, but I don’t cook 100% paleo all of the time. I use oat flour in the recipe, but feel free to substitute almond flour if you want to keep them strictly paleo (though based on past meatball attempts I expect they won’t be quite as moist), and check your labels on the barbecue sauce if you want to keep it Whole30 compliant. I’m just saying you have options people. Tossed in barbecue sauce, they worked perfectly as a stand alone main dish (with veggies on the side, of course), but you could serve it over spaghetti squash with marinara sauce or other sauce of choice. Using a cookie scoop (to ensure uniformity), the recipe made 28 meatballs – enough for me and my son for dinner, lunch the next day, and about one serving left over.
2lbs ground beef
1⁄4 cup salsa (I used medium)
1⁄4 tsp sea salt
1⁄2 tsp paprika
1⁄2 tsp onion powder
1⁄2 tsp garlic powder
1⁄4 cup oat flour
2-3 T. barbecue sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a broiler pan or baking sheet. Note: using a baking sheet will result in little puddles of meat “goop” as the meatballs cook. A broiler pan will allow those juices to flow through and not collect around the meatballs.
Combine ground beef, eggs and salsa in a large mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Add salt, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder and stir until combined. Sprinkle oat flour over the meat, taking care to avoid dumping any large clumps into one area. Stir until the oat flour is worked through the meat.
Form balls of meat and arrange on your broiler pan or baking sheet. I use a cookie scoop for this task to ensure uniformity. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer hot meatballs to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle barbecue sauce over the meatballs and toss gently to cover.
Variation: Omit barbecue sauce and serve with marinara or other sauce of choice. Serve over spaghetti squash, zoodles, or on a bed of kale.