I’m not even sure how I ended up stumbling upon Whole30, but somehow in looking at Paleo and Primal recipes, I discovered this interesting 30 day challenge. It looked like something that was totally doable, especially considering I had done a lot of grain free meals when I was pregnant with Simeon. Cutting out a few more things didn’t seem like it would be a big stretch. The best part was that when I told my husband about it, he said he’d do the challenge with me, provided that he could keep his dairy. And besides, anyone can do something for 30 days, right?
We decided to start our Whole30 the week that our kids went to spend a week with their grandparents in St. Louis. We figured it would be easier to get used to the changes and all of the cooking and prep if I only had one kid to deal with. We were right! The first week was exciting, but by week 2, I was getting to the point where I was cooking too much of one thing and then tired of it by the time I had eaten it for 3 or 4 (or 5) meals. So I needed something new.
In February, I had made some Gluten Free Chinese Dumplings for Chinese New Year and the filling recipe came from my good friend, Mary, who is actually from China. I knew that the filling for these dumplings was so good and that there were ingredients I could sub (coconut aminos in place of soy sauce) and that they would likely make tasty meatballs. Plus, I could pair it with stir fried veggies. Stir fry recipes are great for Paleo/Primal/Whole30 because you get lots and lots of veggies!
I also just got my copy of It Starts with Food, by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, the creators of the Whole30 Challenge. I’m looking forward to reading it once I can figure out how to get it on my Nook! I have the hard copy too, but that doesn’t lend itself well to late night feedings, you know? All of that page turning. I do know that there are tons of “Master Recipes” for meals that are Whole30 approved. Most of these are allergy friendly as well, with the exception of using nuts. Other than that, it cuts out almost all of the other top 8 allergens!
Enough of all this talk…you want the recipe, right?!?!
I do encourage you to double this…or triple it. I was sad when the leftovers were gone and will definitely make enough to freeze next time!
Allergy Free Chinese Meatballs
(by “allergy free”, this recipe is free of the top 8 common allergens…plus some!)
1 pound ground pork (can sub with chicken or turkey)
1 TB sesame oil (I used Spectrum, but an Asian brand may be more flavorful, just check for cross contamination)
3-4 TB of coconut aminos (use less if you like less salt)
1/2 TB Chinese 5 spice (optional- may sub 1 TB fresh minced ginger and 1 TB minced garlic)
1/2 cup chopped green onions
Red pepper flakes for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a baking dish.
2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix just enough for the ingredients to be well incorporated.
3. Form mixture into 16 meatballs. The mixture is loose and it will look like it won’t stay together in the oven. I promise it will!
4. Bake in oven for 25 minutes, or until meat reads 160F with a meat thermometer.
5. Serve over stir fried veggies by itself or with rice and sprinkle with red pepper flakes for an added kick.
You could try browning these in a skillet, but with the mixture being so loose, I’m not sure if it would hold together or not. If you try it and it works, let me know!