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Magic Meatballs For Vegetable Hating Folks

I do love meatballs.  I take hiding some good vegetables inside for those who won’t eat them otherwise, as a challenge.  How many different and good vegetables can I hide and still have them taste good and something my son will eat.  You may recall my Meatballs With A Heart [1] as a past example.

This week we found out my son will need to be on a Candida diet.  That means at the beginning no fruits or sugars at all, stay away from grains and increase those vegetables.   There’s more to it than that but that’s the abbreviated version   So basically I’m taking away all of his snacks and favorites and giving him his least favorites.

This was the inspiration for the Magic Meatballs.  These are gluten and dairy free but full of vegetables.  It includes natural antibacterial foods like garlic and detoxing herbs like parsley.

The trick to making meatballs like this is the spices you use to dominate the taste buds.  I opted for a Southwestern blend from Penzeys that is strong and flavorful and contains no sugar.  It contains salt, sweet ancho pepper, onion, garlic, Mexican oregano, Tellicherry black pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin, sweet paprika, chipotle pepper and cilantro.

I will be making many variations on this recipe I’m sure.  These are great for week days, weekends, game days or of course you an always serve these for Halloween too!

I also want to tell you about a new piece of kitchen equipment I was given to try.  It’s called the Ninja Cooking System.  It’s a stovetop cooker, oven, slow cooker and steam roaster/baker in one.  When I heard this I thought that’s too many things in one so none will work well.  I’m so skeptical.  But as I’ve mentioned before I’ve moved into an apartment and something that does many things sounded appealing being in a smaller kitchen.  I’ve also found out that when using my oven it heats the whole apartment which is not great in a warm climate.  So I busted this out of the box this weekend and started cooking like crazy.  I made my Paleo Scrapple [2] without having to use an extra pot.  I steam roasted a turkey breast which tastes amazing and I made these Magic Meatballs.  So I’m sold.  I love it.  I can cook anything in here and it’s super easy to clean.  But don’t take my word for it, read Stephanie O’Dea’s review [3], from A Year of Slow Cooking.  This recipe was shared on Allergy Friendly Friday [4].


1/2 medium onion, quartered

2  cloves of garlic

handful of fresh parsley leaves

1 cup napa cabbage

4 large dino kale leaves, stems removed

1 avocado, pit and skin removed and sliced

1 pound organic ground chicken

1 pound organic ground pork

3-6 teaspoons of Southwest seasonings from Penzeys [5]

1-3 teaspoons organic coconut oil

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon Ancho chili powder

1/2 -1 teaspoon Celitc sea salt


Place the onion and garlic into a food processor and process until chopped.

Add into the processor the kale, cabbage and parsley and process until a fine chop.

Add the avocado and process until you have a smooth mixture.

Add both meats to the processor and pulse until combined.

Turn the processor to on and sprinkle in through the top the Southwest seasonings and process until combined.

Test the mixture by frying up a teaspoon full in a frying pan with a little paprika and chili powder sprinkled on top.

If you like taste you are done.  If not keep adding the seasonings until you do.

Now you can make your meatballs any size you want but I wouldn’t go too big.  Brown them in a pan with the coconut oil and sprinkled with the paprika and chili.  This is an important step.  First the browning for flavor and the red spices to keep the meatballs from looking too green.

I choose to do this in my new Ninja cooker so I could then put the lid on, turn it from Stovetop to Oven mode , 400 degrees for 10 minutes, and cook this all in just one pan.

If you don’t have a Ninja brown them before you put them into the oven to bake at 400 degrees for 15-30 minutes.

When the meatballs are done sprinkle with the salt before serving.

What do you like to hide in your meatballs?