Friday, October 11, 2013

Gluten Free Salvadoran Albondigas

This week’s meal prep took me back to a dish that my mom would always make when I was younger. Insert…Salvadoran Albondigas…AKA: Latino style meatballs. What’s Salvi about them? I have no idea except that my Salvadoran mother made them. Just kidding! Seriously though. They are flavorful, yet not spicy. Traditionally Salvadoran food is not spicy but with the Mexican and Guatemalan influences, spices have been added to the food to kick it up a notch.
Since I’ve cleaned up my plate, I had to modify the original recipe that she gave me because I can’t do gluten and I wanted a healthier option. This recipe can also be “Paleofied” if need be and I’ll show you how!

Ingredients for the Albondigas
2 lbs. 96/4 lean ground beef
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. gluten free oat flour (Paleo – almond meal)
1 tsp. Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce (Gluten Free! Paleo - Coconut Aminos or Braggs Aminos)
2 eggs
20 mint leaves, coarsely chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste

Ingredients for the Sauce
5 vine ripe tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 yellow onion chopped
Salt to taste
Miscellaneous Ingredients
2-3 coconut oil (or any type of healthy oil to “pan fry” the meat balls in) 

1.       Combine the ground beef, minced garlic, oat flour, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, mint, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Use your hands to mix the ingredients thoroughly. I’m weirded out by touching raw meat and a total germ phob so I put disposable gloves on to mix the meatball mixture.

2.       Once the ingredients have been mixed together, you will take a tablespoon sized portion of meat and roll it in your hands into a ball shape. Do this with the rest of the meat. You should end up with approximately 35-40 meatballs depending on small you make them. I neatly placed them on a plate to minimize them sticking to each other.

3.       Warm a frying pan with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil on medium to low heat. 

4.       Once the pan has warmed up, you will place the meatballs in the oil and cook them until they are lightly browned on the outside. ***Please note – you will not want to cook them all the way through as they will simmer in the tomato sauce. Overcooking the meatballs will dry them out!***

5.       Set the meatballs aside while you prepare the tomato sauce.

6.       Cut the tomatoes in large pieces and place in a blender or food processor with the garlic. Blend until smooth.

7.       Pour the tomato and garlic mixture into a stock pot along with the salt, chopped cilantro and onions.

8.       Add meatballs into the tomato sauce.

9.       You will simmer the meatballs for about 20 minutes.
You can serve the meatballs with brown rice, quinoa, avocado, or any other side that you would like. My serving size was 5 meatballs with sauce and 1/2 a cup of brown rice. Don't forget to serve in a paper bowl like I did. Keeping it classy as usual. ;)
(yours may vary depending on the ingredients used and how many meatballs you want)
Serving size: 1 meatball + sauce
Calories: 44
Fat: 1.8 grams
Carbs: 1.7
Protein: 5.1