Here’s a meatball that can reduce inflammation… really!
Food in “ball” form is just fun. But, then again, I think finger food and appetizers just taste better than big portions of food. It just tastes does. It’s like food on a stick — when my kids were young, I’d cut up whatever I was serving for dinner and stack ( the bites on toothpicks; it worked like a charm. Meatballs are awesome (and don’t require any sticks). These paleo eggplant meatballs have no meat in them. They taste like little bites of eggplant parmesan. But, this recipe contains no grains and no cheese. And no, they don’t taste like air or like cardboard (as I have been asked by some doubter-friends).
I served these meatless balls for dinner the other night on top of my favorite grain-free fettuccine and my favorite marinara sauce.
The next day, I ate some for lunch on top of a salad with a vegan Caesar dressing — this was so good!
And, truth be told, the rest of the batch was eaten straight from the container in the fridge, without even heating them up. And yup, I liked them this way too.
The original recipe for these paleo eggplant meatballs is from a great blog called Every Last Bite. I’m addicted.
Next up, I’ll be making these balls into burgers. Hmmmm, I think topped with some caramelized onions and vegan cheese… OK, now I’m hungry. Again.
If you are looking for another great paleo eggplant recipe, try my Paleo Eggplant Parmesan.
Here are just a few reasons to make these paleo eggplant meatballs:
In eastern medicine, eggplant is added to the diet when there is pain in the body because it’s great for relieving pain and reducing swelling. It’s especially good to eat eggplant when you are experiencing some nasty digestive issues. It relieves stomach pain, helps with dysentery, diarrhea, and painful urinary conditions. Eggplant has also been used topically to treat frostbite and canker sores… talk about a multi-tasking vegetable…
Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. In the winter, I eat lots and lots of onions… I guess I should feel sorry for the people close to me! During cold and flu season, I recommend onions to everyone, and in lots of ways and forms; they actually can rid the body of bacteria.
In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation. This recipe uses almond flour to hold the balls together.
Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….
Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects. In these meatballs, I used dried basil, but please feel free to add some fresh basil too.
- 1 medium/large eggplant, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 5 large garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt and black pepper
- 1 cup almond flour (I buy mine by the case, here)
- 1 tsp dried basil
- ½ cup vegan Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 egg white, beaten with a fork
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Place the eggplant, onion, and garlic on the baking tray and toss with the oil and a bit of salt and pepper.
- Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until you start to see some charred edges.
- Remove from oven and now reduce the oven temp to 375°F.
- Scrape the roasted veggies into a food processor. Pulse 10 times -- you want there to still be some chunks in the mixture.
- Transfer the veggie mixture to a large bowl and stir in the almond flour, basil, Parmesan and egg white. Combine well.
- Roll into golf ball - size balls. (I found it easier to do this with wet hands).
- Arrange the balls on the baking tray (use the same piece of parchment paper).
- Bake for about 50 minutes, without turning the balls over. You will know they are done when they release from the parchment paper without sticking. Make sure you let the balls cool before you try to release them completely; this will help them release more easily without sticking.
- Enjoy your balls with your favorite pasta, sauce, salad, sandwich...