Home Cooking, for the sake of your health!

Chicken Meatballs with Angel Hair Pasta & Homemade PestoTypically I make turkey meatballs (and usually in the slow cooker), but since I had no ground turkey meat on hand I decided to substitute with chicken. I was inspired by a recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks that promised to deliver delicious meatballs without utilizing eggs or breadcrumbs. Most of the time breadcrumbs and/or eggs are added to the meatballs to keep them moist.  Not these!  The addition of zucchini and walnuts produced super yummy and moist meatballs without gluten or dairy! The mix of paprika, oregano, thyme and granulated garlic is absolutely fantastic and yields great flavor.

As as a quick side I prepared some angel hair pasta (not homemade) and added pesto that I whipped up a few days prior.   Quick and easy dinner for the whole family (soft enough for babies and toddlers)!

 
Ingredients
Meatballs:
  • 2-3 tbs of ghee
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 zucchini, grated (and moisturize squeezed out)
  • 4 mushrooms, diced (I used portobello)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 lbs ground chicken meat
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup walnuts (preferably pre-soaked for at least 12 hours)
  • 2 tbs of parsley
Pesto:
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, lightly pressed into the cup
  • ¾ cup (around 60 grams) raw pine nuts (can also use peeled and blanched almonds)
  • 4-5 small garlic cloves, peeled (more if you like garlic)
  • 4 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1½ cups fresh Parmesan cheese, finely shredded right before using
  • 1 tsp unrefined salt
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
 
Instructions
(MEATBALLS):
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F.
  2. Heat 1-2 tbs of ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions to the pan and saute lightly for 2-3 minutes to soften them up. Add zucchini and mushrooms to the pan and saute for another 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add spices (paprika, oregano, granulated garlic, cumin, and thyme). Stir to mix well and remove from heat.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix chicken with vegetable and spice mix that was prepped on the skillet and add sea salt. Stir to mix well. In a food processor (or by hand), combine walnuts and parsley until finely minced. Add to chicken mix and stir well.
  4. Heat the rest of ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Mold the chicken mixture into balls by hand (or using a cookie scoop), making sure they are equally sized (to ensure even cooking). Drop the meatballs into the warmed up skillet to brown, rolling them periodically to make sure they brown evenly all around, about 1 minute per position (alternatively you can skip this step and bake the meatballs for longer). As they brown, remove them from the pan and place on an baking dish. Bake the meatballs for around 15-20 minutes, until cooked through.
(PESTO):
  1. In a food processor or high speed blender, blend the basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, cheese, and salt until finely chopped.
  2. Add the olive oil, and process the pesto until just blended.

About this site

Most ingredients in cooking are derived from living organisms. Vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts as well as herbs and spices come from plants, while meat, eggs, and dairy products come from animals. Mushrooms and the yeast used in baking are kinds of fungi. Cooks also use water and minerals such as salt. Cooks can also use wine or spirits.
Naturally occurring ingredients contain various amounts of molecules called proteins, carbohydrates and fats. They also contain water and minerals. Cooking involves a manipulation of the chemical properties of these molecules.

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14 November 2019

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