A while back, I had this great idea for a mouth watering, AIP Greek meatball recipe. Yessssssss, it was going to be soo good! But by the time I got home with groceries I realized I was actually quite tired & hungry; I no longer cared about gourmet, I wanted Now. Thus, this recipe was born.
As a food blogger I can put pressure on myself to come up with these incredible (read: complex) alternative diet recipes, but as someone who’s lived with chronic illness & fatigue, I know that, in reality, those aren’t the recipes I made. No, I ate simply (still do) & looked for ways to conserve “spoons” in the kitchen.
These turkey meatballs are good. No lie. But more importantly, they’re the kind of recipe I actually use as a staple. Not only are they versatile, but they don’t require a lot of prep or standing-at-the-stove time. So if you’re experiencing chronic fatigue, be sure to check out the Fatigue Friendly Instructions following the basic ones.
(makes 24 small meatballs)
💚 1 pound ground turkey
💚 1 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon salt (I don’t count salt as an ingredient)
💚 1 tablespoon dried oregano
💚 1 tablespoon cooking oil of your choice (I use olive oil)Add 8 cups water + 1 tablespoon salt to a large pot (think stock pot,) cover with a lid and start to boil.
Put the ground turkey and remaining salt into a mixing bowl, wash & dry those lovely hands.
Crush the dried oregano between your fingers into the mixing bowl like this:
Pull out two plates and place them beside the mixing bowl. Now mix all the ingredients with your hands. Nice, it’s meatball time.
Here’s how I figured out the quickest & easiest way to make meatballs of the same size (see illustration below):
- Press the meat into a circle on one of the plates & using your finger divide it into fourths.
- Scoop up one of those fourths and gather it into a ball.
- Divide that into two portions and roll them both into “fat logs.”
- Divide each of those into 6 even pieces.
- Roll each piece in your palm to make the meatballs. Place the made meatballs on the other plate.
- Repeat this process with the remaining meat. Once you get the hand of it, you can really rock out rolling these.
Chef’s Tip: Rub a little oil on your hands before starting and the meat won’t stick at much.
Once all the meatballs are made, plop them into the boiling water and set a timer for 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat (and the timer) & drain the meatballs into a colander in the sink.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, 12″ skillet on medium high. Shake the colander to remove any excess water from the meatballs. This way they won’t splatter in the hot oil!
Add the meatballs to the pan. Use a spatula + some pan-shaking action to move the meatballs around in the pan so they get a yummy, golden brown color on ’em. This should only take a couple of minutes.
✨ And now they’re done! Huzzah!
Put your stock pot on the stove and start filling it. I use a Pyrex measuring cup to bring the water to the pot, 2 cups at a time, so I don’t have to lift the heavy pot from the sink to the stove.
Add the 1 tablespoon salt, put the lid on the pot and start heating the water to boil.
Bring the ground turkey, salt, oregano, a mixing bowl and two plates to a table. While sitting, make the meatballs as described in the instructions above.
Place the meatballs in the boiling water and set a timer for 5 minutes. Set out a colander over a plate on the counter by the stove. Now you can sit again while they cook. I find keeping a stool in kitchen is perfect for shorter sits like this.
Turn off the heat (and the timer) & use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked meatballs from the pot. This way you don’t have to lift the heavy pot to drain them. Place the meatballs in the colander on top of a plate so they can drain well.
6️⃣ Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, 12″ skillet on medium high. Shake the colander to remove any excess water from the meatballs so they won’t splatter in the hot oil!
Add the meatballs to the pan. Use a spatula to move the meatballs around in the pan so they get a yummy golden brown color on ’em. This should only take a couple minutes.
✨ They’re done! You did it!
These meatballs are as versatile as they are simple. We eat them with pasta dishes, salads, soups & as a protein side served with veggies. Wonderhubs also just snacks on them. They’re good cold (think no-cook & packed lunches) or can be quickly reheated. And of course this recipes is ideal for quick & easy batch cooking…To double this recipe for your freezer stash make 2 pounds of meatballs & divide them into two batches. While the first batch is being pan fried, boil the second.
How you reheat defrosted meatballs depends on what you’re eating. For soups & pasta sauces simply reheat them in the sauce/soup. Alternatively you can re-pan fry them on medium-low until warmed through.
You can also freeze the meatballs right after boiling them and skip the pan fry step. After defrosting, pan fry them according to the instructions to reheat & give them some color.
Remember playing with Play-Doh as a kid? Or mud? Remember pretending to make food? It was fun! Well making meatballs is fun. It’s food-play for adults. And unlike the faux-foods of our childhoods, these handmade creations are not only edible, they’re deelish.
So while you’re rolling around those little balls of meat, I encourage you to enjoy having messy, meaty hands & molding tasty morsels. Get into it. Invite playfulness into your food prep & have fun! By doing so you’ll infuse your meatballs with joyful energy, which supports holistic wellness. Plus, it makes ’em yummier.
May you eat well, live well & enjoy a New Wellness!
Messy hands & healing hugs,
“Cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love.” ~ Craig Claiborne
And if you make this recipe be sure to tag me @HopeHealCook cuz awwww, I wanna see!
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