All hail vegetables, we just can’t get enough! Recently, I took a beef meatball recipe by Gordon Ramsay and converted it to zucchini meatballs that turned out to be so freakishly delicious, my husband requested them several nights in a row. Here’s the important thing about that little fact:
- My husband might not have a Texas accent, but he’s a Texan through and through, and he’s been born and breed to be all things Texas. That means “Beef: it’s what’s for dinner” was probably a motto he was raised to revere.
- He’s the nicest food snob you’ll ever meet.
- Neither of us think meat substitutes ever really taste like good substitutes or are a decent replacement.
And then came zucchini meatballs…
It was like a light from heaven shone down on my plate. And now that we have that little recipe preface out of the way, I can tell you about these Super Yum Zucchini Meatballs. The texture and taste actually is not only an awesome replacement for meatballs, but I personally thought it was even more delicious. I should add that while this might come across as a not-so-humble-brag, I’m such a little fledgling chef that I get really excited when I create a healthy recipe that my husband and I love. I just wanna put #nailedit! on blast because healthy living is my passion 🙂
These meatballs are multi-purpose for sure. You can use them in spaghetti and they’re awesome. I also used a variation of this recipe to make the meatballs in a fragrant coconut Thai soup recipe.
Zucchini Meatballs (makes 25-30 meatballs):
- 1 pound of shredded zucchini
- 1/4 cup Sharp, hard organic cheese like pecorino romano (from sheep’s milk) or a partially freeze goat’s milk, so you can grate it.
- 1 TBS minced garlic
- 1/2 white onion, finely diced
- 1 TBS Red pepper flakes or dried chili
- 1-2 TBS Curry powder (to your taste preference)
- 3/4 cup gluten free panko crumbs
- 1/4 cup gluten free flour
- 1 Egg or egg substitute (for breading the zucchini)
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup portabella mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups baby spinach
- Fresh thyme
- Halved cherry or grape tomatoes
- Minced garlic
- Sesame oil
- Grated sheep or goat cheese
- Thai rice noodles
Tip: (I slightly freeze goat cheese to grate better)
Meatballs: First, make the zucchini “meatballs.” I make a larger batch, because you can easily store the mix and make additional meatballs (I can stop using quotation marks now, right?) for later, or fritters, zucchini burgers, and all manner of fabulous foods.
- Shred zucchini in food processor and set aside while you lightly caramelize the onions, red pepper flakes, and minced garlic to bring out the flavors.
- Next, add the zucchini to the pan, and sprinkle with curry to taste. Add salt to pull out some of the moisture of the zucchini.
- Pull pan off heat, then add zucchini to bowl along with: flour, panko, eggs, and cheese. Mix gently together and form medium sized meatballs.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees; bake meatballs on parchment paper for about 15 minutes to get them a little crispy, then turn and bake for an additional 10 minutes till outside is golden brown.
- While meatballs are cooking, soak rice noodles in bowl with very hot water for 25-30 minutes. I prefer this method when I’m going to lightly saute my noodles, because it keeps them from getting too soggy and generally gross.
- Prep veggies and saute them in a pan with grape seed oil or coconut oil. Add baby spinach last so it does not wilt too much.
- Remove veggies, and lightly saute noodles with a spray of sesame oil and fresh thyme. Plate noodles, and top with vegetables.
- Grate cheese on top and serve hot.