A fun twist on the comfort food classic, your family will love these naturally gluten free Lebanese meatballs seasoned with cinnamon, all-spice and toasted pine nuts.
Look, I’m not going to kid you. Change isn’t easy. We are habitual creatures and stepping out of our comfort zone isn’t always in our nature but I urge you to stay focused. After all, it only takes 6 weeks to form a habit so stay the course. Trust the process.
To help keep you motivated and focused, I’m sharing one of my healthy eating strategies in continuation of my month-long partnership with Kroger celebrating life’s every day #LittleVictories.
Ever since having Jacob, who turns into a pumpkin by 6:46PM every night like clockwork, the slow cooker has become my saving grace. I know I used it a lot after having Asher but with two toddlers I use it more than ever before.
On a perfect day, we spend a couple of hours at the gym in the morning and then I put dinner in the slow cooker while they are eating lunch (ideally one I prepped ahead on the weekend.) This symphonic harmony doesn’t always happen but with a little planning and thought, it happens more often than not.
If you love traditional Italian meatballs, I know you’ll love this Lebanese inspired version scented with warm cinnamon, all spice and toasted pine nuts. They don’t have any bread crumbs so they are naturally gluten free and low carb.
Serve with bulgur wheat or Lebanese Rice Pilaf and a giant Lebanese Green Salad dressed with plenty of za’atar, garlic and fresh lemon juice. Parent Tip: If you stir in a bit of cucumber yogurt sauce or plain yogurt, the meatballs will cool down right away so your hungry monsters don’t burn their little tongues.
Don’t forget, it only takes 6 weeks to create a life-forming habit. Each day, make a few good decisions then do it again tomorrow.
Stay the course. Trust the process. You’ve got this.
Your fork is waiting.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and spread pine nuts out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until pine nuts are toasted, 5-6 minutes; set aside.
Keep the oven heated to 350 while you prepare the meatballs.
Using a food processor, pulse together ground turkey, 1/2 of the onion (about 1/2 cup diced), parsley and 1/2 of the All Purpose Lebanese Spice Blend (2 tablespoons) until smooth. If you have trouble getting the mixture to combine, add one or two tablespoons of ice water while pulsing.
Line two baking sheets with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Scoop the meatballs using a small cooking scoop and divide evenly between both trays. Bake until half-way cooked, about 10 minutes.
Place partially-cooked meatballs in the slow cooker and add in toasted pine nuts, remaining 1/2 cup diced onion, remaining 2 tablespoons All Purpose Lebanese Spice Blend, tomato puree and crushed tomatoes. Stir once to combine then cover and heat on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours.
Serve over Lebanese Rice Pilaf with a dollop of plain yogurt on top.
If you don't want to make the All Purpose Lebanese Spice Blend, simply use 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon.
Disclosure: I have been compensated by Kroger for my time to develop this recipe and share my thoughts on #LittleVictories. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Lemon Bowl possible. All thoughts are my own.