It's football season! I usually don't know who's winning or who I'm supposed to be rooting for, but I am all about the party food. The good thing about the Whole30 or paleo diet is that you can totally bring a dish that everyone will love, and you don't even have to tell them it's compliant!
It's not a party without meatballs! My favorite growing up was a grape jelly meatball crockpot recipe. In effort to replace this favorite recipe with a Whole30 approved version, you can trade in that jelly for an aioli sauce. This simple trade out keeps your favorite a main dish at the party and you will still be the MVP of the game!
Chef Marlon Alexander’s Whole-30 Meatballs
Makes about 32 meatballs
- 1/3 cup minced onion
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried mint, crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- a pinch cinnamon
- 1-pound ground lamb (10% fat)
- 1 cup fine almond flour
- 1 large egg, beaten lightly
- 2 tablespoons dried currants
- 1/4 cup black sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup white sesame seeds, toasted lightly
- 1 package of butter lettuce (to use as a cup)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 egg yolks, organic if possible
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/4 cup extra light, extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
To make the meatballs:
- In a small non-stick skillet cook onion and garlic in oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in mint, salt, allspice, and cinnamon. Add lamb, bread crumbs, egg, and currants and combine well. Form level tablespoons of lamb mixture into 1 1/4-inch meatballs, arranging on a tray as formed.
- In a small bowl roll half of meatballs, 1 at a time, in black sesame seeds until coated, transferring to a rack set in a shallow baking pan. Coat remaining meatballs with white sesame seeds in same manner, transferring to rack. Meatballs may be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled, covered loosely.
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Bake meatballs in upper third of oven 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden-brown and just cooked through.
To make the mint aioli:
- Mince the garlic, and then sprinkle the salt on top, and continue to mince and smash the salt into the garlic to form a paste.
- In a small bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, blend the yolks, garlic paste, lemon juice and mustard powder.
- Slowly add the olive oil to the yolk mixture in a very slow steady stream until the mixture is emulsified.
- Add the fresh mint and pepper and pulse until incorporated. Refrigerate.
- Take one leaf of butter lettuce
- Take a small spoonful of mint aioli and delicately place the mix in the center of the lettuce cup
- Take one meatball and place on top of the mint aioli
- Garnish with a mint leaf (if desired) and ENJOY!
Chef Alexander Marlon Alexander specializes in clean local cuisine.
You can find more of his recipes and information below.