Turkey-Zucchini Meatballs in Red Curry
I found this originally through my favorite health and living blogs, Greatist (check them out, they helped inspire me to pursue healthy living). I love meatballs, and I love curry, but I also really like a meal that reheats well for lunch the next day when I am at work. Ground turkey takes on any flavor you add to it, and this recipe holds up very well in terms of meatball quality. I spent years watching my mom make meatballs with breadcrumbs, which meant I was skeptical as to how zucchini would work in place of the breadcrumbs. Imagine my relief that the meatballs held up well AND tasted very flavorful. This Whole 30 compliant meal is fast and easy.
2 pounds of ground turkey meat
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 teaspoon red curry paste
2 tablespoons coconut milk (canned)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Red Curry Sauce:
1 1/2 cups of coconut milk
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon red curry paste
1 teaspoon fish sauce
red pepper flakes to taste
Shred your zucchini using a box grater. One small zucchini will give you all the shredded zucchini you need. Place all of the zucchini onto a paper towel, roll it up and press down to release the water from the grated bits. You may need to do this a couple of times and use one or two paper towels.
MEG'S TIP: If you do not do press as much of the liquid out of the zucchini as possible, your meatballs will be overly moist and won't hold together well. The zucchini acts as your breadcrumbs, and breadcrumbs are supposed to be dry.
In a bowl, mix up all of your meatball ingredients. Get in there with your hands, don't be afraid to get a little messy. Using a tablespoon, scoop out and roll your meatballs. Once they are all rolled out, set them aside (set them all on a cutting board together, makes tossing them into a pan easy).
Whisk together all of your sauce ingredients, the sauce is as easy as that!
Heat a pan on high ( I used a cast iron pan so that the meatballs got a good searing), adding your meatballs and cooking them for about 2-3 minutes to brown them. They do not need to be cooked through as you are now adding the sauce to the pan, lowering the heat to medium and simmering uncovered for about 15 minutes.
Meg's Afterthoughts: The original recipe calls for eating the meatballs and curry sauce over rice. I ate it over cauliflower rice that I cooked up in coconut oil, salt, pepper and added chopped cilantro, thus making it Whole 30 compliant. I actually made the sauce separately for lunch, so I browned my meatballs, threw them onto a baking sheet and baked them about 15 minutes at 350 degrees until fully cooked. I then divided them up over my lunch meals. The more tomato paste you add, the thicker your sauce will be. If you plan to eat it over rice, you can do less or more tomato paste to get the consistency you want.
If you do not have fish sauce, or do not like fish, substitute the fish sauce out for normal salt. The recipe does not call for salt because fish sauce is naturally salty.