Midweek Feast: Gluten Free Meatballs, Herby Mashed Sweet Potats, Sautéed Spinach

by ehwhite93

It was around 9:00 pm on a Tuesday or Wednesday, but my roommate Josh and I (since we buy groceries together we usually cook together, too) felt like throwing a feast together. Although we don’t buy meat very often, there was a pound of ground beef calling our names in the freezer. Burgers? Meatballs? Tacos? We went with meatballs.

To add to the feast Josh made some herby mashed sweet potatoes, I sautéed some spinach, and also attempted a dairy-free creamy mushroom sauce to go with the meatballs, which ended up being a bit of a failure (so I’m leaving that one out for now). The meatballs are gluten free which makes this a great, filling, and easy meal for any occasion.

Photos by me this time (prob why they're a bit out of focus)

Photos by me this time (prob why they’re a bit out of focus)

Meatballs: 1 lb ground beef, handful of potato chips, 1 chopped onion, spices: garlic salt, chili, mustard powder, herbamare, black pepper, worcestershire sauce, south african smoke

The meatballs are pretty straightforward. Throw the ground beef into a medium/large mixing bowl. Chop the onion very finely and crush up the potato chips (for the record, I used Kettle Chips Sea Salt and Black Pepper, my favs) in a ziploc bag or with a spoon. I used the potato chips because they’re a nice, easy alternative to breadcrumbs (even the gluten free ones I bought still have dairy and other not-so-good stuff in them). You could also add an egg (but I have a sensitivity to eggs and am trying to be strict with my diet right now) to help hold the balls together. They definitely held up nonetheless.

Add a nice pinch of each of the spices and a splash of the worcestershire sauce. The South African Smoke is from Trader Joe’s and adds a a rich, smoky flavor. Herbamare has always been a mainstay in my kitchen growing up (we call it “herbie salt”) and I recommend picking some up in the health food aisle.

Anyways, after mixing the ingredients with your hands, form nice, approx 1 inch balls and put them on a cookie sheet. The recipe yields about 15-17 meatballs. Cook them at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Josh’s Herby Sweet Potatoes: 2 sweet potatoes, olive oil, butter/earth balance, basil, italian seasoning, rosemary, herbie salt, pepper,

Rinse, peel, and cut the sweet potats into quarters (so that they cook quicker). Put them into a medium-sized pot and cover them with water. Add a bit of olive oil and salt. Leave the pot uncovered and bring the water/sweet potats to a boil. Cover the pot and let them boil for about 10-15 minutes. Once the sweet potatoes are nice and soft, mash them using a hand masher or hand blender.

Add about 2 tablespoons butter/Earth Balance to give them a nice, creamy texture. Now add the spices. A healthy sprinkle of each is perfect. The idea behind the rosemary is that we usually put it on sweet potatoes fries when we make those. These savory sweet potatoes are quite mouth watering.

Sautéed Spinach: 2-2.5 cups fresh spinach, olive oil, 2-3 cloves garlic, salt, pepper, chili flakes

This one is really easy and barely needs directions, but you can never underestimate the importance and deliciousness of adding some green to your meal. Rinse and dry probably about 2-2.5 cups of spinach (as you probably know, it shrinks). Chop the garlic (when cooking it with greens, I like to leave the pieces a bit bigger) and sauté it in a pan for a few minutes with some olive oil. Throw on the spinach and a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and a few chili flakes. Sauté for a few minutes until the spinach has shrunk nicely and  you have a tasty, healthy addition to any meal.

In all, this meal should serve 2.5 hungry students.

There you have it. An easy, well-rounded, filling meal.

The Feast

The Feast