Whole30 Meatballs with sweet potato shavings.

It’s hard to find foods that really satisfy all the many sensations we’ve come to expect – something crispy, something sweet, something savory, something hearty and flavorful. We’d gotten through the first 3 days of Whole30 and the newness was falling away, but my first meal that truly filled me up was making meatballs and marinara.

I took a pound of ground chuck, 80-20 lean ratio, and mixed in lots of Italian spices, along with garlic powder and onion powder for both flavor and texture. I use some crush almonds for binder, but not many – less than a 1/4 cup. The magic happened when Husband and I looked at the meatballs and wondered if they would just taste like slightly flavored hamburger. “What about sweet potato?” He asked.

We pulled out the grater and grated almost half of a sweet potato into the mix. Sweet potatoes are less watery than regular potatoes, so they didn’t make the mix soupy at all, but rather added the slight sweetness that many meatball sauces carry, and something to crisp up in the pan. We rolled them into 1 or 1 and a half inch balls and fried them in a cast iron skillet until browned.

In the meantime, I’d been simmering diced organic tomatoes on the stove. I added lots of garlic to this one too – should have cut up cloves and cooked in olive oil first, but I was in a rush. I added diced onions and grated carrot, both because I don’t like carrots much and because marinara often has the slight sweetness of a carrot. The sauce simmered through the whole meatball-making process, and with spices (lots of dried basil because, sadly, it is winter and fresh basil is not to be found in my garden), it came together wonderfully.

I broke through every meatballs crispy shell to get a part of it to drown in the tomato sauce – it felt like a lot of the flavors I love best about pasta but without pasta there to transport them! It made me realize, for the first time during Whole30, that I could be completely satisfied on a diet without cheese or grain. I don’t intend to do it forever, but it felt very empowering.


9 comments on “Whole30 Meatballs with sweet potato shavings.

  1. Sweet potato MIXED IN with the meatball mix? Now I would never have thought of that! It sounds delicious!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dina says:

    Sounds totally yummy! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Holley says:

    OMG- that sounds amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m trying to work up the courage to start my own Whole30! Glad to hear that food without cheese can still be tasty ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds good! I enjoyed doing whole 30 last year. Maybe after Baby comes I’ll do it again.


  6. So clever! I did a Whole 30 last year and it’s tough! I will try these next time!


  7. Oooh. I really love meatballs and these sound lovely. They also sound like they’d be really nice in a…sandwich…which goes against the ethos of the recipe…but still. A hint of sweetness always brings out the faint sweetness of good beef. Lovely!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s