These delicious herbs and garlic meatballs served with comforting cauliflower and pumpkin mash are perfect for a healthy, weeknight dinner. This meal is paleo, Whole30 and gluten-free.
One of the misconceptions about the Paleo way of eating is that it’s boring, limiting, and in no way comforting. Well, this is one of many dishes to show otherwise.
How about a meal of succulent meatballs seasoned with herbs, garlic and spices, cuddly mash made with my favourite cauliflower and pumpkin for sweetness and texture, and whatever condiment or salad you like on the side? Being a Ukrainian, I can’t go past a few gherkins when it comes to meatballs and mash; it’s something my grandma used to prepare for us.
So, let’s get cracking on these delicious paleo meatballs, throw that cauliflower in the oven and watch the magic happen right in your kitchen.
For the meatballs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 large onion finely diced
- 500 g ground pork 1 lb.
- 500 g ground beef 1 lb.
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped or crushed
- 2 tablespoons chopped mixed herbs parsley, basil and oregano
- 1 teaspoon sea salt + 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1.5 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 large egg
- A pinch of chilli flakes or chopped fresh chilli
- Ghee or coconut oil for frying
For cauliflower & pumpkin mash
- 2 cups diced pumpkin Kabocha/Kent variety, this will give it a nice yellow colour and some sweetness. You can also go without or sub with sweet potatoes.
- 1 head large cauliflower cut into florets
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 garlic clove diced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard or other mustard
- 2 tablespoons butter or ghee
- You will need a food processor or some kind of appliance to purée
- Make the meatballs.Heat a frying pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium, add the diced onions and sauté (cook gently) for about 2 minutes; we just want to soften it before mixing in the ground meat. Transfer to a plate to cool down a little.
- Using your hands, mix all meatballs ingredients really well in a large bowl. Roll the mixture into small balls using wet hands, think a ping pong ball size.
- Heat a large frying pan and add a couple of teaspoons of ghee or coconut oil. Once hot, add the meatballs (1 cm apart) and fry over medium-high heat for about 4-5 minutes each side, turning over twice or three times to brown off multiple sides. Turn the heat off and leave meatballs to rest for a few minutes while finishing off the mash.
- Make the cauliflower mash.Add the diced pumpkin to a large pot of water (enough water to then add the cauliflower in), add half a teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Once it's boiling, add the cauliflower pieces and cook together for 7-8 minutes, until both vegetables are soft when poked with a knife.
- Strain the vegetables and transfer to a food processor together with garlic, butter, mustard, a little pepper and another half a teaspoon of sea salt. Process into a puree (fairly smooth), you might need to stop and start the processor a few times to scrape the sides and mix the veggies inside.
- Serve the meatballs over the mash together with your favourite condiments or sauces such as mustard, chilli sauce, gherkins, paleo or Whole30-compliant ketchup.