I hadn’t eaten a meatball in years until I made these. For a long time I kept my food as simple and as basic as possible for sanity’s sake. I ate lots of fresh food, meats that were easy to cook…nothing that took any time at all to think about or prepare. Looking back, I guess I was a little angry that I had to give up so many foods I loved and very fearful that I might eat something that would cause a problem.
My husband changed all of that, without any conscious intention on his part I might add. In fact, I’m not sure he knew I could cook when we got engaged. I’d never made a meal for him. I would eat one thing and he ate something else. One day I decided that I wanted us to have a more normal life and be able to share meals together. Turkey burgers were my first attempt. I seasoned them with salt, pepper, and garlic and then cooked the heck out of them. Dry & flavorless, my darling hubby piled on lots of mayo and cheese, said nothing, and sincerely thanked me for making dinner. I kept making dinner and I’m sure that for quite some time the food wasn’t much better. Joe always expressed the utmost gratitude for my efforts, even on nights when it was so bad he had to eat chips and dip instead.
His total love and acceptance of who I am, food and all, along with the unconditional gratitude and support of my efforts in the kitchen eventually gave me the courage to learn how to cook all over again with foods I can eat and to pursue what I’ve always loved – creating food for others that nurtures and brings joy. Love does heal all wounds.
After Joe bought me the pressure cooker, I found Tom LaCalamita’s book, The Ultimate Pressure Cooker Cookbook. Love it. I’ve adapted this recipe from there. This is one of my husband’s favorite dinners. I usually serve it with brown rice. The slightly nutty flavor of the rice compliments the sauce so well.
I use Hol-Grain Brown Rice Bread Crumbs. They’re made from 100% brown rice. Previously, I would toast tapioca bread and then throw it into the food processor. This is so much simpler. At first I was worried that the brown rice would add an unwanted flavor or texture to the food. Instead, the crumbs bind so well and are undetectable in the final product. I love them. Maybe you want a vegetarian version? Mary Frances at Gluten-Free Cooking School has a Spinach Meatball Sandwich. I love spinach and am planning to try this myself.
What or who gave you the courage to do what you love? Or maybe you’re still looking for it…keep searching. The answers will come.
Serves: Serves 4 - 6 as a meal
- 1 ½ pounds ground turkey
- ½ cup gluten-free bread crumbs
- 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil for browning
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 2 carrots, peeled & shredded
- 2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (or canned tomatoes)
- 8 ounces button mushrooms, thickly sliced
- 2 cups gluten-free chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons gluten-free cornstarch
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Combine turkey, bread crumbs, eggs, garlic, parsley, salt & pepper until thoroughly mixed. Shape into desired meatball size.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet and brown meatballs on all sides. If necessary, brown in batches.
- Line a plate with two paper towels and let browned meatballs rest. Set aside.
- To prepare the sauce, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat and add onion. Sauté until soft but not brown.
- Add carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, and chicken stock. Mix well.
- Add meatballs and stir, coating meatballs with the sauce. Put the lid on the pressure cooker and lock in place. Increase heat to high and bring to high-pressure, then adjust heat so that regulator rocks steadily for 8 minutes. Use cold water release method to cool pressure cooker.
- Stir in peas.
- Add 4 tablespoons cold water to cornstarch and mix well. While stirring, pour cornstarch into sauce and meatballs. Mix well, replace and lock pressure cooker lid. Bring to high pressure once more and then use the cold water release method to cool. Taste and adjust for seasoning.