Green Chile and Onion Meatballs ~ Gluten Free

Green Chile and Onion Meatballs served with Garlic Roasted Cauliflower and Grape Tomatoes.

While we are trying to eat healthier, we still crave some of our favorites. One of the things that I have personally been craving lately is the Guacamole Burgers that I have made for several years.

The original burgers are huge and made out of ground beef that is seasoned and stuffed with green chiles and onions, then topped with Monterey Jack cheese, lots of bacon, and guacamole… and served on toasted buns. Definitely crazy good, but clearly do not fit into how we are trying to eat as a whole today. These Green Chile and Onion Meatballs are my first crossover recipe from crave-able burger to healthy meatball!

I have decided to make several types of meatballs and kebabs instead of burgers and/or other larger pieces of meat. I am figuring that this can sort of fool our minds into thinking that we are eating some of the same types of meals that we used to enjoy, but in a healthier way . These can easily be full of flavor and fun to eat. Exchanging meatballs for burgers also does away with the need for any type of bun or wrap.

You may recognize this little pink and white plate from Pampered Chef (a special they had awhile back). If so, you know that it is rather small. That is another trick I am using… filling up a smaller plate and not a large plate. Looking at this picture the meatballs look a bit large, but in reality, they are right about the size of flattened golf balls. They are placed near large cauliflower florets and grape tomatoes.

These meatballs are made out of ground turkey, but you can use whatever ground meat you desire. If you use a different ground meat, the texture would be different and you would likely not have the issue of them being loose and fragile. I chose the ground turkey for the healthy and economical benefits. You could also affect the texture by adding oats or bread crumbs (and possibly some sort of milk), but I avoided that in order to keep it more of a “clean recipe” and avoid gluten and additional calories. The way I made these meatballs is MUCH healthier than the Guacamole Burgers they are based on and are also Gluten Free.

These meatballs are not very spicy. My son will not eat the original burgers that I based these meatballs on. I had a backup plan for him, but I did not need it. He basically inhaled these little balls of goodness! They primarily have the flavoring of meatballs with quite a bit of cooked sweet onion and garlic with a little hint of mild pepper. When I am wanting them spicier in the future, I am planning on just adding different garnishments like: salsa, cilantro, and jalapeƱo. My son can still have his garnished in a mild fashion and everyone will be happy.  

*  Update: This post was originally on my previous blog and created in 2013. “Buddy” has since started eating foods that are more spicy and loves the Guacamole Burgers (minus the guacamole). He does love fresh avocado now, though. 

I served our dinner with Garlic Roasted Cauliflower and grape tomatoes. This was also my first time of making this particular cauliflower dish. It is actually named Alanna’s Roasted Cauliflower. I renamed it for us, because I think that this name fits better with all of its garlicky goodness and I already make another Roasted Cauliflower.

Here is Alanna’s Roasted Cauliflower recipe! I basically followed it the way she has it except that I used avocado oil instead of olive oil and omitted the salt. I also used my convection oven setting on my oven and cooked them quicker. I think hers were actually cut smaller than mine, too. Hers look more toasted, but mine were so yummy… I don’t care…lol… I will likely just keep doing them the way I did tonight.  šŸ˜‰

Green Chile and Onion Meatballs ~ Gluten Free
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Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds ground turkey (I use Jennie-O Lean Ground Turkey)
  2. 4 ounce can diced green chiles, drained
  3. 1/2 cup yellow or white onion, diced
  4. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (make sure yours is gluten free, if necessary)
  5. 2 cloves minced garlic
  6. 3 tablespoons liquid egg white (equals 1 egg ~ can probably use 1 egg white or 1 whole egg)
  7. salt and pepper, if desired (I used several dashes of pepper and 1 dash of salt)
  8. avocado oil or olive oil (I used avocado oil ~ my new favorite ingredient!)
Instructions
  1. Mix together the ground turkey, drained green chilies, onions. Worcestershire, garlic, egg white, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
  2. Take one semi-generous spin around a large skillet with your avocado oil or olive oil.
  3. Form each meatball to be about the size of a golf ball. They will be loose and soft. (It is OK if they are a little flat... most of mine were and they turned out great.) Be gentle with them and do not make them too large. They should not be packed tight into the skillet. My skillet is about 12 inches in diameter and there was plenty of room.
  4. Cook your meatballs over medium-high heat for about 15-20 minutes, or until fully cooked. Keep an eye on them as they cook and do not try to turn them or move them too early. Wait until they are nice and brown on the bottom before you turn them. This way, they will also be more firm before you move them. I suggest using a slotted spoon and a fork to gently pick them up and turn them (at least until you judge the firmness of your particular meatballs). You want to turn them only one time for best results. When they are fully cooked, gently remove them from the skillet to a plate to rest. The resting and not over-working of your meatballs will keep them moist and looking pretty.
Notes
  1. Makes approximately 16-18 golf-sized meatballs.
  2. Leftovers would be great for the freezer. Fully cook, cool, freeze. When needed: Just thaw, heat completely, enjoy.
  3. You can easily cut the recipe in half, if desired.
To serve
  1. You can garnish however you like, but this is what I did this time - Fan a few thin slices of avocado on the plate and place desired amount of meatballs alongside. Sprinkle crumbled bacon pieces and crumbled goat feta cheese on top of the meatballs and avocado slices.
Optional Garnish Ingredients
  1. 1 or 2 strips of bacon, cooked, crumbled (make sure yours is gluten free, if necessary)
  2. 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
  3. about an ounce of goat feta cheese, crumbled
  4. Here are some additional garnish ideas I came up with: guacamole, salsa, pico de gallo, shredded or grated cheese, cilantro, chives, and/or jalapeƱo.
  5. I will probably serve this on top of a bed of lettuce next time in addition to something like salsa, avocado slices, cilantro, and/or jalapeƱo.
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