Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sun-Dried Tomato Meatballs

The sound of sun-dried tomatoes blended into meatballs and then smothered with a creamy pesto sauce sounded really good and the taste turned out to be just as good.  I started with organic, grass-fed ground beef and added fresh chopped herbs, minced sun-dried tomatoes and garlic.  The beef mixture was formed into meatballs which were pan-fried and finished in the oven.

While the meatballs were finishing in the oven I made a pesto sauce (without cheese) using walnuts, basil, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil and a little bit of coconut cream.

The combination of the meatballs covered by the creamy, herb filled pesto was fabulous.I served these meatballs over sauteed zucchini.

Sun-Dried Meatballs with Creamy Pesto Sauce
Makes 6-8 servings

2 pounds ground beef (organic, grass-fed preferably)
2 tablespoons chives, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon coconut oil

For the Pesto:
1 cup walnut halves
1/2 cup extra virgin oil oil
2-3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup coconut cream*

* Chill one 13.5 ounce can of full fat coconut milk and the cream will solidify on the top, scoop this out to measure your 1/2 cup of coconut cream or place can in freezer for 1 hour and scoop out cream.  Save the rest and use in a soup or curry.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine all of the meatball ingredients and mix together except for the coconut oil.  Shape into golf ball size meatballs.

Heat a skillet over medium to medium high heat and add the tablespoon of coconut oil.  Once the oil is melted and the skillet is hot, add the meatballs.  Brown the meatballs on all sides in the hot pan in batches adding a little more coconut oil if needed.

Transfer the meatballs to a large sheet pan, cover with foil and cook in the oven for an additional 7-10 minutes.

While the meatballs are cooking, prepare the pesto.

In a food processor or blender, start by blending the walnuts, olive oil, garlic, and salt and process until smooth.  Add the remaining pesto ingredients and process again until smooth.

To serve spoon some of the pesto over the meatballs.

Slightly adapted from Everyday Paleo

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