Wheat-Free, Egg-Free, Beef-free MeatballsPosted: October 20, 2009
My Certain Little Someone happens to be allergic to beef, which is pretty unusual; but he’s also allergic to wheat and eggs, which is not at all unusual. If your child is also allergic to wheat and/or eggs, you have probably gotten pretty creative with meatball recipes and, like me, have met with limited success. (Or perhaps you are more successful than I have been heretofore, in which case I want to hear how you do it!)
I was previously using a meatball recipe from Wholesome Baby Food and adjusting it to meet my Certain Little Someone’s dietary requirements. He ate them and enjoyed them but I wasn’t completely satisfied with them: they were kind of hard in texture and difficult to make.
Then my friend from Malaysia happened to tell me about her meatball method, and she even helped me out with some freshly ground chicken (she ground chicken thighs in her food processor)! I’m not sure if this method is Malaysian or Asian in its origin, or if it’s just the way she makes them (hey, maybe it’s the way everybody but me makes them!!), but I am sure that it turned out some yummy, tender meatballs!
What’s even better is that it doesn’t require any bread crumbs or egg! In fact, it doesn’t require much at all, but you can add as much as you want to it.
Here’s the basic recipe:
1 lb ground chicken
1 TBSP cornstarch
Mix, and form into balls. Bring about 2-3 inches of water to boil in a large saucepan. Turn down the heat and bring water to a simmer. Place meatballs in the water. When they float to the top, they are finished cooking and can be removed from the water.
Now here’s where it gets fun. You can add whatever seasonings or sauces you want to the basic recipe. My friend usually adds soy sauce to hers, but if your child is allergic to soy, you can add Worcestershire sauce. The possibilities are endless when it comes to seasonings: you can go for Italian, Mexican, BBQ, etc.
I have only ever made these with ground chicken, but you can try ground turkey or pork as well. My suspicion is that beef would not be “mushy” enough, but it’s worth a try, too.
If your child is allergic to corn, I imagine that arrowroot starch or tapioca starch would provide the same service as corn starch in this recipe.
Serving them provides even more opportunities for creativity. I added tomato sauce to my meatballs and served them over quinoa noodles. My friend usually uses them to make a chicken noodle soup. You can dip them in BBQ sauce or ketchup. And, if you want… you can just eat them plain!
Furthermore, they freeze well. First, individually freeze them by setting them on a cookie sheet about an inch apart. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer until frozen. Place the frozen meatballs in a freezer-safe bag, and they’ll be ready to pull out for a quick meal for your child any time.