Asian Inspired Turkey Meatballs with Noodles: Gluten-Free Fusion

Gluten-Free Fusion. That's what I call these Asian inspired turkey meatballs with noodles. Riffing on a Jamie Oliver noodle stir-fry recipe from back in the day, I raided my pantry for ingredients friendly to Gluten-Free Goddesses and Guys alike. And super savory goodness ensued. These tasty, tender meatballs are laced with fusion flavors, like ginger, lime and mint. The savory gluten-free noodles are also soy-free, but you could easily substitute my molasses and balsamic blend with gluten-free wheat-free tamari sauce, if you prefer the salty-soy kick.


And while we're imagining bowls of steaming pasta, let's talk turkey. I mean, noodles. Gluten-free pasta alternatives can be gummy. Or sticky. But here's the thing. The trick to perfect gluten-free pasta is to keep the noodles a tad al dente- not chewy, per se, but retaining a pleasing texture that will hold up to pan tossing and fork twirling. That means paying attention as they cook. And Test! Test! Test!

Don't guess.

Asian Inspired Turkey Meatballs with Noodles: Gluten-Free Fusion

Ingredients:

2 pounds free range organic ground turkey
1 1/2 cups gluten-free bread crumbs
1 large spring onion or scallion (or 2 small), diced fine
1 medium large carrot, processed or diced very fine
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint leaves
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro leaves
1 organic free-range egg, beaten
Juice from 1 fresh medium lime
1 tablespoon molasses or wheat-free tamari sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon raw agave nectar or real maple syrup
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste (use less salt if you use tamari sauce)

For the Noodles

1 package gluten-free noodles or spaghetti
Rice bran oil or vegetable oil, as needed
2-3 spring onions or scallions, sliced (white and light green sections)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 fresh diced chile, or hot pepper flakes, to taste
1-2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger- or to taste
3-4 carrots sliced into matchsticks
3 tablespoons molasses or gluten-free Tamari
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Sea salt, to taste
1 12-oz. bag of baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons each of fresh chopped parsley, mint and cilantro

Instructions:

Make the turkey meatballs

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

2. In a large mixing bowl, break apart and blend the ground organic free-range turkey with the gluten-free bread crumbs, using a sturdy metal spoon. Add in the diced spring onion, processed carrot, minced garlic, grated ginger, and fresh herbs. Mix just until blended. Add in the egg, fresh lime juice, molasses (or wheat-free tamari), agave. Mix lightly. Season with salt and pepper as you go- but don't add too much salt- especially if you use tamari sauce, which is already salty.

3. Form 28 meatballs using the palms of your hands to roll and round spoonfuls of the mixture. They should be roughly the size of a golf ball. Place the turkey meatballs on the lined baking sheet as you roll them. Wash your hands in hot soapy water- you know this, right?

4. Bake the meatballs in the center of a pre-heated oven for about 20 to 30 minutes until no longer pink inside. Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack and brush them with a little olive oil.

Meanwhile

5. Bring a pasta pot of water to a rapid boil. Add a dab of cooking oil and a pinch of sea salt. Add the noodles and stir. Cook the quinoa noodles until they are al dente- firm to the bite- not mushy! 4 to 6 minutes. Don't overcook. I mean it.

6. Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of oil in a large wok style pan or skillet over medium-high heat and add in the spring onions, garlic, chile, ginger, and carrots. Stir-fry until the carrots are tender-crisp. They should be done roughly in 4-5 minutes. Add in the molasses and balsamic vinegar (or if using tamari sauce, use that in place of molasses) and stir to coat. Taste test to see if the carrots need a little salt.

7. Drain the cooked noodles and quickly add them into the wok/skillet mixture, tossing lightly to coat the strands. Add or adjust seasonings to taste.

8. Add in the baby spinach and toss again- just to heat through to barely wilting- not even a minute. Add in half the chopped fresh herbs and toss a bit. Plate the noodles immediately.

9. Add the turkey meatballs. Sprinkle with the remaining fresh herbs.

Additional Info:

Freeze leftover meatballs for an easy weeknight supper.

For FODMAPs friendly, omit onions and agave as necessary.

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