Wheat-Free Spinach Artichoke Hummus Meatballs (what???)
I feel like I crossed some strange cultural line in cooking. I am usually very specific with my ingredients and the creation of my prepared meals, but lately I’ve been using other prepared foods to cook up new things. It’s a very Lipton Soup-ish approach to cooking, and one that made sense in the 1970s when I was growing up with my depression era mother who insisted that nothing, absolutely nothing, go to waste. It seems the wisdom of my upbringing is coming home to roost.
I’ve recently taken my own advice and I’ve given up eating processed foods made with wheat. My husband recently came home with a vast amount of hamburger meat and a request for meatballs. Meatballs with no wheat? How was I supposed to cook that without going far out of my way to find some obscure ingredient, like sprouted rye bread crumbs or something? Plus, I had no cheese, no fresh parsley, no fresh anything…it’s just Sunday night in my New York City apartment and I didn’t feel like being bothered with anything fancy.
I poked around the fridge to munch on something while I tried to figure out a lazy solution and found a half a container of Sabre’s Spinach Artichoke Hummus. When I bought it, I found it tasty, but nowhere near as satisfying as their one with pine nuts, so it had been sitting in the fridge for 3 days. I opened it and that familiar fermenting smell met my nostrils, indicating that if I didn’t use it up right now, I never would use it again.
I thought, “Hmmm. Chick pea powder…lemon…spices…and if I let it go bad, the ghost of my mother will stick me with a meat fork for not respecting the food I had in the fridge (my mother is very much alive, by the way, but her ghost lives in my head and tells me what to do every moment of every day. Sometimes I listen).
I thought that it might be good, but that the lemon and spices might be a bit too demanding, so I added a ¼ cup of organic mayonnaise to the mix to add creaminess and flavor and ease the bite. The rest of the ingredients were on my shelf, so off to work I went.
My husband loved them. When I asked him to grade them on a scale of 1-10, with one being “Feed this to my worst enemy and kill him,” and 10 being, “Oh, yes, yes; I see God!” he said:
“If you were going for an Italian meatball, it’s about a 3 or 4; but if you were trying to make a Swedish meatball, it’s about an 8, like an outside-in Swedish meatball. I take off 2 points because there’s no gravy to play with.”
As for me, I tested them without sauce and they were very tasty. By the time I put them away, I had eaten three, and that was enough to fill my stomach. I chased them down with a nice spinach, kale, greens salad with homemade honey mustard dressing and water. Yummy quick meal.
Let me know what you think!
Wheat-Free Spinach Artichoke Hummus Meatballs
- 4.5 lbs. grass-fed free-range beef
- ½ 10oz. container of Sabre’s Spinach Artichoke Hummus
- 1 whole egg
- ¼ cup organic mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp chopped garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg with a fork until the yolk and white are combined. Add the hummus, mayonnaise, garlic, basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary and salt. Mix well with a fork or a spoon. Add the ground beef. Using your hands, mix all ingredients until well incorporated.
Lightly grease the bottom of two sheet cake pans or Pyrex casserole trays with the olive oil. Using your hands, shape the meatballs into 1-inch rounds and place them in the sheet/pan evenly spaced in rows. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through. With a spatula, place cooked meatballs on paper towels to soak up excess oil.
Prep ahead tip: After combining all the ingredients, you can store the mixture in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Makes 58 meatballs.