My dear friend Kim and I met at a volunteering event this year. Both of us were hanging back from the kitchen as the other volunteers were lining up for pizza. Kim invited me to have some, and when I leaned over and told her that I have celiac and wouldn't be able to eat pizza, she exclaimed that she, too, was gluten-intolerant, and furthermore couldn't have dairy. "I can't have it either!" I exclaimed. And from that moment, we were foodie BFFs. We spent the next 30 minutes talking like little girls about food, gluten-free cookies, non-dairy substitutes, food blogs, celiac resources, etc. We started a tradition of bringing dinner or dessert for each other each Tuesday at volunteering, or something new to try. And last week, we spontaneously decided to go to Trader Joe's together and wander around there. Because that's how foodies have fun. I can't tell you how much I love going grocery shopping. It dumbfounds me when people tell me it's their least favorite thing to do. How could anyone not love wandering through the aisles, letting the imagination run wild with the possibilities of each ingredient? I can literally spend hours in international groceries, or natural food stores. That's exactly what Kim and I did, and as she's been on this diet for a lot longer than I have, she has a much wider repertoire of dishes that she makes and is very innovative with putting ingredients together. She suggested this simple recipe, and I finally got to try it out yesterday. It couldn't have been easier to make, and it has a tangy sweetness that is very satisfying. I served the meatballs with rice, but if you made the meatballs smaller, you could definitely serve them as a party food with toothpicks. Both of my roommates tried it, and it passed the taste test with them as well. Enjoy!
Kim's Sweet and Tangy Meatballs
For the meatballs:
1 lb. lean ground turkey
Basil, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and minced onion
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tbsp. apricot, peach, or cherry jam
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cups gluten-free oats
For the sauce:
1 jar Apple Cranberry Chutney (from Trader Joe's)
3/4 - 1 cup Trader Joe's BBQ Sauce
1 cup rice, cooked as directed
Preheat oven to 350F. Make rice as directed. I used brown basmati rice and boiled 1 3/4 cups water with 1 cup rice and 1 tsp. salt, then reduced heat and covered to steam for 25 - 30 minutes until all the water is absorbed.
Mix the ground turkey with the egg, oats, and about 1 tbsp. or more of basil, oregano, and minced onion, and about 1 tsp. of salt, pepper, and garlic powder (more or less depending on your own taste). Add the jam, Worcestershire sauce, and maple syrup. Shape into small meatballs and arrange in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Brown the meatballs to lock in the moisture and shape, and then transfer them to a 9" x 13" glass baking dish.
In a separate bowl, mix together the jar of Apple Cranberry Chutney and about 1 cup of TJ's BBQ sauce, then pour over the meatballs and stir to coat them. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 350F for about 25 minutes. Serve over rice. If you wanted to make a special party treat, make the meatballs smaller and serve with toothpicks as an appetizer.