Wednesday, April 20, 2016

General Tso’s Meatballs (Low Carb & Gluten Free)

If you’ve hung around IBIH long enough, you know I loves me some meatballs!  They are super versatile, easy to eat, and taste great hot or cold.  They are, to me, the perfect low carb food.  Some of my favorite low carb meatball recipes are the Bourbon Cider Turkey Meatballs, the Low Carb Meatballs alla Parmigiana, and of course, the wildly popular Buffalo Balls.

I have lots more low carb meatball recipes in the queue, so many in fact, that for the foreseeable future I’m going to be doing a Meatball Mondays feature here on IBIH!  To kick it off, I’m starting with one of my new favorites, the low carb General Tso’s meatball!  This one is sure to become another IBIH favorite!

General Tso’s Chicken is a popular Chinese takeout dish that consists of fried chicken chunks in an addicting sauce that is both sweet and spicy.  I’ve taken all the flavors of the classic dish and jammed them into these little balls of poultry bliss!  You can use ground chicken or turkey for the most authentic flavor, but ground pork would also work well.  Also, I was reminded that traditional soy sauce is a no-no for Paleo and Celiacs, so you can substitute a tamari-based gluten free soy sauce, or coconut aminos for the soy sauce in this recipe as well.

Typically, General Tso’s chicken contains blisteringly hot dried peppers, but if you can’t get them, or you don’t like it too hot, you can use fresh chili’s instead and adjust the amount to your preference.  Also, if you are Paleo, you can substitute honey for the sweetener, and arrowroot powder (or another preferred thickener) for the xanthan gum.  I don’t recommend omitting the thickener altogether, because the sauce won’t adhere as well to the meatballs, and it won’t have that authentic sticky feel -however, the flavor will be just as good!


A low carb meatball with all of the flavors and textures of the classic Chinese takeout favorite!
Serves: 4 servings
For the Meatballs
1 lb ground turkey or chicken
2 Tbl minced ginger
¼ cup scallions, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
¼ cup almond flour
1 egg
light flavored oil for frying (olive, grapeseed, etc)
For the Sauce
½ tsp sesame oil
3 Tbl rice wine vinegar (unseasoned - sugar free)
3 Tbl soy sauce (tamari based for GF, or coconut aminos for Paleo)
¼ cup water
3 Tbl sugar substitute (honey for Paleo)
½ tsp xanthan gum (or arrowroot powder)
¼ cup scallions, chopped
4 - 5 small dried chilies, seeded and chopped
To make the meatballs:
Combine all of the meatball ingredients and mix thoroughly. Form into 16 balls and saute/fry in oil over medium heat until cooked through and crispy. Alternatively you could bake them but they won't get the crunchy exterior.
To make the sauce:
Combine the sesame oil, vinegar, GF soy sauce, water, sugar substitute, and xanthan gum in a small saucepan and whisk until combined. Add the scallions and chili pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer for five minutes until thickened and remove from heat.
To serve:
Add the cooked meatballs to the thickened sauce and stir to coat. Garnish with more chopped scallions and chilis if desired.
Approx nutrition info per serving: 322 calories, 25g fat, 3.75g net carbs, 23g protein

To lower the fat and calories, use extra lean ground turkey, and bake rather than fry them.

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