I am a comfort food cook. I confess. I love hearty and indulgent meals, the kind you have to loosen your belt for. Sadly, I’m not 24 anymore and can’t eat like this all the time. BIG SIGH. Even now when we do crave one of these meals, I try to find alternatives that make them “a little” healthier.
I developed this recipe when I was trying to reduce the amount of carbs we were eating (a stepping stone to grain free). I had been making the chicken parm meatballs for a while – for some reason I have never really been into traditional chicken parm – but have loved the meatballs. So when we were reducing our carbs, I was looking for ways to still keep those “indulgent” meals without “cheating”.
I came up with the idea of using nuts instead of breadcrumbs and it worked! Not only did it work, but it tasted so much better. The nuttiness goes perfectly with the chicken and adds depth to the entire dish. I’ve tried this with a variety of nuts – pecans, hazelnuts – but have found that coarsely ground almonds to be the best for taste and texture.
This recipe should feed 6 or 4 with for leftovers for lunch. These reheat beautifully or can be frozen, thawed and baked. I might add that these meatballs made without the mozzarella taste really nice too…I make them and serve over pureed celeriac with a pomegranate reduction. So make extra for the freezer and mix it up!
Serve up with a nice green salad.