Food Friday is a new feature I’m trying to introduce. It will feature a healthy recipe that I’ve personally made, tried, and loved. This week’s is one of my favorite comfort foods, modified for my low-gluten and nightshade-free diet.
I’m half Italian, and I grew up eating a lot of pasta and tomato sauce. Sometimes I think that might be what has aggravated my psoriasis and caused stomach problems – I’m just one of those people with a weak stomach, I suppose. Anyway, when I went on the Psoriasis Diet, using Dr. John’s Healing Psoriasis Cookbook…Plus!, I had to cut out regular pasta, red meat, and tomato sauce. It was brutal. Recently, I found recipes for both gluten-free poultry meatballs and nightshade-free fauxmato sauce (it tastes like a sweet marinara) that are both healthy and fit the diet. Serve over sauteed collard greens if you’re eating clean, or with gluten-free pasta (quinoa, rice).
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 15-oz can low-sodium sliced beets, plus 1/2 can of water
6 basil leaves, rough chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat olive oil in a medium (at least 3 quart) pot over medium heat. Add onion, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add carrot and garlic and cook until carrot is soft, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to high, then add the balsamic vinegar. Stir the vegetables around the pan and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about a minute. Add the beets, water, and basil and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Season with freshly ground pepper, cover, and simmer 45 minutes. Uncover the pot and continue to simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes.
When the mixture has cooled slightly, transfer to a blender and puree for about 30 seconds, until there are no large chunks but the mixture isn’t totally smooth. Alternatively, for chunkier sauce, blend with an immersion blender.
Tomato sauce will keep for up to 5 days, refrigerated in an airtight container.
Gluten-Free Poultry Meatballs
1/3 cup rolled oats
1 whole egg for men
12 oz lean ground chicken or turkey
4 basil leaves, chopped
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (a small baking sheet will be big enough, but if you only have a large one you can use that, instead). Pulse oats in a food processor until they are the consistency of bread crumbs. Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, and mix everything with a rubber spatula until the mixture is combined and uniform throughout. Roll the mixture into 6 balls and space them out on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through (there should be no pink inside, and a thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165°F).