Magnificent Meatball Minestrone




I can’t thank these ladies enough for joining me in The Paleo Garage to throw down some great grub. They keep the mood light and fun while we “Keep It Paleo!” Their companionship makes hard work enjoyable and I appreciate their efforts.

Please check out their businesses and support their entrepreneurial spirits here:

Constance Curtis Events

Blue Water Pilates

As for the food, this is a great make-ahead-meal option. With a large saute pan and a stock pot, you can knock out dinner for the week in around an hour (if you’ve honed your Culinary Ninja Skills). Who doesn’t love meatballs? And, you can’t argue that pairing them with a host of pretty-low-glycemic vegetables would be a good way to fuel your fitness and your life.

Off to the gym to lift some weight overhead, elevate my heart rate, and increase my bone density. Just a few benefits of exercise, no? I had broccoli for dinner last night and breakfast this morning in order to keep my sugar/broccoli ratio in balance. 🙂

Have a great day, guys. Keep it positive, productive, and Paleo!

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

My man, Jesse Kahle making the magic happen.

Magnificent Meatball Minestrone

Ingredient List:

  • 3 lbs ground beef
  • 1.5 lbs Italian sausage
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 onion, minced
  • Freshly ground chili, to taste
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 1/2 cup garlic, minced
  • 4 cups onion, large dice
  • 3 cups carrots, large dice
  • 3 cups celery, large dice
  • 2 zucchini, large dice
  • 2 summer squash, large dice
  • 1 each green pepper, large dice
  • 1 each red pepper, large dice
  • 1 each yellow pepper, large dice
  • 2 qts mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 28oz cans of ground tomato
  • 2 qts chicken stock
  • 1 bunch Italian Parsley, finely chopped (1/4 for meatballs and ¾ for minestrone)
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste

Preparation Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl mix ground beef, italian sausage, eggs, parsley, and 1 cup of onion.
  2. Season with salt, pepper, and chili, and cook a test piece to ensure the seasoning is correct. Adjust as needed, then shape into meatballs.
  3. Heat a 14” sauté pan over high heat, add olive oil and meatballs.
  4. Turn meatballs once bottom is browned and tight.
  5. Heat pot over high heat with olive oil, add in garlic to toast.
  6. Add mire poix and cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Add yellow squash and zucchini.
  9. Add in peppers and then mushrooms, and a pinch of chili.
  10. Cover and cook for 2 minutes.
  11. Pour in ground tomatoes.
  12. Stir in stock.
  13. Season with salt, pepper, and parsley as needed.
  14. Cut the heat, give the mixture one last stir, then plate and top with meatballs – or you can add meatballs into soup and cook on low heat until tender.
  15. Share with your friends and enjoy!

“Keep It Paleo!”

Zone Breakdown:

Proteins: (50)

We start with 3 lbs ground beef  which weighs in at 1362g pre-cooking and 1130g post cooking.  With 42g equaling one block that gives us 27 blocks from the beef.  Additionally we have 1.5 lbs Italian sausage.  Again, before cooking this weighs 681g, but once cooked it cooks down to 565g and with once block weighing 28g that gives us another 20 blocks.  And we add three protein blocks, one for each of the eggs we are using for a total of 50 Protein blocks.

Carbohydrates: (34.5)

In this recipe we are using a fair amount of onions. We need 4 cups of diced onions and one whole onion minced. With the measurement of ½ cup equaling one block, we know we get 8 blocks form the diced onions, and on average an onion gives us about two blocks, so we can add those in for the minced onion for a total number of 10 carb blocks towards the total count from the onions.

From there we have 1/2 cup of garlic.  Our measurement for garlic is about 10 cloves equals one block.  One clove equals about one teaspoon, therefore we have about 24 teaspoons of garlic or about 2.5 blocks.

Next up we add 3 cups of carrots. One cup or carrots equals once block therefore we have 3 blocks from the carrots.

We add 3 cups of celery with the measurement being 2.5 cups equal one block, so we are going to count this as 2 blocks for easy math.

Additionally we have two zucchini and two summer squash that we are dicing up and have the same measurements when it comes to counting our blocks. Our measurements come in at 2 cups equal one block and for the most part each zucchini/ squash will give us about 2 cups each so adding another 4 blocks to the total.

We also have three peppers, one of each color. One pepper gives us about 2 cups when cut up so we will add three blocks, one for each pepper.

Almost rounding out our carb block count is our mushrooms.  4 cups equal one block when not cooked. We know that there are 4 cups in one quart, so therefore we have 2 blocks form the 2 quarts of mushrooms we have.

And finally we are adding in 2 28oz cans of ground tomato. One cup of tomatoes equals one block and with 8 oz equaling one cup, we add 7 blocks from the tomatoes for a total carb block count of 34.5.

Fats: (>9)

Our fat that we are using to cook is used on an as needed basis.  We are using Olive oil and it has a block measurement of 1/3 of a teaspoon equaling one block so for every tablespoon you put in it is 9 blocks of fat being added to the whole recipe.

Balancing Act:

We have 50 protein blocks and 34.5 carb blocks in this recipe.  Our fat blocks are added based on how much oil we use to cook and how much retains in the meal when we are finished cooking.  If we divide this recipe into 10 meals, we will have 5 protein blocks and 3.5 carb blocks and around the same fat blocks.  Wrap this meal up with a tasty one block carb dessert and you have a perfectly balanced meal.


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