06 April 2012

Paleo Swedish Meatballs

I love IKEA.  I love it so much.  Trendy designs, low prices, and of course the instructions!  Half of my decorations are from IKEA.  And nothing builds an appetite like filling a shopping cart.
Delicious, but ultimately, not Paleo.  So when I chanced upon this recipe, I immediately took note of it using a plethora of exclamation points.  And then immediately started acquiring necessary supplies.  I've been holding off on buying things like almond flour (although I do use my home-ground almond meal) and coconut flour.  Part of it is the expense, and part of it is the fact that I feel a little bit like I'm cheating by trying to force non-Paleo foods to fit the Paleo mold.

However, I've been craving muffins.  I've been dreaming about muffins.  I have some wild huckleberries - think blueberries, but more concentrated flavor - in my freezer begging to be put into the tastiest muffins in the world.  And for that, I needed coconut flour.  So the fact that Swedish Meatballs require coconut flour was just a happy coincidence.  And if you've never used coconut flour before, definitely research it - and don't think you can just substitute another flour for it!  It's crazy how absorbent coconut flour is.  It just sucks up any moisture.

So.  Meatballs.  They roll.  They rock.  They speak with a Swedish accent (uh...).  There are four main components to this meal:  meatballs, gravy, mashed "potatoes," and lingonberry jam.
Start out with the meatballs.  Make 'em small.  Make a million of them.
Fry them up in some grass-fed butter.
Since there's pork in there, you don't need too much butter because these meatballs are more or less self-lubricating after they really get cooking.  And you see all those drippings on the side?  We're going to use those later...
Holy meatballs, Batman!  Okay, now that those are done, heat 1 cup of the broth in the same meatball pan.  Gently scrape the drippings off the bottom of the pan.  When you've sufficiently cleaned the pan, pour the broth in your gravy pot.
My broth turned out pretty thin.  Next time I would probably add a little more coconut flour to thicken it.  Now hop on over to Elana's for some mashed cauliflower.  Super easy - just steam it into oblivion, add some grass-fed butter and process in a food processor.  Yet another reason I need a food processor and not a blender.
I might have used pepper pretty liberally in these mashed faux-tatoes, because I'm just not a huge fan of cauliflower.
Okay!  So we've got three out of the four components.  Now where to find lingonberries...
I used homemade elderberry jam from last summer.  I think the flavors are similar enough to translate the effect back to the meal.  And what a meal it was!  It was the type of thing where you're a little disappointed when it's over.  You're no longer hungry, but you want the delicious flavors back in your mouth.  Don't worry!  This dish makes plenty of leftovers.
Paleo Swedish Meatballs (adapted recipe):


  • 1/2 cup of almond flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 lb ground beef
  • 3/4 lb ground pork
  • 1 small red onion (very finely chopped)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper (freshly ground black)
  • 2 tablespoons of grass-fed butter

  • 2 cups beef broth + the drippings from the meatball frying pan
  • 1 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper (freshly ground black)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
1.  Mix up the meatballs.  Fry them over medium-high heat in the butter until browned.
2.  Pour some of the beef broth into the meatball pan and soak up the drippings of the meatballs.  Transfer to small pot.
3.  Mix in the rest of the gravy ingredients.  Mine was pretty thin so perhaps you'll want to add a little more coconut flour.


  1. this look sooooo good! my family has got some swedish blood, and we love meatballs and gravy. I'm so happy they've been primalized!

    1. Meatballs are one of my favorite things to make! Usually it stretches the meat just a little bit further.