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Thanksgiving Meatballs w/ Mashed Cauliflower and Craisin Sauce

Thanksgiving Meatball - N. Massie

You see meatballs…I see a “Violet Beauregard” moment. (Thank you Lisa on Facebook for correcting my blatant error! Not sure how I got the name mixed up…)

If you ever saw Willy Wonka you know Violet as a little girl who won a tour of the famed factory, only to meet her demise when she tried a candy that was supposed to encompass all the flavors of a holiday dinner in one little bite.

I have tried to create a Veruca Salt moment – or rather a dish that delivers all the flavors of one big meal in a small package – every holiday season since my surgery. Why?

Because after surgery it can be nearly impossible to taste everything you want to taste from the Thanksgiving offerings. And here’s the deal. Thanksgiving food is sort of like a puzzle. Each individual piece is good, but it’s best when you have the parts together. So what can we do?

We can play with our food, as I always say! Let me tell you about this dish.

The bottom is a creamy whipped cauliflower and it is delicious. (If you don’t believe me, consider this. My 14 year-old wandered into the kitchen and asked for a taste after I plated the above dish. She ended up snacking on most of it!)

On top of that is a “Thanksgiving Meatball.” This isn’t your ordinary meatball. It’s got all the seasonings you’d find in…stuffing! But without the bread. The meatball is kept moist with the addition of grated zucchini and it really does remind you of a slice of turkey, complete with stuffing.

Finally, on top there is a low-sugar craisin sauce. It’s low sugar because I used no-sugar added craisins, which are craisins that don’t have the traditional sugar coating that regular craisins have. They are available in most grocery stores (or, if not, you can buy regular craisins and rinse them).

When you put it all together what you get is a wonderful bite that has turkey, stuffing, “mashed potatoes” and cranberry sauce – without the feeling being overfull. You can’t beat that!

Want even more weight loss-surgery friendly holiday recipes? Check out the Bariatric Foodie Holiday Survival Guide! It’s got all the classic holiday recipes, along with my best advice for surviving challenging holiday situations!

BF Holiday Survival Guide

Check it out!

Thanksgiving Meatballs w/ Mashed Cauliflower and Craisin Sauce
Print Recipe
Perfect for weight-loss surgery patients, this dish gives you the flavors you love from Thanksgiving dinner - in a few fabulous bites!
Servings Prep Time
20 meatballs 30 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
20 meatballs 30 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Thanksgiving Meatballs w/ Mashed Cauliflower and Craisin Sauce
Print Recipe
Perfect for weight-loss surgery patients, this dish gives you the flavors you love from Thanksgiving dinner - in a few fabulous bites!
Servings Prep Time
20 meatballs 30 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
20 meatballs 30 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
Meatballs (makes 20 meatballs)
Whipped Cauliflower (makes about 8 quarter-cup servings)
Craisin Sauce (makes 1 cup of sauce)
Servings: meatballs
Instructions
Make the meatballs
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine ground meat, zucchini and all spices and mix by hand until thoroughly combined. Using a tablespoon measure, scoop up heaps of the meat mixture, rolling it into meatballs with your hand. Place in a baking dish and add about 2 tbsp. of water to the pan before covering with aluminum foil. Bake for 40 minutes or until meatballs are done through.
Make the whipped cauliflower
  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add cauliflower florets and cook until very tender, about 7-8 minutes. Drain the water then return the florets to the pot. Add cream cheese, Parmesan cheese and milk and mash with a potato masher or mix with an immersion blender (I did the latter) until smooth. You can also put the ingredients in your food processor to achieve a whipped consistency.
Make the craisin sauce
  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small pot. Add the craisins and lemon zest and cook about 5-7 minutes. The craisins will become very plump. Drain the water and place the craisins in your blender (this works especially well with a bullet-style blender). Add sweetener and blend until smooth. Refrigerate before serving if you like.
Assemble
  1. Place desired amount of whipped cauliflower on a plate (each mound you see has ¼ c. mashed cauliflower). Place a meatball on top and finish with a dollop of craisin sauce (use your own discretion about how much of the sauce you can eat).
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