This weekend, Denver hosted it’s first ever “Great Grain Free Fair.” Not only was it free and open to the public but it was held in a very cool renovated building downtown, and Will and I love an excuse to spend the day in Denver. We’d have to give the inaugural event two thumbs up because we traveled home that afternoon feeling satisfied and inspired. While it’s true that most of America is still stuck in their old ways of heavily processed foods, it is clear that there is a sizable community of talented individuals and companies who want to get back to the basics of eating healthy and natural foods. There was a wide variety of excellent vendors at the event, and can only imagine that involvement will increase in the coming years, so I certainly suggest keeping an eye out for the 2018 Grain Free Fair.
At some point during our jaunt around the McNichols Center, quite possibly after smelling the offerings of the many meat companies attending, I was reminded of an old favorite of mine that seems perfect in light of dropping temperatures: warm, hearty crockpot Italian meatballs in marinara.
Delicious foods aside, I was excited for the Grain Free Fair because it was the first event I had attended as a blogger that allowed me to be face to face with many of the brands I use on a regular basis. It’s always a treat to speak with the owners of these companies – it takes a brave and passionate businessperson to take the leap into a niche sector, but it was clear from everyone that I talked to that they truly believe in their products and in helping people lead more healthy lives. It was a breath of fresh air to find out that many had similar journeys as I and could truly geek out on talking about holistic approaches to living & sustainable produce. It left me feeling hopeful about so many things.
I know that talking about food may seem trivial at times in leau of all the tragic events that have impacted our country the past few months but with so many elements beyond our control, it’s important to hold close something to feel good about. I am passionate about food & finding more holistic mindful ways to treat my body. And as out there as it may sound- I think if more people focused on taking care of themselves through more mindful processes, the world could be a brighter place filled with happier people. Not to say that what I’m doing is the answer for everyone, but I think it’s important that each person give themselves the opportunity to silence the outside negativity we are all so guilty of letting in. This weekend reminded me that even if I only have a small community reading my blog, or a small number of followers on instagram, that is all I need. I’m sharing my passion with like minded individuals & that brings me happiness. It’s fulfilling a part of me that keeps me driven & positive. Everyone has a purpose, whether its writing a blog in a small corner of the internet or starting a hot sauce company that sources from local farmers. It may not seem important or relevant to some but its important to me & my tribe. End rant. Take the time today to do something that gives you all the feels.
- 1 - 1/12 lbs ground beef
- 1/2 large onion, diced small
- 4 cloves of minced garlic (set aside one half for the sauce)
- 1/3 cup almond flour
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1 TBSP dried parsley
- Salt & Pepper
- Pinch of red pepper flakes optional
- Marinara Sauce
- (1) 28-oz can of Plum tomatoes with sauce
- (1) 15-oz can of tomato sauce
- The other half of the minced garlic & onion (see meatball ingredients above)
- 1 tsp of dried oregano
- 1 tsp of dried basil (fresh is great if you have it!)
- 1 Tbsp of driedparsley
- 1/2 to 1 tsp of sea salt
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- Sauté onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 5-7 minutes
- Next season with salt, add garlic, and cook for one additional minute
- Remove from heat
- Add half of the onion/garlic to the crockpot, and set the other half aside
- Add remaining ingredients for the sauce into crock pot
- Break apart the tomatoes in the crock pot so they are not whole ( like to use my hands for this)
- Set crockpot to low
- Add all meatball ingredients to a bowl and gently combine all ingredients with your hands.
- Preheat a medium or large frying pan with few tablespoons of coconut or olive oil over medium heat
- Form golf ball size meatballs.
- Place meatballs in the heated frying pan, to get a nice brown on the surface. (they should still be raw in the center and will be cooked through in the crock pot)
- Transfer browned meatballs directly into the crock pot
- Cook in crock pot on low 4-6 hours
- Serve alone,over spiralized veggies or gluten free pasta!