Gluten-Free Veal and Rapini Mini-Meatballs

Who doesn't love meatballs? I've tried a variety of recipes in the past but was inspired to make this one when discovering some rapini in the "bottomless pit" in the fridge! It hadn't grown any fur so I knew it was safe to eat! ;-)
I initially was planning on making burgers for myself (I already figured my husband wouldn't eat them because rapini is on his list of "stinky veggies!") I tricked him had him taste them but did not tell him what was in them. Strangely, he didn't even ask what the green stuff was! I'd like to confirm that he ate them (NOT against his will) and he actually liked them.
It was a good thing that I had decided to whip up a batch of mini-meatballs for my son at the same time because they did turn out pretty tasty!

1/2 pound lean ground veal
1/2 cup finely chopped pre-steamed rapini (finely chopped)
2 finely ground gluten-free plain rice cakes (or 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs)
1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
2 tbsps. finely chopped chives
1/4 cup grated parmesan (optional)
1 tsp. cumin and thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg yolk and 1 tbsp. ground flax seed  (If your doctor has given your child the "go-ahead" use one whole egg.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl mix ground flax seed with 3 tbsp. of water warm and let sit for about 3 minutes until combined.
In  large bowl mix all the ingredients until combined. Do not over-mix otherwise you'll end up with a tough meatball!

*TIP: To ensure the burgers are well-seasoned I always take a small amount and fry it in a pan (and taste!) before cooking the entire batch.

The next step of the recipe is a free for all! The quantity of mini-meatballs will depend on their size or whether or not you decide to make some burgers for yourself. (I made about 50 teaspoon sized mini-meatballs for my son and made a few burgers for myself with the remaining mixture.

Cook the meatballs for 20-25 minutes.  If you make larger meatballs (or burgers) you may need to cook them for an additional 5-7 minutes. To check their doneness I like to use the "finger test" (it would take an entire post to explain this so instead I searched for a detailed explanation and found one here:

Ideally, you should use a broiler pan so all the grizzle and fat can drip off onto the pan. Unfortunately I do not own one so I lay the burgers on paper towels immediately after removing them from the oven to soak up the oil.

Store leftover portions in freezer bags.

Serve with white bean, edamame and avocado dip (recipe will be posted soon!) or any side dish you prefer!

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