Zac’s FPIES Meatballs

Zac's FPIES Meatballs CradleRockingMama

I have a toddler who has lately been refusing to go to sleep at night. He also refuses to play happily in the living room during the time between when his brother goes to sleep and when he is finally ready to go to sleep.

So I’ve been forced to sit in the living room for hours every night with Zac while he unwinds.

It’s nice to get some one-on-one time with him. However, after the kid’s bedtime is when I usually get the kitchen cleaned and ready for the next day, write, and get any kind of downtime.

Because of this weird sleep pattern of Zac’s, I can’t even start to do any of that until sometime between 10:00 p.m. and midnight. Which makes bedtime for ME sometime between midnight and 2:00 a.m.

Then he wakes me frequently throughout the night and both kids are up and ready to play at 7:30 a.m.

I. Am. Exhausted.

Two nights ago I tried to write this post and I seriously stared at the computer screen for about ten minutes trying to remember how I made the meatballs. After half an hour, I finally just gave up. My brain feels like mush.

Does anyone else struggle with this sort of thing? What did you find that worked? Everything I’ve read on sleep training a co-sleeping child involves weaning, which isn’t an option for us. Ugh.

Anyway, all that is to say, please offer some words of wisdom….and that’s why I didn’t have a post yesterday. Mush brain couldn’t write!

At any rate, on to today’s recipe!

These are the meatballs I made for Zac during our egg trial. He LOVES them! He’ll eat ten at a time, and that’s a win in my book!

I’m guessing these could be made egg-free, and in fact, I will probably try that soon for Jed. But for those of you with limited diets who are trialing eggs, these worked great for Zac – and will surely work well for your whole family!

Start with ground meat. We used pork, obviously. I didn’t buy ground pork, but turns out, the KitchenAid Meat Grinder does a fabulous job of grinding pork!

So either grind up or go grab some ground meat and throw it in a bowl.

Then add some quinoa flakes.

Everything but the egg...

Everything but the egg…

After that, crack two eggs into the same bowl. Now would also be the time to add any optional ingredients, like spices and seasonings.

Ready to Mush!

Ready to Mush!

Then mush it all together well. I suppose you could use a spoon, but I just used my hands.

And, we have mush!

And, we have mush!

Once you have a nice meat mush, start scooping out smallish pieces of meat to roll meatballs. I was aiming for about 1 1/2 inch meatballs, and they mostly wound up about that size.

Rolled and ready to bake

Rolled and ready to bake

I decided to bake these, so I laid them out on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Then I threw them in the oven at 350 degrees. Since I’ve never made meatballs of any type before (I know, right? Pre-FPIES I was not very adventurous in the kitchen!) I set the timer for 15 minutes and kept checking on them until I decided they were done. In the end, it took 25 minutes to bake them completely.

Baked and ready to eat!

Baked and ready to eat!

And there you have it! Very plain, very simple meatballs.

These could be made with beef, lamb, or any meat you have. You could throw in spices and seasonings; I’d imagine oregano and basil would be delicious in these! You could probably even add some shredded veggies for a more nutritionally complete meatball.

These freeze fabulously after they’re cooked; my next experiment is to freeze them before I cook them to see if I could “get ahead” on another food for Zac.

We just fed these to Zac plain. They’d be great in a more traditional noodles and sauce presentation, I’m sure!

Someday, little Zac, someday…I promise you will taste my spaghetti sauce!

So happy meatballing! I hope your littles like these as much as Zac did.

Oh, and my first attempt at egg-free will be to simply omit the eggs without substitution, in case anyone would like to try that before I get a chance to post about my results. Jed might not get eggs, but he’ll get all sorts of seasonings in his, so I’m sure they’ll be fabulous for him, too!

Zac's FPIES Meatballs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Three ingredient meatballs ready to thrill your kiddos at dinnertime! Simple, tasty, and a potential make-ahead freezer meal!
Recipe type: dinner, lunch, gluten-free, fructose-free, dairy-free, allergy-friendly
Serves: 3 dozen
  • 1 lb. ground meat
  • ½ c. quinoa flakes
  • 2 eggs
  • sea salt (optional)
  • black pepper (optional)
  • seasonings (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Put the meat, quinoa flakes and eggs (and any optional ingredients) in a bowl.
  3. Mush it together until well-blended.
  4. Take small amounts of meat mixture and roll into 1½ inch sized balls.
  5. Lay the balls on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until done.
  7. Enjoy your delicious, easy meatballs!

What are your favorite additions to meatballs?

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9 Responses to Zac’s FPIES Meatballs

  1. Lora says:

    So if eggs end up being safe for Zac, does that mean you’ll be able to eat them too? I assume you now eat the quinoa and pork. It must be so nice to be able to expand your diet some.

    • Carrie says:

      YES! 🙂

      I do eat quinoa quite a bit now; pork…not so much. It’s more expensive than our beef, so I try to reserve the pork for him. I do indulge in a pork chop and a few strips of pork belly every now and then, though. 😉

      And yes, I will be able to eat eggs if they’re safe for Zac. I’m already planning return-to-work food based on bringing safe eggs from home with me. Hard boiled eggs for snacks, for sure, and maybe even a few freshly laid eggs in one of those camping egg holders made of plastic to prevent breakage so I can make some casseroles in the oven. Yum!! I’m very excited. LOL

  2. tammy says:

    When you try them for Jed try ice water as a binder, i use that along with ground turkey and bread crumbs for Sarah’s meatballs, the ice water i think is a better texture than eggs anyway. Good Luck!

  3. Amy in SC says:

    Some of your tiredness is just life with kids. It does get better as they get older. By older I mean past 8 or 10. I was ALWAYS tired with nothing but little kids. The physical needs plus all your extra dietary needs which just add more to your work load. Add in emotional stress and hormonal issues, both of which can make you more tired. And you want a life? Time to be a wife? Blog? I expect you to be foggy. I’d be jealous if you weren’t.

    All of this to say I understand. It is hard being so stinking tired all the time. Please don’t feel alone. Get help how ever you can. I used to have a girl come over to my house just to help fold the massive amount of laundry. i honestly don’t know how you do it.

    The meatballs look great. Are you able to add these foods to your diet? New food may even boost your energy. I used to flash freeze the shaped meatballs then store them in a bag. I also used to partially cook them before freezing. Works either way.

    • Carrie says:

      Well, Amy, I’m glad to know I only have 6 or 8 more years of this. LOL 😉

      There’s “life with kids” tiredness, and then there is “my kids won’t let me sleep more than 4 hours per night” tired. That’s what’s been going on for the last two weeks, and that’s why I’m walking into walls. The regular life with kids tired is WAY more exhausting than I could have coped with as a single gal, but it’s amazing the endurance and coping skills you develop as a Mama, right? Now, that’s pretty normal for me.

      In fact, when I go to work and am alone in hotel rooms, I COULD sleep ten or more hours at a stretch with no interruptions. Only, I can’t. My body automatically wakes me up after 7 hours like clockwork. Six years ago, that would have been unheard of for me! Now, I have kids. My body says 7 hours is more than enough. Bummer. I used to love sleep. LOL

      All I know is that YOU have your hands full and I am in awe of your mad skills at keeping it all afloat! Where did you find such a laundry folding girl? That would be divine!

      I haven’t added eggs to my diet yet, but quinoa and pork are in. Mostly quinoa; I save the pork for Zac primarily. I’m looking forward to adding eggs back in, though. Darrel cooked a fried egg the other day and I thought I was going to drool! 🙂

  4. Amy in SC says:

    A family at church volunteered their daughter. Now I volunteer mine. I was too embarrassed to let her see the rest of the house. Is there a way someone could help you like that without contamination issues?

    Eggs are awesome. I hope you can eat them soon. I’ve been putting a yolk in my hot chocolate to boost nutrition. I read that Marilyn Monroe used to put an egg or two in a cup of warm milk. Crazy, but it helps fill me up.

    • Carrie says:

      Nice! I wish I could find a young lady from church who would help. Maybe someday. 🙂

      I hope I can eat them soon, too! Zac just restarted eggs this morning, so we should know in a few days whether I can add them in or not. Fingers crossed!

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