Turkey Arugula Meatballs (gluten, dairy, egg free): The end of an era

Since 2004, with the birth of Daughter #1, I have been non-stop with diapers.  For the past nearly-nine years, I have had in some way shape or form diapers on one, or two, and at one point, three children.

However, and I’m a bit scared I’m about to jinx it, I think that my diaper time is over.  I think Son is finally out of his nighttime diaper.  For the past 10 days, he’s been waking up to a dry diaper, so last night he said he wanted to try not wearing one and this morning he woke up dry.  He asked to try again, stating, “It’s much more comfortable not sleeping with it on,” and it’s faster getting to bed so I allowed him to try again.

Hopefully I won’t be writing another post to the contrary of what I’ve said here, but I do feel it is an end to the era.  Although the diapers only took up one moment of my evening and a quick check in the morning, it is a signal of something far crazier – a time where I will no longer be buying diapers and dealing with “baby” stuff.  The last one, my last baby is no longer that, but now grown up.

Today I picked up Son, held him in my arms the way I used to when he was a baby, only now he overflowed out of my arms, legs dangling, with barely his torso making it into the lock of my arms, and he asked, “What are you doing Mom?”

“I’m holding you one last time like the baby I remember you as.”

“But I’m not a baby anymore.  I don’t even wear diapers now,” he announced proudly.

I practically burst into tears at how quickly time has flown.  But I know that it’s all good and environmentally wonderful that he’s no longer using the diapers, (not to mention a $20 savings each month that I may put towards something completely frivolous like chocolate!) but still – I wish, I just wish they could stay babies for a little bit longer.

Who knows, maybe he’ll regress and I’ll be ranting about how he can’t get OUT of his diapers, but for now, I’ll mourn a little at the loss of my baby.

In honor of Son’s accomplishments, I decided to make something that he loves – pasta.  I’ve made meatballs for him before, without egg and milk  but wanted to experiment with more gluten free and dairy free options for my friends who are still struggling with their gluten intolerance.  These meatballs are herbaceous, delicious, light and tender (because of all the herbs and arugula) and are flavorful just in tomato sauce on their own.  I’ve also roasted cauliflower and served it with roasted cauliflower for a completely gluten and grain free option.

Turkey Arugula Meatballs (gluten, dairy, egg free)
Serves 4 to 6

2 cups arugula leaves
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
1 lb ground turkey
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil

1 jar or a quart of your favorite tomato sauce.

In a food processor chop onion, arugula, basil until finely chopped.  Combine onion arugula basil mixture with garlic, turkey, salt and pepper.  Mix with hands.  Roll turkey into 24 to 30 ping pong sized meatballs.  (Meatballs will be less firm than other meatballs as there is no egg or wheat to help pull things together.  However, be gentle when cooking and it’ll be fine.)

Heat tomato sauce in a large pot.  Reduce heat to low.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat, heat olive oil.  Cook meatballs in skillet in batches, leaving enough room to turn meatballs to brown the sides.  10 minutes per batch of meatballs.  Add meatballs to simmering sauce and partially cover pot.  Continue cooking meatballs in tomato sauce for an additional 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve with your choice of pasta or for a totally new option, roasted cauliflower.

Printable recipe
seeking and finding some solace in this plate of food

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