Not trying to insult any monkeys here, but these Asian meatballs are some of the simplest things I’ve come across in a while. Ever crave some greasy Asian food, but don’t want to completely blow your diet or healthy eating plan? I used to struggle all the time with fast foods and non-healthy cravings. While I can’t say I’m perfect (I still love a giant bowl of popcorn every once in a while), I have definitely learned that recreating your favorite junk foods is an essential part of making your diet or healthy eating plan a long term commitment.
About Glutino and Other Gluten-Free Products
For this recipe, I decided to get a little creative and use some Glutino gluten-free products in the meatballs. They sent me some sample items a while back when I wrote them, and I was pretty impressed with what they had prepared for me. It also got me thinking about gluten-free products as a whole, and how appropriate they are in a healthy, whole foods diet.
For those of you who don’t know, Glutino is a pretty prominent gluten-free food company. They specialize in making all sorts of gluten-free cereals, pastas, cookies, crackers, you get the idea. Now, let’s get one thing straight: I will NEVER promote a company I don’t consume myself or believe in. And I don’t think Glutino’s products are perfect to say the least. However, if you’re newly transitioning to a gluten-free diet, these food products might be just what you need.
When you’re first trying to go gluten-free, learning to separate cravings for wheat and actual hunger can be quite difficult. Are you truly craving a donut right now? Or would you be just as happy with a bowl of gluten-free oats? Listening to your body is an extremely important component of this phase. Eventually, you’ll learn to separate a psychological craving from a biological need for food. Often we’re addicted to the very foods were allergic to, so in the coming weeks and months of going off wheat you might feel tempted to eat your favorite gluten foods or even foods you normally don’t care for, but have gluten in them.
This is where Glutino’s products are particularly useful. If you were a die hard Oreo addict, you’d love their version of Oreo’s. Their pretzels aren’t a bad option either if you’re new to a gluten-free diet. Out of all the products they gave me that I tried, these were the two I enjoyed the most.
I’m sure some of you are thinking, “If gluten-free foods are so great, shouldn’t I just switch all my foods to a gluten-free version and call it a day?” Sigh. If only this were so easy. Simply switching to gluten-free products isn’t going to cut it. Why? Because these foods are still HIGHLY PROCESSED! Some of Glutino’s products include refined oils, GMO corn, and other additives I wouldn’t want anyone to consume on a regular basis. Sure, if you have a gluten-allergy, I’d rather you eat a gluten-free pretzel than a wheat-based product. But at the end of the day I’d rather you reach for fruit or veggies or raw nuts, all of which are naturally gluten-free and much better for you.
So what’s my final take on gluten-free products? In moderation, I think they can fit into a healthy whole foods diet. While I don’t think you can simply replace every gluten-based food you eat with gluten-free products, they can definitely help in the transition to a gluten-free diet. However, ultimately your diet should be full of whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and healthy fats. If you eat enough of these, chances are you won’t have any room or appetite for that gluten-free cookie.
Today’s recipe is a simple take on sweet and sour Asian meatballs. I’ll admit that they don’t taste anything like traditional sweet and sour meatballs, but they’re absolutely delicious with the perfect notes of citrus and the spicy undertone of hot chili sauce. Usually I use rice chex as a substitute for bread crumbs, but Glutino’s breadcrumbs actually yielded a great taste and texture this time.