Stress Busting Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce


You know those healthy pure raw chocolate truffles I raved about a few weeks ago? Well, the creator of those fabulous delights, Shari Leidich, has whipped up a cookbook called, Two Moms in the Raw: Simple, Clean, Irresistible Recipes for Your Family’s Health. Interestingly enough, the cookbook isn’t 100% raw, but is a mix of healthful, innovative raw and cooked recipes, like these nourishing, dairy-free, gluten-free turkey meatballs.

Stress Busting Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs with Fresh Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce - this recipe sneaks in so many healthy ingredients and a couple surprise ones to keep stress at bay. This is a naturally dairy-free and top allergen-free recipe.

To note, this is my first taste of the Two Moms in the Raw cookbook, too, as it hasn’t been released quite yet. It is scheduled for release on May 5, 2015, but is available for pre-order now.

Two Moms in the Raw CookbookNonetheless, I do know a bit about the philosophy behind this cookbook. Shari, who lives with MS, thinks of food as medicine that can increase vitality and reduce stress, as evidenced in these multi-purpose gluten-free turkey meatballs. Not only do they provide “sneaky” nourishment with loads of fresh vegetables, they also have an herbal “stress-busting” component from eleuthero and ashwagandha.

The Two Moms in the Raw cookbook offers over 130 recipes that are broken down by the following categories: juices and smoothies; breakfast; dips; soups; salads; veggie mains; fish, poultry, and beef; and sweet treats and snacks.

I’m not certain if the cookbook is completely dairy-free (I do believe it’s fully gluten-free), but all that I’ve seen thus far is, and I think Shari would use a light hand with dairy.

Stress Busting Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs with Fresh Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce - this recipe sneaks in so many healthy ingredients and a couple surprise ones to keep stress at bay. This is a naturally dairy-free and top allergen-free recipe.

Special Diet Notes: Stress Busting Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and generally top food allergy-friendly.

Okay with Gluten and/or Eggs? If you don’t have need for gluten-free, you can use the noodles of your choice, and Shari has noted that you can use an egg in place of the flax meal in the gluten-free turkey meatballs if you do use eggs and don’t have any flax on hand.

Herb Note – As Shari notes, the eleuthero and ashwagandha do not notably affect the taste or consistency of the gluten-free turkey meatballs or tomato sauce, so if you don’t have any on hand, you can omit them. I’ve found that the “fresh” eleuthero she calls for is a bit hard to come by, but ashwagandha is a very common herbal supplement that can even be readily bought in bulk.

Stress Busting Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Flax meal binds these babies together the way eggs might (sub in an egg for the flaxseeds if you don’t have any). In small amounts, eleuthero and ashwagandha help the body regulate stress and maintain balance (happy adrenals make for a happy mama). In these amounts, they don’t add any discernible taste but improve my health in ways I can feel.
Serves: 4 servings
Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • Reserved chopped chard stems
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2½ pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 or 7 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • ½ cup thinly sliced fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ashwagandha
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 cup finely chopped baby spinach
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and finely shredded
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 2 teaspoons salt-free Italian seasoning
  • 1½ teaspoons dried (not ground) eleuthero (see herb note in post above)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ashwagandha (see herb note in post above)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Cooked brown rice spaghetti noodles or other organic gluten-free noodles (such as spiralized sweet potatoes or "zoodles"), for serving
For the Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
  1. In a 4-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add the chard stems and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, oregano, ashwagandha, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.
For the Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs
  1. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, spinach, carrot, shallot, garlic, parsley, flax meal, Italian seasoning, eleuthero, salt, ashwagandha, and pepper and mix well.
  2. Form the mixture into walnut-sized balls.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the meatballs until golden, turning occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes total.
  4. Gently lower the gluten-free turkey meatballs into the simmering tomato sauce. Simmer until the meatballs absorb some of the sauce and soften, about 50 to 60 minutes.
  5. Serve over the noodles.
Recipes and Photography from TWO MOMS IN THE RAW by Shari Koolik Leidich. Copyright © 2015 by Shari Koolik Leidich. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. Pingback: 10 Paleo Meatballs | Only Taste Matters

  2. I also have MS, and this type of approach to helping lower stress with my diet is definitely needed! And I am all about meatballs right now (no particular reason, but I just got a bug in my bonnet about them lately!), so this is a great recipe to add to my list! Thanks for promoting what sounds to be a great cookbook, and giving us a preview with this recipe!

    • That is so awesome Dee Dee. I hope that you do get to enjoy some low stress effects from this recipe! I’ve got more meatball love that I just shared about IKEA, too – I think it’s meatball week!

Leave A Reply

Rate this recipe: