I have been wanting to make a beef meatball for a long time, especially since so many people don’t eat pork. Of course, it’s easy to make great meatballs with breadcrumbs and non Whole30 compliant ingredients. And some folks like to use almond meal instead but that’s not my cup of tea.  I am thrilled to have finally found a way to make a juicy and delicious meatball that you and your family will eat whether you are doing Whole30 or not.

Here we have mixed in baking powder and a little water, which is a secret I recently discovered.  Baking powder changes the pH level of protein which causes it to attract and retain more water.  This makes whatever you are cooking, tender and juicy.  Its a very scientific explanation for something that I like to think of as kitchen magic!  I added garlic, spices and fresh parsley (which you can keep in or leave out depending on your preference).  For even more flavor, I mixed in some Oven Roasted Tomatoes.  These meatballs are perfect in my Sunday Gravy MAGIC ELIXIRS.

Sunday gravy. A name that has been up for debate and could lead some passionate foodies into a fist fight! Many East coasters and Mid westerners have called the slow simmering, rich tomato sauce “Sunday Gravy” for years while others around the country have never even heard the term.  No matter what you call it though, it’s a real magic elixir sauce!

The general idea is that you make a big pot of it on Sunday, enjoy it with something like sausage or meatballs. But it is so much more! It starts with caramelizing a mirepoix of carrots, celery and onions, then you add tomatoes, chicken stock and spices for something that’s truly magnificent.  It’s fantastic as a stand alone sauce but its also great as a base for a soup or an amazing, quick seafood cioppino!  Pour some in ice cube trays and freeze for later and you can toss into minestrone or chili for extra flavor.

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Meatballs with Sunday Gravy MAGIC ELIXIRS (TM)

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  • Author: nocrumbsleft
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Total Time: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • ½ teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar 
  • 2 Tablespoons cold water  
  • 2 pounds ground beef 
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced 
  • ¾ cup fresh parsley, chopped 
  • ¾ cup Oven Roasted Tomatoes MAGIC ELIXIRSâ„¢ 
  • 1 Tablespoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano 
  • 1 teaspoon dry basil 
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil for cooking meatballs 


Mix together all ingredients except for the baking soda, cream of tartar and water.  In a small bowl mix together the cream of tartar, baking soda and water.  Add to meat mixture.  Mix all ingredients with your hands.  Let sit for 10 mins.  

Form in to 1.5 oz balls.  Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan and add the meatballs. Cook each side for about 2 minutes per side with an additional 2 minutes for the edges, 6 minutes total. (You don’t have to brown the edges, but the total cooking time should be 6 minutes). Be sure to watch the meatballs as you cook, as they brown very quickly.  

Remove the meatballs with tongs and transfer to the Sunday Gravy (or any other tomato sauce).  Simmer for 15 mins.  


Change it up by using 1 pound of beef and 1 pound ground pork.
If you choose to, you can leave out the tomatoes.
If you don’t have fresh parsley, you can leave it out.

If you don’t have time to dry your own tomatoes, you can buy them at the store.  They are usually found in the produce department.