1/3 C onion finely diced (about 1/4 of a large white onion or 1/2 of small yellow onion)
2 tsp garlic finely minced (2 medium cloves)
2 tsp kosher salt + more to taste
1 lb (445g) ground chicken (see substitutions above)
2 tbsp hoisin sauce + more for serving (omit this ingredient for Paleo diets)
2 heads of boston lettuce, leaves separated and washed
Optional garnishes: sliced scallions and white sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 400f and line a large baking sheet (or two smaller traditional sized baking sheets) with parchment paper.
In a food processor with the shredding disc attachment, grate 2 of the 3 carrots and the onion. Scrape out into a large mixing bowl (with at least ~5 cup capacity) and set aside. Switch out the shredding disc attachment and put in the metal chopping blade. Add the broccoli florets and pulse until you have very small pieces (see image above). Add back in the grated carrots and onions, as well as the minced garlic and salt. Pulse until the vegetables are relatively uniform in size. Dump everything out into that dirty mixing bowl (see I saved you a dish and you’re welcome ;)).
Add the ground chicken and mix very well. I like to use my hand to mix.
Taste! Here’s the thing, it’s one more step but I always encourage people to cook a small teaspoon-full of the mixture when making meatballs or fillings for dumplings or pasta. There’s nothing worst than finding out too late that the entire batch is under-salted. Place about 1 teaspoon amount on a dish and microwave high ~20 seconds. Eat it and decide if you need to add additional salt, up to 1/2 tsp more (that’s what I did and I use Diamond brand of kosher salt by the way).
Form the meat mixture into 30 balls approximately the size of a golf ball. Place them on the parchment-lined baking sheets. Leave a bit of room between them for even cooking but it doesn’t require a ton of room as they shrink during cooking. If you’re using hoisin sauce, brush it on the meatballs now and bake them in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through. For my daughter, I omit the hoisin sauce since I have yet to find a paleo-friendly verson (and she still absolutely loves them).
While the meatballs are baking, grab that last carrot. Using a vegetable peeler, run the peeler down the full length of the carrot to shave off long ribbons. These ribbons are for serving.
Serve the meatballs inside lettuce leaves with carrot ribbons and extra hoisin sauce if using. You can offer thinly sliced scallions and white sesame seeds as additional garnishes, if you want.