Monday, March 5, 2012

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

I'm so excited to share this recipe with you! I get Eating Well magazine - their tag line is "Where Good Taste Meets Good Health." I love the magazine, because every single recipe is spelled out perfectly with all the nutrition information! How convenient! And most recipes are well under 500 calories per meal - PERFECT! The April 2012 issue came on Saturday and it is CHOCKED full of amazing recipes. In fact, my entire week's menu comes from this issue. Tonight I made Sweet & Sour Meatballs. To say they were a hit is the biggest understatement of the year. These meatballs are moist, tangy, a little spicy and were adored by the whole family. They do take a little time - from start to finish, about an hour - but it is SOOOOOOOO worth it. Without further ado, here is the recipe.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs (courtesy of Eating Well magazine)
1 20-oz. can pineapple chunks
3 tbs rice vinegar
2 tbs ketchup
2 tbs reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tbs brown sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 large egg
1 medium carrot, shredded
1/4 cup finely chopped scallion whites
2 tbs minced fresh ginger (I did not have fresh ginger and used ground ginger instead - about 1 tsp)
1.5 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
3/4 tsp salt
8 oz. ground turkey breast
8 oz. ground pork
2 tsp canola oil
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup sliced scallion greens

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray (or use a Silpat on your baking sheet).

2. Drain pineapple juice into a small bowl. Whisk in vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch and crushed red pepper. Set aside.

3. Finely chop enough pineapple to yield 1/2 cup. Press out excess moisture with paper towels. **Do not skip this step - it is necessary.** Reserve the remaining pineapple chunks for the sauce.

4. Lightly beat egg in a large bowl. Stir in carrot, scallion whites, ginger, five-spice powder, salt and the finely chopped pineapple. Add turkey and pork; gently mix to combine (do not overmix). Using a scant 1 tbs each, make 36 small meatballs. Bake on the prepared baking sheet until just cooked through, about 15 minutes.

5. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and cook for 1 minute. Whisk the reserved juice mixture and add to the pan. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the remaining pineapple and the cooked meatballs. Stir to coat.

6. To serve, thread a meatball and a piece of pineapple and pepper onto a small skewer or toothpick. Transfer to a platter, drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with scallion greens.

Serve as an appetizer or as a meal with rice and a vegetable.

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