Friday, October 3, 2008

Family Friendly Meal: Chinese Meatballs

Anytime 'LilDude asks for thirds, I consider it a recipe worth sharing! ;) Tonight we enjoyed Chinese Meatballs from the More With Less Cookbook. I have used this cookbook for years but didn't discover this particular recipe until recently. I love it for several reasons. Kids like it. Husbands like it. It uses lots of garden produce. It's gluten/casein free. And it's an "all in one"...protein, veggies/fruit, and grain all take part in the single dish.

Chinese Meatballs
Serves 8 (at our house, that's probably pushing it :)

Cook rice or noodles to serve 8.
Prepare and reserve ready to fry:

1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 green peppers, sliced
1 large onion, sliced (I left out this time)
1 1/2 c. frozen peas (I used frozen peas/carrots)
2 large tomatoes, cut in wedges
1 1/2 c. pineapple chunks, drained (reserve juice)

Season, shape into small balls, and fry:

1 1/2 lb. ground beef (I used 2 lbs.)

Combine and pour over meatballs:
3/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. vinegar
3 T. soy sauce (I use gluten free)
1/2 t. ginger
juice from pineapple
2-3 T. cornstarch

Allow sauce to thicken, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.

In separate skillet, stir-fry veggies in small amount of hot oil until crisp-tender, adding tomatoes and pineapple last. Serve on large platter with rice or noodles in center, meatballs around, veggies over the rice, and sauce over all.

Note: I choose to mix the meatballs/sauce and veggies before serving. Then it's only a matter of scooping the meatball/veggie mixture onto rice.

I found a garden curiosity when I was preparing dinner. I cut open a red pepper and discovered a baby green pepper growing inside. The "baby" tasted like a regular green pepper.

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