Sweet and Sour Meatballs with Grilled Squash

Thursday, June 23, 2016

I am a big fan of Our Best Bites.  Surprisingly, I almost never visit their actual site and instead use their recipes from two of their cookbooks I was gifted by my mother-in-law (this one and this one).  In an age where I get most of my recipes from online, you can be confident in the caliber of these books and their recipes. They have delicious everything, from entrees to desserts.  (I promise, this isn't sponsored.)

I really love the meatballs from their first cook book, and adapted it here to include the option of subbing in almond flour instead of breadcrumbs, because that's what I had on hand.  So I guess that makes this officially gluten-free, if you sub cornstarch for the flour in the sauce!

Meatballs are surprisingly easy to make.  The worst part about them, for me, is having to use my hands to mix them properly since I am still a bit squeamish about raw meat.  But mama's gotta do what mama's got to do! These meatballs really are top-notch, a whole-family pleaser, and I've made them at least a dozen times the past few years. (You can find the meatball recipe at the bottom of this post.)

To pair with the meatballs and brown rice, I grilled some simple veggies while the meatballs were finishing off in the oven.  Grilled zucchini and squash just spells "summer" to me, and it's super easy to make.

You slice your squash into medium-thin pieces (probably 1/4 inch wide), and layer them on a plate.  I lightly spray each layer with some olive oil (I literally put olive oil in a small spray bottle you can get at any grocery store) and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a little dried basil.  Then I layer some more on top and repeat the olive oil and spices.  Place the slices oil-side down on the girl, preheated to medium high heat.  Let them cook for 4-5 minutes, and while cooking spray the side that is facing you and sprinkle with more salt and pepper.  After turning each piece over (careful!  It's easy to let them slip through to the BBQ), cook the other side for another 4-5 minutes.

I used the leftovers for lunch for a few days, heating some squash and brown rice with a sprinkle or bleu cheese.  SO GOOD!

Here's a final look, and the recipe for the meatballs!

Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Adapted from Our Best Bites.

1 lb extra-lean ground beef
2 TB dehydrated onion (I used real diced onion from my freezer, but you can also just do some onion powder in a pinch)
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup bread crumbs, or almond flour

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 TB flour (or cornstarch!)
1 1/2 cups water or pineapple juice
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 TB soy sauce

In a medium bowl, combine meatball ingredients.  Gently mix with hands, but don't over mix.  Shape into 1-inch balls (can use a cookie scoop to aide the process), and place on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, sprayed with cooking spray.  Place under broiler for 5-7 minutes until the meatballs begin to brown. Turn oven down to 350 degrees.

In a large saucepan, whisk together the sauce ingredients and bring to a boil.  Take off heat to slightly cool.  Add meatballs to a casserole dish, and pour sauce over.  Place back in oven and cook for an additional 20 minutes, or until the sauce is boiling.

(Slow cooker option! After broiling meatballs, place in slow cooker and pour sauce over.  Cook on low for 4-5 hours).

Serve wth rice--we like brown, short-grain rice from Costco!  And don't forget your veggies!


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