Mediterranean Meatball Stew
The wind is blowing, the rain is falling and the temperature is dropping. This is the time when we want hot, tasty food, and if it is easy to prepare that makes it all the better. For busy Mothers and Career Women alike, this dish will hit the spot. It can be prepared for family meals or in larger quantities for casual dinner parties. If you are a single or a couple it can easily be altered for more than one meal.
This is Mediterranean Meatball Stew which is made with healthy vegetables. It can be prepared ahead and reheated or it can easily be made in an hour’s time before dinner. Make it with your favorite ground meat or even with falafel balls which are made with ground Chick Peas. The leaner the meat is, the healthier it is, however fat does add more flavor to the food. If you are absolutely in favor of the leaner meats, more flavor can be had by adding more herbs to the dish. Fresh herbs are always nice to use, but if they are unavailable, substitute dried herbs. Instead of ½ cup of fresh basil, start with 1 teaspoon of the dried and increase it as your taste buds demand.
If you make enough to have it for a second meal, serve the first one with Pita or fresh French Bread and a green salad. The leftovers can be served another night with Pasta, lentils or Kasha. (Buckwheat) For the Meat, you can use ground beef (I used 20/80 – 20% fat – just enough for flavor and to keep the meatballs from being too dry) . You can also use ground lamb or turkey or textured soy. Get creative and add other vegetables which your family may prefer. The recipe is below and is simple to make, so please try it. You will like it!
MEDITERRANEAN MEATBALL STEW
1 lb. ground Beef, Lamb or Turkey
½ Onion, chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. ground Black Pepper
2 Eggs, beaten
½ cup Quick Cooking Rice
3 Tbsps. Olive Oil
2-3 Tbsps. Olive Oil
½ lb. sliced Mushrooms
1 tsp. Sea Salt
1 Eggplant, sliced and cubed into ½” pieces
2 Zucchini, sliced into 1” pieces
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 cups Tomato Juice or Sauce
½ cup fresh Basil Leaves, julienned
1 Red Bell Pepper, ½” dice
1 cup Cherry Tomatoes
- Combine the ground Meat, chopped Onion, minced Garlic with the Salt, Black Pepper and beaten Eggs; mix well.
- Add the Quick Cooking Rice and mix thoroughly.
- Heat the Olive Oil in a large skillet; while the skillet is heating, shape the meat mixture into balls, about the size of Walnuts.
- Brown the Meatballs, turning frequently to evenly brown all over.
- While the Meatballs are browning, heat the remaining Olive Oil in a sauté pan.
- When the Oil is hot, add the Mushrooms and sprinkle with the teaspoon of Sea Salt.
- Add the Eggplant and Zucchini pieces and mix gently; add the cooked Meatballs and mix again to combine all the ingredients.
- Add the Garlic and Tomato Juice and Basil; cook for 15-20 minutes or until the Meatballs are cooked through. (Cut one in half to check)
- Add the diced Bell Pepper and the Cherry Tomatoes; cook for 3-5 minutes longer or just until the Tomatoes are hot.
- Serve with Pita or French Bread along with a green side salad.
Yield: 4 Servings