Coming at you with a fridge clean out recipe…for real though!
It has been a bit since I have posted a savory recipe on here and I had some time on my hands today so I thought I would try to pull something off. Let me say….it turned out absolutely delicious!
A delicious, savory, spiced, and hearty Mediterranean take on meatballs with a flavorful spiced rice and saffron cinnamon sauce.
What I mean by fridge clean out, is I wanted to take a look in my fridge and see the food I needed to use up! I had quite a lot, so I tried my best to use as much as I could. I’ve had a package of vegan ground beef for a little while in my fridge, so what better way to use it then make meatballs?
I also found a jar of harissa paste in the door of my fridge that I have yet to use. Harissa chile paste is a Tunisian chili paste originating from the Mediterranean. So, my first thought was to do a take on Mediterranean meatballs!
I found a delicious sounding recipe for a Mediterranean meatball sauce on eatthelove.com, so that was my little inspo for this recipe!
This recipe is….
seemingly complicated (trust me it isnt!), but many of the ingredients can be easily found in your pantry or fridge
Mediterranean Meatballs w/ Spiced Rice
By: Taavi Elizabeth Serves: 3-4 (generous servings)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1/2 diced shallot
- 1/2 diced portobello mushroom cap
- 1 pkg vegan ground beef (approx. 12 oz)
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 flax egg (1.5 tbsp flaxseed meal + 3 tbsp water)
- 2 tsp harissa paste
- 1 tsp minced fresh sage
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- 1 tsp ground paprika, cumin, ginger, & coriander
- 2 tbsp brown rice flour (or flour of choice)
- 3 tbsp vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 diced shallot
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 3 heaping tbsp tomato paste
- Pinch saffron
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 tsp organic corn starch
- 1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice*
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth + 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup golden raisins*
- Start by cooking your rice. Stir together all ingredients, except raisins, in a rice cooker (or follow stovetop ingredients), cook according to rice cooker directions.
- While rice is cooking, prepare meatballs. In a large skillet saute shallots and garlic in oil for 2-3 min. Add in mushrooms. Sprinkle with a bit of salt. Saute until onions are fragrant and translucent. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- In the mixing bowl also add vegan ground beef, tomato paste, and flax egg. Stir generously. Add in flour and knead mixture a bit with hands, so it’s easier to form later. Add in rest of meatball ingredients. Use your hands again to work the mixture.
- Taking about 2 tbsp of mixture, form into balls and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat up 2 tbsp olive oil until shimmering. Saute shallots and garlic until fragrant and translucent. Stir in tomato sauce, a pinch of saffron (crumbled with fingertips), and cinnamon sticks. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Quickly make a cornstarch slurry by mixing cornstarch with a bit of water until its the consistency of milk. Pour into the pan along with vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer.
- While sauce is coming to a simmer, coat a bottom of a skillet with a thin layer of oil. Cook meatballs until golden brown. Once browned, carefully spoon into simmering sauce. Cover and cook for 10-12 min until meatballs are tender.
- Remove cinnamon sticks and bay leaves before serving rice. Plump the raisins by pouring boiling water over them in a small bowl. Set aside for 2 min. Drain. Mix cooked rice with golden raisins. Serve meatballs and sauce with rice. Garnish with chopped parsley! Enjoy.
*You can also use pearled couscous or regular couscous instead or rice!