Mediterranean Meatballs with Spiced Rice

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.

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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!

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This recipe is….

seemingly complicated (trust me it isnt!), but many of the ingredients can be easily found in your pantry or fridge 

Healthy 

Savory 

Hearty 

Mouthwateringly delicious! 

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Mediterranean Meatballs w/ Spiced Rice 


By: Taavi Elizabeth    Serves: 3-4 (generous servings) 

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Ingredients 
Meatballs 
  • 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 
Sauce 
  • 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 
Rice 
  • 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* 
Directions 
  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. Taking about 2 tbsp of mixture, form into balls and set aside. 
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7.  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. 
  8. 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! 

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