cooking · Dinner

Sweet and Sour Meatballs (Veggie Version)

In my quest to truly stop eating processed convenience foods – and to clear out our pantry – I used up our last bag of Harmony Valley Vegetable Hamburger Mix. I will miss it, it was an easy way to make a dinner heartier (and that is the issue – I need less crutches in the kitchen). Who knows if I will stick to my quest or not, I might get tempted once again, it is a great product. So I enjoyed it in a favorite dish, Sweet and Sour Meatballs, and served it over baked coconut brown rice. Yum….It was a lot of work but was worth it. Thankfully the baby slept while I cooked!

Sweet and Sour Meatballs (Veggie Version)


Meatballs –

Sweet and Sour Sauce –

  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp lower sodium sauce
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp diced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1 tsp finely minced ginger
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 20 ounce can pineapple chunks
  • 1 sweet onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Baked Coconut Brown Rice –

  • 2½ cups boiling water
  • 1½ cups brown rice
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ¼ tsp salt


Preheat the oven to 375°.

Rice –

Add the ingredients to an 8×8″ glass baking dish, cover tightly with foil. Bake for 1 hour, fluff up.

Meatballs –

Add the hamburger mix, ginger, onion powder and black pepper to a medium mixing bowl. Stir in 1 ¼ cups cool water, stir well. Let sit for at least 15 minutes to rehydrate. Finely chop the oats in a blender or food chopper, stir them and the milk into the mix. Make balls with a 3-Tablespoon Disher and place on a lightly sprayed baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes at 375°.

Sauce –

Meanwhile whisk the brown sugar through red pepper flakes together in a small bowl, drain the pineapple juice into the sauce, set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add half the oil onion and the peppers. Let sauté until browning, turn down to medium and let cook until nearly caramelizing. Add the drained pineapple and toss, let cook for a couple of more minutes. Set the vegetables aside in a bowl, take the meatballs out of the oven and add the remaining oil to the skillet. Turn up to medium-high heat and add the meatballs in. Let cook until crispy on both sides, add the vegetables back in and shake gently to combine. Turn down to medium-low, pour the sauce over and let cook covered until bubbling.

Serve over plates of hot rice.

Serves 4.


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