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Meatball Rice

 

Meatball Rice is a delicately flavoured, delicious main course dish that presents meat balls with a sweet and savory sauce served over a bed of nutty brown rice. This is a traditional North African Rice preparation and uses of a range of flavorsome ingredients.

 

Ingredients and Preparation

 

Rice: Long grain superior brown rice is first cooked and fluffed using a fork.

 

Meatballs: Egg white is beaten and tomato puree mixed with it. Cilantro, ginger, cinnamon and cumin are added and blended well. Then ground beef and ground rolled oats are stirred in, seasoned with salt and pepper, according to taste, and combined gently. Meatballs are shaped out of this mixture and roasted till golden on a pan using olive oil cooking spray.

 

Sauce: Onion and garlic are sauteed until soft, lemon zest is added before white wine which is then allowed to reduce. Reduced sodium chicken stock or broth is then added followed by tomato paste, red chilli flakes, sugar, cinnamon and then simmered to let flavours blend in. Salt and pepper are used as final seasoning to adjust taste before carefully placing the meatballs in the sauce and simmering for some time.  

 

Presentation

 

About ½ to ¾ cup brown rice is plated and a suitable number of meatballs placed on top with a generous amount of aromatic sauce poured over.  

 

Nutrition Information

 

A single serving size of Meatball Rice i.e. about 375 g supplies-

•                 405.1 calories

•                 Total Fat content is 13.8 g

•                 Cholesterol content is 50.4 mg

•                 Total carbohydrate content is 41.0 g with dietary fibre content of 4.2 g

•                 Sodium content is 284.3 mg

•                 Protein content is 25.9 g

 

 

Nutritional Improvements

 

Although not much oil has been used as the meat balls are simply pan-seared using olive oil and not deep fried, further fat reduction may be possible by using textured soy vegetable protein instead of beef. This step would ensure high quality protein delivery along with fiber and minerals like calcium and phosphorus while eliminating the high fat levels. This soy derivative not only provides for a similar texture and mouth-feel but is also associated with multiple health benefits –

·        Weight reduction,

·        Lowering LDL cholesterol and improving cardiovascular health,

·        Phytoestrogens provide protection from osteoporosis,

·        Help women who experience post-menopausal symptoms,

·        Possess phytonutrients with anti-cancer properties.

 

In this way, the dish could be made vegetarian and especially vegan friendly too.