gluten-free sweet & sour meatballs

gluten-free-sweet-sour-meatballs

Snow, snow, go away. If you’re stuck shovelling and salting and trudging through slush day in, day out, you should at least have something hearty and comforting to come home to, shouldn’t you? What could be heartier and more comforting than a big, juicy meatball? Especially if said meatball is dripping in tangy sauce and piled atop several other juicy meatballs coated in tangy sauce. Nothing. The correct answer is: nothing could be heartier and more comforting.

And what if that big pile of meatballs didn’t irritate your stomach or make you bloated? And what if that tangy sauce didn’t come from a disgusting, factory-sealed jar of MSG?

Win!

Being pregnant in the dead of winter is pretty much kryptonite for the willpower. I’m definitely drawn to comfort foods lately, but rather than trying to bake all the things, like I did in my first and second pregnancies, I’m spending more energy on amazing main courses for dinner (and leftovers for lunch, conveniently). This recipe was a recent creation and was amazing over organic basmati rice, but would also be delicious with brown rice, quinoa or a side of delicious root vegetable mash!

sweet-sour-meatballs

My mom used to make sweet-&-sour meatballs from time to time, and I’m positive her sauce never came from a jar. Inspired by mom, I healthified the recipe even more with a gluten-free meatball and naturally sweetened sauce. Let’s just say my kids loved sweet-&-sour meatball night as much as I remember loving it!

gluten-free sweet & sour meatballs

adapted from a recipe by Against All Grain

yields 30-35 meatballs

  • 1 lb ground lean pork
  • 1 lb ground lean beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup almond meal
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, grated or minced
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • generous pinch of salt

for the sauce:

  • 3 cups tomato puree (about 1.5 glass bottles)
  • 1 can (398 mL) pineapple chunks, pineapple and juice separated
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1-2 bell peppers, roughly chopped
  • salt & pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. 2. Combine sauce ingredients in large, wide pot, reserving pineapple chunks and bell peppers for later. 3. Bring sauce to a low boil; reduce to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes until thick. Taste your sauce frequently; add more honey if needed for your tastes. 4. Meanwhile, combine meatball ingredients and roll into 1″ meatballs; place evenly on baking sheet. 5. Bake 12-15 minutes, flipping once. 6. Transfer meatballs (and drippings, if desired) to sweet and sour sauce. 7. Add pineapple chunks and peppers, and season with salt and pepper as needed; simmer on low, covered, 5-10 minutes.