Sunday, April 10, 2011

Meatless Millet Meatballs



One of my husband's (old) favorite meals is spaghetti and meatballs.  So, I set out to make a healthier alternative and I am extremely pleased with what I came up with.  They had all the characteristics off a good meatball, crispy outside and flavorful and soft inside.  I used millet as the main ingredient, but you could use brown rice.  Millet is a gluten free grain that is high in protein and lots of other nutrients.

1 1/2 -2 c. cooked millet (or brown rice)
olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large, or 2 small carrots, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten (or egg replacer)
s/p

In a medium sized sauce pan, heat a splash of oil over medium heat.  Add in onion, garlic, carrots and celery.  Saute until veggies are tender, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.  In a large bowl, mix together (most of the) millet, egg and salt and pepper.  Add in veggies and parsley and stir until well combined.  You want the mixture to be moist, but not runny.  So, feel free to add in more millet to thicken it up.

Scoop a rounded tablespoon sized portion and roll it into a ball.  Continue until all the mixture is used up.  Now, at this point, I placed the balls on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and placed them in the freezer for 30 minutes to chill.

When you are ready, heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.  When the oil is hot, add in the balls.  Allow them to brown on one side before turning them.  Be careful to not over crowd the pan.  If you do, the meatballs will steam instead of brown.  When all sides are browned and heated through, remove to a plate covered with a paper towel.

Serve with your favorite pasta!

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