Do you miss the meaty taste when you bite into the veggie equivalent of a burger or meatball? Is your family resistant to trying them? Our Less Meat Balls are loaded with grains and veggies but still have the taste the omnivores in the house crave. As an added bonus, this is a great way to stretch a pound of ground meat into as many as 8 servings!
I used freshly ground beef for this batch, but you could use any ground meat you like. I like to use ground chicken for meatballs for example. In the past I’ve also used a pork/beef blend to make Turkish Meatball sliders and Cevapi. Use whatever your family likes.
The first time I used this mix, I made a meat loaf using rice. This time instead of rice, I added a blend of quinoa and brown rice, the kind that comes in a cup or pouch for reheating. Ordinarily I’ll use leftover rice, but I have these on hand for when I want a change, since Rick hates quinoa. (Don’t tell him!)
I used the smallest holes on the grater for the veggies since these were going to be formed into balls. Carrots, onions and zucchini help keep the mix moist enough to hold together. I haven’t tried them mixed with meat, but finely chopped mushrooms or mashed beans make decent veggie burgers and may also be worth a try.
- 1 pound ground meat
- 1 - 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely grated
- 1 medium zucchini, finely grated
- 1 cup finely chipped diced onion
- 1 cup or more cooked rice or other grain
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 - 2 teaspoons dried thyme, oregano, basil, parsley or whatever blend takes your fancy
- Use your hands to mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
- If desired, cook a small amount to test the flavor. Make any adjustments needed.
- Divide into 6 to 8 portions and form these into smaller balls, depending on the size you want.
- Cook as desired. I flattened mine slightly and pan fried them in a little olive oil.
The first night we served the less meat balls with fries and some sliced tomatoes. The next day for lunch we used them to to make meat ball subs. For the third meal they were made into wraps with tomatoes, cucumbers, hummus and tzatziki sauce. Finally, the few meat balls that were left were added to some broth with a few chopped up vegetables for soup. Now that’s how you stretch a pound of ground meat!