Have you ever found yourself trying to come up with something different from the usual for dinner? Let’s face it – sometimes it seems like you’ve eaten the same things over and over for a while, and it’s hard to come up with something fresh and new.
That’s why I can’t wait to share three delicious, unique “meatball” recipes with you today. These pH-balanced delectable dishes contain no meat; instead, they’re full of vegetables, beans, whole grains, and other bone-smart ingredients.
It’s been scientifically proven that eating large amounts of animal protein is detrimental to your health and your bones. But if you’re a meat lover, you’ll be glad to know that one of the features of the Osteoporosis Reversal Program is that you don’t have to completely give up foods you enjoy; you simply learn how to make them fit in a pH-balanced nutritional plan.
A “pH-balanced” diet refers to consuming approximately 80% alkalizing foods and 20% acidifying ones. That means cutting back on acidifying foods like meat so that it no longer takes center stage at most meals.
As you adjust to a more alkaline diet, you may find yourself craving meat. These vegetarian meatballs fit the bill for satisfying your craving, and they really show off the creativity of vegetarian cooking.
Recipes From Around The World
It’s amazing how the Saver community encompasses practically the whole globe. The following flavor adventures reflect that diversity, and are inspired by Greek, Italian, and Swedish cuisines. We’re going to start off with lima bean-based ‘meatballs’ flavored with delicious herbs.
1. Greek Meatballs
Creamy lima beans make a protein-rich, alkalizing base for these scrumptious meatballs. You can serve them with a colorful Greek salad and whole-grain pasta or quinoa.
- 4 cups lima beans, cooked (if you use canned, make sure you choose low-sodium lima beans in a BPA-free can)
- 1 yellow onion, chopped small
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Whisk the eggs in a bowl, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mash the beans, or use a blender. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the eggs, and mix well, preferably with your hands.
- Allow mixture to rest for about 15 minutes at room temperature. Form into small balls and bake on a shallow pan for about 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick or fork comes out clean.
2. Italian Meatballs
These tangy, herb-enhanced meatballs are absolutely delicious and 100% alkalizing. They can be served with a crunchy romaine lettuce salad and a side of spaghetti sprinkled with your favorite tomato sauce.
- 2 medium eggplants, peeled and cubed small
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup almond meal (finely ground whole almonds, not almond flour)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano (1 tablespoon fresh)
- Zest of one lemon to sprinkle on before serving (optional)
- Sea salt to taste
- Olive oil
- In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil (enough to cover pan surface) and sauté the onion and cubed eggplant with salt to taste for approximately five minutes.
- Add the lemon juice and garlic. Continue to cook until the eggplant is soft but not soft enough to puree.
- Transfer contents of pan to a blender or food processor and add the almond meal, basil, and oregano. Pulse until well mixed.
- Shape into small balls, place on a pan or dish and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove from refrigerator and heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with olive oil and sauté meatballs in batches. Sprinkle with lemon zest and serve with tomato sauce and your favorite pasta.
3. Swedish Meatballs:
These veggie-rich meatballs include quinoa, which brings an earthy flavor to these classics.
- 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 teaspoon each of dried basil and rosemary
- 1 red onion
- 8 ounces baby Portabella mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3/4 cup baby spinach
- Juice from half a lemon
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 3 tablespoons oats
- 3 tablespoons almond meal
- Olive oil
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Cook quinoa per package directions. Preheat oven to 180F.
- Finely chop the spinach, 2 mushrooms, and slivered almonds. Set aside in a large bowl.
- Finely chop the onion and garlic in a food processor. Then add the remaining mushrooms (halved or quartered), cooked quinoa, and lemon juice. Blend until quite smooth, and then add the oats and almond meal.
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the spinach, mushrooms, and almonds. Mix well.
- Shape into balls. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and sauté meatballs until brown.
- Remove from frying pan and place on an oiled pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Eating Your Way To Younger Bones Can Be A Culinary Adventure!
There need not be anything boring or “ho-hum” about cooking bone-smart meals. The above recipes are a foretaste of how interesting pH-balanced cooking can be, especially as you incorporate international flavors and dishes.
That’s one of the most interesting things I discovered as I developed Bone Appétit, the Save Our Bones cookbook. I found that many cultures around the world were already consuming alkalizing dishes, and had been for centuries! With that in mind, Bone Appétit includes international dishes such as Mediterranean Sunrise, a Greek-inspired breakfast sandwich (page 16), Salad Nicoise (page 68) inspired by Southern French cuisine, or veggie-rich Italian Tofu Frittata (page 75).
Eat Your Way to Stronger Bones!
Discover over 200 mouth-watering bone healthy recipes for breakfast, smoothies, appetizers, soups, salads, vegetarian dishes, fish, and plenty of main courses and even desserts!
Bone-healthy cooking can be absolutely delightful, and because of the amazing variety and inspiration from around the world, it’s a far more interesting and varied way of cooking than traditional “meat and potatoes.”
Enjoy exploring the world’s flavors while nourishing your bones with Bone Appétit!
Till next time,