I have fond memories associated with porcupine meatballs. They are some of my favorite childhood memories for some strange reason. Perhaps for me they are a feel good food. When I was very young my mother cooked more from scratch than she did when she was older and there were more of us. So I thought I would share with you a diabetic version of this meat dish, although I have to be honest that I do not cook it the way it is described here in this recipe. But I will share with you the way I do it along with the method in the book.
Needed equipment: pressure cooker pot (or you can use my alternative method)
Yield: 2 servings
Serving size: 3 meatballs with sauce
8 oz. ground beef
1/3 cup uncooked rice
1 1/2 tbs. dried minced onion
1/8 tsp. oregano
1 cup tomato sauce
- Mix meat, rice, onion, and seasonings until well blended. form into 6 equal-size meatballs.
- Place rack in pressure cooker.
- Pour tomato sauce and 1 1/2 cups water into cooker. Add meatballs.
- Cover pressure cooker and place pressure regulator on vent pipe.
- Heat until cooker reaches optimum pressure. Cook 12 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and let pressure drop of its own accord.
My own method:
First, I use either venison or ground turkey. Both are lower in fat and drier than ground beef.
Second, because of the dryness, I add 1-2 eggs to bind the meatballs.
Third, I precook the rice, usually in a beef broth or chicken broth (you can use a vegetable broth as well). From time to time I cook this with brown rice. It takes longer to cook, and is a little bit more expensive. It is also a bit more chewy than white rice. You have to acquire a taste for it.
Fourth, I season my meatballs with actual chopped onions, either minced garlic or garlic powder, Mrs. Dash, parsley, a little bit of cayenne pepper or hot sauce and/or powdered mustard. I do not use salt.
Fifth, I use the microwave to cook the meatballs rather than a pressure cooker. It takes about the same amount of time, although I begin by forming the balls, placing them in a glass baking dish, microwaving for about 3 minutes, then topping them with a tomato sauce (minus the water the recipe called for). They need to be turned once. I microwave them for 3 more minutes until done. Microwaves vary, so I cook them in 2-3 minute cycles until they have become solid enough to pick up with a spoon.
If you want to bake these meatballs, set the oven for 350 degrees. Cover meatballs with the tomato sauce plus some water. Cover tightly. Bake for about an hour. I still recommend precooking the rice. Otherwise it takes about 1 1/2 hours to bake or longer.
Source: Magic Menus for People with Diabetes
American Diabetes Association
Description: This book contains 50 breakfasts, 50 lunches, 75 dinners, 30 snacks, 200 recipes and complete menus for meals that add up to 1500 calories (1800 and 2100 available plans), complete with correct nutrient and dietary exchanges.
The accompanying meal for the meatballs for one individual:
3 porcupine meatballs
1/2 cup steamed carrots
1 cup celery sticks and radishes
10 small Spanish olives (if using eggs, decrease number of olives)
1 baked apple (recipe included in the book)