Growing up meatball soup was one of my favorite dishes that my mom prepared. Comforting and delicious, “yuvarlakia” (or giouvarlakia) is are usually prepared with a white egg-lemon sauce. I had shown you how to prepare the traditional meatball soup before and today I’m bringing to you another one-pot and easy to make way to prepare this dish for your family. Those yuvarlakia is such a crowd pleaser and I promise that your kids will love them. Let’s get into cooking, sunshines!
What you will need
- Minced beef. I used organic grass-fed and grass-finished minced beef as this is the traditional way of making yuvarlakia. However, you can use minced turkey or chicken, just make sure to add a little extra olive when you are kneading your yuvarlakia. You can even use minced lamb or bison, I have done this before and the result was equally tasty.
- Bulgur wheat. Traditionally yuvarlakia is made with short-grain rice. To switch it up I used bulgur wheat. You can even use cauliflower rice for a grain-free option.
- Vegetables: carrots, zucchini, onions, garlic. I like to add extra vegetables in my dishes. I feel like they add a ton of flavor and nutrition so this is a win-win.
- Egg. This is our banding agent.
- Pantry staples: extra virgin olive oil, tomato puree or passata.
- Herbs: parsley and mint.
- Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, pepper. Those spices bring such a great flavor into this dish.
“I love adding extra vegetables on my recipes. They add extra flavor and nutrition. However, this is not the main way that I serve vegetables to my kids and I don’t recommend to just hide vegetables. You should keep offering veggies in any possible way and in their original shape so your kids get exposed and learn to love them.”
How I served it
I kept it very simple as those meatballs in red sauce are a complete meal by itself. So, in our beloved eco-friendly natural bamboo Bubba-Boo plates* I served:
- A heaping portion of meatballs in red sauce
- Steamed sugar peas
- Baked sweet potatoes
For my little one, 11 months old, I cut the meatballs in pieces so it is easier for her to grab them. In Panos’ Pippa Penguin Bubba-Boo plate*, I just kept it on the original shape and let him decide if he wants to cut it. This way I let him being in charge and he loves it.
“Keep in mind that I didn’t add any salt while I was cooking the meatballs as I wanted to serve this to my baby as well. We just added some afterwards in our plates. If you are not serving a baby, you can add it while you are cooking”
How to store
This is a great meal to save in the freezer so I would suggest to double the recipe and save the half in an airtight container for later. It freezes beautifully for up to 3 months. Of course, you can keep it in your fridge (if they survive) for up to 3 days.
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Meatballs in red sauce – YuvarlakiaCourse: MainDifficulty: Medium
Comfort food at its best! This meatballs in red sauce is a great family style meal. Your kids will love those yuvarlakia!
- For the meatballs
2 lbs (0.91 kilograms) (0.91 kilograms (2.01 pounds)) minced beef
1 cups bulgur wheat (or short-grain rice)
2 medium sized carrots, grated
1 medium sized onion, grated
4 oz (113.4 grams) tomato puree
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp finely chopped mint
1 tbsp finely chopped flat parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
- For the red sauce
3 medium sized carrots
1 medium sized zucchini
1 medium sized onion
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
20 oz (566.99 grams) tomato puree
48 oz (1360.78 grams) tap water or vegetable stock
1 cinnamon stick
½ tsp grounded clove
½ tsp grounded nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
- For the meatballs
- In a big mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients and knead to incorporate
- Form small meatballs in the size of a ping pong ball and set aside
- For the sauce
- In a deep pot over medium heat saute the spices (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg) with olive oil until fragrant
- In the blender, blend the vegetables (onion, garlic, carrots, zucchini)
- Add the vegetables’ mixture in the pot and stir well
- Add the tomato sauce, water, salt and pepper and bring it to a boil
- Gently add the meatballs one by one
- Make sure that the pot has enough water to cover the meatballs
- Cover with the lid and boil over medium heat for 40-45 minutes or until are cooked through
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