Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Something a little different.

We like Chinese food. Chinese food however isn't often the best choice for healthy eating, at least if you go to say, Panda Express. I have nothing against the Panda, in fact I'd kill for their orange chicken. But, in the interest of continuing our pattern of healthier eating, I will skip killing someone and try some Chinese meatballs.

We happened to catch an episode of Chinese Food Made Easy last night just before bed. The host is cute and the recipe for lion head meatballs sounded delicious. I figured with a few swaps, I could make them supa healthy besides being tasty.

And as luck would have it, I had some Napa cabbage and mushrooms in the fridge to be used.

The recipe came together really quickly, especially with the use of a food processor to finely chop all the garlic, green onion and ginger into nice, small bits for a nice meatball. I followed the recipe nearly exactly and would make a couple of changes: Less ginger and more salt.

I also drastically altered the cooking directions. If you read over the recipe as posted, it is a little unclear as to exactly how to cook this dish. I even saw the recipe made on TV and I was still a bit confused. Hopefully I made it a bit clearer.

Other wise the lion head meatballs were delicious.

Lion Head Meatballs

Makes 12 meatballs, serves 6 at 4 WW points a serving, not counting the rice.

Adapted from Chinese Food Made Easy

1 pound 2 ounces ground turkey
1/2 cup finely chopped spinach
2 ounces Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Pinch freshly cracked pepper

2 1/2 cups chicken stock
11 ounces napa cabbage, quartered lengthwise from leaf to stem end
6 ounces mushrooms. chopped
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch, blended with 2 tablespoons cold water
Sea salt and freshly cracked white pepper
2 large spring onions (green), sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Put the ground beef, rice wine, garlic, spring onions, egg, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, salt, and white pepper into a large bowl to combine, stirring in the same direction.
Using wet hands, scoop a large mound of the ground meat mixture, and mold it into a ball. The size should be a little larger than a golf ball. Transfer the meatball to a cookie sheet and repeat with the remaining mixture.Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven.

For the assembly:

Combine the stock, mushrooms, and soy sauce in a small saucepan. Bring everything to a boil. Cover the pan, reduce its heat, and cook gently for 15 minutes. Add the blended cornstarch slurry and stir until the sauce thickens.
Remove the pan from the heat, and season with salt, and white pepper, to taste. Pour sauce over meatballs spreading evenly. Take the napa cabbage and seperate the leaves out, "wrapping" them around the meatballs to create a "mane" for you lion meatballs. Cover the cookie sheet tightly with foil and return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes of cooking.

Serve the meatballs, mushrooms and cabbage over a bed of rice.

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