Friday, August 24, 2012

Healthier, Lower Carb Swedish Meatballs

I actually had time to cook a nice dinner tonight, so I made one that all my kids love: Swedish meatballs. I love them, too, but my problem is the yummy egg noodles I have always served the meatballs over. I can usually get away with eating whatever meat the family is having over a salad, but not this. The rich, creamy gravy tastes sooo delicious over noodles that I had to think hard to come up with a substitute. First I thought of mashed cauliflower. That would be a good option, because gravy goes well with mashed potatoes and that's what the cauliflower is like. But I wanted a noodley experience. Then I thought of zucchini 'noodles' but that wasn't quite right either. Finally I decided on cooked, sliced yellow squash. It was fantastic! I did not miss the real noodles at all!

Way to get the veggies in, right? Oh it was delicious.

I used this recipe for Swedish meatballs, with a lot of modifications so I will just put my tweaked recipe here:

Mix 1/2 c bread crumbs (your choice... I used pre-made Italian ones which do contain wheat, but you can use any 'bread' crumbs you like. When I was eating very low carb I used Kraft Parmesan cheese in place of breadcrumbs so that might work here) with 2/3 c milk (your choice, low fat or regular) and let soak while you prepare the meatballs.

Mix with your hands: 1.5 pounds of lean ground beef, 1 egg, a couple of generous shakes of onion powder and garlic powder, 1 Tbsp dried parsley, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp each of pepper, nutmeg and allspice. Add the soaked breadcrumbs and mix together well. Then make small meatballs and fry then in a nonstick pan just until browned. Put them into a 9 by 13 pan with 1/4 c beef broth, cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Remove the meatballs to a warm bowl and pour the drippings into a saucepan. Add 1.5 cups of beef broth and bring to a simmer.

Mix 1/2 c beef broth with 3 Tbsp cornstarch (or thickener of your choice) and pour it into the hot drippings and beef broth. Whisk together until smooth and return to a simmer. Whisk until thickened like gravy. Lower heat and add 1 cup of sour cream (your choice, regular or low fat). Warm over low heat without boiling. Taste and add salt, pepper, and/or beef granules to taste. Add the meatballs and gently stir.

While that is cooking you can cut up your yellow summer squash and saute it in a little butter with salt and pepper until tender. I also cooked some green peas as a side dish. Serve the Swedish meatballs and gravy over the squash. Sooo yummy. I really enjoy meals that use vegetables as substitutes for starches like rice, pasta, and potatoes. There are lots of ideas on my Recipes tab; take a look sometime! Enjoy your dinner!


Andra said...

Why didn't you just cut the squash into noodles? Watch for a recipe post on Zudles (zucchini and summer squash noodles) coming up on my blog.

Glitter said...

This recipe is fantastic. Totally giving it a whirl tonight as I defo have some yellow squash in the fridge that need some low-carb lovin'

Timmy said...

I love yellow squash glad you included it in this recipe. Thanks for giving me good ideas for healthy eating.

Anna said...

Hi! I just tried your brilliant squash idea with some turkey swedish meatballs. So amazing and smart.

I cut them up similarly to how you have them in the photo because I worried that making thin noodle shapes would make them mushy. This shape and size worked out perfectly to mimic the chewiness of regular egg noodles.

Thanks for the awesome idea!