Ingredients 500gm lean beef mince
1 clove garlic
1 brown onion
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 can diced tomatoes (or chop up two large fresh ones if you prefer)
mixed dried herbs (oregano, thyme, rosemary)
Tabasco sauce (optional)
1.5-2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 medium capsicum (whatever colour you like – I prefer red)
1.5 cups of black rice
1 lemon to serve
Rinse and soak the black rice in tap water for a couple of hours prior to preparing the rest of the recipe. This should shorten the cooking time. However if you don’t have a chance to do this, allow more time to cook the rice (according the packet instructions) – mine took 35 minutes in a pressure cooker.
Combine mince, grated carrot and zucchini, half of the onion (finely diced), egg and breadcrumbs in a large bowl and combine. Season with salt and pepper, add a teaspoon of herbs a splash of Tabasco and a tablespoon of tomato paste.
Use a tablespoon to get equal portions of the mixture and then roll these into tight balls and place on a plate sprinkled with breadcrumbs. These can be stored in the fridge to use later. This will also help the meatballs stay together when cooking later.
In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and add the remaining diced onion, diced capsicum and sliced mushrooms. Simmer until soft (about 5 minutes) on a medium heat, stirring often. Add half a cup of tomato paste with half a cup of water (or stock if you prefer) as well as the can of diced tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, turn up the heat and simmer for 1 minute.
Add the meatballs to the mixture in the pan and cook covered on low, until meatballs are totally brown (20 - 25 minutes), carefully turning them midway.
Serve meatballs with the prepared black rice and squeeze some fresh lemon over the entire plate.
If your meatball mixture is too dry and not holding together well, add another egg. Similarly if it is too moist, add some more breadcrumbs as needed.
Meatball mixture can be served with pasta, mashed root vegetables (e.g. sweet potato and carrot mash) or plain white rice if you prefer. I chose the black rice for the nutritional benefit.