As a young child, my favorite Asian-inspired flavor combination was “sweet and sour.” I was always a fan of that orange sauce served at Chinese or Japanese restaurants, whether with fried chicken or in a stir fry. There is just something about this combination of flavors that gets me every time. While usual recipes use orange juice, sugar, and soy sauce, I thought I would change things up a bit by using pomegranate juice as the “tang” factor. Coconut Aminos, which is made from the sap of a coconut tree, also has a nice savory-sweet flavor, lending nicely to the overall taste of the dish. Unlike soy sauce, Coconut Aminos is rich in the building blocks for our muscles, otherwise known as amino acids (hence the addition of “aminos”). In fact, there are fourteen more times the amount of glutamic and threonine acid (responsible for digestion, a calm mood, & prostate health), eleven times the amount of aspartic acid (a neurotransmitter to and from cells), and eight times the amount of serine, which helps brain function. Therefore, Coconut Aminos makes for a much greater (and in my opinion, tastier) gluten-free option for anything from sauces, marinades, dressing, or simply straight up on any dish. Other than fish sauce, Coconut Aminos has the ultimate “umami” factor, in that it tantalizes all five tastes on your tongue; sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. If you have not tried it, I highly recommend it, after all, who can resist umami? Most health food stores stock Coconut Aminos, as well as Whole Foods, however, I find purchasing mine through Amazon to be much more cost effective. You can do so for yourself here. If you are interested in more delicious pomegranate recipes, I urge you to check out Erin’s recipe round up on her blog, Enjoying This Journey. Not only are all of her recipes creative and delicious, but they are Autoimmune-Paleo friendly, an ideal option for any human being!
As I said previously, I have always loved sweet and sour dishes. Not only that, but I am a lover of all-things-Asian. Though “Asian” is pretty a generic term, I truly do enjoy the flavors of Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese cuisine, along with any other from the surrounding areas. My mother jokes that I should practically be “part Asian,” due to my deep fascination for the various flavors and dishes tied to this ethnicity. Today’s recipe utilizes green onion, ginger, and garlic, all of which are incredibly good, anti-inflammatory ingredients for your body. In fact, green onions have been used in Chinese medicine for centuries to relieve congestion, fight colds, and ease muscle tension. Ginger is also an ancient remedy for easing head and stomach aches, as well as improving blood related illnesses and joint diseases. Much like ginger, garlic is known as being “warm” in nature, and can be used to kill unwanted bacteria as well as reducing hypertension, hepatitis, and diabetes. Overall, these healing ingredients come together to create a flavorful dish that can be served as both an appetizer or main meal. Though I use arrowroot powder as a binder, this ingredient is completely optional, and can easily be removed. The glaze itself is very sticky, and when completely cooled, gets slightly gooey and thick. Therefore, to re-use any leftover glaze over vegetables, meat, fish, or even a stir fry, simply reheat on the stove in a small pot. If you are looking for any ingredients, the links located in the list below are from my affiliate Amazon store.
Sweet and Sour Glazed Meatballs
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 4 garlic cloves – minced
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions – white part
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger – minced
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 maple syrup
- 1/4 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 3 tbsp Coconut Aminos
- 1 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp water
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Add lamb, garlic, scallions, 3/4 tsp sea salt, 1 tbsp fresh ginger, 1 tbsp maple syrup, and 1/4 cup arrowroot to a medium sized mixing bowl, using hands to fully incorporate together.
- Form into 17 meatballs and place on a baking sheet or dish.
- Once oven is hot, add to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, turn broiler on high, moving meatballs to the upper shelf.
- Let broil for 2-5 minutes until brown on top.
- Remove from oven and let cool while preparing the glaze.
- In a medium sized pot, whisk together remaining 3 tbsp maple syrup, 1/4 tsp sea salt and 1 tsp ground ginger, along with the Coconut Aminos, pomegranate juice, and apple cider vinegar, until mixed together.
- Turn the stove to medium-high heat.
- In a small ramekin, stir together 1 1/2 tbsp arrowroot powder with water until a thick paste has formed.
- Whisk the paste into the pot mixture.
- Once the mixture comes to a boil, turn heat down to medium-low, whisking continually to make sure no clumps form.
- Continue to whisk the mixture for 8-12 minutes until a thick glaze has formed.
- Allow to cool slightly, then baste over prepared meat balls.
- Stick each meatball with a toothpick, serve, and enjoy! *If serving later, simply heat up the meatballs up in a 350 oven for 10 minutes until warmed through
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love cast out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”