Dinner – Sweet & Sour Meatballs


I have listed my menu plan for the week a couple of times recently on online forums and have had an overwhelming amount of interest and numerous people asking for the recipes.

Unfortunately, many of the meals I make have been made so many times that they tend to be created without regard for a recipe.  I substitute ingredients without thinking about it so the same meal may not ever be the same on more than one occasion.

However, I have committed myself to writing the recipes down as best I can – the quantities may be a bit variable – and photographing the steps involved to give you a clear idea of what I do.  I hope this is of some help and look forward to your feedback.

While there may be a greater emphasis on cooking meals and recipes at the moment, there will still be plenty of posts on gardening, simplicity, decluttering and sewing.  I trust that there will be something for everyone.

A couple of points to remember – I am serving 2 adults, although many of the meals I make serve more than that so I either portion them up for lunches on the following days or freeze for another meals in a week or so.  Also, we eat a gluten-free diet but the meals are eminently suitable for anyone.  Anything with an * beside it will have more explanation at the end of the recipe.

Here is the first recipe which was our dinner tonight – Sweet & Sour Meatballs.

250g lean beef mince
1 tablespoon of tamari*

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Combine ingredients and form into small balls.  Fry in a pan with a little coconut oil.

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Set the cooked meatballs aside and prepare the vegetables.  I use zucchini, carrot, capsicum and pineapple.

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I used one small zucchini and carrot, about 1/4 of this large capsicum and two slices of pineapple.

Cut the vegetables fairly finely so that they need very little cooking*.

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The prepared vegetables are in the dish at the back of the photo and the container at the front is the base of the sweet and sour sauce which had been frozen from the last time I made this dish.  I tipped the sauce into a saucepan and heated it but I will explain the process for making it.

The ingredients for the sauce are:

200ml water
60ml pineapple juice
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 heaped tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons tomato sauce (ketchup)

These are rough start up quantities but essentially you just need to add more or less to suit the tastes of your family.  It should be as the title says – sweet and sour.

Once you are happy with the flavour, thicken the sauce using cornflour or arrowroot blended in a little cold water.

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Add the pineapple pieces, vegetables to the sauce and finally the meatballs.

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This can be prepared ahead of time and then simply heated in a saucepan or microwave according to your preference.

Serve with rice*.


Tamari is a (generally) wheat-free soy sauce.

When making the meatballs you can add other ingredients to bulk them out if you wish.  The cereal crumbs from the bottom of the packet are great to use them up if gluten-free is not an issue for you.

You can used tinned or fresh pineapple.  When using fresh pineapple I juice some to have on hand for making this recipe.

I usually par cook the vegetables before adding to the sauce – about 1:30 in the microwave leaves them tender but not soggy.

I use home-made tomato sauce and worcestershire sauce.  You can click on the hyperlinks for the recipes.

You can add shredded chicken instead of meatballs for a variation.

The 250g of mince made 15 meatballs which is 3 serves for us.  I used two serves tonight and the other one will be lunch for GMan on Monday.

We use brown rice but white rice or even noodles or fettucine would work with this recipe.



5 thoughts on “Dinner – Sweet & Sour Meatballs

  1. Thanks for posting your recipes Fairy. I appreciate that you cook them a little differently each time. I always laugh when I hear that cooking (baking especially) is an exact science because I don’t think I have ever followed a recipe to the letter but prefer to improvise based on intuition and the ingredients I have to hand. I know how much work it takes to write and photograph your posts, so a big thank you from me for all the work you put in–it is very much appreciated!

  2. I had some cubed leftover roast pork in the freezer, so your sweet and sour sauce recipe was one I recalled from the recesses of my memory. My DH is in raptures this evening, and can’t believe it’s home made, so thank you Fairy – this one’s a keeper for sure! I didn’t have worcestershire sauce and substituted in some soy sauce as we are not gluten restricted. I have made a double batch of sauce (and a small extra amount set aside for chicken wing dipping sauce…shhh!) and frozen both for a quick meal next time. Sincere thanks from he and I x

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