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Mexican Meatballs and Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce
with coconut kale

Active: 25 min Total: 40 min
I love trying different meatball combinations. These Mexican-inspired meatballs are packed with flavor and texture and you will lick the sauce off your plate!


Mexican Meatballs:
  • Red onion - 1 , diced
  • Cilantro - handful of sprigs , chopped
  • Garlic - 4 cloves , minced
  • Ground pork or turkey - 1 1/2 lbs
  • Panko breadcrumbs - 1/2 cup
  • Cumin - 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp
  • Coriander - 1 Tbsp
  • Paprika - 1/2 Tbsp ((smoked if you already own it))
  • Kosher salt - 1/2 Tbsp + 1 tsp
  • Crushed tomatoes (28 oz / 794 g can) - 1 can ((fire roasted if you can find it))
  • Coconut milk - 1 cup ((light is fine))
  • Cinnamon - 1 tsp
  • Cotija cheese (opt) - 4 oz ((substitute with feta))
Sauteed Coconut Kale:
  • Kale - 1 bunch
  • Garlic - 2 cloves , minced
  • Coconut milk - 1/3 cup ((light is fine))
  • Lime - 1/2 , juice of
  • Red pepper flakes (opt) - a pinch


  1. Red onion / Cilantro / Garlic (for both kale & meatballs) - Prep as directed
  2. Meatballs - Mix together red onion, cilantro, 1/3rd of the garlic, ground meat, panko / breadcrumbs, 1 tbs.(15 ml) cumin, 1 tbs.(15 ml) coriander, 1/2 tbs.(7 ml) paprika, and 1/2 tbs.(7 ml) salt. Form into balls measuring 1.5" (3.75 cm) in diameter and place into a baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap if not making right away
    Mexican meatballs
  3. Kale – Tear kale leaves off of stems. Wash and dry leaves in a salad spinner. Rinse stems and chop into ¼” segments
    Mexican meatballs

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  1. Preheat oven to 375F (191C) degrees
  2. Make the tomato sauce by mixing together another third of minced garlic, tomatoes, coconut milk, 2 tsp. (10 ml) cumin, 1 tsp. (5 ml) cinnamon, and 1 tsp. (5 ml) salt in a large bowl
  3. Pour tomato sauce over the non-meatballs. If you have some leftover, save it for another time. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes
    Mexican meatballs
  4. Start kale by heating the largest saute pan or skillet you own over medium-high heat. Place a small cup of water next to the pan.
  5. Add 2 tbs. (30 ml) of coconut milk to heated pan. When the coconut milk starts bubbling, add rest of garlic. As soon as you can smell the garlic, add the kale stems with a pinch of kosher salt. Saute until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. If the pan dries up, add a tablespoon or two of the water
  6. Now add kale leaves – as much as can fit into the pan – with the remainder of the coconut milk. Turn leaves with tongs so all of them get heated through. Continue adding more leaves as room is made in the pan
  7. When the leaves are wilted, turn off the heat. Season to taste with kosher salt. Add the juice of half a lime and sprinkle with red pepper flakes (amount depends on the level of heat desired). Enjoy with meatballs and your flavorful sauce. Garnish with cheese if you'd like



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