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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!

Ingredients

Servings:
4
Metric
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

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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Prep

  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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Make

  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

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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Reviews

Ratings

Original (25)
No ratings yet.
Gluten-free (0)
Paleo (5)
Vegetarian (2)

11 reviews

This recipe as vegitarian was no no and no..the taste was idk but next time i might try this as the oringal

By: Genepher
Posted: Jun 25, 2019
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

I would use a shallot next time because I don't like the larger pieces of onion.

By: Christine
Posted: Mar 20, 2015
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Both the meatballs and the kale were so flavorful! Made it with ground turkey, hot paprika, and fire roasted tomatoes; cut down the cinnamon per other comments. Kept some fresh cilantro to sprinkle on top with feta. Perfection! Had extra sauce and plan to use it on pasta or rice.

By: Sundi
Posted: Sep 26, 2014
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

I wasn't a huge fan. Overall, I think there was too much cinamon for my taste. I will redo it again by changing a couple ingredients around and possibly adding a bit of spicy here and there.

By: Deborah
Posted: Aug 19, 2014
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Needed longer to cook, more like 40 minutes, but so good!

By: Hadley
Posted: Jun 27, 2014
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

?I don't understand how to make the sauce? Where are specific directions for the sauce?

By: Patricia
Posted: May 06, 2014
Diet: Paleo
0 Helpful